The Singapore i grew up in as a child did not encourage the arts industry. The era that I had grown up with had the old school mentality that one has to be in the medicine, law, finance sector to be considered "successful". Thankfully, we've since progressed beyond that. Slowly, yes, but baby steps is considered a positive change.
While an arts person myself, I've seen the change in the arts scene over the years. From the opening of specialised arts schools, to businesses that promote local artists (via paintings in cafes, to live music at dining spots), it is heartening to know that more people are actually encouraged to be in the arts industry. I've always admired those who make a living in the arts scene, for they are often open and creative people, and who are doing what they like as a career.
Centrally located just after Orchard near the Selegie area, this is the cosy cafe to be in especially if you are into the arts. Popped by a cafe that combined arts and food in one spot. The cafe offers arts classes, thus it was not surprising to see several huge paintings on the walls, and unfinished art canvases at the side of the cafe. A hybrid of cafe meets art studio, one can satisfy a growling tummy and at the same time, unleash the inner Picasso with their painting and drawing classes.
For the next number of blogs I will be jumping around in space and time so the normal linearity of travel will be a bit jumbled. Having said that, I am trying to write my all my impressions and experiences down as they come back to me, as much as I vow to write these things down when I am travelling there never seems to be the time nor the inclination.
Hong Kong is well-known as a financial and commercial centre, in the mind of most people it is a city full of skyscrapers. Nonetheless, this tiny city is also full of history and memories. I always slow down my footsteps whenever i am in Hong Kong and rediscover its heritage. A prominent example of redevelopment of historic sites in Hong Kong is 1881 Heritage in Tsim Sha Tsui. This was the site of the Headquarters of the Former Marine Police. The main building was built in the early 1880s in a combination of Victorian colonial and neo-classical architectural designs. The site had ceased as the Headquarters of the Former Marine Police in 1996. In an effort to preserve and revitalize the heritage buildings, the site has been renovated and now it transformed into a magnificent hotel-shopping-exhibition complex. It’s stunningly beautiful at night. The Victorian architecture was indeed a sight to behold at night.
Another great start to the weekend! One of my photos taken at the falconry outside Prague Castle during my trip last year has been published in the latest March 2014 Issue of Digital Camera Magazine, a popular leading monthly photography magazine! I submitted the photo of a Gray Owl for the "Your Mission - Brilliant Photos of Birdst" category released for publication in this current magazine issue. It was really a good chance to see it in print nationwide, yippee ! :-)
My Travel Photo Documentary On Hong Kong's Historic Wing Lee Street 香港永利街 ~ 岁月偷不走的城市记忆 Published In zbNow/联合早报现在 Newspaper Dated 15 March 2014
A happy start to the weekend! My Hong Kong travel photo documentary on the historic Wing Lee Street in Hong Kong (now under conservation by Hong Kong Government, the venue first appeared in an award-winning Year 2010 Hong Kong movie starring 任达华 & 吴君如) published In today's 联合早报 dated 15 March 2014 (Saturday)! Thrilled to see it (“岁月偷不走的城市记忆") being featured nationwide in print! Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao, zbNOW/早报现在, you have made my day again! Thanks so much! :-)
Classic Mido Cafe In Hong Kong (Opened in the 1950s) - Original Cha Chaan Teng Unchanged By Time 香港风味50年不变 ~ 美都餐厅
There’s something about Hong Kong – its sights, smells and most of all the buzz and energy in the air – that keeps drawing me back in. And no matter how many times i return, there’s always something new to discover.
Nestled on the Temple Street stretch, the Mido Cafe in Hong Kong has been around since the 50′s. This was a time when Hong Kong was flourishing. Financially, many locals were enjoying decent cash flow so were looking to experience ‘Western’ culinary fare. ’Cha Chan Teng’ (the translation is literally – tea restaurant) were created to fill this void and the Mido Cafe is arguably the oldest of its kind. Its classic and tasty Hong Kong style fast-food, its unique and traditional interior and exterior design and its location in the old-fashion-styled Temple Street, are all the reasons why it has always been so popular among local people. The Mido Cafe is a institution which is a blast from Hong Kong’s historical past. Many Hong Kong cafes are becoming a part of history. Before Mido would ever disappear, just go to experience this ‘time machine’. Here's a tip for patrons, try to aim for the corner booth. That’s the ‘Hong Kong celeb’ corner. Hong Kong directors actors like to hang out at the old and nostalgic Mido Cafe.
美都餐厅位于香港庙街, 于1950年开业, 直至今日仍保留 1950 年代的装潢, 见证着香港历史, 除地下外更有当年十分普遍的二楼雅座, 可以浏览庙街及榕树头的街景, 不少遊客专诚到餐室感受香港传统风味. 美都餐厅的特别之处在于浓厚的怀旧色彩, 整体的装潢和内饰都保持着几十年前的风格, 极具旧日情怀. 美都餐厅是很多访港旅客会慕名而来的地方. 虽然第一次到访, 但往往它会给你一种似曾相识的感觉, 这是因为美都餐室是很多电影, 电视剧的取景胜地. 美都餐厅是一间有 60 年历史的怀旧冰室, 它首要吸引之处, 不是其食物, 而是它那份 50 年代老香港的怀旧味道, 亦因此令它很有电影感.
Nostalgic Sweet Treats From Hong Kong's 60-Year Old Hung Fat Chinese Cake 香港深水埗旧区基隆街史悠久的中式糕饼铺 ~ 鸿发糕品
A cake or pie pit-stop is part of most Hong Kongers’ daily routine, so you don’t have to go far to find a bakery in any neighbourhood – the majority are take away, with customers buying bags of treats for home, work, or if you’re like me, to scoff on the hoof. Whenever i am in Hong Kong, i will always make a re-visit to Sham Shui Po, one of city’s oldest neighbourhoods and would recommend a visit here for some of the finest Hong Kong-style bakeries. These traditional no-frills joints serve up trays of buttery tarts, sticky glazed buns and airy sponges to an enthusiastic audience, from early morning until evening time, for just a few dollars. There are plenty of posh cake shops in other Hong Kong districts – multi-coloured French-style macaroons, towering gateaux and expensive high-end biscuits are on display behind glass counters like works of art. But for no-nonsense hustle, simple flavours and great value, the old-school bakeries are a winner.
Hung Fat Chinese Cake has been operating on Ki Lung Street in Shum Shui Po district in Hong Kong for more than 60 years. The cake master start preparing at 4am every morning to make fresh breakfast for the neighborhood. The 60-year-old shop has certainly witnessed the changes and development of the Sham Shui Po community. The residential area transformed into street shops on both sides and housed a variety of small businesses. The area later evolved into a cloth and clothing accessories distribution center in the 1980s and 1990s. The little Cake Shop, Hung Fat, has never changed since 1955, producing traditional cake dim sums for the neighborhood every day.
香港人久不久就会爱上怀旧, 由时装到音乐, 最令人难以忘怀的莫过于怀旧小食, 其实每个人心中都 梗有一样至爱小食, 时时刻刻都会想再回味, 因为除了怀念其味道, 最重要係回味旧日的故事. 去香港纯粹是很想穿梭在狭小的街道中, 抬头就能望见纵横交错的招牌, 在风景宜人的离岛消磨时光, 在快节奏中过过慢生活.
在香港这个多元文化共存的地方, 不但有贵价的西餐, 还有很多平价的传统美食, 很多传统的东西甚至在国内也是很难找到或者已经绝迹了. 这次讲的是位于深水埗旧区中的一家历史悠久的中式糕饼铺, 在 1955 年就已经开业的鸿发糕品, 相信和不少同学的父母年纪差不多了.
鸿发糕品位于深水埗旧区的基隆街, 离开鸭寮街不远, 但位置相对附近的电脑, 电器市场来讲比较僻静. 从开业至今一直在原址经营, 也是经历了深水埗的沧桑变化. 站在铺外, 看看它的门面, 招牌, 充满岁月痕迹的器具以及老当益壮的老板, 已经可以品味出它包含的历史沉淀. 来到鸿发就像时光倒流, 店内有松糕, 鸡屎藤果, 红包仔, 白糖糕, 煎堆, 大发糕, 芝麻糕等.
I just got back recently from a yearly trip at Hong Kong and the wonderful memories of the trip are still so vivid! One of my favourite kind of blog posts is to write (especially documentary shoots), though i'm not so sure how keen all of you are on reading them because they almost always consist of a ten thousand word essay and a gazillion photos. But occasional exceptions are well needed to spice things up a little in life every now and then and since Hong Kong is a nearby destination in Asia, that many Singaporeans like you and me travel to (and some including myself, making it a point to fly up there once a year), i think, after all, it is interesting to my faithful readers of my photography blog.
What i really love about Hong Kong is how alive it always seems to be. Everywhere you look you see people of all ages walking fast, going places. No matter what time of the day, the MTR’s and the streets are always packed with people. I love walking around this city because the streets are the best place to feel the pulse of the city. It raps and thumps like a beat that demands attention and you can’t help but go along with it.
And then the journey ended. I have headed back to the city, back to the airport, and back home, to Singapore. I didn’t expect myself to love an asian country this much. It always turns out, there was good food, beautiful people and a handful of worthy attractions in Hong Kong for me. Weather was around less than 15 degrees celsius whilst there. The cooling and chilly weather helped too in forming good photography shoots as well. Being so near Singapore, a re-visit is always plausible, for a short, neighboring country trip, if ever desired.