Night on Cheung Chau

We didn’t know what to expect. Faced with the novelty of an open Saturday night, my girlfriend Laine and I decided to go somewhere random. Why not Cheung Chau? We’d always enjoyed visiting the island during the day, when its bicycles, beaches and palates of drying fish are a rebuke to the city’s uptight rush. […]

Handmade Community

Craft market in Tai Hang. Photo by Mary Cheung On a muggy afternoon, a few dozen people have come to check out a small craft sale at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei. Milling about, they chat and nibble on snacks while browsing the wares. There are necklaces, drawings, dolls, bags […]

Goodbye Gutzlaff

Whenever you come across a particularly charming and surprising corner of Hong Kong, you can almost be sure that the Urban Renewal Authority has plans to do away with it. Although its official vision is “to create quality and vibrant urban living in Hong Kong,” most of its developments obliterate tight-knit communities and organic urban […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Politics, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Goodbye Gutzlaff , , , , , ,

Boston Beyond the Souvenir Stands

I’ve always had a certain fondness for Boston. It was the first truly large city I visited, the first place that was effortlessly cosmopolitan, the first place that buzzed in an important-seeming way that was absent in the isolated and suburban city where I grew up. I was properly obsessed with it. I visited about […]

Market Lights

Whether it’s Sham Shui Po, Jordan, Sai Ying Pun or Kowloon City, most of Hong Kong’s older neighbourhoods have a similar aesthetic, with the same stained concrete buildings, steel doors, sidewalk altars and worn awnings. It gives the city a remarkably cohesive character despite having such a large population and such varied geography. The same […]

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Paharganj, or the Dregs of Delhi

Tooti Chowk, Paharganj, Delhi Paharganj is a mix of crowded makeshift homes, budget traveler hangouts, and the odd chunk of decaying heritage. It’s also an example of what happens when a section of town is left to its own devices with little consideration for urban planning. A few centuries back, Paharganj was a grain bazaar […]

A Street Market? No, a Railway Market

[youtube]xSqNx7vJLDE[/youtube] Mark Slutsky sent me a link to this video today, showing a market lining a railway in Thailand. Within seconds of a train passing through, the market springs back to life. Naturally, the video raises some pretty obvious questions, like why on earth would a market be located on a set of train tracks? […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf 2 Comments , ,

A Night Market in a Suburban Parking Lot

You can’t find an urban tradition more firmly rooted in Asia’s cities than the night market. Since emerging in Tang dynasty China, about 1,200 years ago, they have become a quintessential part of the urban experience in Taiwan, Hong Kong and throughout Southeast Asia. In Taiwan, night markets are so firmly rooted they have spawned […]

To Market, To Market

There’s a new market in Montreal. For the next two weeks, and then again next spring, a farmer’s market will open outside Frontenac metro every Saturday between 10am and 4pm. It’s great news for one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods, Ste. Marie, one that has only recently stepped away from an economic and social precipice. […]

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Vancouver Orange

Fruit markets on Commercial Drive and East Georgia Street

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Scenes from the Spitalfields Market

The Spitalfields Market, just east of the City of London on Commercial Street, has existed in one form or another since 1638. The existing market hall was built in 1887 but a new extension, airily contemporary in contrast to the brick-and-iron heaviness of the old hall, recently opened. Apparently, the annex replaces part of an […]

The Strawberries Come from California

Most years, in late March, it is strawberry season in California. You might think this would have no bearing on life in Montreal, a nearly 5,000-kilometre drive from the Central Valley, but it does. These California strawberries, as cartoonishly big and underwhelming in flavour as they might be, are the first taste of cheap spring […]

Posted in: Canada, Environment, Food by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , , ,