Rooftop Dystopia

[youtube][/youtube] Two years ago, I spent a lot of time exploring the rooftop squatter villages that spread across the city like mushrooms on a tree stump. There’s an eerie feeling that comes over you as you walk through these settlements. Weeds poke through cracks in concrete walls; birds chirp and cicadas whir in the hot […]

Night at the Typhoon Shelter

On a pleasantly warm evening last November, my thoughts wandered over to the nighttime activity at the Sai Wan pier and I wondered if the same sort of thing happened at the nearest bit of waterfront to my apartment, the New Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter. I grabbed my camera, stepped out of the door, […]

A Short Detour in Mongkok

Mongkok might be one of the world’s most crowded places, but sometimes all you need to do to escape is to make a right turn down a quiet alleyway. That’s what I discovered when I was walking from home to the Flower Market the other day. Instead of taking the usual route along Sai Yee […]

Another Night at the Pier

As the sticky heat of summer has given way to the drier breeze of autumn, the atmosphere at the Western District Public Cargo Working Area has changed: fewer shirtless fishermen, more BBQing. Soon, when the first winter winds descend from the north, most of the crowds that hang out here at night will retreat to […]

House Plants

Built with recycled sheet metal, its tin roof held down by bricks, this shack in Hong Kong’s Tai Wai Village is covered by potted plants — an improvised take on the sophisticated green walls pioneered by people like Patrick Blanc.

Crossing the Tracks

Lately I’ve been listening to one of my favourite Jean Leloup albums, La Vallée des Réputations, which was released in 2002. It’s folkier than most of his previous albums, a feel captured perfectly by its cover image of Leloup walking down some railroad tracks, guitar slung over his shoulder. The railway in the photo happens […]

Posted in: Canada, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Crossing the Tracks , , ,

Hong Kong Rooftops: A Village, Ten Stories Up

Wandering down narrow lanes, past rows of makeshift houses, I could be standing in a squatter’s village in the New Territories. Potted plants sigh in the heavy heat of summer. Door gods peel from wooden entranceways. It is quiet. But I’m not in a village — I’m ten stories above a narrow street in Tai […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong Rooftops: A Village, Ten Stories Up , , , , , ,

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 […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Canada, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Informal Space, Untouched , , , , ,