Mongkok’s Rural Past

Hong Kong remakes itself with such ruthless efficiency that few physical traces remain of its past. In many neighbourhoods, the only reminders of what came before are the names of streets. Take Mongkok for example. Today, this is one of the busiest and most crowded parts of Hong Kong, a shopping district, transport hub, industrial […]

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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 […]

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Dear Hong Kong: A Letter from Montreal

The following essay appears in the April 2010 issue of Muse, a Hong Kong arts and culture magazine. The same issue also contains my feature-length profile on Hong Kong’s “tree professor,” Jim Chi-yung. The magazine can be found at major bookstores throughout the city. In my neighbourhood, I know exactly what language to speak. At […]

The Resurrection of Mile End

Mile End Station, built in 1878, rebuilt in 1911 and demolished in 1936 The name Mile End might now be associated with Montreal’s trendiest neighbourhood (a distinction that will surely move elsewhere in a few years), but three decades ago, it was in danger of extinction. Though the area north of Mount Royal Avenue was […]

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