A Paradise (Throw Away the Rulebook)

Photography

Ever wonder what a park would be in your dream? I never, until I walked into one. And I very much wish to share with you after seeing people in groups were:

playing board games
sun tanning
having a picnic
chatting/laughing
Napping
group of kids chasing/screaming
couples kissing/hugging
shooting group photograph
appreciating rare flowers (sakura)
playing music with guitar
playing frisbee
playing soap bubbles
riding bikes
riding kick scooters
riding rollerblades

This may sound very natural on your side of world. But here, it’s a very unique scene when all these were actually happening in one place. What’s even more amazing is the traffic/skyscraper-free backdrop.

The majority of parks in Hong Kong were created and managed by the Leisure and Cultural Department. Most of them were created with the think-inside-a-box or stick-with-the-rules type of design. Really if a park is managed by rules that people do not even want, would people love that? It supposed to be the best place to social and relax. They’ve created parks that tell you what you can’t do, just like a rulebook so everyone needs to follow. Frak that, really.. can we?

The park system is one fine example of the difference between international schools and local schools. Kids come out of these schools are just two different breed even if they were raised similarly at home (well there’s the tuition but that’s not my point). Rules absolutely hinder and limit the scope of development. We need rules to govern, but not to design parks around the rules.

It’s not my first time visiting the Inspiration Lake near Sunny Bay. I’d been there a couple times until last time I had realized another example why government branches are so dysfunctional with the old-fashioned thinking. Do they ever question themselves – why not?

The size – The artificial lake (12 hectares) and park (30 hectares) created by Disneyland. It’s opened to the public without any admission fee. Imagine what’s it like in a golf course, it’s got a paved trail for walking/jogging. On the sides around it and the lake are the accessible lawn. The lake also has a boat centre where you could go for something more adventurous. It’s much larger than the Victoria Park that’s supposed to be the biggest city park (where people usually gather for protest/march). Hong Kong people just wish to enjoy as much open space as possible and this is the answer.

The design – I do not know if there’s such thing as landscape architecture in Hong Kong. Maybe you think Hong Kong is just too small to have something that’s supposed to be large in scale? Wrong. They’re there for a reason, they create space for you just like what indoor architecture do but with a much concentrated field. My dad easily observed and pointed out at the Inspiration Lake that the lawn area were smartly designed with hills and valleys. It’s to create more visual depth, space and area out of a fixed area. The entire park was literally barrier free. Plenty of huge trees were planted to provide a large cool shade.

The surrounding – The scenic view is one of a kind in Hong Kong. All you see is the sky and a mountain covered with greens. No more skyscrapers, residential estates, traffic, or any kind of development. What a beauty! Even the air you breath in would feel a lot fresher.

In the weekends visitors (friends, couples, families) would flock to the Inspiration Lake for quality outdoor time. All I saw was the happy faces, laughters, joyful atmosphere just like how I’d picture a paradise.

There’s something about this park that just makes it the most ideal park to be. Most of the government parks would just prohibit you from doing this and that, if you do security would come ruin your day. This might just the only place with less of the metal and concrete, more woods and greens, and facility friendly park. And boy, I just love lakes!

Park - Nature at its best
Park - Full of Smile and Happiness
Urban - fluorescent light and elevators
City - Full of little geeks

On and Done

Photography

It came to me that the heat and laziness (the most part) are setting more road blocks to my photography. I get reasonably tanned from my 20 mins jog after lunch. At least I’m still jogging to stay healthier really. And then there’s the World Cup Brazil 2014 going on, I like cheering on the teams I support in front of my TV on mid-nights. But then the TV network (the one and only free one) broadcasts only 22 games out of 64. A worldwide sports event, not so for the poorer crowd here. That all sums up to fewer and fewer of workable images also raised my concern since my last couple of weeks (posts) already. It’s a major set back, but I still think that it’s a very good experience to actually deal with something I will encounter down the road.

I’m human after all, I just want to live my life easier during this hot summer. To casually slip out a phone out of a pocket, camera app with no-brainer auto mode, a few touches and swipes, it’s on and done. The rest is history. Knowing with heart and patience, every photographs counts no matter how it’s shot with, what it’s shot with. I’m still living my life, experiencing in the city; only in a slightly different way.

Soccer Babies
Dogs
Old Block
shifted
Hat
Models
Garbage
Kiss her
Vending Machine
Soccer practice

Missing Link

Mobile Phone, Photography

Before I knew about the world of music almost 20 years ago, It was the StarTV’s Channel V and occassional MTV programs that fascinated me and critically influenced my music selection and tastes of what I pick. It was not Metallica, not Nirvana, not Mariah Carey I looked up to. It was those boy groups Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, 911 that got me hooked to music. Until later, I frequently stopped by the record stores (KPS – closed for good) nearby after school. I remember precisely there was one weekend I was at the HMV store, back then it was in the Alexsandra House, Central. The store was playing the MV of Natalie Imbruglia’s debut hit song ‘Torn’. That’s it! It was that album I bought and listened to days and nights, followed her every piece of news thousand miles from where she’s at. Since then I dropped by HMV whenever i could, I was immersed into all the music on the sample players. I even bought an acoustic guitar just to learn a few songs from the new music I listened to. Later, I started listened to more rock and heavier music, even the nu-metal. I used to exchange names of bands we listen to in schools too, just so few of my classmates had heard those heavy stuff. Most of them, even now the kids these days enjoy the canto-pop more than the western music. That how I spent my time back then.

It’s amazing the HMV is still in business with iTunes at our fingertips. I’ve only bought bluRay movies and a few earplugs from them as to support. Music CDs? Really who needs them. Not until my recent visit to there again, but this time I was there really just to hang out. I was clearly wrong about the idea of ‘who needs a store that sell CDs’. I picked up the exact point why I dropped by the HMV when I was a teenager, it was to discover. I re-lived my teenage memory. I discovered new music, an album that I would not care to sample at home even so convenient.

It got me thinking what’s missing the whole time. I got disconnected from the world through music. I forgot the hype and satisfaction to discover music. Besides, the youtube, where else can I watch an artist/band’s music video? The public (free) TV channels are clearly not providing enough, don’t even think about seeing a MV, there’s just not a VJ hosting a music program. I grew up watching the last few years of Jordan’s Bulls career on the free TV, a live ball game. Now where the hell is my favorite NBA games showing? Where do I get my dose of sports excitement at? Perhaps only to those who got subscripted network channels. Forget it then.

We all think the internet has it all, music from iTunes, friendship from Facebook, books from Amazon.
We all seem to be connected, are we?
The world sees you
White and Black
Skeleton
Bottom
Down
Railway to the past
ChicLane of the present
Look back
Mustache