In the Street, On the Bus

Clark and Guilbeault on the Plateau Cheap books on the Main

Posted in: Canada, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on In the Street, On the Bus , , ,

Goodbye Gutzlaff

Whenever you come across a particularly charming and surprising corner of Hong Kong, you can almost be sure that the Urban Renewal Authority has plans to do away with it. Although its official vision is “to create quality and vibrant urban living in Hong Kong,” most of its developments obliterate tight-knit communities and organic urban […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Politics, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Goodbye Gutzlaff , , , , , ,

Some Weeds Grow in Brooklyn

I photographed this old (and perhaps abandoned) industrial building in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood just a few years ago. At the time, it was a captivating relic — almost entirely ensconced in graffiti, it was sprouting weeds that had either spilled onto the sidewalk, or had climbed up from the sidewalk onto it. The old orange […]

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The Ethics of Urban Documentary

Vancouver is many things, but perhaps most of all it is Terminal City, a place to which people escape. Movie stars and Cantopop celebrities flee there to escape the stress of their lives in Hollywood and Hong Kong; the less affluent find in Vancouver a place to get away from the constraints and conventions of […]

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Nam Cheong Street

Nam Cheong Street leads from the working-class tenements of Sham Shui Po to the public housing estates of Shek Kip Mei. This short stretch, north of Tai Po Road, is a classic neighbourhood main street, with all of the essentials of Hong Kong life: a wet market, a supermarket, cha chaan teng, dispensaries and a […]

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Now Showing: Hong Kong

[youtube][/youtube] Josh Kim’s 2006 short, The Police Box Where has Hong Kong gone? Once a world filmmaking capital, it has nearly vanished from the silver screen. Each year, far fewer feature films are made here than in cities such as Vancouver, Seoul and Tehran. What’s more, many recent Hong Kong movies, geared towards the lucrative […]

High Times

Opening weekend for the High Line, Manhattan’s latest, most expensive new playground, is a mob scene: a line of cabs and SUVs blocks long throng the streets of the Meatpacking District, which, full for once, seem almost grateful to be receiving as much attention as they did when trucks filled with carcasses from somewhere west […]

Look, Hope and Expect

Street markings are ubiquitous in Hong Kong, thanks to its British heritage, and pedestrians are urged to “Look Left” or “Look Right” at every crossing. But I was somewhat astonished to find out that the Chinese character used for this command (望, pronounced mong in Cantonese) does not just mean “look” in a literal sense, […]

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The Teenage City

[vimeo][/vimeo] “The thing to do on prom night 1998 was to take the rented limo up to the lookout on Mount-Royal after a soirée of underage bar-hopping to see the sun rise,” writes Alanah Heffez on Spacing Montreal. “We didn’t make it. Dizzy on newly-discovered drinks, my date and I watched the sun come up […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Canada, Demographics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Teenage City , , , ,

Pecha Kucha Comes to Hong Kong

Six minutes and 40 seconds is not a lot of time. It’s about how long it takes to ride the MTR from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, or to heat up a frozen dinner in the microwave. But that’s all the time that 10 people will have to share their passion at the upcoming Pecha […]

The Last Hour of Old Kunming

“There’s no way they can move us,” the shopkeeper said. “After three years, they’re still not done with Phase 1. How will they ever get to Phase 2?” He chuckled, pointing at the neighborhood-sized shopping center being erected one block away. Such is the precarious state of Kunming’s old city. Of the ancient walled city, […]

Place d’Armes

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Shenzhen Overpass

Hong Kong businesspeople and pro-Beijing politicians like to daydream about the day when Shenzhen and Hong Kong will be completely integrated, the border between them either gone or reduced to an anachronistic formality. For now, though, the two cities remain strikingly different despite their proximity and shared history. Shenzhen is brash, devious and seedy, but […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Shenzhen Overpass , ,

Acid Rain

Part of Mongkok’s allure is the feeling you get that it teeters perpetually on the brink of chaos. There’s so much going on — and so much of it hidden away on the upper floors of dilapidated walkups, deep within labyrinthine commercial blocks or halfway down a narrow laneway — that any visitor to the […]

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