Weird weekend

25 06 2017

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It was a strange, disorienting weekend. The weather veered from rain to the return of the baking heat. I spent Friday night at a friend’s vegetarian restaurant and then we ventured to an obscure location in an industrial building in suburban Fo Tan. A shadowy group of people had gathered in a dark room to watch one of the trippiest movies of all time:

Walking back at midnight, back in Shatin, by the river, I felt utterly disoriented . I had no idea where I was or what I had just seen (and this despite the fact that it was my third time to see the movie!  I had somehow forgotten its impact).

The next day I accompanied my boyfriend to a number of cute little Parisian bars in Tai Hang, through surging post-Ramadan crowds in Victoria Park, ran into a friend at the bakery at the Mandarin Oriental hotel and was suddenly ushered into a property exhibition where, to my surprise, my boyfriend promptly bought a flat.

A strange, anything-goes weekend!





Tokyo secrets

27 05 2017

I recently stumbled on to a list of Tokyo attractions which included some surprising, and hitherto-unknown, sightseeing options, such as:

House of the Insect Poet (10 minute walk from Sendago subway station in Bunkyo Ward) is an insect museum inspired by a Japanese translation of famous poem about insects by the French poet Jean-Henri Fabre. Opened in 2006 in a building designed to resemble a cocoon, it houses specimens of insects and butterflies from around the world. Most of the specimens belong to a scholar of French literature who began collecting insects in the fourth grade and has since collected 100,000 specimens.

And who knew there was an ancient Egyptian museum in Shibuya?

Another surprise was the discovery of this very instagram-chic guide to the outer suburb of Fussa, by a very visual-savvy Hong Kong-based food stylist and “social media content provider.” My memories of Fussa are of a down-at-heel, but interesting, dormitory suburb on the Western fringes of Tokyo. I used to pass through every morning on my way to work at a small and shabby “English school” in Ozaku, almost the last gasp of metropolitan Tokyo before suburban sprawl hits the beautiful hills, cedar forests and lakes of the Oku-tama ranges. Fussa stood out for its vast US military base and the streets immmediately surrounding it, which featured Filipino and Thai bars (and bargirls) and family-run Latino restaurants (I was once called a gringo at the local station).  With its white and (more often) brown and black faces, American fast food and slightly raffish, red light air, it actually does provide quite a unique, and interesting, perspective on the metropolis – but not one I would have expected to see style-blogged. Until, that is, I realised that it was a paid promotion for a campaign to highlight more “regional” parts of Tokyo prefecture. Still, certainly worth a look.





BKK ruins

19 04 2017

 

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With swathes of central Bangkok facing the wrecking ball, its a good time to discover the urbex photography of Dax Ward, who has documented the ruins of Bangkok’s ghost skyscrapers, train and aeroplane graveyards and sites like this abandoned Cape Crusader-themed nightclub on Pattaya’s ‘Soi Batman’.

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See more at daxward.com.





Splash!

10 04 2017

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I spent a fun afternoon on the water-logged streets of Kowloon Tong celebrating the Songkran Thai New Year, complete with a confetti-festooned Buddha paraded through the streets, fraught dodging of water “snipers” and stops in the park to look at the ruins of the old Walled City and watch Thai dancers. Plus: lunch in the brutalist Cooked Food Centre, and one of favourite eccentric local stores, Hong Kong Treasure, with its tin toys, busts, 1980s designerware and art deco jewellery in a gloomy, Gothic building opposite the Walled City park.

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Hong Kong hidden places #1: Mum’s not home

27 03 2017

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Mum’s Not Home is one of my new favorite Hong Kong hangouts. We first noticed it as a neon light shining in the window of an old Yau ma Tei tenement building, and then climbed up the chipped stairs to find a painted door.

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Ringing the bell, we were ushered into a room filled with ferns, racks of colourful clothes on sale, artworks, a papier mache monkey’s head and an oversized menu of sweet drinks and cakes. Avant garde French electro was playing and a saffron-haired HK hipster was taking pictures with his boyfriend against the lush greenery, while a middle-aged woman scooped up rubber dinosaurs on sale.

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I immediately fell in love.





Hong Kong hidden places #2

27 03 2017

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Sam’s vinyl museum, on the 12th floor of Causeway Bay’s  Nam Hing Fong building is a small, windowless room housing a plush collection of rare and expensive vinyl records, entered only on condition of sitting through a “lecture” on their history and worth from their excitable owner.





Hong Kong hidden places #3

27 03 2017

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Hidden behind this tiny door in Pok Fu Lam village, opposite the bus stop on Pok Fu Lam Road, is perhaps Hong Kong’s smallest dim sum joint. I’ve never been inside – it seems to be open on weekday afternoons when I’m at work, but one day….