When I saw this (photo) sculpture outside of the Hong Kong Museum of Art in Tsa Shim Tsui, I immediately assumed that it was the work of Anish Kapoor, who had designed and constructed the lovely Cloud Gate sculpture situated in Chicago’s Millennium Park. I was very surprised to see that it was by another artist, Danny Lee. It got me wondering: when you’re working in something as time-consuming as stainless steel, can it be just coincidence that two artists would develop forms so thematically similar?
So, I did a little research. Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate was constructed between 2004 and 2006 (and commissioned for the park, which was to have been completed for, of course, the start of the new millennium), Danny Lee’s Waterdrop (above) was dated 2008.
The beauty of the Mai Po wetlands deserves not a single image, but many (or at least in this case, two). Located in the New Territories, within site of the growing unsightly sprawl of Shenzhen, across the border, this nature reserve managed by the WWF offered a chance to stretch our legs and take in some of the flora and fauna once common to the region.
By late afternoon the waterlilies were closing and submerging back into the marshy wetlands, and the golden sunlight cast reflections of the impressive mangrove stand upon the murky, tannic waters.
We went to afternoon tea in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel (something every self-respecting Anglophile and/or reader of guide books to Hong Kong should would do).
We knew going in that they didn’t take reservations, that there would probably be a line, but that did not prepare us for the string of people waiting to sample the goods, nor the fact that a hotel renowned for its service would not take one (or more) of the many service-oriented steps available to it, and that the wait would be more uncomfortable than that you might endure at any Ruby Tuesday. No way to register your party’s name and number of guests (with an estimate of how long the wait might be), nowhere to sit, and certainly not a little buzzer you might take away to find a place to relax and be summoned when your golden moment arrived – we were left to stand on increasingly tender travel-worn feet for endless minutes, avidly watching the traffic of the lucky seated and spotting openings with the enthusiasm of a sports announcer calling out a missed opportunity.
After 90 minutes (because once you’ve invested 30 minutes you morbidly figure that you may as well hang in there), our happy moment arrived. We ordered the special “pink” for October and breast cancer fundraising tea and sat back to enjoy it.
I sat back and tried diligently to pace myself and to let the surroundings sooth my tired tootsies – it helped that I began with the raisin scones as I carefully extracted the raisins first – and slowly savored the goods.
Was it worth it? Well, probably not. But we enjoyed it all the same, and left little evidence of our stay behind!
Why is Chinatown such an inconvenient drive for me? (All of a 30-minute drive…) One of the tasty treats I cannot say “no” to in Hong Kong is the egg tart, nor to its equally tasty counterpart in Macau. Warm, not overly sweet, rich, and filling, they are little hand pies of perfection!
After returning from the overnight trip to Macau to another beautiful, sunny day in Hong Kong, the timing was perfect to return to the area of Kowloon near the Chi Lin nunnery. In spite of being surrounded by high-rises and shopping areas, the nunnery and the neighboring Nan Lian garden were a peaceful respite. Here is a glimpse of the pavilion bridge.