Shek O in the Off Season

Shek O is a seaside village on the southeast corner of Hong Kong Island. It’s home to one of Hong Kong’s most popular beaches, which gives it a holiday atmosphere in the summer, when thousands of people flock there from across the city to sunbathe, swim, barbecue and drink. In the cooler months, though, it’s […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Shek O in the Off Season , , ,

A Day Around the Yamanote Line

JR Yamanote Line at Ueno Station Tokyo doesn’t really have a single discernible center. Most of the metropolis’ characteristic clusters of lighted advertisements and overloaded sidewalks — Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno, and (at Tokyo Station) Ginza — are strung together along the circular Yamanote Line, a Japan Railways loop that calls at the […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on A Day Around the Yamanote Line , , , ,

(Subsidized) Cheap Eats in Hong Kong

Tai Po Market Cooked Food Centre. Photo by Tommy Ga-Ken Wan The decor consists of handwritten menus and beer posters taped to the wall, the lighting is a harsh fluorescent glare and there’s a constant din from the kitchen. No matter: it’s Saturday night and the Bowrington Road Cooked Food Centre is packed. At one […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Food, Interior Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on (Subsidized) Cheap Eats in Hong Kong , , , ,

When the Streets Were Swept by Hand

In most cities of the developed world, mechanical street sweepers are a fact of life. Even New York’s carless commuters are fluent in strategies to use on “alternate-side parking days,” when the scheduled passing of a street sweeper forces all of a block’s parked cars to one side of the street. It’s easy to forget […]

Summer Streets

Ste. Catherine Street. Photo by Kate McDonnell Two years ago, when Ste. Catherine Street in the Gay Village was pedestrianized for the summer, it was organized like a festival, with a corporate monopoly on outdoor beer sales and over-the-top decoration (and not in a fabulous way, just in a tacky commercial one). Even worse, the […]

Small-Town Shanghai: Who’s Left?

You don’t have to wander too far from Shanghai to find interesting small towns, that is, ones that have not converted into tourist villages of Disneyland proportions. An hour-long bus ride from Longyang metro stop on Line 2, deep into Pudong, we found ourselves in the town of Dayuan in Nanhui. Towns in China have […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Society and Culture by Sue Anne Tay Comments Off on Small-Town Shanghai: Who’s Left? , , ,

Writing on the Streets

It was late on a chilly March afternoon as I wandered through a small plaza near Houhai Lake in Beijing. The air was struggling to stay above freezing and I shivered in my spring jacket. Looking down, I noticed some Chinese characters drawn in water on the plaza’s grey paving stones. Whoever drew them was […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Writing on the Streets , , , , , ,

Macau Art Space: Ox Warehouse

Tucked away next to the slopes of the Colina de Mong-Há, halfway between the dog-racing track and the Red Market, the Ox Warehouse doesn’t call much attention to itself. But inside the slightly ramshackle quarters of this former cattle depot is one of the avant-garde spaces that are nurturing the arts in Macau. Frank Lei […]

Posted in: Architecture, Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Interior Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Macau Art Space: Ox Warehouse , ,

Two Cities’ Scale Models

Virtual World: The future of China’s largest city is on bombastic display at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre Set in the seclusion of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, well inside the largest of New York’s outer boroughs, the Queens Museum of Art doesn’t attract the same blockbuster number of international visitors as the megamuseums and power […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Maps, Politics, Society and Culture, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Two Cities’ Scale Models , , , , , ,

Memories of Mercier: Montreal’s East End

DCORBEIL | Flou, (Montréal 2010) Métro Mont-Royal, une fin d’après-midi de la mi-août. L’été est sur sa lancée finale : température clémente, soirée légère à la brise appaisante. Mont-Royal-Berri-Langelier : j’embarque dans le ventre de fer pour un tour de ville paresseux. À l’autre boût de Montréal, mon frère et sa femme m’attendent, impatients et heureux. Un […]

Mosque Street’s Other Name

In contrast to the bland apartment buildings on its south side, the northern side of Mosque Street is lined by a crumbling stone wall and vegetation spilling over from the lush grounds of the Jamia Mosque. If you peek over the wall, there’s a nice view of the mosque, which is the oldest in Hong […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Mosque Street’s Other Name , , , , ,

Jacques Cartier Bridge Building

My award for the most underlooked gem in Montreal goes to the Jacques Cartier Bridge Building. Built around 1930, it looks like an art deco take on a Moroccan kasbah. The windows are laid out under arches, in straight lines of narrow arrow slits, and some in diagonals. There are even traditional rub el hizb, […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada by Patrick Donovan 6 Comments , ,

Dusk in Dongzhimen

Three subway lines, two major expressways, and countless buses converge on Dongzhimen, at the northeastern corner of Beijing’s historic core. At the end of the workday, that makes this transfer point one of the busiest in the city, a whirlwind of streaming throngs. Beijingers usually point their tastebuds toward Dongzhimen to visit Guijie, one of […]

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The Gutting of Gulou

Cranes, viewed from the 13th century Gulou, or Drum Tower, build the new Beijing The view from Beijing’s Gulou, or Drum Tower, is dominated by the labyrinth of threadlike lanes — the city’s famous hutongs — spreading in all directions, filling in the superblocks formed by the city’s broad, rectilinear avenues. Gulou, built in the […]