Whiz around Paris and ponder on liberty

Parisians take their liberté seriously!  There is of course the history of their nation and the Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen of 1789 being considered one of the most important documents that have shaped the world in terms of the idea of freedom for all mankind, and having in part Read more

Stormy travels into July: the “disappearing” city that needs a rainbow

July is almost upon us: ’tis the season for strawberries, summer operas, fashion shows, and  Wimbledon is back after last year’s unprecedented hiatus.  But in Hong Kong, the weather is stormy, the mood is grey, the summer local fruit is more lychee than strawberry (and yes some lychees are grown locally … you may even find Read more

Now is the month of Maying: walking, cycling, secret gardens, and velo being an anagram of love …

Many of our friends around the world – perhaps the luckier ones – are spending the month of May on vaccinations and the related worrying. Our Parisien friends in the meantime have been getting onto their bikes (or “vélos”). The talk-of-the-town in recent months have been about vélo – the French word for bikes – being Read more

Rethinking cities #3 – the daily commute part II: Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong

IV. Beijingers and Tokyoites: walkers  Despite the low cycling statistics for two of the most famous cities, Paris and London, all is not lost.  There are other noteworthy trends and possibilities, including an ultra-high 46% walking modal share for Paris and almost 30% for London, according to Deloitte’s City Mobility Index.  In fact, we find Read more

Rethinking cities #1: Ommmm in Paris, the 15-minute commute in Milan, and Amsterdam in a doughnut

As cities are coming back to life with summer drawing to a close and Covid restrictions relaxing …we urbanites and city-dwellers are looking forward to some of the magic that cities offer … chance meetings in the street, lazing at kerb-side cafe tables looking into the streetscape, accidental tableside conversations that spark an idea, chit-chats Read more

Island tales #2: East meets West in beautiful beachscapes, remote villages, church ruins and Hakka clans

One of the most astounding things about this ultra-urban city of Hong Kong is that there are still some tiny and remote villages that are not accessible by vehicles, are mainly populated by village houses, and rather untouched by urbanism, and many of these are in Sai Kung, a large area in the Northeastern part Read more