Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Farewell to the fairground

So after only 18 months my time in Hong Kong has come to an end. Sad? Of course, its a great place I'm sure anyone who has been will tell you that. I've met some real good people & for such a small city it offers you a hell of a lot. For a start the weather is a million times better then in the UK. There is the 'sweat fest' from June until September but the winter months ('winter' being too strong a word really) are pretty much perfect. Stepping out of the house in mid January with a clear blue sky has a huge effect on how you approach your day.

It can be a bit of a contradictory place though and you can quickly begin developing a love / hate relationship. The place is all about money yet there is an endless amount of people working for peanuts. The vast urban areas are huge but are nothing compared to the massive rural part's. And then there is the historically old along side the new leviathan towers. It truly is east meets west, with a very interesting outcome.

Convenience makes Hong Kong such a unique place to live too. I'm certainly going to miss my octopus card & of course the thing ill miss more than anything else, club 7/11!! Hahaa! But really, where else in the world can you be at any corner of the city within 1 hour (well, maybe a few minutes longer)?

Ill miss - Sheung Wan, the Soho area, Repulse Bay, Causeway Bay, the wonderful smells of MongKok, anywhere with picturesque views (given you can see more that 50 yards in front on you, air quality is shocking these days) & even the streets of Lan Kwai Fong (although not the shitty over pretentious clubs that charge extortion prices).

Things ill be glad to see the back of - Sundays, the socially inept, spatially unaware fucktards (yes called for) who constantly frustrate me the shit out of me with their inability to function at the most basic of  social tasks. Shop assistants shouting ''fay ying gwon lam, chabiin tai''.... Leave me the fuck alone! If i want your help ill ask! Tsim Sha Tsui, mainlanders (sorry, still too brash for my liking), humidity and getting a runny nose every 2 weeks.

Shopping wise you couldn't ask for a better place to blow your money, besides Japan, of course. Despite what you may have heard / think though its NOT cheap to live here. Rent, petrol, nightlife, any type of imported produce & the majority of things in & around Hong Kong island are ridiculously priced (yes, I blame us westerners too). So bring a fat wallet if / when you do come.

Its a well known fact that the cities financial status (aka people are here to make money so not much else matters to them) makes the lack of creative culture / scene a bit of downside. But what do people expect though? Its a small place & most people are here to make loot. That's it. The place is too small to get a 'scene' going & generally speaking the financial lot wont be interested in other things (ie anything cultural). Well, maybe banging the Filipinos in Wan Chai but thats about it. There are a thousand art galleries yet 90% (in my 'untrained' opinion) look dog shit. Musically its nothing short of a dry well too, unless Tom Jones is your cup of tea? Even Macau shits on HK. And the crackdown of noise levels... Sign up to stop that BS. As I've said, the place is 'business central'. People are busy working toward that goal. But sometimes you just want to escape that & go someplace without feeling that money is the number 1 concern. That's just the way it is though and I understand that. There are some people here however who really do try to make the place more interesting. There just isn't enough of them.

As for HK's future, well, some may say it looks a little sketchy. With China's ever expanding world dominance some might say HK isn't exactly the safe haven it once was. Like this article for instance. A sign of things to come maybe? Who knows.

Anyway.... Ill leave the blog up for anyone who finds it useful. Laugh at it, bookmark it, disagree with it, whatever. As long as there is something.

Feel free to heck out my other page here (music related by the way), and my own blog here.

Take it easy out there.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A comprehensive shopping guide to Hong Kong

Hong Kong's a great place to shop theres no doubt about it. So having been here for a significant amount of time I thought I would offer up some of the best places to empty your wallet.

Starting from the North & working across the Island from west to east with Lantau in there last....

(S) = Shopping centre / Mall

(re) = Re-seller store


Trendy Zone (S) – 580 Nathan Road - (4 floors of many small independent stores. Footwear & clothing re-sellers – particularly the basement level. There are some local independent stores and some good accessories stores for items like rings, leather goods, chains & pendants. There are also some vintage clothing stores on level 3 & 4.

Sneaker Street - Have a walk along 'Fa Yuen Steet' [read this]

Langham Place (S) – 8 Argyle Street - Vans, H&M, Muji, Black Chocoolate, D-Mop

Nike basketball - 58 Fa Yuen Street


Sub-urb - 1B-19 Basement, Prudential Centre, 216-228 Nathan Road

Tsim Sha Tsui:

Miramar Centre (S) – 143 Nathen Road (Uniqlo, Muji, D-Mop, HARE, Agnes B, i.t)

EXIT – 73 Chatam Road South, basement level – (Entrance on Granville Road)

STUSSY (Store 1) - Chatam Road South

Seleven Gallery 107-109 Chatham Road South

Take 5 denim – 1 Hing Ming Building, 2/F, 41A-B, Granville Road

Concept shop (re) Winning Commercial Building, 46-48 Hillwood Road, Shop 246-247, 2/F

Mr.SK / Sample Kicks (re) – Winning Commercial Building, 46-48 Hillwood Road, Shop 232, 2/F

Lane Crawford – 3 Canton Road

Silvercord (S) – 30 Canton Road - I.T sale shop, Levis, EXIT / Double Park, Nike ID, BEAMS, Carharrt, Clarks

Harbour City (S) – 3-27 Canton Road - Uniqlo, Zara, Maison Martin Margiela, Y-3, Joyce, N.Hollywood

Anytime (Shop 1) (re) – 59 Granville Road


Harvey Nichols - The Landmark,
 15 Queen's Rd

A Bathing Ape - 10 Queens Road Central

Visvim - 18 Wyndham Street

A.P.C (Shop 1) - 24 Wyndham Street

Junya Watanabe - 22 Wyndham Street

Nowhere - 28 Wyndham Street

Commes Des Garcons - Shop 2, 10 Ice House Street

Maison Martin Margiela – Shop 7, 10 Ice House Street

HOODS - Shop 5, 10 Ice House Street

Wan Chai:

Ka-Pok – G/F, St.Francis Yard (Near Star Street)

Causeway Bay:

Juice - 2/F, 53 Paterson Street

J-01 - 57 Paterson Street

A.P.C (Shop 2) - 66 Patterson Street

EXIT / Double Park – 10 Cleveland Street

Adidas Originals - 6 Kingston Street

COTWO (re) 2/F, 523 Lockhart Road

Nike Sportswear - 7 Pak Sha Road

852 - United Success Commercial Centre Building, 506-508, Jaffe Road

STUSSY (Shop 2) 67-69 Percival St, 2/F, Ko Wah Building

Evergreen skate store - 8/F, commercial building, 8 Leighton Road

Hamlet (re) - 2/F, Causeway Place Shopping Mall, Great George Street 

Anytime (Shop 2) (re) - 522 Jaffe Road 

President Theatre (S) - 517 Jaffe Road (Basement) - Many re-seller stores selling the usual suspects like Supreme, NBHD, Fenom & Undercover

Times Square (S) - New Balance, Nike , Zara, Lane Crawford

Supreme Palace - 8/F, Room A, Gold Swan Commercial Building, 438 - 444 Hennessey Road

Chai Wan:

Silly Thing Shop 8, Block B, 18 Ka Yip Street 

Undercover - Unit 11, G/F, block B, Ming Pao industrial building

Lantau Island:

Citigate outlet (S) - 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung - Nike, Adidas, New Balance, A Bathing Ape Pirate store

Let me know if I've missed anything worth while off the list.

Friday, 5 February 2010

''Dare to be''

Now i don't know a lot about Jimmy Black footwear. Cant even find a link for them (searched for all of 2 mins ill be honest) via Google. They run with the bold (& well, quiet honest in fact) ''we dare'' slogan & judging by the pics you cant help but agree. If your familiar with CPU sneaker stores around HK you may have noticed them. They recieve quiet a prominent store display so I'm guessing they could be an in house thing.

Like a spam email come true isn't it? There's numerous Vans, a Visvim FBT, Clarks Natalie (not in pics), Danner & a shady couple of Red Wings in there too. Maybe only missing an air bubbled model to complete the mission of ripping off every relevant footwear brand from the past 20 years?

Someone call Shenzhen, they've had their shoes robbed.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Man down, man down!!!

This is just gold. A women refuses to co-operate with police after a car accident, then tries to walk away! Around the 35 second mark is where the real comedy begins.

Now i play football on a Sunday & i'm pretty sure the police 'man' in question used the exact same tactic to con the referee in a game a few weeks back. Dammmmnnn these Chinese cant take a tackle!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Big shoes....

You know Bape don't do things by half's, just take a look at this gigantic (got to be at least 20ft) Nigo....

This collab, 'Chocoolape', is with HK's Black Choocolate (who get the prize for the biggest collaboration whores in 09 - Everything from Superman to Burger King) which is a kind of Japanese inspired brand at affordable prices. Product wise they can be a little hit & miss (although isn't every brand?) but they are certainly popular amongst the younger generation here.

If your around, this display is at Times Square, Causeway Bay.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

What is it with these people???

Acid attack ...... AGAIN! Its becoming a real threat to people now.

Read more on the latest incident..... here

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Loot even the pirates wouldn't steal

Bape's pirate store - a chance to grab some some cheap / one off gear or a way of getting rid of shit they cant sell? We know which way they market it, obviously, but after taking a look recently i beg to differ. To be honest it reminds me of an English store called TK Maxx. Basically, rather shitty gear that nobody could sell bunched together in the hope of making some space in the warehouse. With its rapid expansion over the last decade Bape obviously have a shit load of stock nowadays. Opening these pirate stores further commercialises the brand too & takes away more of the allure of which drawn you to it in the first place.

Its difficult to see what direction Bape will take in this new decade as they are now, weather the loyalists like to admit it or not, a fully fledged family brand. Shit, i even know a couple of housewives who follow the releases! However you feel about them though theres no denying their influence on street / fashion culture as we move into the tenties (that the correct wordage??). In the early years Bape offered something new, young & undoubtably cool. Take Biggie rocking the green camo jacket in the 90's. Wonderwall too helped shape the brands identity with the highly innovative store interiors Bape has become so known for.

The all over camo print, full zip hoodies, bland milo designs & those hideous AF1's knock offs seemed to catch on like wildfire. Looking back though, kind of laughable isn't it? Don't get me wrong i'm not hating on the brand, i was as interested as the next guy, i'm sure anyone who takes an interest in emerging trends was. For me it's the under the radar pieces that still keep Bape relevant today, amongst the stiffest competition than its ever faced before. Like i said, i do however HATE their footwear with a passion. How on earth a brand can blatantly copy some of the most recognisable styles in modern footwear & get away with it is beyond me. But thinking about it, maybe thats just a measure of how influential they've became over the past decade. Collaborating with Adidas on the superstar model was proof of that.

Of course, the fakes haven't helped the brands credibility over the years but hey, thats a problem being successful brings. For better or worse, its certain that Bape will remain just as relevant in the next decade as it has in the previous two.