The Tree Professor

Jim Chi-yung normally walks with a steady, deliberate pace, but on the grey afternoon of February 4th, he broke into an uncharacteristic sprint, running from his office at the University of Hong Kong to a friend’s waiting car. He was heading to Maryknoll Convent School in Kowloon Tong, where the future of a tree was […]

40 Seconds at a Shenzhen Streetcorner

17:05:46 17:06:26 Corner of Jiabin Road and Renmin South Road, Luohu, Shenzhen

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on 40 Seconds at a Shenzhen Streetcorner , ,

Hong Kong’s Little Thailand

Before there was Gold Mountain — the promised land of North America — Chinese immigrants flocked to Southeast Asia, where they settled in countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Eventually, they came to dominate the regional economy, earning themselves scorn from some of the local native populations. 90 years ago, Thailand’s King Rama VI called […]

Oranges, Fish and Fat Cats at Jean-Talon Market

DCorbei | Le marché du Nord, Montréal (2009) Dès le petit matin, on traine et on blasphème : Marché Jean-Talon, le sourire éveillé par un soleil ardent. C’est déjà l’été : les fruits sont brûlants, alors que le minuscule café des Quatres Vents s’éveille d’une complaisance matinale. Le vélo sous le bras, je défile sous […]

Posted in: Canada, Fiction, Public Space by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Oranges, Fish and Fat Cats at Jean-Talon Market , , , ,

Hong Kong Rooftops: Just Another Tower

There’s nothing particularly special about this building. Built in the 1970s, it’s a highrise like any other, with a handful of small flats on each floor. None of the apartments have balconies; there is no club house or swimming pool; the only bit of shared space, beyond the dimly-lit concrete corridors, is the rooftop, which […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: Just Another Tower , , ,

Look Behind You

Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher Szabla 1 Comment , ,

Saved from the Scrapyard

Portions of the old Warshaw and Simcha’s signs on display at the 2007 Main Madness street fair I wrote a bit about Montreal signs a few years ago, including the memorable Logo Cities project, ghost signs, street signs and the fight to save the Farine Five Roses sign. Montreal’s linguistic diversity, penchant for kitsch and […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Heritage and Preservation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Saved from the Scrapyard ,

Farewell to the Red Light District…and Welcome to the Quartier des Spectacles!

Farewell to the club district Goodbye to the Café Cléopâtre The Club Soda

Posted in: Canada by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Farewell to the Red Light District…and Welcome to the Quartier des Spectacles! , , , ,

Outdoor Billiards in Shenzhen

In Baishizhou, five yuan will get you an hour of pool and a big bottle of strong beer. This is one of Shenzhen’s largest and liveliest urban villages. Pool is one of its favourite pasttimes. The village is hard to navigate, with aimless roads and dark, foreboding alleyways, but I’ve come across a few outdoor […]

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

Subway Colours, Metro Colours

New York Montreal

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Transportation, United States by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Subway Colours, Metro Colours , , ,

Around the World in Shanghai

In Shanghai’s French Concession…or la France profonde? Since the first World’s Fair opened in London in 1851, the event has remade cities, bestowing lasting landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and Space Needle, and introducing the styles, modes, and technologies that would come to dominate urban life: City Beautiful neoclassicism made its debut at Chicago’s World’s […]

Hong Kong Rooftops: Peng Chau

Here on Peng Chau, thirty-five minutes by ferry from Central, the city is but a distant memory, a row of skyscrapers on the horizon. I make my way through sleepy streets to the tallest building on the island, a seven-storey apartment block. It has no guards and no doors to prevent entry to its upper […]

Going, Going, Gone?

Hong Kong isn’t a very graceful city, but that’s the word I would use to describe its corner buildings, which meet a junction with smooth lines and subtle verve. Buildings with rounded corners are friendly and sensitive to their surroundings, like a courteous houseguest, and they bring to mind the beautiful corner buildings that define […]

Posted in: Architecture, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Going, Going, Gone? , , ,

Noodles and a Sex Shop

DCorbeil | Noodles in West Downtown, Montreal (2010) J’avance, j’arrive à ce qui semble être les confins de ce quartier. Un dimanche soir pluvieux. Mi-printemps boueux, 23h42. L’odeur est très désagréable, ça me prend au nez. Pas étonnant, un îlot complet à récemment été calciné. Quel gâchis ! De grands bâtiments aux arcades encore sensibles, […]

Posted in: Canada, Demographics, Fiction, Society and Culture by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Noodles and a Sex Shop , , ,