Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hong Kong: Fabric Shopping in Sham Shui Po

In anticipation of our trip to Hong Kong, I did a little bit of research on fabric shopping, figuring it could be a jackpot for that type of thing.  Sure enough, it was!  

Thanks to bloggers here, here, here and here for leading me to this fabric Valhalla! 

Relative to the big, shiny skyscrapers elsewhere in Hong Kong, like Kowloon or Central, the Sham Shui Po area has a very throw-back feel to it... lots of old buildings and street markets. Check out all the crazy signage... looks like something out of a movie:

Apparently it was one of the first areas in Hong Kong that was settled back in the day and is now where many working class Hong Kong folks live.

Ok, back to the fabric shopping. There are a ton of fabric shops in the Sham Shui Po area.  Some are regular stores with bolts of fabric:

Many of them, though, only have fabric swatches. They seem more geared towards wholesale shoppers:

Lots of leather, button and findings stores, crammed to the gills with product:

Most of my shopping, though, was from carts and makeshift booths in the street out in front of the shops. There was fabric on rolls and pre-cut pieces, all being sold for crazy cheap prices. Mostly garment fabrics- nary a piece of quilting cotton to be seen!

What did I buy? A lot. 

I came home with a ton of lovely stretch wovens: 
- stretch denim in two colors
- cool grey stripey stuff
- weird, but awesome silver-on-black stuff

I also got some nice knits: 
- an enormous piece of super soft black ponte (some of which I already used to make my Tilly and the Buttons Coco tunic
-some light blue and grey heather jersey
All super cheap: nothing more than $3/yard!

In the pile on the right:
- two pieces of seersucker, one striped and one small checks
- a piece of bright coral gauze
- pretty mustard lawn
- gorgeous blue and green floral voile
- lightweight chambray
- some linen-y bottomweight stuff... maybe a blend?

What did Tim get out of this trip? Practice with the camera and dim sum.
I read about a great dim sum place, Tim Ho Wan, not far from the fabric district and used this as leverage to convince Tim to join me in fabric shopping. Plus, dim sum.  Mmm.

This place was no frills, but had the best BBQ pork bun I've ever had.  It was baked rather than steamed and had this amazing sweet, crispy crust on the outside... after we inhaled our first order, we got a second:

Also, "phoenix talons" might be the best euphemism for chicken feet I've seen:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hong Kong: View from the Top

The day after our cloud afternoon in Hong Kong, Tim and I decided to take the Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak to see the Hong Kong cityscape from above. The Peak Tram has been in operation since 1888, a funicular (i.e. pulled by a cable) that travels 1.4 kilometers, carrying people up the 552 meters to the peak. At times it was so steep we were practically laying down in the seats:

Shot of the tracks from above:

Ah, but the views.  Gorgeous!  We were so lucky to have a pretty, sunny day after the previous day's torrential rain and fog:

So the near side of the city is Hong Kong island, including the Central district.  The far part, on the other side of Victoria Harbour, is Kowloon (Hong Kong is actually comprised on several hundred small islands):

In this shot you can see some of the many cargo ships destined for and/or coming from Hong Kong's big port:

The view from the Sky Terrace is totally worth it:

After hanging out a bit on the Sky Terrace, we decided to grab some wontons, noodles and pork at Mak's Noodles. Pretty tasty and just what we were looking for:

Wanting to walk off the lunch, we decided to do the Peak Circle walk around Lugard and Harlech roads.  So pretty! Great views all the way around:

Much fewer buildings on the other side:

And some crazy trees to remind you that the jungle would take over if they let it:

A better view of the harbor and all the container ships:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hong Kong: Cloudy Days

So, way back in September, far before their fight for democracy/self-rule got crazy, Tim and I went to Hong Kong for a long weekend... 

Our first afternoon there was quite grey, cloudy and rainy, but made for some dramatic skyline shots as we took the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour, from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon: 

Looking back towards the business district on Hong Kong island:

Once we landed on Kowloon, we wandered along the Avenue of Stars, the equivalent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where Tim took the most reluctant, half-assed Bruce Lee photo ever: 

It wasn't very late in the afternoon, but the clouds were so dark that the building lights started going on:

We snuck in a couple more harbour-side selfies before the clouds opened up, the rain poured down and we were "forced" to take shelter in a bar:

More on our Hong Kong outing coming soon!