In search of spring flowers #1: Hong Kong’s spider tree blossoms

We love the “oo-ing” and “ah-ing” we somehow allow ourselves to do when we see beautiful light pink blossoms in the midst of an urban cityscape – cherry blossoms in Tokyo, roses in Paris (“the roses in Paris are worth waiting for”) – and doing a pink-flower-and-scent-walk using our secret gardens in Paris map is 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

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

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

Keep calm and learn some history: portrait of a city under siege

[An early April update: Hong Kong Museum of Art has opened up some of its multimedia collections online in its virtually@HKMoA initiative while the museum is itself still closed to public access.] We at Madeleine’s have been spending time in a city where there is definitely a siege-like feel: shops have shorter hours, office-workers are working Read more

Urban re-inventions #1: Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun hits its 1.5-year-old mark

We at Madeleine’s recently had the opportunity to do a “revisit” to a big urban renewal and revitalisation project: Tai Kwun, which celebrates its second Christmas (and hits the first-year-and-a-half anniversary of its opening). This is a complex sitting almost in the middle of Central, just 100 steps up the hill from Queens Road Central Read more