Too much "Traffic" !

Night street in Wuhan
After a long day's work, walking from site to my hotel, basically hungry and tired, a hot shower was what I had in my mind. While crossing a bridge, a night breeze woke me up and I was attracted by the tranquil of this view.......I stopped and stayed for a while.....

Wuhan, a city in China that you may say it's trying to develop as the third or even second line commercial city right after Beijing and Shanghai. But same as other cities like Chongqing, there is always a modern corner with a rural or undeveloped street just right next to it. I hate this feeling, it seems some one or some place are being abandoned and sacrified. So, when I was visiting China more frequently, the urban dress up becomes out of my interest.

But, I've remember the night when I was there, I was being attracted again......no huge signage, minimum neon light; a great portion of sky, concrete street path and buildings; no shopping mall but small local shops, passengers are walking in slow rhythm......a corner of tranquil !

Design can bring joy & added values to human life, but can also destroy our treasure when they are overdone......something that have already exist with us in million years ago. Could we bring the tranquil back to Mongkok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay in Hong Kong?
Or...... leave it , let them "melt" into all those "neon trap" and just regret!


East meet West?

Chinese shop door with American Express tag
East meet West? nothing new! but rarely match, exactly the same feeling as, when I saw this "closed" signage of "America Express" hung onto a very traditional Chinese bi-fold doors in Beijing.

Like "Starbucks in the Forbidden City", although we love coffee very much, it's still awkward to see a western culture located inside a 101% Chinese architecture......is this what we think?

Is it a matter of design issue? historical reason? or cultural difference that creates the discomfort which spoil the harmonize of the overall environment? I don't think so. 

In fact, there should not have any conflict of having a relaxing coffee moment while taking the exploring trip in the mysterious Forbidden City..........but if we treat this as a commercial or western cultural intrusion, then it's not difficult to understand the leaving of Starbuck which was suggested to be combined as part of the beverage outlet inside.

Is there a way that East meet West can be succeeded? In terms of design field, some designer claim that they've made it, but in my memory, I still can't name one, can you?!



smiling face on coffee"咖啡拉花" :好玩又有成功感的手藝. 不少愛喝咖啡,自已又擁有意式咖啡機的朋友, 除了學習品嚐不同產地及研磨的咖啡之外,也會渴望學會一招半式的拉花技術,

既可自娛,也可逗朋友高興, 甚至嬴取女朋友芳心也未非沒可能; 看看他們拉出各式各樣的"心心"圖案便得知.

說真的, 不少行內的 barister 對咖啡拉花尤其著迷, 除了苦練之外,更有專程上課學習, 由最基本的心形, 蘋果, 樹葉到同心圖案, 天鵝, 羽毛等等. 

其實在一個小如咖啡柸的空間內, 要拉出圖案,而在圖案比例,奶泡絲滑度, 圖案幼細及複雜程度要控制得恰當, 也絕非易事. 參加本地或海外的拉花比賽而取得殊榮更是他們的終極目標.

由於拉花最基本需要, 除了有一柸適當抽取的espresso之外, 絲滑的奶泡是另外一個重要的關鍵, 太厚、太薄、太多空氣都注定失敗; 所以成功打到合格的奶泡又變成拉花的基本工了.

曾經在網上有位資深的barister導師給了我們這些新手一個小貼士 :如果每次都用鮮奶練習, 一天內不知要浪費多少鮮奶 = 金錢; 又要增加雪柜內的儲存量, 很不化算.其實只要在水中加一滴洗潔精,直接打泡, 同樣可以當鮮奶般練習, 信不信由你? 檸檬、西柚或蘆薈味更適隨尊便, 但請別問我練習後如何清洗奶咀?!

不過, 如果出盡力也打不到泡, 拉不到花, 何不輕輕鬆鬆喝柸自家製即磨咖啡......冇泡、冇花一樣可以開心過一天!


Right here we are

Reflections on the glazing of cafe on the Peak

Is it in the early morning or already sunset?

Are we inside a cafe 
just standing outside the glazing?

Are those star light, street lamp or pendant only?


Sometimes we don't know where we are, at what moment, 
doing what means to us or to somebody else! 

Does it really matters? 

Just stay right here we are, in a mysterious zone, 

for a short while, 

Life deserves a break !


浴德池 - The vanished spa


不少香港人都曾經享受過日式溫泉, 但澡堂呢? 又或者是在香港的上海澡堂呢?對這間已成記憶的上海澡堂, 相信大家可能有些少印象, 因為當它遭拆卸前, 不少傳媒也佈道過.

其實我曾經差不多每天也路過這裡, 也曾多次想入內探索; 但每次從外面厚厚的花玻璃望進, 總怕一推門而入, 會從幪朧的紙皮石圍牆背面走出一個赤條條的大漢來?! 再加上玻璃門總是貼著"不設女賓"膠牌一個; 所以廿多年來也沒有入內, 回想起來, 實在有點可惜. 因為話說當它拆卸時, 一些有心人特別留守, 取回一些很有歷史價值又富上海風味的室內擺設, 而浴池的水龍頭就是其一了.

也許時代的變遷留不住昔日繁華的印記, 但我想告訴你, 那藍白色的霓虹招牌, 在深藍的夜空下,
我的腦海中, 仍然很美!

Most of us did familiar with Japanese spa or onsen, we don't have spring water in Hong Kong but a Shanghai style public hot water bath, which was once a deluxe leisure activity for businessmen to gather around, well, of course talking business or,  just relax.
浴德池 - an already demolished public bath pool, became famous and widely reported by media, just before it was gone years ago.

Truly speaking, I passed this "huge bath tub" almost everyday when it was still there. I did try to enter may times before, but whenever I looked inside through those thick etched pattern glass, nothing was there besides mosaic walls; I was thinking if I pushed the door opened, would there be a naked big guy behind and telling me that, couldn't you see the note on the glass door outside " Gentlemen Only"? So, I didn't remove the veil and it's a bit too late by now.

Because there are news from the reporters afterward, said that some "Old stuff lovers" waited outside while it was demolishing and successfully grabbed some "treasure" = Very aged Shanghai stylish interior decor, like a special designed faucet for the main pool, which was worth to be reserved.

Well, may be we can't freeze the golden age while we are moving on, lots and lots of valuable 
architecture, furniture or designed fixture that reflects a specific period of our history have to disappear; but I would like to tell you that, I will never forget it's bluish white neon sign hanging right under the clear deep blue sky, in my memory...they are gorgeous!


Jubel - from IKea 宜家生活小雜貨

Jubel - from IKea
Jubel - from Ikea 

很久沒有逛 IKEA, 說真的, 其實在 IKEA只要細心尋索, 可以找到不少價格相宜, 設計及質量不錯; 又很適合香港細小居住空間的生活百貨.  這個由 Eva Sjodin 設計的自動灑水花盆便是其中一個好例子了.

所謂自動灑水其實是盆底付有棉芯用作吸水的裝置, 方便要遠行的人讓植物在沒有人照顧時可"自行飲水維生", 已往也有不少"土炮製作 " =倒置膠水樽 + 棉芯 可以做到; 但當然經過設計的產品, 無論在外型, 顏色, 裝飾性及靈活度上, 都會配合得更好. 這個可輕易轉換顏色面的設計是我認為設計帥最聰明的安排.



I haven't been visited Ikea for so long, actually it's one of my favorite shop in Hong Kong. Provided you have time and patience, you will discover a lot of good stuff there, reasonable price, amazing design, good quality and fun concept, too. Well, of course you have to "select" wisely, like this :  Jubel self-watering plant pot, designed by Eva Sjodin.

Self-watering is simply by connecting a cotton string to the bottom of the pot to achieve a slow sucking of water from the external vase into the soil; this is especially a useful survival kit for travelers' "home alone" plants. A lot of DIY had been made, i.e.: an up side down plastic bottle with a cotton string hanging above of the pot.

But there is a lot more well designed product here, not only achieve the purpose plus, an easy rotation of internal pot to create different colorful combination - so flexible, easy operate, low cost and full of fun.  I have to give an applause to this brilliant idea created by Eva. 

So, how about get one to sprinkle a dash of green to your home right now?



Coffee diary 09

Coffee diary 09
I don't know why ?! But every time when I have to visit China, even just for half day, I need you before my departure.

I know I know...I can find you in most of the cities, they look like you, taste like you and smell like you; but I have to say, they are different.

May be what I really need is to grab something belongs to my place, in my own memories since I was born in H.K. - an energy pack to stay alert.

For those "similar" or "more deluxe" or "exact copy of the original brand"...are not my cup of "coffee". Only if I can be with you in free air, I can truly enjoy...thanks my pal :)