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Old August 18th, 2006, 05:48 AM   #1
Travis007
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"Asian Decadent Deco" : Hong Kong's forgotten buildings

Despite looking like slums to most people and the shinny skyscrapers usually get all the spotlight, these "ugly, filthy, and dilapadated" buildings are the foundation on which HK nd Kowloon are built on nd are usually where most of the action at streetlevel takes place. They were once the shiny and new skyscrapers that only the fortunate could live in, some 40-50's years ago if you could believe that. They are also the preveiling and more prominent buildings you would see at streetlevel that usually don't get seen in pictures. There's lots of these buildings in Mongkok, Wanchai, etc. and tilt your head slighty up and you'll notice these buildings everywhere. Despite the years of dirt and aging, that's what makes me love these buildings even more. And that coming from a student and teenager born in HK but raised in Toronto, Canada that's not easy to say, where I'm not used to older buildings like these. These buildings have so much character and are a part of HK history. Even though more of these buildings are being taken down and being redeveloped, I do hope that they keep these historic buildings intact because they represent the early days when HK started developing into a international city. To me, they represent HK's own decadent version of NYC's famed "Art-deco" Though they aren't nearly as visually appealling, they are the closest thing because of HK's relatively young history.I wouldn't want to live in such buildings but looking at them marvels me on how millions of HKers live in such conditions every single day. It's hard to appreciate such buildings and understand the charm and history behind them but for me, they will always represent the true life behind the wall of shiny and gleaming skyscrapers that thrive in such neighborhoods like Mongkok, Wanchai, Kowloon City, Sham Shui Po, and much of Kowloon.


The following thread is my salute to these buildings and I have included pics that I have found collected from various websites:


























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Old August 18th, 2006, 06:00 AM   #2
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Nice pics man! Yes they are everywhere around HK! People see them but don't give them too much hype!
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Old August 18th, 2006, 11:48 AM   #3
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Nice. People don't seem to appreciate until they leave home and starting feeling homesick. Then all of a sudden a nationalism (or regionalism for HK lol) rushes in.

Travis, you're studying in Vancouver?
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Old August 18th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachmaninov
Nice. People don't seem to appreciate until they leave home and starting feeling homesick. Then all of a sudden a nationalism (or regionalism for HK lol) rushes in.

Travis, you're studying in Vancouver?
It does happen especially for non-Chinese Hkers such as myself! That's what I felt when I was in Manila!
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Old August 18th, 2006, 02:46 PM   #5
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nice photo set.....
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Old August 18th, 2006, 05:30 PM   #6
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Were these photos taken during the summer and the winter?
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Old August 18th, 2006, 05:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachmaninov

Travis, you're studying in Vancouver?
Nope, Toronto. I was born in HK but my family moved to Canada when I was 5 but we take regular trips back to HK every 2 or 3 years or so. And yeah, I really miss everything about HK, the never ending sea of highrises, HK island's beautiful night skyline, the food, the busy streets, the malls and shopping that can't be touched by anywhere in NA (outside of NY), the vibrant night life, the hustle and energy of the big city and even the decadent old buildings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Were these photos taken during the summer and the winter?
Well they're a mix of photos from throughout various times of the year, you can kind of tell when time during the year they were taken at by looking at what people are wearing.

Last edited by Travis007; August 18th, 2006 at 06:00 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 06:25 PM   #8
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Just curious, have you lived in these old buildings? I think you must live in one before you decide to 'love' or 'hate' them.


Having lived in one myself(and will live in it again when i come back soon), the black dirty staircase, with a strange smell from the tyre shop downstairs, (and the occasional airplane roaring just above at night before the new airport) they are hardly charming but are certainly interesting buildings to look at and live in.


They imho still define current day HK just as much as the high rise apartment towers, perhaps more so, although their influence of course is declining as they are being demolished and forgotten by more people.

Last edited by iron_monkey; August 18th, 2006 at 06:35 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #9
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To be perfectly honest, I am currently staying in one of them in Kowloon City as of right now on my current visit. And although I must admit that I don't "love" staying in one of them, I find the experience interesting because it is the realest experience that I will ever find in living the life of millions of HKers.

And I agree, although many of them are being demolished to build newer and taller skyscrapers, they are as very much "Hong Kong" as the shiny new skyscrapers in Central because they define the yesteryears of HK and were once considered the brand new highrises that only the fortunate ones could afford to live in.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iron_monkey
Just curious, have you lived in these old buildings? I think you must live in one before you decide to 'love' or 'hate' them.


Having lived in one myself(and will live in it again when i come back soon), the black dirty staircase, with a strange smell from the tyre shop downstairs, (and the occasional airplane roaring just above at night before the new airport) they are hardly charming but are certainly interesting buildings to look at and live in.


They imho still define current day HK just as much as the high rise apartment towers, perhaps more so, although their influence of course is declining as they are being demolished and forgotten by more people.
Every city has their worse parts anyway, and in quite a few cases those places gives you the sense of identity of the city.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 10:16 PM   #11
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I like those buildings too, but they should have better maintenance and refurbishment.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 03:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachmaninov
Every city has their worse parts anyway
These old buildings are everywhere in HK, not just the "worse parts". Im guessing millions still live in them.

Although the old buildings inside vary alot themselves. Im guessing some can be very clean and modern inside. Some are clearly in a much better condition than others.

The particular one I lived in had dirty corridor walls, uneven floors, and parts of the corridor wall gouged out exposing wiring Although the bedrooms werent that bad of course.

I also remember looking at some of these buildings while on the freeway at night, and the inside of a few flats have horrible fluorescent lighting like a ghost scene.

This said, I wonder what most interior conditions in these buildings are like.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 11:03 AM   #13
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Whoa!! Those pics show me how dense HK is.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 06:58 PM   #14
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I really appreciate these old buildings, especially those ones on street junctions which curve around according to the shape of the road.

The well-kept ones are great places to live in, because the ceilings are usually higher than in new high-rise towers.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 01:18 AM   #15
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Cool photos! Some of them are really cool.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 01:36 AM   #16
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 08:55 AM   #17
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Amazing!!! Especially the 1st building...true art going on here.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 03:32 AM   #18
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They may look like that, but the insides are pretty okay to me.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 07:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis007 View Post
That Power Gym has been there since I was baby...like 30 years ago
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Old February 4th, 2008, 03:11 AM   #20
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A lotta these have a lot of tremendous potential. I can see them freshened up and marketed for newly weds or young people.
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