Big Smog Blog

The future of Kai Tak airport... what do you think of these four designs?

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Amazingly, much of the area around the old Kai Tak airport has been empty since the airport closed its doors back in 1998. Hopefully, however, this is about to change.

The Kai Tak Fantasy International Ideas Competition on Urban Planning & Design has been asking members of the public for their ideas on how to use the area of space at the end of the old runway, part of the Kwun Tong Ferry pier and the stretch of water in between them. The Energising East Kowloon Office received 80 submissions, which have just been whittled down to four.

The four shortlisted designs include 'Rising Landscape', comprising bridges that can move, solar panels and even a formula E track. 'Healthy Lift Off' would see the area be made suitable for water activities such as fishing and swimming. 'Dragon Park' would see a floating stage as well as exhibition space made from recycled containers. The fourth design, 'Waterland, Wonderland! Floating Configurations for the Memory of Space' stars a series of floating pontoons, which would be used for markets, streets and even a sunbathing area.  


Entry D - Dragon Park 'A Gateway to Hong Kong'

See more pictures of the designs here. For the next two months, until August 5, you can have your say on the designs by filling in a questionnaire on kaitakfantasy.hk, and your views will be taken into account by a judging panel appointed by the Development Bureau.  The project should be completed by 2021. 

Find out more about the project at news.gov.hk.
 

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A day at the races on Aqua Luna

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ALL ABOARD THE ICONIC RED-SAILED JUNK THIS TUEN NG FESTIVAL!

If you're looking for a way to enjoy the lively atmosphere of the International Dragon Boat Championships in Stanley on June 2, but aren't such a fan of jostling, sweaty crowds then we've got a suggestion for you -- take a ride on the iconic Aqua Luna and sit back with a cocktail, enjoy a buffet lunch from the kitchen team at Aqua and get a prime spot to see the dragon boating action to boot. And you'll look darn classy, we might add.

This trip will set you back $728 for adults and $588 for kids, including the buffet lunch. It departs on June 2 at 11am from Central Pier 9, making a stop at Tsim Sha Tsui Pier 1 at 11.15am, before returning at 6.30pm and 6.45pm respectively. For more information or reservations, call 2116 8821 or visit aqualuna.com.hk

To learn more about the Tuen Ng Festival, check out our handy guide to Dragon Boat season in HK, right here

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Free rides all day on the tram and Star Ferry!

Recommended
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RIDE THE TRAM AND STAR FERRY FOR FREE ON MAY 29!

They're the city's most iconic and most enjoyable forms of transport. So we're excited to grab some friends, some cool drinks and enjoy the city sights by tram and ferry on May 29, which is The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce's annual Free Ride Day. There's no better way to travel!

Want some fun facts? Of course you do!

- Hong Kong Tramways considered getting rid of the trams altogether in 1984. They launched a public consultation, but there was strong support for the network and they changed their minds. Thankfully.

- The Hong Kong riots of 1966 were triggered by a 25% hike in the Star Ferry prices. One person subsequently died and 1,800 were arrested.  

- Our tram network is the only one in the world that solely uses double-decker trams. 

- There are 26 million journeys on the Star Ferry each year and over 80 million rides on the tram. We're guessing that's about how many get in one MTR carriage at rush hour. 

Click here for more information on Free Ride Day! 

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Yep, just lyin' in my hammock. Well, it's one way to ride the MTR...

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JUST HANGING OUT
Photo of man lying in MTR hammock goes viral...

Here's a novel way to travel on the MTR. This chap, reportedly spotted on the Island Line late on Monday night, was clearly finding it all a bit too tiring, and decided to string up a personal hammock and continue to enjoy his ride horizontally. Well, don't we all from time to time?

However our relaxed protagonist's fun didn't last. It's been reported that an unimpressed fellow passenger informed an MTR employee, who promptly asked the hammock-eer to get down and to get off the train. We're hoping he doesn't try it again on a red minibus...

Image via Reddit HK

  

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Cheat physics with Oi!'s new art installation

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CHEAT PHYSICS AT OI!'S NEW ART INSTALLATION!
Leandro Erlich presents a three-dimensional art installation that tricks the eyes

Scale walls without ever leaving the ground with Argentine artist Leandro Erlich's new installation at Oi! in North Point – all with the help of a clever 45-degree angle mirror. As part of Oi!'s recently-opened exhibition Reflections, Erlich was commissioned to create this piece, titled Bâtiment - Oi!, after reaching popularity worldwide with other Bâtiment ‘houses’. 



Coming from a family of architects, illusion extraordinaire Erlich has been delighting visitors with his public art projects in Europe, Argentina, Australia, Japan, and most recently in London’s Hackney area, where visitors could hang out the windows and sit on the roof of a 19th century Victorian-style house. Erlich’s installation in Hong Kong takes reference from Oil Street’s heritage housing.



The Reflections exhibition also includes work by Meta4 Design and documentary photographer Tse Pak-chai, and Hong Kong-based artist Kingsley Ng, all who explore the boundaries between optical illusion and reality and have created site-specific work for the Oil Street space. Ng uses light, video and sound to create whole and fragmented imagery, narrating the history and story of Oil Street, in his work Luna Park.

The exhibition opened in the midst of Art Basel and the periphery satellite fairs and events, and it will run until July 8.

Reflections Oi! Until July 8lcsd.gov.hk

 

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Gordon Ramsay opening a restaurant in HK!

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GORDON RAMSAY'S COMING TO HONG KONG!
The British celebrity chef to open his first HK restaurant in LKF Tower in August or September 2014

He's one of the biggest chefs in the world. Known for his fierce temper, close-to-the-knuckle language, plethora of culinary successes and string of hit TV shows, Gordon Ramsay has a huge international following. And now, it’s just been reported, he's to open his first Hong Kong restaurant in late summer 2014 , hot on the heels of fellow British chef superstar Jamie Oliver.

Reports say that Ramsay is going into partnership with Hong Kong dining group Dining Concepts, which has opened a raft of restaurants in the city this year, including the brand new Mama San in Wyndham Street. It’s understood that the new Ramsay collaboration is also to open in Wyndham Street, on the mezzanine floor of the LKF Tower, in a space previously occupied by Russian bar Balalaika last year. Dining Concepts have not yet confirmed the deal, including the name of the eatery or what style of cuisine it is to serve up, but reports say that bosses have been in talks with the star for some time and had been looking at a spot in Tsim Sha Tsui at one point. The Michelin-starred chef should add plenty of colour to the LKF scene, particularly on his visits to our city. Watch this space later in the week for more details… 

With so many celebrity chefs in Hong Kong, can he live up to the hype?

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Keep creeps away with this amazing dress

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The MTR gets pretty crowded, that's a fact. But as the temperature rises, keep your personal space sacred with this incredible mechanical dress, designed by Hong Kong-based artist Kathleen McDermott. When the sensor detects someone too close, this awesome garment will open up and force them to take a step back. Damn straight.

The dress is part of McDermott's Urban Armour series, which looks at how women can regain their personal space in public. The best thing? Her projects are open-source, and you can get instructions how make your own on her website urbanarmor.org. We're assembling ours right now...

[See the video below!

 

Urban Armor# 2: The Personal Space Dress from Kathleen McDermott on Vimeo.

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IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) 2014

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Head over to Chater Garden today to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2014, which is a day that empowers the LGBT community and brings awareness about human rights violations suffered by sexual minorities. 

The Pink Alliance in collaboration with the Transgender Resource Centre has invited Dr York Chow, Chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission, to give an address to calls for equality and a greater understanding of the LGBT community. And in conjunction with this year's theme, 'Make the Invisible, Visible" - which aims to bring a stronger emphasis transgender issues - transgender model, activist and founder of Gender Proud, Geena Rocero, has been invited to give an inspirational speech.

If you're on the side of equality and progress come out and show your support.


IDAHOT 2014
 May 16, 6.30pm, Chater Garden; pinkalliance.com.
 

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Bubble Soccer arrives in HK!

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Ever wanted to play football, wrapped in a giant protective bubble of plastic? Of course you have. And finally, all your dreams can come true. Bubble Football has arrived in Hong Kong – a ridiculous mix of soccer and Japanese game show to – and it’s sure to be the perfect tonic for all of you who are developing World Cup fever.

Really, after watching this video, you’ll be thinking that there should be a World Cup for this…

For more info, see www.facebook.com/bubblesoccerhk 

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West Kowloon wants you!

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The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) wants your opinions on how the soon-to-be built West Kowloon Park should be operated and managed.

The 23-hectare park is set to become a major green open space in the heart of HK when it is constructed in stage from mid-2015, and will have plenty of arts and leisure facilities to boot.

From May 9 until June 29 2014, you’ll be able to complete an online questionnaire on WKCDA’s website, and tell the authority exactly how you’d like the park to be run. They’ll also be doing a series of focus group discussions.

How the WKCD Park will be operated and managed will shape the visitors’ experience, and as such this public survey will focus on the relevant matters,” says Professor John Leong Chi-yan, Chairman of the Consultation Panel of WKCDA. “We hope to create a park for everyone to share and enjoy.”

So whether you want the park to be an oasis of tranquility or an all-action, bike dog and kid friendly zone – make sure let WKCDA know about it!

Find out more at westkowloon.hk/parksurvey.

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