Tag Archives: queens road east

Fire Engine Frustrations

Inconsiderate people are everywhere. Not just at the lifts at the MTR. Is it Hong Kong’s stressful, time-lacking situations that make it so? It must be tough work being a customer service officer here. People want top service but are out to get the best deal and expect the first class infrastructure to help create that competitive environment. 

I watched this Fire engine wail past me at the Wan Chai / Johnston Road intersection, its fire fighters all suited up and sirens at maximum volume. I took a leisurely stroll (maybe 2km/hour) up Wan Chai Road towards the market to find it completely stuck before the Queens Road East intersection. How can a person carrying a baby, a backpack and an umbrella be walking faster than a fire engine?


How frustrated the firemen must be. Cars were double parked two vehicles deep on one side and a truck occupied the other side of the road. And the truck and goods people expected the fire engine to somehow squeeze its way through. The road was certainly not designed as a three laned highway. 

If a fire was burning down a house or a family was trapped in an elevator, this little traffic jam would be wasting valuable time. Do the drivers care? No. What if it’s their family? 

The truck finally moved off at the insistence of the fire engine. Those cars double parked should’ve moved off too. 

If only the traffic police would allow pedestrians to report obstructions and penalise them, that might force all these drivers to behave with more consideration. 

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The premature death of a City Tree

The City Tree installed at Hopewell Center always seemed a half hearted attempt. It was more PR pomp and bluster than a genuine statement of green energy, roadside air pollution or the creation of a sitting area with the feeling of sitting under a real tree in a park. 


It didn’t come as a huge surprise to me then, that last week some guys dismantled it very quietly and without much fuss. In its place, they’ve erected a shelter in which they seem to be doing some tile work. Could they be building a bigger one? It’s all a bit unclear what direction this is heading in and whether the sponsors will keep backing a project that doesn’t work. 

I think if the sponsors are serious about it, pay to build a proper one that will handle the roadside air pollution and please pay the maintenance subscription fees. It looks like the City Tree is higher maintenance than a real tree… but then again it’s supppsed to represent 20-30 trees in a park so maybe the maintenance costs should be equal to that. No shortcuts. 

If you’d like to see some history on the city tree, check out these posts from when it was ALIVE

The last day of July 2017: Monday Night in Wan Chai

On a very hot and quite polluted Monday evening, the sidewalks of Queens Road East were particularly busy near the Indigo Hotel and Wu Chung House. People were hanging around a place they had no business to be hanging around. Those pavements are narrow and at busy road intersections.

I guess the safety aspect was marginally addressed by the peak hour slow moving traffic. The pedestrian traffic was also similarly slowed by the concentration of humans occupying a sidewalk that is lined with recycling bins on one side and trees on another.

Look at this:


I was literally having to wade through a bunch of zombies to get to the bus stop. 

If you crossed the road, the situation wasn’t much better. 


All these zombies milling around anxiously looking at their phones. No one acknowledged each other, though they all knew why they were there. Perhaps they were fighting to the death online and that makes them enemies in real life too.

I sneaked a look at one of the player’s screens. POKEMON.

Wanchai St. Francis Street Updates: Leavings & New Beginnings

There were 3 decent health food/ nutrition shops in Wanchai. Just Green, Food For Life and Redwood Nutrition. (I’m excluding Green Common only because it is more of an organic supermarket rather than a nutrition shop). 

Feeling the need to re-start my probiotic routine, I went and had a look at what was available in each shop. Redwood nutrition carried a rather expensive brand, I wasn’t quite convinced about paying almost $500 for a month’s supply of bacteria. Redwood Nutrition down the road has Udo’s probiotics on discount, buy 4 get 1 free, averaging around $290 for a month’s supply. The only thing that irks me is the sales lady. She’s a bit aggressive and I don’t enjoy the ultra aggressive marketing style. My final stop was Just Green where I’m usually able to find a wider selection of brands, and I get a members discount.

Just Green was located down an alley, literally down, as in you have to go down some stairs. They usually have a poster stand outside the door and you can see the light from inside the shop through the windows. I walked up St Francis Street and peered down the alley. Hmm. Did I get the wrong alley? It seemed deserted and bare. 


Just Green has left..! Just to be sure, I went down the stairs to check. Recent removal marked the walls and window sills. 

That’s really too bad. It was a nice nook and my go to shop for supplements. 

The next alley in the direction of Queens Road East has a new tenant. They decorated the entire wall with a mural. Great advertising of you get the permission to do it and a good artist. Well, they are in the art business. In a manner of speaking. 


The tattoo parlours were in cooler places like Soho’s Pottinger street but it looks like that cool is gradually spreading East. Hong Kong Underground Tattoo is right at the end of the alley.

Wan Chai is getting a new equilibrium but I hope businesses that set up here are also encouraging for residents and not just occasional visitors. I’m half expecting to see more tattooed people walking around the neighbourhood… and no, it’s not the chinese gang labourers working in construction. 

The Peppa Pig Family Carnival – Disappoints and Disrupted by Typhoon 8

Last Thursday and Friday, there were staff (or volunteers) from Save the Children in their red t-shirts handing out brochures for the Peppa Pig Family Carnival in Lee Tung Avenue.

Now, if you’re a mother of any children between the ages of 2-8 years, you will know that this is absolutely irresistible to your kids. They will whine and demand to go, simultaneously declaring their love for the Peppa Pig characters. 

The staff were friendly, the colours of the panels vivid and the booths were well spaced out. However, the content lacked substance and there was nothing to take home unless you were coerced into making a purchase of useless and un-environmentally friendly Peppa Pig paraphernalia in the name of charity. 

What did the booths have? 

The Virtual Reality Booth

There was a Virtual reality booth which had the clunky goggles ($80 per go) you put on to look around. It was empty on the Friday and I didn’t think the goggles were too comfortable. There were only two goggles on display.

Peppa Pig String Art Zone

Then there is the string art zone, where the lady in charge explained that kids get some string and get to tie it around the metal protrusions to weave family bonds. Hmm. A bit abstract for kids, I struggled with the thought of it myself in a small dark booth.

The Kite Drawing Zone

Then there’s the kite drawing zone. Here for a $20 donation, kids get a small paper kite (not a real kite) each and sit down for a few minutes to decorate and then the kite gets hung on a big kite board with metal pins.

So all that individual effort goes up onto a collective board and it’s an instagrammable moment for the organisers but what does the kid get as a memory? 

“Mama they took my kite away. I got nothing.” 

Perhaps the organisers would like to reconsider their activities and strategies to have something for the kids to take home. The string bonding thing is also quite worthless even though the concept probably sounded interesting on paper.

The most striking and entertaining activity on display was the pipe telephone. So simple, free and fun. They could’ve made it more like a 3-D maze but it’s a good effort.


There are different coloured pipes linking one side of the board to the other, at different heights to for adult/child play.

Well, there was a stage and some music and dancing going on, on Saturday but baby was asleep in the sling and I gave it a pass.

What made #1 happy was the opportunity for a photo with Peppa’s family.


Here’s how the overhead kite display looked during Typhoon 3, I wish the wind had been strong enough to make them take flight.

A beautiful flower shop opens on Queens Road East. Le D’or fleuristes

It wasn’t long ago that my favourite flower shop left Wanchai and is now under renovation to become something else. The usual frenetic and unforgiving pace of commerce in Wan Chai due to escalating rental. 

I came across a new florist shop last week along Queens Road East that looked more like a fashion designer store than a florist. Here are some photos, I spent a good 15 minutes browsing around.


Done in a simple but nice black and white full glass frame with an open door, the shop looks very inviting. 


Nice clean concrete floors and layered black shelving help to showcase the plants and flowers for maximum effect. I like the recessed lighting and spotlights that match the shelves.


They do nice big bouquets if you’re looking to impress a date, but I’m sure they can fix something up for you on request.


The selection of potted plants is nice and healthy. 


As do the orchids and succulents. There’s something to suit every table and counter top. 


I love looking at Bonsai. They have a few beautiful ones right by the window. Wish I could have one but every Bonsai I’ve owned has perished so I think it’s just not my thing…


I picked up a card when I realised that I had met the sales lady before in the other flower shop that I like. Both ladies in the shop are super nice and very helpful without being intrusive. You really feel like you can talk to them about anything.


They also have some artificial flowers which look amazing. I was quite impressed. It is similar in quality (or perhaps better) to the big scale florist at Hopewell Center but this look a lot easier to scan and decide.


I am seriously considering these artificial greenery as the recent thunderstorms have killed off all my plants. 🤔


Yup, these white roses are also artificial but they fooled me until I realised there was no water in the vase.

Speaking of vases, they have a small selection.


And at the very back of the shop, a fridge for the fresh flowers.

If you have a particular plant/ flowers you’re looking for, do contact them by phone or email. I think they can source the plants if unavailable in the store. 

Find Le D’or here. It’s a 5 minute walk from the Wan Chai MTR or catch any of the 6 buses, 15, 10, 109 or 113 and get off at Lun Fat Street. 


The owner is an artist, don’t forget to stop and admire the two intricate paintings by the entrance of the shop.

Has anyone noticed the new plant boxes in Wan Chai? 

These plant boxes appeared sometime this morning (Friday, June 30). I know because I left home at 8.15am and they weren’t there yet. But on my way back before noon, they appeared. 

How fancy! Is a VIP coming this way I wonder? 


I wonder if they’ll be removed at the end of July or are they here to stay?



They are of quite solid quality and the distressed wood look is quite nice. Unfortunately, they look a bit shallow and the soil they used doesn’t look particularly nutritious.


Thanks LCSD.

I’ll have to see if these planters have been placed elsewhere. Hopefully they’re here to stay.


None seen along the rest of Queens Road East… or other parts of Wan Chai.