World Music Day: Barcella playing at 1563, Hopewell Center (Who is Barcella?)

A new signboard went up outside Hopewell Center advertising the events for World Music Day.

If you’re free on Saturday the 17th of June, you might want to catch Barcella performing Puzzle -a French singer- live on stage at 3.30pm for free. He’s subsequently performing at 8pm at 1563 for a cover charge of HKD 280. 

You can have a look at some of his colourful and dramatic, satirical videos online but this video Ma Douce featuring a sexy stripper is particularly entertaining.


If you don’t understand French (I don’t), the lyrics would be completely lost on you. It’s part of Le French May so a French artist is not at all surprising. Here are the lyrics to the song Puzzle translated into English (courtesy of google translate). Maybe the lyrics might still be lost on you 🙂

PUZZLE by BARCELLA

Cursed Poet Seeks a Supreme Ruler

Melancholy seeks fragile heart

Origami looking for abyss

But how to make the pair?

Tapatoudi seeks end of film

Toutifrouti looks for vitamin

Small Mowgli seeks solid lianas

To get laid in the air

On the other side there is probably someone

I do not know who, what I do not know what

This I do not know

Step by step, step by step

I weave the ties

Our lives are Chinese puzzles

For harlequin

Knotted throat looking heart blooms

Kiss stolen looking nursery

Timidity cherhce grain d’folie

To sing the misery

Facalam seeks confetti

Pockieman looking for Dame Woggy

Girl injured looking for disease

To probe the mystery

On the other side there is probably someone

I do not know who, what I do not know what

This I do not know

Step by step, step by step

I weave the ties

Our lives are Chinese puzzles

Alexandrine

Belly empty cherhce gingerbread

Mantoline looking for melodist

Melanine looks beautiful licorice

To build rainbow

Paste-to-modeler in Paste-à-fix

Catapult seeks cataclysm

Grain of beauty seeks between your thighs

To empty hot air balloon

On the other side there is probably someone

I do not know who, what I do not know what

This I do not know

Step by step, step by step

I weave the ties

Our lives are Chinese puzzles

For harlequin

On the other side there is probably someone

I do not know who, what I do not know what

This I do not know

Step by step, step by step

I weave the ties

Our lives are Chinese puzzles

Too small

Point

Sex den bust in Wan Chai

Wan chai is such an interesting place to live. 

There’s always something intriguing going on in the neighbourhood that you’d never know about while walking on the pavement. I’ve probably walked to Causeway Bay via Lockhart Road at least 100 times and I’m still fairly oblivious to which buildings are conducting legitimate business and which buildings are leased for other purposes.

I saw this article flash up on my newsfeed.

Asia Times: 30 held after raid on sex dens busts Wan Chai prostitution ring 
Ok, I wondered, where is “Hop Yee building“? A google map search yielded no results. Instead I recognised the location from the photo and did an approximation on the map and found it.

It’s right next to the fairly upmarket Como Como serviced apartments

So next time you’re walking by with a friend…. nudge nudge wink wink…

Why you should engage La Station Coffee Shop to throw your next corporate party

La Station, one of my favourite neighbourhood coffee shops just celebrated their second anniversary. 
I met up with a friend, (founder of Ookus) at La Station for breakfast early in the week. As I was leaving, the eternally effervescent blonde manager Kat (a sort of Asian version of Jessica Alba) chased after me and presented me with a card.


“It’s our second anniversary this Thursday” she breathed, “will you come?”

I was in a bit of a hurry but promised that I’d be there. I marked it down in my calendar, it was a party running from 7-10pm on Thursday evening. What fun. I haven’t been out at night in the neighbourhood for quite a while.

We got there around 8pm and as we turned the corner at Eric Kayser onto Tai Yuen Street, a wonderful party scene greeted us. 


Very hip-looking friends of the owners had turned up in full force and they were drinking beers and champagne on the pavement, faces lit by the La Station signboard overhead. 

The perch counter near the fridge display area was converted into a makeshift bar where Alan bartended ice chilled beers in bottles, champagne and lemonade for the non-alcoholics. The funky lounge tunes made it seem as though everyone was queuing outside a newly opened club. 



Inside, people were gathered in chattering groups, taking selfies and photos of the fabulous food. 


There were mini sausage rolls, quiche, ham and cheese croissants and Croque Monsieurs. 


We sampled each one and it was all consistent of the La Station / Paul Lafayet standard. 


After half an hour, the desserts were put on display. This is Julian figuring out how they should sit on the tray.


Each dessert was no bigger than your thumb but packed a huge flavour punch. The chocolate squares of cake and ganache were moist and addictive. I had to restrain myself from devouring a second piece. 

These desserts were mini masterpieces… I kid you not. LPQ and Kayser attempts at these sweets are left in the dust.


Small person grabbed a Paul Lafayet creme brûlée and chiselled away at the caramelised topping, gleefully shoving it into her mouth. This is after Pete had gifted her a pink macaroon and she had polished off a ham cheese croissant. Well, it isn’t every day that she gets to indulge.

After the macaroon, a ham cheese croissant


Somehow the delicious breakfast food went super well with the booze and dessert. I can see how this scene can be replicated successfully elsewhere. Apparently the team has been hired frequently for stylish Lane Crawford events. 

La Station is one of those coffee shops that hires people who bother to remember your name and beverage preference. It’s this familiarity and excellent food and beverages that keep the loyal customers returning despite not having much of a seating area. If you do decide to sit at their counters, you’ll see that the tables are small but there’s room for your bags. Just hang them on the hooks underneath by your legs. 

I went for another beer which Alan happily obliged. 



These guys know how to throw a good party.

Here’s a shout out to their team – Pete, Kat, Binny, Stella, Alan, Vivian, Julian. It was a great party and we look forward to more 🙂

A day of accidents before the Black Rain

Yesterday the rain was torrential. The Hong Kong observatory first labelled it a yellow rain, then a red rain when the thunder and lightning rolled in, then the highest signal, black rain. Rivers ran outside my window and the rain was a constant drumming on every exposed surface. 

There wasn’t much wind, it wasn’t a typhoon so it was quite pleasant walking outside especially with Wellington boots on (or rain boots 水鞋 as they are known here) and a big umbrella. No need to dance around the puddles, with waterproof knee high boots on you can walk straight through them. Now my sister visiting from London understands why I buy them. The streets of Wanchai were not too busy and only those with a mission and an umbrella could be seen braving the water currents on every pavement. 

The day before black rain day, it was an overcast, cloudy and cool sort of day. For some reason there seemed to be a tension in the air, perhaps an expectation that something was going to happen. 
Two traffic accidents happened within minutes of each other, causing a massive gridlock along Wan Chai road and Queens Road East.

Everyone stopped what they were doing to watch the accidents play out, oblivious to the honking all around them. Both involved taxis whose drivers had rolled down their windows and were swearing at the other vehicles. 



Incident 1:
A car was trying to parallel park in a relatively tight spot along Wan Chai Road and either hit or almost hit a taxi. I have no idea who was at fault but the taxi driver was yelling, cursing and making obscene gestures at the driver of the other car.  


Incident 2: A taxi had stopped by the bus stop to let a passenger alight. A van appears to have driven up and blocked it. The driver of the van can be seen confronting the taxi driver. Perhaps the taxi had cut the van off earlier and got a scrape. 

What is more interesting to you… the incident or the people watching the incident? Everyone loves standing by and watching a good scuffle.

Hong Kong government has a website showing traffic conditions on major roads. You can look at these cameras to plan your journey if the weather is looking unfavourable. 

Digging beneath the dirt… To find the good and the gritty