Part 1/2: In Search of Old Antiques / Treasures in Hong Kong 在香港上环寻古董宝藏地, 凝练时光 - Upper Lascar Row (a.k.a Cat Street) 摩罗上街
Here goes the Part 1 of 2-series blog posts on "In Search of Old Antiques / Treasures in Hong Kong Sheung Wan District" 在香港上环寻古董宝藏地, 凝练时光 - Upper Lascar Row (a.k.a Cat Street) 摩罗上街.
One of the nice things in the Sheung Wan district in Hong Kong is that there are two famous historic streets named Hollywood Road (also called Antique Street) and Upper Lascar Row (also known as Cat Street). Hong Kong is quite unique for its "themed streets", where certain streets are known for particular products/wares. Hollywood Road is known for its arts and antiques while Upper Lascar Row is the place to go to for thrifty finds and knickknacks. These famous streets are parallel to each other. Both streets are a great place to look and shop around especially if you are looking for antiques, Mao/China Memorabilia, knick-knacks and other curios.
If your home is missing that final finishing touch, how about a piece of rare Ming dynasty furniture, an ancient snuff bottle or a Cultural Revolution propaganda poster? Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street) is where you can find such treasures, within its fantastic congregation of antique dealers, curio merchants and art galleries. This is also the place to go for bargains in jade, silk products, embroideries and wooden handicraft items. If you are after vintage junk, then this is probably the one place in Hong Kong where you can still find "authentic" vintage treasures, like thrift wrist and pocket watches, and alarm clocks.
Scouring for vintage finds is somehow quite my thing, especially whenever i am traveling.
摩罗上街常被称作古董街, 短短的一条街里有著无数的宝藏等你去挖掘. 它也被称作猫街 (Cat Street), 因为这里有很多经营古董买卖的商店, 也有不少杂架摊, 据说有店舖出售一些俗称为 '老鼠货' 的贼赃, 外国人形容那些购买老鼠货的人像猫儿一样, 所以称为 "猫街". 至於原名摩罗街是什么缘由呢? 在许多年前, 不少印度水手与士兵喜欢在此聚集摆卖货品, 当时香港人已喜欢把印度人称为 "摩罗" 因此此街便被称为摩罗街.
摩罗街自1920年代至1930年代起, 便已经是一个旧货买卖市场. 其所售卖的古董, 除了昂贵的艺术品外, 也有其它杂货, 包括古董电器, 旧玩具, 旧明信片与海报等, 是喜爱怀旧物品人士寻宝的好地方. 由于摩罗街的历史特色, 在旅游刊物都有介绍, 国际着名, 所以吸不少中外游客来参观, 购物及拍摄, 也吸引古不少古董艺术店在此, 及邻近荷李活道开店, 成行成市.
Upper Lascar Row, also known as Cat Street 摩罗上街 is a narrow alley in Mid Levels, Hong Kong that runs parallel to Hollywood Road on the north side. "Lascars" were actually seamen from the East Indies who frequented the area, giving it a reputation for lawlessness and criminal behaviour. There was an Indian police dormitory in this street. In the past, it was a common joke that, if you had something stolen, you were almost certain to find it for sale back in Cat Street. In Cantonese slang thieves are called rats, and the dealers who purchase goods from the rats are cats. Thus, this street is also known as "Cat Street" in Cantonese.
从荷里活道走下楼梯街, 没多久, 就会像进入时光隧道似的, 来到了摩罗上街. 如果你是个喜欢怀旧的人那么香港摩罗街可能会是你寻宝的天堂, 这里充满了各式各样的古董电器, 旧玩具, 旧名信片与海报等等, 除此之外当然还有古董街必备的昂贵的古董艺术品们. 其中香港摩罗上街还是香港旅游发展局推荐的售卖丝织品, 刺绣, 玉石及木制品的好地方.
Looking along the beginning of Upper Lascar Row where you have to make shift antique store, an antique store with shop front, stairs going down towards Sheung Wan MTR and a couple of make shift stores where a couple of elderly people sell red strips of paper with words, phrases and religious poems to ward off the evil spirits for people of all sorts of circumstances.
摩罗上街古董街这里以各式各样的古玩古董及收藏品驰名, 是古玩文物爱好者的寻宝地. 喜爱古玩或收集旧物的话, 古董街(即荷李活道)和摩罗街市集是必到之处. 这两处挤满了古董店与露天的古玩市集, 形成奇特的街景, 若是想挑些古怪特殊的纪念礼品, 这里是必然之选.
Upper Lascar Row is parallel to Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan and today, is an awesome alleyway for antiques and rare finds in all of Hong Kong. If you are looking for antiques and figurines of Mao Tse Tung and some genuine Chinese artefacts, come to this alleyway. What I saw when strolling down this alleyway are rows and rows of shops selling antiques, replicas of great Chinese personalities, children’s shoes, posters, antique wooden window-panes, great watches, antiques and modern-day Chinese lucky charms.
The treasures of Upper Lascar Row is the impressive assortment in the entire Hong Kong. The lanes perpendicular to Upper Lascar Row are alive with people setting up shop and displaying their treasures.
街道狭小而幽长, 摩罗上街上还有不少的摊位, 看起来也更加传统. 这里的老板各个都很悠闲自在, 一点也不担心自家琳琅满目的宝贝, 多了份从容和宁静, 生意成或不成在他们看来就是一种缘分, 更多的是自己对这条街, 这个店铺, 店铺里宝物的热爱之情.
在香港摩罗街里静静地逛一逛, 心也会变得特别安静, 似乎时间就该如此被挥霍, 发现心爱的旧货也不妨带回家留作纪念. 而这里的摊贩和店主们也大多淡定随性, 生意成或不成在他们看来就是一种缘分, 更多的是自己对这条街, 这个店铺, 店铺里宝物的热爱之情.
You can come to be a treasure hunter and find own treasure.
这是一家感觉随便碰触什么东西, 塞得满满的物品就会排山倒海崩塌的店. 不过老板似乎一点都不在乎, 只是自顾坐在店门前翘脚抽烟, 早已参透人生哲学的模样, 所以叫做藏宝阁啊, 叫你去挖宝.
The perfect street for souvenirs-hunting or simply to fill your memory with colours and details. There is so much, sometimes neatly arranged, sometimes piled up in an organised chaos - charms, delicately painted or ciselled boxes, irresistable little Chinese nothings, real and false antiquities, statues and beautiful bowls.
The dealers are just politely waiting for you to come to their shop. Very unlike other places where modern-day pirates thrived, Upper Lascar Row is just an organized row of antique dealers and vendors. They do not mug you to visit their shop and no one is getting across your way to sell you anything. This is a hidden treasure throve which is remote as it is unlikely considering its notorious beginnings.
But perhaps due to its popularity, the commercialism of Upper Lascar Row doesn't make it immune to generic China-made souvenir items, which i still found mixed in with the rest of the vintage stuff.
摩罗庙街是个行人徒步街, 这里有摆在街上的古董摊贩, 也有比较正式的店面. 不过我比较喜欢蹲在街上挖宝就是了.
逛到一个很有趣的摊位, 叫做 <辉记> 的摊子卖的是古董钟錶, 也作修理的工作. 一个一个的古董钟排列在小小的店舖中, 似乎都身处在不同的时差, 总是指著不同的时间. 滴答滴答, 我看著它们, 也开始心动起来, 好想要搬一个回家喔.
这就是逛古董街的趣味, 这些东西不是只是个物品, 而是带著历史与故事, 有种无法取代的生命力, 不是崭新出厂的产品所能拥有的.
辉记古董不仅有钟錶, 还有许多有趣的东西. 比如沈重的大锁, 搭配著似乎要保护一切的钥匙, 不管是造型或是质感都很好.
It's well-worth a look if you enjoy nostalgia and sheer disbelief at what people are selling. I found tourists, in their all inclusive holidays while i was at Upper Lascar Row and most of them practiced, in earnest, their haggling skills and are deemed successful. Many of them came out of the row, smiling and fulfilled. Finding treasures in the Upper Lascar Row in Hong Kong is indeed a great breather from the busyness of the territory. It is indeed rewarding to see some historic alleyways in Hong Kong best known for its antique shops today as it was notoriously known for its history.
从楼梯街慢慢的一步, 一步的爬石级, 来到这个盘口, 看到整条街两旁的商店都是贩卖古董, 东方美术品或是怀旧收藏品, 路上摆的摊档也是贩卖古董和怀旧收藏品, 在这里慢慢的, 细心的观看和挑选, 也许真的 “找到宝”, 寻找到你的 “心头好”.
Part 2 - In Search of Old Antiques / Treasures in Hong Kong Sheung Wan District 在香港上环寻古董宝藏地, 凝练时光 - To be continued......