I Love Hong Kong: Wan Chai

I’ve been missing out on something, something with a whole lot of potential: Hong Kong! So many times I find an interesting wall and then use that as my backdrop. Well, there’s so much more to this city than it’s cool, grungy walls. For this reason, I’m starting a new series today called “I love Hong Kong”–which is so completely true. Pretty much every weekend we venture out into the city, and I always dress up, so I’ve decided to share the neighborhoods I love in this great, bustling, and actually very tiny island city.

My “I Love Hong Kong” series starts with a neighborhood called Wan Chai. Historically it was known as the spot for the sailors to go to when they came to port. Sadly a red light district still exists, but it’s easy to avoid that area. An extremely great book to detail this part of Hong Kong is a story called The World of Suzie Wong by Richard Mason.

Basically there’s this very busy street called Queen’s Road that runs through the northern part of the island. When you’re on Queen’s Road East you can pretty much head north toward the waterfront onto any one of the alleys and find bustling markets and funky store fronts. Now that the neighborhood has experienced gentrification in multiple places, the café, restaurant, and bar options are super fun to explore. The tram runs through Wan Chai, and there’s an MTR stop as well. It’s one of our favorite neighborhoods to explore because there’s something always new–or often quite old, to stumble upon.

This bamboo…it’s actually scaffolding. Yes, the Hong Kongers use bamboo that scales stories and stories upward into the sky, and the bamboo creates the scaffolding. Next time I’m out and about, I’ll make sure to take a building covered in scaffolding.

Yes, sequin mini skirts are great for New Years Eve, but in my opinion they’re also great for Saturdays around the town. Why not! I feel like life, even little daily, mundane Saturdays can be elevated with a little sparkle. I don’t relegate my sequin options to special events. Rather, I like to make a day strolling out and about in the city a special day. Why not make the best of the best, right?!

By chance we have found our optical store in Wan Chai. They are the sweetest folks in this little store. Part of this past Saturday’s venture was to get my prescription updated. Awww, I can see again! I’ve been needing to purchase new contacts, and the world is now visible to me again–thanks to the gentlemen at Wing Kwong Optical (Shop IC, G/F, Newman House; 35-45 Johnston Road; Wan Chai, Hong Kong).

I’m always happy touring around with Gigi!

I love Hong Kong!
Shall I continue with more posts like this highlighting the city I call home?

Ladies’ Date Night: Iyara, Ted’s Lookout, and Beef & Liberty

The end of the school year is always packed with all sorts of busy-ness! Goodbyes, celebrations, and festivities centered around finishing the school year are booked solid. I have such a great library team: Maureen, Amy, Laura and I work so well together. To celebrate the ends of our year, we had a ladies’ date night around Star Street in Wan Chai. First we went for pedicures together, then to a fun bar for a pre-dinner drink, and finally ate our meal at an awesome new burger joint in Hong Kong. (We were missing one of our team members, but she was their in heart.)
iyaraWe started off our date at Iyara. There are several branches; we went to the one in Wan Chai. It’s so perfectly perched along this alleyway stairwell. It’s cozy with plenty of greenery to set the necessary spa vibe. Plus, the beautiful spa smells of lemongrass diffusers spill out into the entire space. My pedicure from Tora was very good. I will definitely go back!
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With freshly painted toes and time before our dinner booking, we went to Ted’s Lookout just a few alley ways from Iyara. The entire neighborhood around Star Street is strewn with little shops and cafés–we stopped a few times but managed to avoid any purchases. Then, at the dead end of one more alley way is Ted’s Lookout. It’s the perfect little bar, and even though you are basically sitting outside, they mangage to keep you cool with some serious air conditioning. All the drinks were refreshing and hit the bill as we chatted about our upcoming summers.
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For dinner, we made it to Beef & Liberty–a new and long awaited establishment on Star Street. First, a word of warning: be prepared for some indulgent food. One major highlight from the meal was the sweet potato fries. Oh my! They’re good. The burgers–what they are known for–are of course also very delicious. The bacon cheeseburger actually came with bacon jam! I had never heard of such a thing. Also, I am realizing the perks of dining with my good friend Amy: the waiters know her and therefor treat her right. The cookies ‘n cream was on the house!

I have such fun with my team. I wonder what we’ll get up to at the start of the next school year in August of 2014….

Mee & Gee, Wan Chai HK

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I gave directions to Me & George a few weeks back. There’s more to this franchise–well, I can’t claim that it’s a franchise, but I do know there are three Mee & Gee type stores: the one in Central, this one in Wan Chai, and yet another for me to discover in Mon Kok. This branch, titled Mee & Gee, is my favorite of the two. While the quantity and prices of the second hand clothing remain the same in both these shops, I venture to say the quality at this branch seems better. Also, the best part about this shop is the two ladies working there; they are so sweet and nice to everyone who comes in–plus, they’ll always give you a little extra off. Their friendliness puts this shop at the top for me. Plus, I first stumbled upon it with my niece Elle where we picked up our tulle ballet skirts! (Eek, since then I’ve picked up two more–enough!)

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