Friday, December 16, 2011

First day continued: More buildings - PLUS!: trees and people

Behind the HSBC building you start to go up the lower slope of the mountain, and there's a nice parky area with trees and some of the few surviving old-style colonial buildings.

(Pics will be mostly bigger from here on out... still working on the technical side of this thing. Mark Zuckerberg I ain't.)

Banyan trees with their beautifully tangled, gnarly roots, like ent dreadlocks or something, are all over Hong Kong and beautify many an otherwise ordinary sidewalk or hillside.

The Anglican cathedral of St. John's (1847) - according to my Rough Guide, "the only freehold building in Hong Kong, as opposed to standing on land leased from the government."

WWJP (Where Would Jesus Park?)...

Grave of a soldier killed in the last stage of fighting against the Japanese before the island was surrendered on Christmas Day 1941.

The two pictures below don't line up perfectly, but still give a pretty good idea of the view from the little garden knoll near the cathedral.

This is Roy, whom I met in the garden where we were taking pictures of the same stream. If I recall correctly, he's a landscape architect originally from Sichuan, China, who now lives in San Diego, and was passing through HK for the weekend on his way to visit home. We started chatting and hung out for an hour or so, walking around nearby and discussing architecture and public space in HK. And HBO TV shows, I think.

As Roy pointed out, the Bank of China building is a little more interesting from the back. We strolled in that direction to check it out up close.


Steel-nerved window washers. You couldn't pay me enough.

On the BOC grounds... I think Roy said this is by his favorite sculptor, but I forget the name.

Don't know this guy, but he was picturesquely posed and attired.

The Lippo Centre, one of the more famous buildings of the Central skyline. I don't know what that gold building is, but it's a striking effect on an otherwise ordinary structure.

One of the more amazing cultural details - the bamboo poles that are used instead of steel girders for construction and maintenance scaffolding and which are everywhere in HK. Supposedly their strength and flexibility is ideal for withstanding typhoon winds. I'd imagine they're also cheaper than steel. I can't see any safety harnesses on the daredevil workers below, although it's a little hard to tell.

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