A White Box

Hong Kong’s prewar buildings number in the hundreds, yet the few of them that remain continue to be knocked down for mediocre new development. This photo compilation by Lee Chi-man is one of the clearest examples I’ve seen. Just a few years ago (the top photo appears to have been taken in 2003, during the […]

Informal Space, Untouched

Maguire Meadow. Photo from imagine (le) mile-end I found myself in Kennedy Town yesterday evening, my hair still dripping from swimming at a nearby pool as I walked towards the waterfront, beer in hand. At the small promenade built next to a bus loop, the smell of diesel fumes in the air, I stopped to […]

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Texture Everywhere

In Douglas Young‘s new book, My HK, the designer/entrepreneur — responsible for the Hong Kong Design Museum I wrote about earlier this year — gives special praise to the kitschy patterned tiles that became popular in postwar Hong Kong. They’re cheap, easy to clean, well-suited to Hong Kong’s humid climate and they liven up what […]

Subway People

New York City is filled with all kinds of different people from all over the world. Everybody knows that, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting in the eyes of a visitor. What better way to get a look at people than on the subway? Riding the NYC subway lines 4, 5 or 6 […]

Hong Kong Doorways: Shop Gates

Shop gates in Tai Ping Shan, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

The City Speaks

Mount Royal Avenue, Montreal Franck Chambrun seems to have rediscovered my photos. After painting several of them in 2007, he has done the same over the past few weeks, though with a distinct shift in style. Whereas his earlier paintings distilled the streetlife depicted in my photos to its bare essence of form and colour, […]

Hot Hot Heat

A Montreal heatwave is a funny thing. It’s really quite mild by any global standard — the media usually start braying about a canicule after just three days of temperatures above 30 degrees — but it has a real effect on this mostly air-con-free city. The normally languid pace of life becomes even slower and […]

Posted in: Canada, Environment, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hot Hot Heat , , ,

The Old Steel Foundry

My first experience of urban exploration came thanks to an abandoned steel foundry on St. Ambroise St. in St. Henri, on which there was still a piece of 1995 referendum-era graffiti urging us to vote “Oui.” My girlfriend and I walked around the building, exploring some of the more easily accessible areas on the ground […]

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Close Company

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Close Company ,

Bird’s Eye Home

Park and Bernard Since Google Street View has yet to arrive in Canada, the next best thing is the bird’s eye view feature offered by Bing, Microsoft’s ripoff/competitor/alternative to Google. Since the first thing one tends to do with these things is to find one’s home, my first instinct was to check out all of […]

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The Politics of Toponymy

Few things are as contentious and politically charged as the names of where we live, so it’s not surprising to see toponymy back in Montreal’s political spotlight, three years after the Park Avenue/Parc Avenue/avenue du Parc debacle. Earlier this week, a variety of nationalist groups began to advocate the renaming of Amherst Street, ostensibly because […]

Posted in: Canada, Heritage and Preservation, Politics, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Politics of Toponymy , ,

Hong Kong’s Other Peak

Cheung Chau is one of my favourite bits of Hong Kong, but only recently have I strayed outside of its warren of small streets between the beach and harbour and up into the hill just south of town. Earlier this summer, after climbing up a long set of stairs at the end of a narrow […]

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J’vous emmene?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk9OB9d1Hqs[/youtube] It’s got nothing on Il fait beau dans l’métro, but this 1985 TV spot certainly ranks up there in the pantheon of kitschy transit ads. What kind of bugs me about it is that the metro is taking this very fashionable couple from their living room to a restaurant and a swimming pool, yet […]

Rooftop Voyeur

On the roof of Mirador Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

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