Friday, April 22, 2005

Hong Kong, China


I arrived in Hong Kong expecting to walk into an urban forest; the Hong Kong as seen and photographed by Michael Wolf, a modern city planted on an island but stretching up into the clouds.

I was used to the density of New york city but that didnt fully prepare me for the density of Hong Kong. Parts of Hong Kong manage to be the most densely populated areas on the planet. You can feel this for example even in Kowloon as you squeeze into the top of a double-decker bus, your face nearly against the window. Another double-decker bus goes by and you could reach out your hand and touch it if you dared. Below you, the buses are moving forward like boats, navigating through the sea of people on the street. The bus is filled mainly with Chinese, with older women and their shopping bags, older men reading their newspapers and racing forms (this is a theme in Hong Kong; Dim sum places have a special stand under the table to accomodate newspapers and racing forms), young women heading to their retail jobs and the occasional ex-pat, usually British or French. As you approach an intersection and look down the other streets you get an effect like a hall of mirrors as you see the same scene, the buses and the waves of people, in street after street replicated endlessly.

No comments: