Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tsimshatsui waterfront and the Avenue of Stars

A quick ferry ride across Victoria Harbor drops you off at the waterfront in Tsimshatsui, the southernmost neighborhood in the Kowloon district. From here, you get the most famous postcard views of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island and its skyline. The four photos below are from the viewing deck up above the pavement.

If I recall the history correctly, the clock tower below used to mark the railroad terminus of the Orient Express, which went all the way from Europe across Russia and Asia and back again. The pinkish wall behind it is the notorious Cultural Center building, which is much less visually appealing and welcoming than the activities that go on inside it.

There are apparently lots of cultural activities on the waterfront on weekends. Below is the big "everyone's invited" drum circle, as part of some sort of music festival. The guy in the pink shirt with the embroidery led and conducted very enthusiastically.

Rhythm is a universal language, and so are Disney and Sesame Street:

Preparations were underway for a street theater puppet version of Alice in Wonderland:

Further down the waterfront is the official tribute to the HK film industry, the Avenue of Stars. It's entirely inadequate considering the subject, but still cool for a few minutes. It's scandalous that the local cinema doesn't have its own museum, or at least a major permanent exhibit in the Heritage Museum or the History Museum.

The Avenue is mainly just a series of stars in the sidewalks for major figures, mostly actors. This is the director/actor who made the first movie in Hong Kong, back in 1913:

Bruce Lee's star always has plenty of gawkers:

And Jackie Chan's is getting worn from all the feet crisscrossing it. More recent ones usually feature handprints and signatures. It's hard to see here, but this one also has the print of Jackie's infamously large nose, above his handprints.

My favorite HK director, the one, the only Tsui Hark (more here and here and here on my movie blog):

Everyone wants to be Bruce:

And everyone wants to be friends with McDull, the little cartoon pig from a series of movies in the 2000s about life in HK in the '60s and '70s. Gotta get around to seeing those...

The views are better at night. Lots more of that to come.

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