I’m coming home this week after a week in Hong Kong. If there is a place that bustles more than New York City it is there. It is unregulated chaos…pushing, bumping…all short of shoving and nothing meant by it. It is an island colonized no longer by the British, but by Louis Vuitton and Abercrombe & Fitch. Worship services are held daily and open 24 hours with the swipe of the sacred card.
That said, the small markets, the lovely views, the green hikes are all here and available for the cost of transportation. A main worry is the Mainland, whose people are gathering in great numbers here and pushing up the cost of housing and pretty much everything else. (This is of course greatly ironic seeing as the inhabitants of the once, ostensibly ‘Communist’ China are now pushing up prices.) Causway Bay by Victoria Park, once ‘sort of’ funky is now a celebration of branded commodities. Apartment prices are rising astronomically, as they are in every globalized center.
So high rents, costly branded suits & pocketbooks and now, in Kowloon, plans for a contemporary art museum married to a commercial-residential district on one more bit of contested landfill once promised as a public park. With an art market poised to be more heated than it is already, Hong Kong’s evolution is almost complete…from a pearl diving and fishing village, to a colonial trading outpost of the British, to a financial capital, to a Disneyland of endless shopping opportunities in the markets; financial, real estate, art and wearables.
Like much of the World’s port cities, landfill makes more land and ultimately more profit. I remember being surprised and in awe as a NYC kid when I realized that LaGuardia Airport was built on landfill. It seemed heroic then but now, like in Hong Kong, it is simply another form of colonization…by land over sea, by feet over fins.
-Marc Levitt, Host & Co-Executive Producer