Seen&Scene: Pause and Play… C. By Christing C. Launch, DESTINATION Cinema at Salon No.10, Wet Decks at W Hong Kong, Pal Pampering at The Nail Libary

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One of the reasons why I love doing this blog is because when I can, I get to support and help out friends who are as busy doing amazing things in the city. This past weekend’s CAFE D chat at Duddell’s was one way to do just that, but also when I have a moment, I can take some time off and cover some events by friends with creative and entrepreneurial ventures. My pal, fellow blogger Christing C. was able to launch her first capsule collection, C by Christing C. a few weeks ago at the new curated boutique, the 9th Muse. Another fun opportunity was helping out pal, Louise Wong’s, DESTINATION Cinema film festival with her baby, Creative City and partner MOViE MOViEby co-hosting the gig at the new Salon No. 10

Of course when I can I love taking a much needed pause and time off from this crazy fast city by going to the pool or getting pampered, but obviously it’s just more fun when you do all these things with your friends. Me and a few pals were able to check out blue skies above Kowloon on a Sunday afternoon at the W Hong Kong WET DECK and play catch up over coffee and tea at my new favorite spot in Sheung Wan, the fabulous space that is The Nail Library. On time and off time, there’s always a way to show my friends the love.

+ C BY CHRISTING C. LAUNCH / the 9th Muse on Lyndhurst

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Christing C. launched her new line of trendy bohemian wares to much fanfare, online and physically at a pop up located inside the 9th Muse. Apparently everything sold really well in the two days she had the pop-up. At her launch event I was able to mingle with guests, friends, and supporters, and have a snoop around the store (an accessories shop geared for very fashionable ladies), as well as have a chat with founders, friends, and business partners, Jing Zhang and Charlotte Hwang. Also spotted at the opening, bloggers Geneva Vanderzeil of A Pair and A Spare, Melinda Wang of Ztylistas, young PR guru Felix Chan, and editor/contributor Katie Kenny from HK Magazine.

WEAR C. By Christing C. / SHOP The 9th Muse . 12F, 1 Lyndhurst Tower, Central, Hong Kong . +852-25377598

+ DESTINATION CINEMA: WASTE LAND / Salon No. 10

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It was a full house that night at Salon No. 10, venue partners of the DESTINATION Cinema film festival, hosted by Creative City, MOViE MOViE by Broadway Cinematheque, and the blog Wanderlister.com. The film, WASTE LAND, was absolutely amazing. The film documents artist and photographer, Vik Muniz, as he journeys from his Brooklyn home to the trash mountains of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. Using trash from the site, he creates and photographs warehouse sized portraits of the everyday people he meets during his trip. How his art works changed the people he met and himself as a creator is truly unexpected and inspiring.

To make everyone feel more at home, guests were offered canapes by new house chef, Austin Fry, formerly of Brickhouse, as well as specialty cocktail concoctions invented by the house mixologist.

WATCH Waste Land / EAT & DRINK Salon No. 10 . 10 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong . +852-28016768 / TRAVEL CreativeCity HK / SUBSCRIBE MOViE MOViE by Broadway Cinematheque

+ SUNDAY SESSION WET DECK / W Hong Kong

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One way to beat the Hong Kong heat is to grab your friends, and just get lazy poolside. Thank heavens there’s the guaranteed tunes + views + cocktails + pool combination that is the Sunday Sessions at the W Hong Kong Wet Deck. While other hotels in the city keep it exclusive and stuffy (hello 2 hours only at Grand Hyatt for 600HKD?) at Sunday Session, with the price of admission, you get cocktails, a great DJ, and a fantastic Sunday afternoon to chill out and lie about with your pals, weather permitting… it’s been permitting thus far these past few weeks.

RELAX W Hong Kong . No. 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong . +852-37172222

+ PAMPERED URBAN RETREAT / The Nail Library, Po Hing Fong

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Tucked in lower Po Hing Fong Road, (by way of Po Yan Street off Hollywood Road in SoHo), is the amazingly low-key space that is the Nail Library. If you hurry too much, you may miss this very low key shopfront. But inside, you may gasp at the chicly designed double height loft space. A large feature bookshelf, raw natural materials, soft cushy seats, and the smell of a large bouquet of fresh flowers, really sets this uniquely personal nails destination, from the low-end Causeway Bay varieties, as well as the high end hotel kinds that are just too corporate and expensive to leave any lasting impression.

The menu here consists of manicures and pedicures for Women and Men, as well treatment rub options for Hands, Arms, Legs, and Feet. Lots of room on the lower floor and mezzanine for you and your friends to spend hours. They will also serve you caffeine and bubbles. We had a great time here with my girlfriends a few Saturday’s ago. Which naturally led to dinner altogether. It was just bliss.

PAMPER The Nail Library . 6 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852-28032290

Where have you hung out with your friends lately?

JJ.

Seen&Scene: Indie Film Festival by MOViE MOViE and Creative City, Keeps Hot Hong Kong Oh So Cool

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The cool kids were out on Thursday night in early July when we co-hosted the launch of an AMAZE-ing new indie film festival in the city called DESTINATION:Cinema. The main sponsors of the festival; the indie channel on cable, MOViE MOViE, and the best city guide for Hong Kong, Creative City, is out to make Hong Kong’s hot summer a tad bit cooler with free film screenings all over the city (which comes with free aircon!)

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For every event, media partners like Wanderlister.com, were involved to help host the gigs. As launch partners, we had the pleasure to help screen one of the best music documentaries in the last few years, Searching for Sugarman, a true story of the rise, fall, and rise, of rock star, Sixto Rodriguez.

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Technically he was only a “rock star” in South Africa. Long Story. The movie explains why. But then he disappeared…. for a really long time. And the documentary tells the audience exactly what happened to him since obscurity.

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The invite-only launch event was well attended by friends and supporters of all the sponsors… well beyond what the space could handle! In addition Pizza Express graciously provided unlimited drinks and free Pizzas… MADE ON THE SPOT.

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Hipster life is different here in Hong Kong. We don’t get things delivered… no… we get our pizzas made at our events. :) #spoiledlife

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Overall everyone had a great time. Here we are with Louise Wong, founder of Creative City and Joycelyn Choi in the middle, Director of Programming & Marketing with MOViE MOViE, part of the Broadway Cinematheque family.

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(Okay just a plug… Louise Wong, is wearing our friend, Kate Barnett’s line of jewelry. I’m wearing Thai Indie Label, 4X4Man and Greyhound.) 

It seemed like everyone had a great time and really enjoyed the film!It was also great to see people who I haven’t seen in a long time and read the blog regularly. It was like a little reunion.

Jennie and Bernadette

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Shafin, Nicola, and Friends

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Grace

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Some people were a great sport about the the whole “sit on the floor” thing. Sponsors G.O.D. dealt with that issue by lending pillows for all our guests to sit on.

Marc and Taura

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Jade, Katrina, and Roger

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Connel

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Connel’s Footwear

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Hello Monica!

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Hello Monica’s Footwear.

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Sana and Friend

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DJ Angus and Jason

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And last and the best, the beautiful Danielle from WHITESPACE who designed the branding and graphics of the Creative City website + maps.

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Prizes were given away!

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Plus we checked out a preview of our new street interviews videos with Hong Kong creatives for CREATIVECITY website. This one was about 15Squarestreet, hosted by myself, and video by acclaimed photographer, Jason Capobianco.

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Other movies in the film festival include; Turn Me On, Goddamit! hosted by Sassy Hong Kong and W Hong Kong, The Eye Has To Travel hosted by Sassy Hong Kong, the Siemens Experience Centre, Tangram, and Casa Capriz, and Chicken With Plums, hosted by Marc & Chantal Design. We also thank The Loft Division for hosting our launch for Searching for Sugarman.

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More to come!

Next Tuesday we continue to host DESTINATION:Cinema at SALON NO.10 with another documentary, WASTE LAND, about artist, Vik Muniz, and his sublime large scale murals in Rio de Janeiro’s sprawling favelas.

Be part of the experience! You could be one of 10 Lucky Readers to win 2 Tickets to this intimate and private screening. Just email LOUISE@CREATIVECITY.HK with the subject “WANDERLISTER x MOVIEMOVIE PROMO”. Please include your name and the name of your guest. Hope to see you there!

SUBSCRIBE MOViE MOViE (nowTV Channel 132) / TRAVEL CREATIVECITY Maps For Hong Kong

JJ.

Seen&Scene: A SPRING Evening With Qiu Zhijie

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Last Saturday brought a balmy and drizzly Spring evening to Hong Kong, but at the Wong Chuk Hang Industrial District, it was all smiles and pleasant conversations as the arts community rallied around Spring Workshop’s latest artist-in-residence, Qiu Zhijie, one of the mainland’s most celebrated artist and thinkers of his generation.

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Inspired by Spring Workshops’ delightfully expansive and flexible space, Qiu began making full use of the large areas of of wall and floor for a very specific mapping exercise which only can be accomplished in such a site.

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The neutralness of the walls and the beige floors allowed Qiu to think of them as a blank canvas, a datum in which ready-made objects, “found, made, free, and confined”, can be categorized and mapped, with a help of students from all of Hong Kong’s schools and universities, namely the University of Hong Kong, City University, Baptist University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts School, HKICC/Jockey Club Ti-ICollege, Diocesan Girls’ School, Hong Kong Academy and Po Leung Kuk Laws Foundation College.

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And when we went there last Saturday… he was close to completion…

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But more was left to do. The exhibit officially starts on May 23rd.

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Also a work in progress, but in a completely different scale, is the work of Eric Shuldenfrei and Marisa Yiu of Eskyiu in the back garden area, titled, Industrial Forest

Below, Marisa sits within her work as she takes photos of me taking photos of the landscape. Behind her stands Laurent Gutierrez of map office, another celebrated mult-disciplinary architectural studio doing great work in / for the city.

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The Industrial Forest is a forest composed of metal “bamboo” rods securely placed on artificial topography. This synthetic nature comes alive, the rods swaying back and forth, with the affect of use and natural weather conditions. Imagine a typhoon!

You can find the scale model of the project in the office.

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… As well as the architectural drawings.

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So many friends and supporters were there that night to rally around the artists as well as founder, Mimi Brown's non-profit arts initiative. Also spotted were Art Basel Hong Kong's Director Asia, Magnus Renfrew (Check out our interview with him last year), art patron and writer Alex Seno, restauranteur and creative Alan Lo, art muse Xue Tan, Art Basel Hong Kong’s VIP coordinator Deborah Erlich, creative consultant Louise Wong, write and curator Christina Li, artist/educator Leung Chi Wo, and my pals Katrina, Jason S, Jason R, and Susan.

Dinner was served on the beautiful lawn and deck area outside.

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There’s a map on the table…

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Balls on the floor can be kicked around to create new word structures, concepts, ideas… the purpose of which to create a more dynamic version of mapping which involves the user and the space, via the propositions of the artist.

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Can’t wait to see more from Spring Workshop? Go take a look for yourself. The doors are now open.

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VISIT Qiu Zhijie and Eskiyiu’s Industrial Forest @ Spring Workshop, 3F Remix Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, HK

JJ.

Take Back The Night, Markets at Sham Shui Po

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On March 9th, Artist / Hong Kong Lover / Social Activist / Urban Farmer / Bee Keeper, Michael Leung (interviewed here before on Wanderlister.com) invited Hong Kong’s creative communities including us to help spread the work, donate, and make noise for The Night Market Project 夜好趁墟行動 initiative located in Sham Shui Po, one of Hong Kong’s poorest urban districts.

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Apparently an informal night market has been in operation there, and for those of us who live and work closer to Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, we just wouldn’t know about the night markets because no one goes to Sham Shui Po on Saturday nights. In fact Sham Shui Po makes it to guidebooks because of its largely consumer-based IT/Computer parts and products wastelands located in several commercial buildings.

For the most part, with over 1,000 people RSVPing for to The Night Market Project on facebook, either to donate works or buy items, it can be said the test “project” was a success. Leung wanted the creative communities to discover these markets and what they sold and to be generally cognizant of the existence of these urban operations. That said, this is no Bangkok Railway Antiques Market like in my previous posts, the items sold here are 2nd hand household things, clothes, hot goods, fakes, and things we would think of as domestic trash (not actual trash). 

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I found it wonderful, scary, intriguing, and full of texture. There was a time when I look back to when I first moved to Hong Kong after grad school, and thinking about what initially drew me here… the textures, the urbanism, the hodge podge madness captured by cinematographer Christopher Doyle for his Wong Kar Wai films. But over the years, this edge has quickly been eaten away by “Urban Renewal” initiatives, and the pure luxe shine of gentrification. Chungking Mansions is a shadow of what is used to be as a case study for example, therefore, I find Sham Shui Po a reflection of a memory of what Hong Kong used to be.

That said no sooner than we arrived and began our exploration, an hour later a Market merchant who was annoyed by the sheer number of new onlookers, gweilo visitors, and hipster creative types called in the Police to step up, step in and do some crowd control.

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Read More

Seen&Scene: Monocle Magazine Says Hello Hong Kong!

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The Monocle Shop in Hong Kong recently entertained friends and family of Monocle Magazine via a block party, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brule, Advertising Director, Anders Braso, and Hong Kong’s newest bureau chief, Aisha Speirs. Brule and the editorial team were recently in town for a stopover in their grand APAC tour of the region.

We were fortunate to catch the nice event with my friend, Natasha. It gave a chance for Nat and I to bond as well since she and I usually have very busy schedules.

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The well attended event featured the best and brightest from Hong Kong’s creative community, as well as attendees within the hospitality and news media sectors as well. 

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Guests were able to mingle, shop, eat, drink, and check out the bureau office of Monocle Magazine, defined by minimalist and clean interiors, and plenty of past publications, gift goodies, and paper fans with logos that keep everything “on brand”.

Below is the special Chinese New Year gift set.

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Monocle Hong Kong’s Julie, kept the guest engaged and entertained.

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Amazing chinese pork baos were provided by Chef Mai Chow and her new business venture, Little Bao. I mentioned Little Bao before on the blog when I discovered it first via Island East Markets late last year.

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A couple of gents enjoying Little Baos.

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We also bumped into artist, Rocky, videographer, Karim, and architect and lecturer, Riyad.

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Meeting for the first time were representatives from The Upper House, Marcel and a self-proclaimed Wanderlister+ reader and fan, Kristina.

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Also in attendance, Moustache/Salon No.10’s Alex, Delstore’s Derrick Leung, with new bureau chief, Aisha.

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Long time no see, Khanh-Linh!

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The Chaiwanese also said hi, Jehan and Zon!

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Plus check out Jehan’s amazing bag designed and hand-made by Zon herself. Zon remember, I am your first order!

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This was a surprise. Harold was back from Taiwan for a short visit. Also I havent seen Creative City’s Louise for a long time. Great to see both of these friends here.

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Also in tow, my pals, amazing designer RonWan and fashion critic, Daniel.

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It was great to bump into my cousin, Carina and her colleague Noriko, who both work Hyatt in Asia.

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I was tempted to get on this mic and start my own Monocle24 radio show.

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Overall it was great fun. Natasha and I were able to finish off the afternoon with some private beer and gossip next door at Ted’s Lookout. I really love the Star Street neighborhood. It’s so chic.

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Thanks so much Monocle Magazine for a great afternoon of shopping, chat, and nibbles.

Check out the last time we partied at Monocle here, when they named Hong Kong the 13th Most Livable City in 2012.

READ Monocle Magazine / SHOP Monocle Shop,  Shop 1 UG, Bo Fung Mansion, 1-4 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai, Hong Kong / LISTEN Monocle24 Radio

JJ.

Salon No.10

Wonderboys, bespoke fashion gurus of Moustache, Alex Daye and Ellis Kreuger (in collaboration with Italian Fashion House, STIIBU), will be taking their charms beyond the clothing shop after hours and on to their new venture, hosting late nights from Tuesday to Fridays at Salon No. 10, a fabulously cool new bar tucked in Central with that “David Lynch-esque” allure.

Yes. This is ET on the Mural.

The interiors are quirky, classic, stuffed to the brim with eclectic furniture, and very sci-fi, a perfect backdrop which suited the gents with their more private invite-only Bearded Lady monthly cabaret nights. (Bearded Lady refers to well… a Bearded Man dressed in a dress singing songs live. Oh Yes.)

20,000 Leagues… and counting…

"Expect great music from us and our musically inclined friends," says Daye, "With the occasional live performance, a splash of magic, an esoteric cocktail menu, and plenty of glamorous surprises." And no, it will not be Bearded Lady every night, but you may get lucky. "Don’t be surprised when the floor gets cleared for some late night dancing!" They say. And yes, pole dancing is not out of the question. 

A well stocked kitchen with ingredients, condiments, items, goods, and spirits is available for private parties and dinners from Saturday through Monday night.

Impressive.

The last time I was here… guess who I saw? (via @thewanderlister Instagram)

Creative City’s Louise Wong! You too can be Queen of The Night. If The Bearded Lady doesn’t get there first. 

Alex and Ellis Portrait by Carmen Chan, of HOW I MET YOUR STYLE for theWanderlister+.

PARTY Salon No. 10 with Moustache & STIIBU, 10 Arbuthnot Road, Hong Kong, Tue-Fri 7pm-2am  / HOST Salon No. 10 Private Evening, Email / SHOP Moustache

JJ.

MONOCLE Names Hong Kong #13 Most Livable City. We Celebrate!

So. Hong Kong is now in Monocle Magazine’s radar. YAY! (image above via FRESHNESS) I suppose they’ve figured out that there are other countries in Asia besides *ahem* Japan… and don’t get me wrong, we LOVE Japan… it’s just now at least Hong Kong has more and more things to be proud of creatively and culturally than it did even just 2 or 3 years ago. So again. Yay!

Hong Kong used to be everyone’s 2-3 Day Cathay Pacific pit stop before flying somewhere else interesting. We used to be the tax free shopping city and that was it. If you wanted rich Chinese culture you would try Beijing, if you wanted Beach, you would go to Thailand, if you wanted adventure, you go to Cambodia or Philippines… and Hong Kong, with its International airport, was only a stopover.

Over the last few years we’ve all pretty much realized that despite the rich pop and sub cultural activity that is coming out of Mainland China, its problem with information access and general censorship, has given a glass ceiling to how far it can move up culturally. Hong Kong’s role as a financial gateway to the region is slowly taking advantage of its “freedom of speech” position relative to China, and artists/ gallerists/creatives/designers are being attracted to the city in droves.

Hong Kong must not lose momentum.

In 2011, Monocle Magazine gave Hong Kong a whopping rank of #17 in its Top 25 Cities: Quality of Life Survey (ie. most livable cities in the world) and this year the bureau in the Star Street District held a party to celebrate it position 5 spaces up to #13. I’m wondering what the criteria is… that said it really is SOMETHING to celebrate.

However, we are still behind 3 other Asian cities… you guessed it… all in Japan. (Yes, predictable for Monocle)… Namely, Fukuoka #12, Kyoto #11, and Tokyo #07. Ive been to all three of those cities, and I have to say they’re all quite lovely. But just FYI. Hong Kong has a lower unemployment rate than those three cities, more relative green space than those three cities, and for entrepreneurs, it takes 3 days to start a business in HK, which is faster and easier than any city in Japan.

We just need to work on our Pollution problem and bike friendly access to residents.

Shop owner Julie Shah welcomes guest to the Monocle Magazine soiree.

We bump into Creative City’s Louise Wong.

It’s harvest time! An amazing spread ready by Danielle M. Yuen, private caterer.

Can you tell I love food photos?

Unfortunately, my friend Daniel Kong of the BlackRennaissance Blog who is working at the magazine this season had to rush on a deadline so no food for him!

Juliette from Monocle wearing a dress by TANGRAM.

Have you listened to Monocle online radio’s M24 Yet? if you haven’t, you should.

The whole Monocle Store is available to HK Residents to shop.

You can even buy the archives. And of course current issues.

Orlebar Brown.

The Quality of Life 2012 Survey in this month’s issue; July/August 2012.

#13 Hong Kong! Congrats!

And. Drumroll… Zurich at #1!

ANNDDDD for those not content with #13… well this past week TIME Magazine named Hong Kong #1…. in terms of catchment, accessibility, distance to other major cities, access to green space, and economic opportunities. Like Monocle Magazine, TIME’s biggest problem with Hong Kong is Pollution. Let’s all please work on this.

The Monocle Shop Hong Kong  / Shop 1 UG, Bo Fung Mansion, 1-4 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai, Hong Kong / Phone: +852 28042323 / Fax: +852 2804 2929 / hkshop@monocle.com / HOURS: Mon-Fri 11.00-19.00, Sat 12.00-20.00, Sun 12.00-18.00 / http://www.monocle.com

JJ.

And the Limited Edition Creative City Map Goes To…

Late last month Creative City Map Guide partners Danielle Huthart and Louise Wong and theWanderlister+ Asia team, Cheryl Rodriguez and myself got together at MANA! for a bit of brain storm about the current state of the creative scene in Hong Kong in general as well as having a quick chat about the new map. You can view this blog post here.

That said, we were really curious if other people felt that Hong Kong was as “Creative” a city as we thought it was. So we thought it would be a good idea to ask right out if you agreed that Hong Kong was a Creative City, why that was. For your two cents you get a chance to win a limited edition map by four of Hong Kong’s most sought after illustrators. We got a handful of responses in return, and from those, each of us were able to pick our favorite answers. Here they are:

+ Janice Leung / selected by Louise Wong

Hong Kong is a Creative City because we’re free to imagine, and free to make it happen. Want to dress up like a huge tube of toothpaste and march the streets on July 1? You can. Want to write on concrete walls all over the city about why you’re the king the Kowloon, in your own unique font? You can. Well, you’d be scrubbed clean first, but eventually you’ll be recognised as culture/heritage/art worthy of preservation. Everything takes time, right? As long as we’re allowed to imagine, creative things will happen.

+ Season Chan / selected by Danielle Huthart

Hong Kong is a Creative City because even I’ve been living here for over a decade I am still exploring and experiencing something new on a weekly basis. Hong Kong never ceases to surprise me. Hong Kong Kong is like a big salad bow!

+ Zoe Li / selected by Cheryl Rodriguez

Hong Kong is a Creative City because we have Creative City! And plastic bag rain hats! And satay beef stuffed inside French toast! I mean, we mix tea and coffee and drink it TOGETHER *mind blown apart*.

+ Harsha Harjani / selected by JJ. Acuna

Hong Kong is a creative city because at its very essence, the city was ‘created’ out of pretty much nothing in the span of a 100 something years. It’s creative, because every day, HK takes its destiny in its hands, and creates moments, products, buildings, systems, ideas, and new ways of being. Eternally refreshing itself, HK is creative, because it’s free.

Congratulations to our four winners! Each of them wins a new Limited Edition Creative City Map Guide. Winners please pick up your free copy at the Whitespace studios in Sheung Wan. For all other entries thank you so much for giving us your feedback! Hong Kong needs you!

Thank you Kacey Wong for your iconic pink tank as well. As seen on the streets of Hong Kong on July 1st 2012 in response to CY Leung’s new proposed “Cultural Bureau” Government Department. And THIS… is why Hong Kong is a Creative City. (via CREATIVE CITY FB)

CREATIVE CITY is now available at Bookazine (Canton House, Ocean Terminal, IFC Mall, Prince’s Building, Shui On), Dymocks (Harbour Centre), Island Shangri-La Hotel, Cosmos Books (Wan Chai), Kapok, Loveramics, and K11 Design Store.  It’s also available online from the Whitespace website and the Creative City FACEBOOK. / http://www.creativecity.hk / Retail Price: 68HKD

JJ.

Give Us Your Thoughts, Win A Limited Edition Creative City Map! Contest Ends Soon!

And all you have to do is give us your two cents on the Creative City Facebook Page referring to the phrase below:

Hong Kong is a Creative City. If you agree, tell us why.

The four winners will each receive 1 of these 4 beautiful limited edition Creative City Maps by Hong Kong’s coolest illustrators today.

+ Emily Eldridge (via EmilyEldridge Blogspot)

Emily, is an American illustrator, muralist, and fine artist based in Hong Kong since 2005. Favored mediums include: ink, acrylic, house paint, watercolor, cardboard boxes and salvaged junk. (Text by Emily Eldridge)

+ Graphic Airlines - Map on the Left (via GraphicAirlines Online)

Established in 2002, Graphic Airlines (GAL) is a creative team of 2 people, TAT & Vi. Their aim is to ENJOY THE VOYAGE! Doing creative work freely, enjoying the voyages of life and creation, flying to different realms of creativity are what they hope for.The characters created by design duo Graphic Airlines champion the “aesthetics of ugly”. They aim to become stalwarts of Hong Kong’s burgeoning street art scence. Apart from publishing and exhibiting work since 2006. (Text by GAL)

+ Emilie Sarnel (via EmilieinLove Online)

Emilie’s work is focused on art direction, graphic design, illustration, and most importantly, story-telling. She’s recently moved to Hong-Kong via Tokyo, and has since launched successful shows of illustrations about life in Hong Kong. The works have since been sold via posters and postcards all over the city. Check out her website for her latest projects.

+ Don Mak (via MikeSavela Tumblr)

Don Mak is an illustrator born and bought up in Hong Kong. The passion and artistry bloomed early. At 16, he left school and joined the local comic talents. He later continued his studies in arts and design, ever enriching the wealth of knowledge and skills gained in the working years. In 2009, he graduated with a BA (Hons) in Design – Visual Communication from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Don has been a member of the Hong Kong Society of Illustrators since 2004. Since graduation, he has been illustrating freelance for magazines, publishers and advertising agencies. His first children picture book is in creation. (Text by Don Mak)

And of course you can also get the original Map by designed by Whitespace!

Good luck!

Check out my interview with the Creative City Team here.

CREATIVE CITY is now available at Bookazine (Canton House, Ocean Terminal, IFC Mall, Prince’s Building, Shui On), Dymocks (Harbour Centre), Island Shangri-La Hotel, Cosmos Books (Wan Chai), Kapok, Loveramics, and K11 Design Store.  It’s also available online from the Whitespace website and the Creative City FACEBOOK. / http://www.creativecity.hk / Retail Price: 68HKD

JJ.

Mana, Moustache, Maps, + More. We Explore Hong Kong via Creative City’s Danielle Huthart and Louise Wong

You know you live in a cool-creative neighborhood when Aesop moves in. (See last article… please note i’m only half-facetious with this statement). Additionally, if you don’t already know, this “cool” neighborhood, Sheung Wan, is only one of a handful unique design districts in the city… and according to the 2nd edition of the Creative City map by Lancashire Road’s Louise Wong and Whitespace’s Danielle Huthart, there are at least 6 Cool Districts in Hong Kong to get to know better.

Creative City Map-Guide.

I’ve established late last year that Hong Kong is now officially NOT a Creative Desert, so please I don’t want to hear that phrase around me anymore. In fact, I will kill this phrase with this article today. But the reason why I mentioned it is because when we sat down for a bit of coffee and brunch at MANA! (Hong Kong’s newest Slow-Food Vegetarian offering on Wellington Street… also highlighted in the Creative City Map) with Danielle, Louise, and my lifestyle contributor, Cheryl Rodriguez, this very question of “Is Hong Kong REALLY a Creative City?” Did come up many times in our conversation.

A chat with the team behind Creative City Map-Guide at MANA!.

MANA! Hong Kong, exterior. (Taken from my Instagram @theWanderlister)

A few of the things that popped up in the chat was that yes, now Hong Kong IS a Creative City but there is a long way to go, namely more support from the Government of Hong Kong to push and support creative industries (HELLO! Tax Incentives for Profit Making/Sustainable Creative and Artistic Ventures please!) and the willingness of the city to foster and aid the creation of unique and creative neighborhoods. When Danielle Huthart established Whitespace a few years ago in the middle of Sheung Wan, the neighborhood was yet still to be the design and stylish destination enclave it has turned into today… and her studio is Design Hong Kong’s Ground Zero.

Whitespace’s Danielle Huthart at MANA, June 2012.

Louise and Danielle first met at DETOUR, Hong Kong’s annual design showcase event which occurs the same week as BODW Business of Design Week. Since meeting, they’ve since agreed to collaborate on a hobby creating a coolfinder map for Hong Kong… Louise doing research and Danielle doing layout and print coordination with a handful of collaborators; namely Daydream Nation, Graphic Airlines, SCAD HK, and Shanghai Street Studios. If that wasn’t enough, there are 4 additional limited edition covers designed by illustrators; Graphic Airlines, Don Mak, Emily Eldridge and Emilie Sarnel.

4 Limited Edition Covers for Creative City 2nd Edition. You have to find them to Collect!

The 1st edition was wildly successful and now the 2nd edition focuses not only on what to do in the 6 districts, but where to hang out for your “third place”, the ideal coffee shop where you can work outside of home or office (yes foreign to the city, normal concept everywhere else in the world). The sudden sprout of independent coffee culture in Hong Kong, according to the map’s designers, reflects the growing need of creative individuals to find a place and a space to create, socialize, network, and mingle with like minded individuals. IE. The rise in coffee culture usually relates to the rise of a creative cultural community. We are witnessing this now in Hong Kong.

Befitting the overall idea of the 2nd Edition map, we all meet at MANA! for some coffee and good healthy vegetarian fair. It was my first time here and I absolutely love it. I have only munched on wraps and drinks but based on what I had, I would definitely come back. And now on to the interview…

Louise and Me… and this map you’ve got to have.

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theWanderlister+ Asia INTERVIEW WITH DANIELLE HUTHART AND LOUISE WONG FOR CREATIVE CITY MAP-GUIDE 2nd EDITION / June 2012

W+: Whats up with Creative City!? It’s so cool. Tell us a little bit more about this Guide Map.

LW: Thanks, we’re happy to hear you like it! The idea behind the map-guide is to show a creative side of Hong Kong — a view that is not specifically presented in other maps or guidebooks.  We focus on destinations recommended by Hong Kong-based creatives. The guide-map has six district maps on one side (Tsim Sha Tsui & Jordan, Sheung Wan & Central, Mong Kok & Yau Ma Tei, Wan Chai, Sham Shui Po & Shek Kip Mei, Causeway Bay & Tai Hang). The other side features a big map of Hong Kong and this year’s theme is about the city’s coffee culture.

W+: This is the 2nd edition of the map, so what did you guys do differently from the first edition? Was there a new focus? Anything that worked and didn’t work from the first time?

LW: Overall the maps are quite similar, though we made adjustments to improve the usability and durability of the map. We included descriptions for each of the locations and changed the quality of the paper, for example.

For the first edition, we surveyed people from across the creative industries and for this edition we worked with “district curators” in each of the six districts for their recommendations. We worked with Shanghai Street Studios, Daydream Nation, SCAD and others. It’s not necessarily better this time, it’s just a different approach to the same concept and one that we intend to continue exploring.

DH: The theme for the back of the map this time is about coffee and creativity. We believe the rise of cafe culture is a sign that there’s a demand for more creativity in the city. In the first edition, we looked at elements of intangible culture and we will probably have a different theme for the next edition.

Also new this time are the four limited edition sleeves we commissioned from Hong Kong resident artists. There are five different sleeves to collect, including our own. Our guest artists for this edition were Graphic Airlines, Don Mak, Emily Eldridge and Emilie Sarnel.

W+: How is Creative City different from other Guide Maps out there?

DH: The concept behind this map-guide is to show Hong Kong from the perspective of the creative community but at the same time, it’s not meant to be prescriptive - we want to encourage people to explore and experience Hong Kong in their own way. It is about introducing people to the sources of inspiration and creativity that our contributors have found in the city.

W+: Danielle and Louise, what was each of your roles towards putting together this map?

LW: Danielle oversees the design of Creative City, while I take care of the content. We work closely on every aspect from concept to production, deciding on who to speak to, what information to include and how to present it, whether it be through the design or “voice”. For example, the idea for six districts came out because of feedback we got from our collaborators from the first edition. The coffee theme evolved from an idea from the first edition where we considered focusing on the concept of  “third places” in Hong Kong but at the time, it wasn’t as diverse as it is now.

W+: Are you both originally from Hong Kong? Did you go anywhere else to study your craft etc?

DH: I’m born and raised in Hong Kong to an English father and a Chinese mother. Before founding Whitespace, I was living in New York City where I attended Parsons School of Design to study communication design. During my 9 years in New York, I worked in a number of different studios and agencies— assisting photographers and art directors, creating websites, designing book and magazines, doing freelance illustration and making jewelry. I took a year off to travel and take a much-needed break before settling back in Hong Kong.

LW: I was born in Hong Kong, raised and educated in Australia. In 1997, I returned to Hong Kong to be a journalist. The best place to learn any craft is when you’re doing it. In my case, it was out in the field. I’ve filed stories from around the world including New York, Paris, Taipei, Bangkok and Beijing, where authorities detained me once for doing my job. I was also sent to the Pakistani-Afghan border after 9/11 and to the remotest parts of China. I eventually did a Masters of Journalism at HKU and that was when I developed a focus on arts, culture, design and creativity.  Now I work on projects at the intersection of the creative industries and contemporary culture, with Lancashire Road.

W+: Tell us what you are most excited about from Hong Kong in the next 5 years?

LW: There’s so much to look forward to here! Art is a huge focus now, be it at a commercial level via the art fair or the numerous blue-chip galleries now in Hong Kong. How all of this transfers, engages and develops with local art will be interesting. We’re excited about new venues such as WKCD (West Kowloon Cultural District), CPS (Central Police Station for the Contemporary Arts), and even PMQ (Police Married Quarters Design Hub) to some degree.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of programming will be developed for these locations, as M+ has already begun to do. Those are the big ticket items but there are so many smaller, exciting projects that are also happening in Hong Kong. These are interesting because this is where the true creative energy thrives - the more these initiatives survive, the better it is for the city’s creativity.

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Some images from MANA!… the menu. You have to try all these flat bread wraps…

I had “SPRING”, made of Avocado, Tomato, Garlicnaise (Garlic Mayonnaise) and Mint in Organic Wholemeal. Very Delicious.

For drinks I played it safe with the Homemade Lemonade made of fresh lemons, organic maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. (Next time I’ll try the Inka Shake with Banana, Figs, Bonsoy, Tahini, Honey & Cinammon… which sounds like a meal in itself.)

What’s up at Mana!?

It’s Good To Be Here. (Also check out my new eco-bag from Envirosax. Love the print!)

Louise’s Herschel Shopper. #JJStyle

Green Bottles…

I like the straws… conceptually.

Hummus from MANA!

You can also buy Vinegar and Spirulina here… as well as some bath and beauty products.

Outdoor seating area… (If only it wasn’t raining so much that day!)

Part-Owner of MANA!, Christian G Mongendre.

After lunch, we went to check out another Creative City highlight… MOUSTACHE where I had my first collaborative interview with Brew&Post Photographer, Carmen Chan. I was stopping by to do some some shopping and to pick up some Bespoke Jeans from friends, Alex and Ellis. Louise and Cheryl came with!

Business as per usual… Ellis helping out a customer. (Taken from my Instagram @theWanderlister)

Louise and Cheryl looking at the MOUSTACHE’S leather travel collaboration with Stiibu.

MOUSTACHE has their own guide book too. Very different from Creative City… this one more like a “zine” format with pictures and text focused on an assortment of hidden treasures all around Hong Kong.

Undergear and Summer Shirts.

Fancy a robe?

Knick Knacks.

My purchase from MOUSTACHE that day. Summer shirt, a loofa, and a their Hong Kong book.

Meanwhile… speaking of Moustache and theWanderlister… check out what my friend, Jau, spotted while walking around in Singapore!

WANDER WONDER!!!!

I WANDER what this is all about! Check out whats at the end of that arrow! LOL. :) Can someone go and take photos for me???

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+ CREATIVE CITY x theWanderlister+ Asia MAP GIVEAWAY

For the next week, starting tomorrow morning you can win 1 of the 4 Limited Edition Creative City 2nd Edition Maps designed by Graphic Airlines, Don Mak, Emily Eldridge and Emilie Sarnel. All you have to do is:

1) ‘LIKE’ Creative City Facebook Page Here.

2) ‘LIKE’ theWanderlister+ Asia Facebook Page Here.

3) And leave a comment on the Creative City Facebook Page in regards to the status update; “Hong Kong is a Creative City. If you agree, tell us why”.

And that’s it! Two best answers will be chosen by Danielle and Louise, and the other best answers will be picked by Cheryl and me for theWanderlister+ Asia. Winners will be notified by Facebook or Email.

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CREATIVE CITY is now available at Bookazine (Canton House, Ocean Terminal, IFC Mall, Prince’s Building, Shui On), Dymocks (Harbour Centre), Island Shangri-La Hotel, Cosmos Books (Wan Chai), Kapok, Loveramics, and K11 Design Store.  It’s also available online from the Whitespace website and the Creative City FACEBOOK. / http://www.creativecity.hk / Retail Price: 68HKD

Danielle Huthart @ Whitespace / 3rd Floor, Bonham Centre, 79-85 Bonham Strand Sheung Wan, Hong Kong / 2869 9081 / info@whitespace.hk / Whitespace ONLINE

Louise Wong @ Lancashire Road Online

MANA! Fast Slow Food / 92 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong / 28511611 / MANA! Online

Moustache / 31 Aberdeen Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong / 25411955 / Moustache Online

JJ.