My earliest memories of Hong Kong were with my mom and my sister doing retail therapy–shopping in Giordano, Bossini, G2000, etc. and feeling super cool that I had all these (unknowingly) mainstream brands in my closet. It was the 90s and normcore was all the rage, it didn’t have a name back then, it was just what everyone wore. My mom was relentless in making sure we saw and ate everything she thought two kids would love, making us walk for hours without seeming tired. I remember giving up a couple of times and sitting outside a building only to be told, to my dismay, by the guard it wasn’t allowed. I always went home elated with all the goods I, or rather, my parents so generously gifted me.
For many years, that was the Hong Kong in my mind. Huge malls, night markets, outlets, aching legs and arms, heavy plastic bags and yummy dimsum. Fast forward to my 20s and it was all about clubbing. Shopping was no longer that big a priority–maybe because I was spending my own money!–and was replaced by the insistent urge to be part of the city’s seemingly alluring nightlife. And a part of that I was, along with my best girlfriends traipsed around Lan Kwai Fong, et al ’till the wee hours and ending it with a spicy hotdog and soda before saying goodnight.
Now in my 30s, I wanted to see another kind of HK. Less mainstream, more local with a lot of attitude. I’m extremely lucky to have one of my dearest friends Marah as tour guide, having lived in the city close to a decade. She met her husband there and together they teach yoga and dance to a steady and devoted following. So days before I left home she emailed me the indie, underground hotspots to see and visit. She assured, “this is where the locals go.” That got me really psyched. I was craving this experience and eager to road test my new toy. Here are snapshots I took with my new camera (rookie levels!) as I strolled through the quaint streets bursting with personality–inside the shops and out. I shot everything except Yardbird, mainly because it was nighttime and I was so excited to eat. It was that good. Hope you like them!