Tag Archives: City

Hong Kong

Throughout my life I’ve found myself back in Hong Kong, visiting close family who have lived there since I was wee. I’ve always touted Hong Kong as being my favorite city in the world, and I’d say that the sentiment still stands to this day.

Hong Kong, China

Aside from being one of the most modern cities in the world, Hong Kong is also one of the most photogenic that I’ve ever seen. The city is built on the coastlines of giant mountain peaks that rise up from the water to form islands, towering up from any space that the mountains don’t already own. The resulting skyline is a breathtaking view no matter where you are in the city.

What truly makes Hong Kong unique though is how absolutely globalized it feels, being on the bleeding edge of modern society while still struggling to break any old world shackles, remnants of being owned by two old sovereign countries (Great Britain and China). The resulting culture of Hong Kong is a melting pot, with traditional Chinese butted up against a more transient and international population of Europeans and Asians.

Hong Kong is very much a consumerist culture. Every part of the city has beautiful malls or sprawling markets. The transit system is the most efficient and impressive that I’ve ever seen, and every public utility is wiped down regularly due to fears of viruses, remnants of a bird flu epidemic years ago.

At the time of my visit, Hong Kong was and is going through a major identity crisis, where questions about how the mainland Chinese government rules the city has popped up. This has created an underlying level of dread that purveys everywhere, and local Hong Kongers are rising up in protest against the corruption that has crept into the local government. I wish Hong Kong good luck in their fight, since it’s a fight that everybody seems to be facing these days.

I’m choosing not to gush about the food in Hong Kong, but it’s perhaps my favorite cuisine. For food pictures, feel free to check my Instagram page!

One thing that really strikes me about Hong Kong is how it is one of the few giant cities that has almost no traffic congestion. I believe that this is because their public transportation system is run so meticulously well, so timing your commutes becomes a science. Its really impressive!

I will end this post with an image of dim sum scientists engineering the best food I’ve ever eaten.

Seratonin Explosion! (Seattle, Again)

I just got back from my second excursion to the great Northwest city of Seattle, to visit my old friend Peter and his wife Audrey.  My previous layover was not substantial enough of a visit for me to feel satisfied with how much I’d absorbed of the city, so I decided that I had to return! (Read my last Seattle post, Coffee Jitters)

 

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My prior trip was spent exploring the downtown portions of the city.  The financial district, the coffee shops, the tourist traps.  While impressive and seemingly unique, there is just so much more to Seattle.  It has become a mecca for naturalists and creatives because of its immediate proximity to water, forests, and mountains.  I had not fully appreciated the depth of how much nature means to the people there until I experienced it first hand.

 

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Unfortunately we did not have enough time to jaunt into the deep wilderness due to time constraints, but I was able to see enough to be convinced that all modern cities should aspire to be what Seattle has become.  The city is obviously in touch with it’s presence and effect on the surrounding nature.  Public transportation uses green energy to cut down on emissions,  and I often noticed how the streets were absent of garbage and detritus.

 

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The city is built around a series of lakes and bays, so as a result there are breathtaking views everywhere.  I couldn’t help but feel relaxed just sitting in the back seat of Pete’s Subaru as he chauffeured me around town, to music that is so expertly curated by him and is such a reflection of the scene and vibe that is the Pacific Northwest.  I’m pretty sure that I caught Seattle at the best time.  It wasn’t overcast for the majority of my trip (despite how it might appear in these photos), and I can imagine how the winter months might start to feel oppressive to the uninitiated.

 

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The people there are polite but carry an edge that I could best compare with East Coasters, although not as black humored.  I found myself having to second guess my salacious comments for fear of sounding boorish, but Pete and Audrey assured me that I was not offensive 🙂

 

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The tech industry is thriving in Seattle.    I’m told that this is due to the city’s proximity to California, as well as Asia.  Amazon basically owns a portion of downtown Seattle.  Blocks and blocks!  Its pretty scary, actually.

 

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Pete and Audrey’s friend Greg blessed us with a lovely boat ride through the inner lakes of the city.  It was a pleasant surprise, and I’m so thankful that we could get on the water in a place that is so deeply maritime in culture.  We didn’t get to see Bill Gates’ (probably ridiculous) house, but we saw yacht after yacht, basically stacked on each other.  I had to ask them “Where do these people take these things?  Do they just stay docked and look pretty?”.  But of course they take them out, inspiring so many Entourage episodes.

 

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I thought to myself the entire time how its no wonder legendary musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam derived so much inspiration from the city and environment.

Shouts out to my good friend John Dstruct (alias) and his daughter Hannah, who I was fortunate enough to have lunch with after so many years of working on music with him in the supergroup, Robot Death Squad.

 

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