Hong Kong Dispatches: End of Days

Okay folks, my time in Hong Kong is winding down. Yesterday was my last full day of shooting, so I decided to hit the most touristy part of Hong Kong. I made the journey up the mountain on the Peak Tram to have a look at the Hong Kong skyline. I have to say, I was surprised how much fun I had enduring the relentless trinket shops and watching as multitudes of nationalities lined up to snap themselves in front of the world renowned view. It was well worth the effort, and I ended up spending about three hours on top. After my descent I made my way back through Central, made an odd snap or two, then headed to the Foreign Correspondents Club with David McIntyre, a local photographer and someone I’ve known since 1993. When I walked in the door I said to myself, “I know I’m going to know someone here.” Five minutes later who should come walking along but David Hume Kennerly, LA-based photographer and winner of the Pulitzer prize…among his many accolades. We were able to hang out, have a drink and talk about…..Hong Kong.

So, the contest is now down to a vote. Then entire voting process is new to me, but it is raging as we speak. If you fancy a vote for me, have a look here. CATHAY PACIFIC VOTE HERE

MP_Hong_Kong_Dispatches_End_of_Days from Smogranch on Vimeo.

Hong Kong Dispatches: Day Seven

Yesterday was a day or semi-relaxation, spending time with local friends and watching as the sky opened and flooded the Hong Kong streets. The real rain starts in June, but this was a nice sample of what is to come. Central Hong Kong was closed down as the streets filled with groups of Filipino women who sat playing cards, eating, etc. I slowly made my way through the streets, shooting the occasional portrait, but mostly just taking things in. The rains came in the afternoon so we ducked into a cafe and had drinks while the skies opened up. Dinner with friends.

MP_Hong_Kong_Day_Seven from Smogranch on Vimeo.

Hong Kong Dispatches: Day……

Another day, another dollar. Yesterday was another day of long walks, searching and trying to find a way deeper into Hong Kong. I had two specific things in mind. First, a visit to Chungking Mansion and then a follow up visit to the Islamic Center near Kowloon Park. It might seem odd for me to venture to the mosque, but there is a method to my madness. Years ago I did a project about Islam in America, but it had been years since I’d really spent any time in a mosque. I simply wanted to see what a Hong Kong mosque was like. My second goal was to see what the harbor area looked like on a weekend, and finally I was planning a walk through the Kennedy Town area of Hong Kong. Western District and Kennedy Town seemed like they held a little residue of the old Hong Kong.

MP_Hong_Kong_Dispatches_Day_6 from Smogranch on Vimeo.

Hong Kong Day One

After fifteen hours and twenty-six minutes in the air, or perhaps a bit more, I’m officially in Hong Kong. At the moment, as you can see by this first image, I’m not quite in Hong Kong, but still on the edges near the airport where we will be camped for the next few days.

It’s been fifteen years since I’ve been here, and I realize I don’t remember a thing.

Like I expected I would, I woke first at 1:30AM, then again at 3AM, 4AM, 5AM and then finally decided to go have a look around before I lost my mind. Not much open in these parts at that time, but I made what I could. Our hotel is in the Cathay City area of the airport, which is basically an entire area comprised solely of Cathay Pacific…stuff. Offices, flight simulation, hotel, etc. Tells you the size of the operation. Lots of concrete and a blue/yellow haze of early morning fog.

What’s interesting is the minute you step outside the hotel you begin to feel the climate, which is a blend of just a hint of cool with the smell and sound of the tropics. Bird calls, mountain tops and industry all saddled up right next to one another.


Okay, back in my room and this WordPress blog is not feeling well. I can only post one image per post for some reason. And, I know as much about writing code as I do about how to compete in a chainsaw cutting contest which happens to be what is on the television in my room. When did lumberjacking become so popular in Asia? Really? Is this our best export? Please Asia, don’t think Americans run around with chainsaw dreams. But wait, do professional chainsaw competitors have groupies? Man, I don’t even want to think about that….

Anyhow, back to the point at hand, Hong Kong. In short, if you haven’t been here, it’s an international city. It’s more European than American, so think London not New York. Londoners are a rare breed, uncompromising in their view of Mother London, but they are quick to offer praise to the Pearl that is Hong Kong.

As for me, yet to really dive in. That happens tomorrow when the “competition” part of my trip begins and ends, at least in the physical sense. My plan you ask??? I don’t have one. In essence my plan was to not plan. I’ve found in the past, on remote, foreign outings, my plan was usually tossed out minutes after setting food in country, and the most interesting things I found, and brought back, were those found through human connection and from my soles walking the streets.

Now, before me, sits a horrid tangle of cables, all plugged into the same borrowed power strip. I’ve got two phones charging, one in Chinese, a computer, two camera batteries and just for the heck of it I might plug in the hair dryer just to see what happens. Hey, it’s not my hotel!

Okay, I was going to keep writing but the lumberjacking contest on TV now has two women log rolling and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite so amazing. I must go.