Tag Archives: hopewell center

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

The Launch of Kee Wah Bakery Flagship Store in Wan Chai, Lee Tung Avenue

On the penultimate day of Chinese New Year celebrations, Kee Wah Bakery decided to hold its official launch.

I happened to walk in the day before and saw them fixing up the models and generally sprucing up the shop.


The launch party in the store caused a huge pedestrian jam on the sidewalk. 

Welcome! Welcome!

And I swiftly realised that it was because the staff were out on the pavement and there were a few celebrities within the shop, hence massive crowding by its windows for everyone trying to catch a glimpse.

 
When I asked the girls outside who the celebrity was, they answered “which one? There are several…” ok, I’ll admit my celebrity knowledge is pretty thin. But I did recognise this guys stature, he’s in a lot of ads.

This Kee Wah flagship store in Wanchai is quite nicely designed. It’s reminiscent of the original store they had in Kowloon. The owners commissioned a model layout of the exterior and interior of the original shop. Nice touch.


With the little lights on, it isn’t difficult to imagine what it used to look like.


Wonderful detailing, right down to the minibus.


The interiors are just as spectacular. No details were spared, right down to the individual cakes and bottled sweets.

The store managed to incorporate a small real time bakery for freshly baked goods. I’m not sure if that’s permanent or just to impress the visitors for the first couple of weeks.



The store has all the treats in every possible combination. They have the traditional wife cakes in single and multiple packages, the more modern recipes, the cutesy stuff and the special box gift sets. They also have the Taiwanese style pineapple tarts. 


There are two feature walls, one with a black and white tonal mural of a Hong Kong stairway (reminds me of Pottinger Street), the other with black and white photographs on their operating history.


What I appreciated about this store, is how they factored in disabled access. There’s a nice ramp on one side of the shop. Perfect for mommies with strollers.


You can see that business is brisk. It was launched with total professionalism and timing to coincide with Chinese New Year, a time of gifting and when loved ones would be visiting from other parts of the world.

Business is brisk
Loading area out back with replenishments

It’s worth a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood. The store is right across from Hopewell Center.
Kee Wah Flagship, the old and the new. Still retains the same look, down to the lightbulbs hanging above the shop

Chinese New Year Festivities at Hopewell Center

The stage at Hopewell Center’s open piazza has been decorated with the same Chinese New Year theme. It’s a nice stage and today I noticed the signboard display of all the activities for the next few weeks. 


What drew my attention was… the queue. Why do HK people so love queuing? 


As far as I could tell, nothing was happening on stage yet. What were they waiting for so patiently?


According to the notice board, it’s the chinese red banner writing. I suppose people come here because it’s free. There are other roadside stalls that have popped up, for example the one along Johnston road near comix home base, but those calligraphers need to earn a living so there’s a fee for sure.

Here are the schedules:


Red banner writing. If you missed today’s session they have a final one next Thursday.


Lion dance. This is always fun for all the family. Make a date for the 10th of Feb.


Ok, not sure what it’s like getting your fortune told by dice… could be that you’re gambling with your future 😉 anyway that event already happened, sorry.

The orchestra is playing though on the 3rd of Feb.


Finally the lucky bird fortune telling. I suppose it could be a rooster picking out your big decisions. Don’t be a chicken about it.

And music on the 9th and 14th of Feb.

Sounds like fun if you’re in Wanchai and willing to brace the queues.

International English newspapers sold here

If you’re staying in Wan Chai and haven’t got a digital subscription to the newspapers or just prefer to read the broadsheet like my dad, you might think that you need to head to Central for that. The neighbourhood seven elevens (7-11) carry the South China Morning Post. 

Most newsagents on the street don’t carry the broadsheets, usually it’s a mixture of local chinese tabloids, magazines and some soft porn. 

The newsagent to head to for the English language broadsheets is a rather non-descript newsstand tucked away on the 2nd floor of Hopewell Center next to the HSBC. They sell most of the broadsheets, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Times etc. It’s called Ngai Shing


This newsstand also sells the tabloids and has shelves full of disorganised magazines. It is also discreet enough for you to purchase any material that you’d rather not be seen with in broad daylight, plus you won’t get it wet in the rain as you head up one floor to Starbucks for your coffee. 

Update: these newsstands may soon be a thing of the past… check out this article below.

Newspaper hawker licences dry up as Hong Kong changes its habits, government says

Is Wanchai’s City Tree dead? (With update below)

The Wanchai City Tree project has been a disappointment to me so far. After I saw the launch by its Founder and team (flanked by lots of dudes in suits) with lots of snazzy photo taking and media buzz, the City Tree has been mostly ignored since. More ominously a black netting has been wrapped around the tree… it’s a bit unclear if this was to prevent the recent typhoon(s) from ripping out all the plants or whether the plants aren’t quite acclimating well to the environs.

I see the following issues:

1) not very aesthetically pleasing

2) rather exposed seating area

3) no way to know whether it’s working (the screen has been blank for a while now)

Individual plantlets on the City Tree

What the City Tree needs is a big display above the awning indicating what the second to second PSI is, flicking to what the PSI variations are during the day and night. That way, all passersby will be able to see what the traffic contributes during rush hour, how particles decrease after a good thunderstorm or on a public holiday. 


Come on Herr Denes Honus and teamyou can do better than that. If you’re struggling with the PSI indicator, please collaborate with Dyson. My Dyson Fan Air Quality Indicator works very well.

Will Wan Chai be filled with City Trees? Replacing any trees that fall during typhoon season with City Trees would be a welcome start though the effect on the landscape isn’t quite the same. See the article below on possible intents…

Vertical gardens that ‘eat’ air pollution and how Hong Kong could use them 

Quick update: the black netting has now been removed. The coverage of plants seem to be a little more extensive but the computer display was definitely not working right.

City Tree Netting is off today

BUT

But computer is faulty