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Old July 29th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #21
Kaitak747
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嘉咸街活化增建零售中心





(星島)7月29日 星期二 05:30
(綜合報道)

(星島日報 報道)中環 嘉咸街重建在即,為保留市集特色,市建局 昨提出新活化方案,計畫興建一幢兩層高的零售中心,讓現時嘉咸街街市市集的十四個濕貨商鋪,優先以市值租金租用,繼續經營。預料重建項目成本將增加二億元至超過四十億元,發展期亦會延長年半至兩年。但有商戶表示,寧願留在現有鋪位經營,又擔心日後新鋪位的租金較高,令經營困難。

  記者:張建業

  市建局董事會昨公布有關嘉咸街街市市集的新活化方案,未來在重建項目中,會興建一幢兩層高的零售中心,提供十六個以濕貨為主的檔位,目前在市集內經營的十四個濕貨檔,日後可獲優先以市值租金遷入。至於現時五十三個小販攤檔,亦會保留位置以供經營,但由於政府發牌制度下,小販牌照不容轉讓,令市集難以延續,目前有關問題仍有待食環署 進行研究。

  重建項目成本增二億元

  市建局主席張震 遠表示,新方案會令重建項目成本增加二億元,發展期亦會延長年半至兩年。他指出,成本增加的原因,是由於工程必須分階段進行,以減少對販商及市民的影響。

  按現時計畫,兩層高的零售中心將設於嘉咸街近結志街,零售中心面積不少於四百平方米,另外再預留約三百平方米地方,租予商販儲存貨物之用。為確保市集如常運作,市建局容許商鋪暫緩交吉,直至地盤正式施工為止。在工程進行期間,亦會避免在嘉咸街及卑利街兩旁同時豎立地盤圍板,阻礙小販生意,並會為受影響的攤檔加建上蓋,提供水電供應。

  團體指破壞市集多元化

  對於新方案,商販的反應並不一致。在嘉咸街經營菜檔超過三十年的陳太 表示,寧願留在現有鋪位經營,亦不願遷到新零售中心。「我請了好多工人,到時不知道環境怎樣,加上市值租金都一定比現在的租金貴,聽講到時存貨位置又要同鋪位分開,走來走去攞貨都好麻煩啦。」

  有魚檔商販表示,會考 慮遷往新零售中心經營。「要看到時租金要幾多,做得過就做,做唔過就唔做囉。」

  另外,中西區關注組發言人羅雅寧認為,新方案由市建局及發展商壟斷市集商鋪業權,破壞市集多元化。該團體今日將向城規會申請修訂西營盤 及上環分區計畫大綱圖,建議將市集規劃成「特別設計區」,限制樓宇高度於十二層以下。
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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #22
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Somewhat appreciate the idea but practically, who would want to shop with construction noise all around? It's probably very dusty as well.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #23
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Rezone Graham Street, say activists
14 August 2008
South China Morning Post

The Urban Renewal Authority's redevelopment project in Graham Street has been challenged by an activist group that has urged town planners to rezone the area as a market street to preserve the area's vibrant and historic bazaar.

To protect the surrounding streetscape of what it terms "Hong Kong's historic Old City", the Central and Western Concern Group also suggests rezoning the adjacent Soho area as a "special design area", with a maximum plot ratio of five and a 12-storey height limit.

In an application submitted to the Town Planning Board this week, the group asked that the authority's office and retail development scheme for Graham and Peel streets be removed, saying it was incompatible with the street market and would overload the saturated street system.

"The community's diverse and multilayered fabric will be difficult to sustain," it said.

It said Graham Street and the surrounding area included sites relating to Sun Yat-sen and his revolutionary movement. These spots should be sensitively zoned and managed to maintain the area's integrity, it suggested.

The market streets would be retained to allow for cooked-food stalls and alfresco dining, while vehicle access would be limited. It criticised the authority's scheme as a "planning blight" that discouraged property owners from taking the initiative to repair their own homes.

An authority spokesman said the proposal was being studied and it would summit comments to the Town Planning Board soon.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #24
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Market stall shuffle at Central site
29 July 2008
The Standard

The Urban Renewal Authority plans to spend an extra HK$200 million to build a two-story wet market in the Graham street redevelopment project in Central.

The idea is to retain characteristics of the original market. But it will mean sacrificing a 100-space car park and the revenue it would generate in addition to trimming the value of the property . It will also extend the development period by up to two years, taking the completion date to 2014 at the earliest.

The arrangement will increase the budget of the project from HK$3.8 billion to HK$4 billion.

Authority chairman Barry Cheung Chun- yuen said yesterday the market is actually outside the boundary of the project but the authority hoped to save the market from further shrinkage.

``Quite a number of old market stalls have been replaced by trendy shops, and the number of hawker stalls is decreasing due to the hawker licensing policy,'' Cheung said.

He said adjustments to the original plan were made after discussions with the conservation advisory panel, which is made up of district councilors, hawkers and residents.

The two-story building could accommodate 16 shops, he added, and the existing 14 wet- provision street stalls would have priority.

He said there would be 300 square meters of storage space, but stall operators would need to rent additional space.

``The additional development cost will be about HK$200 million,'' Cheung said. That will cover the extra expense for the longer redevelopment period of up to 18 to 24 months and relocation of the wet stalls.

He added that he realized returns on the project would be reduced without the sale of parking spaces and the overall value affected. But it was worthwhile to go ahead with the changes.

Cheung said affected shop operators would be allowed to continue operations up to the point of actual demolition.

Also, safety hoardings and protective walls will only be erected on one side of the street at any one time during the construction stage.

Temporary areas within the development area for the wet-provision shops will also be arranged.

The authority will hold a public forum early next month to collect views on the proposal.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 08:56 PM   #25
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #26
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Opinion : Do our old streets need more protection?
27 August 2008
South China Morning Post

The protection of old streets makes sense only if the surrounding buildings - in fact the entire neighbourhood and community - are conserved with care and sensitivity.

The old streets that we enjoy are those with naturally-aged buildings, close-knit communities, vibrant human interaction and an interesting range of activities for us to explore.

Take the Graham Street market as an example. It is the oldest street market in Hong Kong and is extremely vibrant.

The buildings along Graham and Peel streets may be old and in need of a facelift, but the whole environment forms a unique cultural landscape which cannot be found elsewhere in Hong Kong. It is indeed an important part of Hong Kong's original old city.

In one of the Urban Renewal Authority's earlier press statements, it said: "Peel and Graham streets in Central will be revamped to create Hong Kong's first 'old-shop street' resembling historic open markets."

The way that the mechanism works, all the existing old shops and buildings along these streets are to be pulled down.

The entire community will be dispersed, a big podium and four high-rise towers will be built and a new "old-shop street" reinstated.

The authority may say it is protecting the old streets, but do we want "fake" old streets and four towers?

Sadly, this kind of redevelopment logic prevails in our city as we add the names of Graham, Peel, Gutzlaff and Staveley to the list of 300 lost streets, including Lee Tung Street as one of the newly deceased.

Sai Yee Street, commonly known as "Sneaker Street", will soon follow. This destructive trend has to be stopped.

What we need is a more holistic approach in protecting our old neighborhoods.

These delicate areas, like the Graham Street market, should be zoned as heritage areas with a system of planning controls set up to preserve their character.

This includes restrictions on the scale, size, height, style and construction of buildings as well as preservation of urban patterns as defined by lots and streets. An organic regeneration of these areas should be encouraged.

This approach provides incentives for individual owners to renovate their own properties under well-defined guidelines without having the whole area "redeveloped" by a broad-brush demolition and reconstruction approach now adopted by the authority.

Please save what we have today for the sake of our future generations. It is time to stop further destruction of our precious old neighbourhoods.

Katty Law, Central
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Old July 11th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #27
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Opinion : Officials must change the way they look at urban planning
6 September 2008
South China Morning Post

I would like to add a comment to Lee Ho-yin's letter ("We can keep our old streets and still redevelop", September 3) asking that the government, politicians and pressure groups look more carefully into the conservation of all existing urban streets.

True, but it is fundamental change in official thinking about urban planning, heritage conservation and the way we live that is needed.

Over the past 10 years there has been, for example, a planned strategy to increase the concentration of development throughout Kowloon and along Hong Kong Island's harbourfront.

This strategy has hardly been explained nor debated by the public. Who decided that high-rise buildings on the new West Kowloon reclamation area and in the older areas of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hung Hom and Tai Kok Tsui should block views and harbourside air flow? Certainly not the public.

In contrast, the Urban Renewal Authority's planned six-year project to build four large high-rise buildings and a three-level shopping podium on the Graham Street market has seen much media coverage and public debate. Information is a powerful tool. There has consequently been universal and deafening condemnation of a development that will overwhelm this much-loved, practical and historic street market, but - and the public realises this - do nothing to improve the day-to-day life of the average person living in this part of Hong Kong Island.

Government, statutory and big-business structures dealing with urban planning decision-making bamboozle the public and allow little opportunity for outside or clear-headed ideas to be entertained. Being unable to be involved in these decisions is potentially and seriously divisive for a public with heightened expectations of all its decision-makers.

We may have 60 per cent of our population living in public housing, but having no equity in that housing should not - as it has been seen for so long by officials - be equated with having no interest in "the way we live". The public's plummeting approval ratings for the government are and will continue to be proof of this.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #28
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Old July 15th, 2009, 07:49 PM   #29
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Opinion : Hawkers back Graham Street market revamp
11 September 2008
South China Morning Post

John Batten ("Officials must change the way they look at public planning", September 6) is right to say that the Urban Renewal Authority's (URA) Graham Street project has seen much media coverage and public debate. But he neglected the fact that the project is supported by many of the directly-affected residents and stakeholders.

Over the years the URA has been urged to implement the project to improve the living environment of residents.

A majority of the relevant property owners have already taken our offers and the hawkers are generally supportive of our plan to preserve the Graham Street market. As early as 2005, we actively engaged the community and stakeholders in planning for the project through a wide range of consultative activities such as an exhibition, workshop, forum and residents' meetings.

The URA even took the initiative to set up a conservation advisory panel comprising local district council members, residents and hawker representatives, historians and other experts to advise on heritage and hawker-related issues.

As a result of all these consultative efforts a comprehensive plan has been worked out to address the needs of the hawkers and related wet trade shop operators so that they can continue their business during and after the redevelopment process.

We remain open to public views and are willing to undertake the package of measures to revitalise the market even though it will cost us an extra HK$200 million and take 18 to 24 months longer to complete than the usual period of about six years for such projects.

Redevelopment in the district proceeds strictly according to the existing statutory process and regulations.

The project not only helps more than 800 residents living in dilapidated dwellings improve their living condition, but also provides a golden opportunity for us to preserve the market which otherwise may disappear due to natural gentrification as has happened in nearby areas.

Angela Tang, general manager, external relations, Urban Renewal Authority
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Old July 24th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #30
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Opinion : Behind the URA's smokescreen on damaging Graham Street
15 September 2008
South China Morning Post

I refer to the letter by the Urban Renewal Authority's (URA) Angela Tang ("Hawkers back Graham Street market revamp", September 11).

I wish to make this very clear: what the URA is actually doing in the Graham/Peel streets area is building two residential towers, each more than 30 storeys high on a four-level podium. They will have a total of 293 flats, one 26-storey hotel above a four-level podium with 182 guestrooms, and a 33-storey office tower above a four-level podium with a plot ratio of 15. This is what everyone should visualise, and what will put our street market, if any of it is left, in a shadow in a few years' time.

The URA apparently wants to use a smokescreen, talking about "revitalising" the market while dancing around the issue of development intensity. However, clear-headed members of the public have not been fooled. In a forum organised by the URA on August 7, the majority of the attendees - including planners, architects and nearby residents - rejected this gargantuan development.

Some correctly said such insensitive redevelopment would damage the environment of this pleasant, low-rise buffer zone between the Central business district and uphill residential area.

The URA has set up a "conservation advisory panel" to look at heritage and hawker-related matters. But nothing close to a heritage impact assessment or social impact assessment has ever been produced and made available for public comment. The URA can never justify how it can erase old streets, pull down old buildings, build big towers and still maintain the heritage of our century-old street market.

Experience from other world-class cities tells us that such a heritage area should never be redeveloped in this manner. It needs tender loving care by the government and the community to gradually and organically regenerate the delicate environment, rebuilding when necessary - but subject to a well-defined heritage protection policy and planning control. The URA's redevelopment is out of step with current conservation ideals.

We need a change in the government mindset: our neighbourhood is in the utmost danger.

Katty Law, Central
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Old August 9th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #31
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By chunwan from dchome :









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Old August 17th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #32
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Opinion : Tower blocks will overwhelm street market
18 September 2008
South China Morning Post

Angela Tang, of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) misses the point ("Hawkers back Graham Street market revamp", September 11) of my own letter about decision-makers failing to come to grips with urban planning and the way we live in Hong Kong ("Officials must change the way they look at public planning", September 6).

The public knows the link between tall buildings, the road canyons they create, the air pollution trapped at ground level, the air we breathe and its respiratory consequences. It also knows of the detrimental effects of high-rise living, lack of green open space, traffic congestion and pavement crowding that the nearby Graham Street public and those in Central and Mid-Levels must endure.

The URA market redevelopment plans of four bulky high-rise tower blocks, a three-level shopping podium and a construction period of more than six years will overwhelm the hawkers, the historic street market and the available road and pedestrian infrastructure - and destroy Hong Kong's oldest street market.

This is a place the public can call and use as its own precisely because a street market is a special egalitarian space open to all and not competing with sectional interests, for example, the security guards that you may find in, say, Times Square.

Shoppers, residents from adjacent areas and further uphill and people working in Central, visit, shop and use the present market and can see the sun because it is predominantly a low-rise area. And they have the freedom to walk on four totally pedestrian streets (Peel, Graham, Staveley and Gutzlaff) and partially pedestrianised Gage Street. All these people, although they are not themselves hawkers or residents in the URA redevelopment area, are also stakeholders in this project.

There are countless examples of bad urban planning in Hong Kong and the proposed Graham Street market redevelopment is one. The new political reality is that bad urban planning and all its adverse consequences are fundamental issues and because of them, the public will judge our decision-makers.

We want something a lot better than the sad, hackneyed, destructive models that URA officials, but not other people, think is good urban planning.

John Batten, Sheung Wan
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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #33
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Resveratrol

Really a educative and informative post, the post is good in all regards,I am glad to read this post.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 03:14 AM   #34
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After two years of public consultation and community engagement exercises, the URA has drafted a Master Layout Plan for the project and submitted it to the Town Planning Board in late January this year for consideration.
2. Consultation process in project planning

The URA attaches much importance to the project which is sited at a busy location and full of interesting historical features.


Over the past two years, a bottom-up approach has been adopted to solicit community views on the way forward for the project. These included:
- commissioning a survey team of the HKU in 2005 to survey public views and aspirations on the project;

- briefing the Central & Western District Council on the initial design concept of the project in early 2006;

- Holding an exhibition survey in June 2006;

- Holding a community workshop together with the Central & Western District Council on 24 June 2006;

- commissioning a survey team of the HKU in June and July of 2006 to solicit public views at the exhibition and the workshop; and

- consulting the Central & Western DC on the layout plan in October 2006 which passed a resolution asking the URA to submit the MLP to TPB for consideration.

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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:29 AM   #35
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Celebrating Graham Street before it changes
16 November 2008
South China Morning Post

A street festival featuring arts performances and cultural tours opened yesterday near the hip area of SoHo in Central, aimed at drumming up support for the preservation of a historic market and its neighbourhood.

The Graham Street Market Festival, organised by the Central and Western Concern Group, is intended to raise public awareness on the redevelopment plans for the area.

John Batten, convenor of the conservationist group, hoped that with increased awareness would come greater pressure on the government to make concessions in its redevelopment plans.

Conservationist groups have long been battling the Urban Renewal Authority over its plans to redevelop the 160-year-old Graham Street open market. The group has urged town planners to rezone the area as a market street to preserve its vibrant and historic bazaar. Mr Batten said that although the Town Planning Board had already approved the authority's redevelopment plans last year and the authority had made some changes to include a market area, he hoped that increased public pressure would ensure that the new buildings would not be high rise.

The group had earlier suggested a 12-storey height limit.

Mr Batten said that the group already had more than 12,000 letters of support. "Realistically, things will only change if the government interferes," he said. "This is an ongoing campaign and we hope to force the change."

The festival, which is in its second year, opened at 3pm yesterday at Gage Street with the distribution of a map of Graham Street market to the public. It was followed by a forum featuring discussions involving architects, planners and activists on urban planning and renewal. A short film about the market stallholders called Graham Darlings was shown.

The festival also featured magicians, acrobats, performances by students from the University of Hong Kong, a flea market and cultural tours.

A flea market at the Hoi Wan Cafe on Gage Street will open at 2pm today and a guided cultural tour, which requires pre-registration, will occur this afternoon. The festival ends on Saturday.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #36
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Opinion : Renewal strategy is misguided
22 November 2008
South China Morning Post

Renewal strategy is misguided

I refer to the article by Urban Renewal Authority (URA) chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen ("The need for a sensible balance in urban renewal", November 18).

One should not confuse urban renewal with a welfare policy. If the latter aims to help people with the greatest needs, the URA has definitely failed the poorest districts of Hong Kong.

The areas it has earmarked for redevelopment are largely those with high development potential, such as Graham Street in Central, Staunton Street in SoHo, or "Wedding Card" [Lee Tung] Street in Wan Chai. These areas could have been regenerated without URA intervention. Very poor people who live in bad conditions in faraway districts with little development potential have not been helped by the URA.

Some buildings in URA-designated renewal areas may be dilapidated, but it is in fact "forced dilapidation" caused by the announcement of urban renewal for the area years ago. Building owners are not willing to pay for refurbishment, anticipating that the URA will one day take away their flats.

Sometimes these flats fall into the hands of investors. Some blocks in Graham Street, for instance, have a single owner and they have more bargaining power to negotiate with the URA to get better compensation. So the URA spends vast sums compensating these investors while small owners are left comparatively worse off in compensation.

Some old couples I know in Graham Street have not been able to buy similar flats in the area with URA compensation and must move to the New Territories.

The Urban Renewal Strategy is indeed very problematic as the URA, since its inception seven years ago, has created numerous problems in the districts that it tried to redevelop - the destruction of community networks (for example, Lee Tung Street), the obliteration of historic areas (Graham Street market) the insensitive construction of high-rise towers in already overcrowded areas. All this damage is sustained using public money.

We need an overhaul of the entire system and public money should be better spent. We must clearly identify the needs of our society and have a more holistic vision of how our urban areas should move forward.

As I said, good urban planning should not be confused with a so-called welfare programme, which is what is happening with the URA.

Katty Law, Central
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Old October 14th, 2009, 11:26 AM   #37
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Florist in land row loses her shop
29 September 2009
South China Morning Post

A flower shop in Graham Street was demolished yesterday, but the tenant will not receive any compensation because she had been unaware that she was paying rent for a piece of illegally occupied government land.

The flower shop, on the footpath next to the Wing Woo grocery shop at the intersection of Graham and Wellington streets, had its last morning of business before it was dismantled in a joint operation by the Buildings Department, Lands Department, and Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

A Lands Department spokeswoman said it did not plan to follow up on who charged the shop owner rent illegally because it was a "personal dispute". Under the Land (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance, there was nothing the department could do in such a scenario, she said.

Tenant May Ng, in her 40s, said she had not known the shop was on government land until Urban Renewal Authority staff told her in May last year that she was not eligible for redevelopment compensation.

Because of her illegal occupation of government land, the Lands Department told Ng early last month that if she did not close the shop by last Friday the department would demolish it on September 28.

Ng, the breadwinner of her family, tried defending her shop yesterday before yielding to government officers in the afternoon. Stock was left outside the closed door of the grocery shop, in the rain.

"The government departments do not show any sympathy," Ng said. "They didn't give me enough time. It's impossible for me to find a place to move into in just a month."

She opened the store in September 2006 and said she had paid more than HK$100,000 rent to a middleman - a vegetable hawker who worked opposite her. After noticing she was not paying the legitimate landowner, Ng stopped handing over the rent.

It remains unclear whether the Wing Woo shop, which operated for more than 80 years before it closed in January, had any part in the row. The grocery store's owner, Kwan Moon-chiu, refused to tell the Urban Renewal Authority whether it had accepted any of the rent.

Ng said she would like to claim her rent back through the courts, but that she lacked legal knowledge. She said she would move the remaining stock, mainly orchids and pots, to a field in Tuen Mun. But she had yet to find a place to reopen her shop.

An authority spokesman said it was not in a position to take any action because the shop was on government land and was not within its redevelopment area.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #38
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By wongkin from dchome :

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old December 11th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #39
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Closed shops in Graham Street Market: the Urban Renewal Authority is slowly killing Hong Kong's oldest and most historic street market (Photo: Stanley Ng)
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Old August 6th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #40
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Tastes of old Hong Kong
JAMES WEBB ventures out of the former British colony's modern air-conditioned shopping malls in search of the authentic side of the intoxicating city
20 June 2010
The Express on Sunday

THE DAY after I left Hong Kong a sandstorm blew in from China, ruining the air quality and generating warnings for tourists to stay indoors. The irony made me smile, as part of the problem with modern Hong Kong is that visitors can spend most of their time undercover, moving from mall to mall via covered walkways and the metro.

In the two decades since I started visiting the former British colony, icons such as the Mandarin Oriental Hotel have been gradually hemmed in by the retail meccas.

Most of the malls are gathered in the main shopping districts in Hong Kong. It would be easy to assume, if you spent all your time in Hong Kong Island's Central district or Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui, linked across the harbour by the famous Star Ferry, that very little of the old city remains. It does.

To get a feel for a less sanitised Hong Kong, catch one of the ludicrously narrow vintage trams to the Sheung Wan district and alight at the Western Market, a listed Edwardian building, alas no longer home to a food market but mainly fabric shops.

From here, head south along Possession Street, where the Union Jack was planted in 1841 to annexe the island and inhale as you pass supermarkets. you'll smell ginseng, salty fish and essence of birds' nest soup, rather refreshing after eau-de-air-conditioning.

Eventually, you'll reach Hollywood Road, famous for its antique shops but now rapidly developing a vibe similar to that of London's Shoreditch as artists take root among the tenements.

ART ATTACK

The hip Cat Street Gallery (222 Hollywood Road) is currently showcasing the very colourful contemporary art by Londoners Rob and Nick Carter until July 31.

Running off it at No 4 Po yan is equally trendy arts organisation Para/Site. a few houses along at No 2 is Lomography, which specialises in the eponymous cheap cameras that are beloved by rock stars. My favourite place to shop is Sin Sin (52 Sai St), a pair of elegant boutiques/art galleries facing each other on a run-down road. They sell lovely, albeit pricey, jewellery you won't find at home.

ANTIQUES AND FORTUNE-TELLERS

Back on Hollywood Road, the antiques come thick and fast. you can, if you wish, bargain-hunt among the tat on Cat Street (aka Upper Lascar Row), although I have always found it to be somewhat disappointing.

Carry on walking along to the atmospheric, incense-dense Man Mo Temple, dedicated to the twin deities of war and literature. The ceiling is covered in enormous pyramidal spirals of incense (watch out for falling ash) and the fortune-teller speaks English. Eighteen years ago he told me my first child would be a "masculine child". Two lovely daughters later, a boy finally came along.

OODLES OF NOODLES

The next stop is an indicator of creeping gentrification. Classified (108 Hollywood Road) is a rarity in Hong Kong, a cheese and wine deli and café (the Chinese aren't fond of dairy). Eat in and you can sit around a large communal table surrounded by wine bottles.

It has a sister restaurant, The Press Room (also at 108 Hollywood Road), a chic Frenchstyle bistro, named after the area's historic links with the printing industry, that serves traditional dishes such as steak frites.

For something less European, cross to Jervois Street and try Wing Hop Shing's (115 Jervois St), which offers quick-fix baked rice dishes, including its delicious signature clay pot rice with wonderful marinated beef and topped with a raw egg.

Thread your way back to Central along Bonham Strand and Wellington Street, where you will find mahjong shops and places making traditional seals. Here stroll the Graham Street food market, with its medicinal herb stores and, just under the raised escalators at Stanley Street, a group of the last dai pai dongs in the city.

These open-air food stalls are now a threatened species, with licences only allowed to pass on within the family. as less young people want to carry on the tradition, there are only 28 left in Hong Kong and Kowloon.

Finish off at an authentic drinks stall with a local beverage called yin-yang, a mixture of coffee and red tea that is as odd as it sounds.

THE BIG SLEEP

The Central Park Hotel (dialling from the UK 00 852 2850 8899/www.centralparkhotel.com.hk) offers doubles from £75 per night (two sharing), B&B. It maintains a nice boutique feel, despite its 142 rooms.

Still on Hong Kong island but to the east of Sheung Wan, The Cosmopolitan (852 3552 1111/ www.cosmopolitanhotel.com.hk) offers doubles from £63 per night (two sharing), B&B. It is slightly further away but has charming, friendly service and its shuttle buses run all over town.

GETTING THERE: Kuoni (01306 747 002/www.kuoni.co.uk) offers seven nights at the Mandarin Oriental from £1,788pp (two sharing), room only. Price includes Virgin Atlantic flights from Heathrow and transfers. Hong Kong Tourism Board: www.discoverhongkong.com

STREET SCENE: find a bargain at a Hollywood Road market TIGHT SQUEEZE: Travel on one of the narrow vintage double-decker trams for a visit to the older parts of the city
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