As we wandered along each sensory-overload street, I found myself constantly comparing Hong Kong to other cities. It's hilly and hazy like San Francisco. It's saturated with advertising like midtown Manhattan. I became a bit frustrated when I couldn't equate certain elements to other cities I had visited. I realized that I needed to nix the comparisons and just understand Hong Kong on its own.
Going a bit out of order here...
While the advertising throughout the streets of Hong Kong doesn't quite do it for me – so in your face and styled to fit the chaos – I do appreciate the importance placed on brand names. Store windows cluttered with bright LEDs boasting their Sony and Canon inventory leverage the logos the same way that the rows of skyscrapers do for onlookers from the Kowloon side of the river. When we were a bit early for Colin's suit fitting, we decided to stroll along the Avenue of Stars simply for the view. Colin's attention was captured by the boats while I couldn't stop evaluating the placement and collection of brands gracing the skyline. Samsung, Toshiba, Hitachi, Epson, Philips, Panasonic, Olympus. Eep!
Captivated by the boats!
The previous day started with more standard touristy things: A trek up the mid-levels escalator in Central to wander through Antique Street (Hollywood Road). These shops were what you'd expect with minimal variation in the Buddhas, porcelain, statues, and tea sets, so we sort of zipped through it all. Then again, maybe our lack of patience and tolerance for incense did a disservice in discovering some old, non-replica gems. We'll never know.
Me on the escalator. When my grandma was younger, she had the novel idea for moving sidewalks. I can't recall if it was in school or with friends, but she was told that her fantasy was absurd. Now, whenever my family goes to airports – and now to the center of Hong Kong – we chuckle at her keen prediction and imagine her raising her eyebrows in her standard 'told ya so' way.
Onto the better discoveries! EDIT was nestled among the antique shops on Hollywood Road, standing out with a large glass door showing off the pops of color and funky style inside. I immediately got lost in the vibrant accessory display, which is very unlike me. Some bracelet purchases were made.
The art galleries we passed on Hollywood Road, which were listed in all of our guide books, were all pretty mediocre. We nearly gave up in our search for one spot that we had high hopes for when we finally stumbled upon Wellington Gallery. Colin and I were enthralled by the art on display here. It was such a treat for me to see Colin in his element, chatting with the gallerist about the Hong Kong art scene and the stories of the artists shown in the gallery. I became rather obsessed with a series focused on green faces from Fang Hui, while Colin enjoyed the sculpted Hollywood glamour from LV Yanjun.
I was putting a lot of pressure on myself (and of course on Colin) to check off everything on the long list of recommendations provided by friends and friends of friends for the most authentic experience possible. It was clear that I needed to adjust my approach to discovering the things in Hong Kong that pique my interest, and not necessarily that of others. This was especially true for the food. I felt like we had to brave the intimidating scene at places like Lin Heung Tea house to get culinary satisfaction. When we reached the entrance, we realized that we didn't have the energy or know-how to deal with the chaos.
We had spotted a hidden little sushi spot behind sleek looking curtains on Hollywood Road, so we decided to check that out instead. Sushi Sase proved to be a lovely escape from the overstimulation. The interior was focused on clean lines and light wood tones in a rather hushed environment. We sat at the sushi bar to feed my other current obsession: Watching my food being prepared in front of me. I'm not skilled in the kitchen (read: no patience), so I find the opportunity to be an audience to masterful cooking such a thrill. We were treated to some of the best miso soup we've ever tasted. The roe on rice and tuna were delicious, as well.
That's it for now...Will backtrack to record missed details later on.