The biggest storm so far of 2018 and the last two decades was fascinating to witness.
This was a great test of urban infrastructure, a lesson for architects and engineers, a real way for the community to bond through helping each other or simply keeping in touch.
Yesterday evening, I spent it at Shek O beach. The swells were increasing in size, reaching almost 2 meters in the short time we were there at low tide.
It had been an idyllic day, hot but sunny and somehow, knowing that a massive storm was soon to strike, most people were out making the most of it. Wanchai on a Saturday afternoon had an almost carnival like atmosphere.
Here are a few sights of the aftermath in Wan Chai last night.
Some dangers still lurking above and beneath your feet. Anyone heading out should wear only sturdy shoes and be highly alert for possible loose items that could cause injury.
Broken, broken, broken.
Overall things weren’t too bad in Wan Chai. The trees were the most affected, and a few buildings will need to sort their windows out. Shui On Center needs to work on their lifts and air con.
All closed up at the MTR station
Tree leaning against a bench at Lee Tung Avenue.
And I’ve now figured out why the bins in Wan Chai are still in the same place. Someone thought of tethering them to the nearest railing. Such a simple and clearly effective idea. 👍😀Good thinking.
The two largest bookstores in Wan Chai are JP books (right by exit A3 on Johnston road) and Cosmos books which is on Lun Fat and Johnston, more or less opposite Fook Lam Moon restaurant.
The JP bookshop has only one entrance and is a multilevel shop with 3 floors. The ground floor is where the entrance is and you’re required to head up to the first floor and upwards (ie if you want to get to the kids section be prepared to walk up 4 flights of stairs).Cosmos books has a similar layout, it’s a massive sprawl of books set out on two floors, in the basement and on the first floor. The ground floor serves as the main entrance.
So going to the bookstore, you’re faced with these two entrances.
If you’re heading out to the bookshop to pick up a few travel or summer reading books for yourself or the kids, remember to leave the stroller at home. These bookshops have comprehensive collections but are definitely not stroller nor disabled friendly.
Without resorting to couch purchasing on Amazon, what would your stroller options be then?
Kelly and Walsh opened recently in Pacific Place. It’s tucked into a corner sort of opposite and one level up from the cinema. That bookstore has aisles that would make mothers smile…. and an excellent selection of English books.
Alternatively if you’re in Wan Chai this weekend, you can brave the crowds and head to the book fair at the Exhibition center.
I happened to be walking by the John Denver Tree (technically it’s a Banyan) the other day when a shiny plaque caught my eye.
It looks new and much bigger than the previous one. The LCSD must have replaced it.
Does this generation know who John Denver is? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they included a QR code on the plaque to link to his most famous song… or a visit by all the artists who planted the other 622 trees in the Greening Wanchai scheme? That would be a concert not to be missed.
It would be really cool if all the trees had plaques in them or were dedicated to specific entertainment legends.. perhaps the public and LCSD could use them as landmarks and everyone would take better care of them.
Check out my trees of Wan Chai page (yeah I’ll be adding to it gradually, it’s really not easy to take nice photos of trees…) and go see this tree at the intersection of Wan Chai road, Johnston Road and Fleming Road. It’s along the Tram tracks.
There were three articles describing how much income, interest (as in wanting to know, not rate) and inebriation would be happening in Wan Chai over these 2 holiday weekends.
From financial conferences to lighting exhibitions, expensive Art shows (Art Basel, see some pics below) to the biggest Rugby sporting event in Hong Kong, a rush of events has brought a huge number of visitors to Hong Kong and specifically to Wan Chai.
Yes, it’s the location. The HK exhibition center is here, the bars and restaurants, the red light districts all within a wandering over some pedestrian bridges.
The prediction of a boom in clients to the bars, prostitutes, late night love motels must send all on that short stretch of Lockhart to Fenwick into a giddy madness.
I wanted to go check out the scene and take a few photos for you, but I sprained my ankle badly on Friday and am unable to put any weight on it.
If you wake early enough on Sunday I’m sure you’ll get to see the “after party scene”. In the meantime I’ll just have to read about it in the news.
Bowen Road has been undergoing some remodelling and renovations recently, mostly slope reinforcements and a refurbishment of decade-old toilets 👍.
But still no concession stands or octopus pay drink machines anywhere, which would be nice if LCSD could address. (I mean sometimes we forget to bring our water bottles and snacks for kids and ourselves…. how about allowing a pop up juice bar- coffee shop with croissants and bo-lo-baos that operates on weekends? Or a food truck?) Anyway, on my walk yesterday I noted the completion of a new playground off the fitness path. I really don’t know what to make of it. I think it’s neither here nor there.
only two rocking horses and a small platform that's not even a slide. Oh yeah that's exciting. Yawn.
A badminton court surrounded by trees. Hmm, great for blocking the wind I suppose but kind of dark and enclosed.
It seems like a bit of a tick the box we have these facilities type thing. What a waste of money. To get kids and parents to go down those stairs to get to rocking horses and then back up is probably too much for most Hong Kong families. Mums with babies and toddlers wouldn’t go if they had a stroller. Who is this for exactly? Someone who has a kid of 2-5yrs and a 2 teenagers who play badminton?
ok, the space and area layout is sort of awkward but they should have done a fun looking playground based on a theme. Or just put in an awesome swing set with a view.
Maintaining it is quite a job in itself too. Poor sweepers looking at the stairs are likely to hate it.
Wish those in charge had been a little more innovative in design, then maybe it would be worth the effort.
If you want to see what inspiring playgrounds look like, check out the pics at the end of this post.
By the light of the full moon.. a vampire comes out to play…
Lee Tung Avenue has had great success in creating a public space where small, interesting art and music projects can draw the attention of a steady stream of people. Many are locals, young couples who visit in the evening for a dessert. Some are older people with their helpers, they occupy the benches to soak up the late morning sun. Then there are families, who use this pedestrianised street as a conduit to the schools. They often return after school, in the evenings to run around*.
Halloween has become an increasingly significant occasion for commercial festivity in Hong Kong. It’s nice because it involves the children and all that fancy get up is fun, but it doesn’t teach them much about American culture or what it means. Local and international schools both celebrate it and kids come home with drawings of pumpkins and bats and broomsticks. It’s almost as big a celebration as Christmas.
I thought it was fabulous that Lee Tung Avenue took a different approach to their display. The organisers chose an art installation with significance to both the mid-autumn festival and Halloween. Titled “Museum of the Moon“, a large blown up rendition of 5 km earth’s only moon surface is suspended from the arch and illuminated from within at night.
For the Halloween weekend, Ophelia was advertising a blood sucking gory time on Saturday night and Tuesday night. That vampire was co-opted into posing with visitors along the pedestrian alleyway by the light of the moon.
It was a funny and entertaining sight. The crowds were out enjoying the cool weather and the scene… as was I!
Halloween night walk in Wan Chai.
*Wan Chai really needs a good quality children’s playground, will LCSD please consider this carefully and install a great one at Southorn playground when you’re finished ripping it up for the underground Mall? All the future generated income could be reflected in quality of life an awesome playground would bring to families in the area. And I’m not referring to those red yellow plastic things you presently install all over. Please take a look at the Megan Daley park in Chicago or even this wonderful bamboo installation (since Hong Kong is so fond of using bamboo for scaffolding) at the restaurant Triplets in Chiang Mai.
Digging beneath the dirt… To find the good and the gritty