Lost in Hong Kong

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/15464649[/vimeo] Imagine if all of your most mundane moments were set to a melodramatic Hans Zimmer soundtrack and filmed like a Hollywood suspense flick. That’s a bit what Edwin Lee‘s new video is like. It’s a straightforward piece of work: a guy in a “I Am Lost in Hong Kong” t-shirt stumbles around the city […]

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Rush Hour in London, 1970 and Today

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPIaG644jsI[/youtube] Bulbous black taxis and double-decker buses might supply London’s most recognizable transport iconography, but Britain, where the railroad was born, has long been a nation defined by trains. A look at two videos of London’s rail station at rush hour confirms the country’s undying regard for rail. The crowds pulsating through Waterloo Station in […]

Rush Hour in Utrecht

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlQYP4WN-5w[/youtube] Morning rush hour in Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, and there’s no traffic jams — just bikes. Lots of bikes. Like most Dutch cities, bicycles enjoy pride of place in Utrecht, where they are used for roughly one-third of all trips made each day. What impresses me most about this video […]

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The View from Above

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbp_Ir_D3sM[/youtube] Part of the brilliance of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Rear Window was the way it acknowledged voyeurism as part of urban life. In the city, we’re always being watched and we’re always watching others, be it on the street, from across a café or on the web, through street photography. I’d be lying if […]

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Watching the Storm Roll In

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po_eDhZwLqw[/youtube] This just in from the Department of Eye Candy: a beautiful time-lapse video of a tropical storm rolling into Hong Kong last summer. One of the benefits of Hong Kong’s abundance of hills and skyscrapers is that it allows for some astounding weather-related sights. It’s nice enough to look out my window at the […]

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Cape Tin

A row of numbered tin shacks in Blikkiesdorp. Photo from the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Nestled in a sun-kissed valley amid coastal mountains, pastel-hued, historic Cape Town is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful cities. So it’s long been a rude awakening for first time visitors expecting to arrive amid its sweeping vistas and […]

(Private) Eyes on the Street

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi7hdoUd2_s[/youtube] These days, the sweet ballads of Cantopop might seem like they are smothering whatever creative spark Hong Kong’s music scene might have, but that wasn’t always the case. In the 1970s, Cantonese pop was populist, exciting and avant-garde. Until then, most of the popular music recorded in Hong Kong was in Mandarin. It was […]

The Maddening City

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByOwuU-hh8s[/youtube] Last night I attended Time Out magazine’s showcase of Hong Kong indie bands and my ears are still ringing. There weren’t many surprises — A Roller Control was excellent as usual, as was Chochukmo — with one exception: Choi Sai Ho, a one-man audio-visual electronic act whose frenetic music and jittery on-stage personality embody […]

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The City Gets Pixelated

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS_LyL9hiPs[/youtube] True, Patrick Jean’s 8-bit 80s arcade game-inspired New York invasion video, “PIXELS”, will soon be featured on nearly every blog on the internet. But it struck me as so in keeping to some of the other work featured here — from Jan Vormann’s Lego brick street art to this Berlin housing block game of […]

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The Wandering Rock Band

Like many people in Hong Kong, I first heard about Red Noon through a YouTube video that showed them rocking out on their iPhones in the MTR. At first I thought it was a gimmick, something like the iPhone orchestras that have become popular lately, but later, after I met the band, they explained that […]

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De l’Abitibi à Hong Kong

Franco-Algonquin hip hop is the last thing I expected to encounter in Hong Kong, but that’s exactly what I heard this past weekend at the former Central Married Police Quarters, which has suddenly become the most interesting cultural space in town. Over the past month, the Heritage X Art X Design festival and the Indie […]

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Tracing London’s Taxis

To earn their hackney license, London’s taxi drivers must all famously master “The Knowledge,” a vast compilation of raw data about the best routes through the city’s streets. The memorization process takes an average of 34 months to study — and 12 attempts to pass. That means it’s a safe bet few licensed London cabbies […]

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One Minute in Little Vancouver

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTOmRb1Oc3U[/youtube] With the Olympics industry a-churning and global media attention now devoted to Vancouver, at least for the next two weeks, this tilt-shift time-lapse video might make a good introduction to the city for those who know nothing about it. Unfortunately, it lacks the wit and narrative drive of Keith Loutit’s similar videos of Sydney, […]

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On the Khlong Boat

When the afternoon traffic snarls and the SkyTrain is packed full of expats, tourists and shoppers, the best way to get across Bangkok is to jump into a noisy wooden boat as it storms through the waters of the fetid Saen Saep canal. Riverine transport was once the main way of getting around in the […]

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