A wooden boat tour around the harbourside town that gave Hong Kong its name

Passing by the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which is now closed due to the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong.

In light of the COVID-19 spikes, many countries have closed their doors to international visitors and have imposed varying levels of travel bans. As a cure to the wanderlust which had been building up since the beginning of the year and to make up for the numerous weekends spent at home, I have decided to re-explore the hidden gems of Hong Kong along with a friend to see the city we call home in a new and curious light.

Holding onto the final days of summer in Hong Kong, we have decided to join a local sampan boat tour organized…


Revisiting Alain de Botton’s “Essays in Love”

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

How to salvage a dying relationship?

Alain de Botton’s Essays in Love takes readers on a journey of the relationship between two young people, the narrator and Chloe, who meet on a plane from Paris to London and fall rapidly in love (and out of love). From falling hopelessly in love to trying to mend the broken pieces of their relationship, Essays in Love explores the different stages of the relationship and invites readers who have ever fallen in love to reflect on their own experience.

Chapter 18 ‘Romantic Terrorism’ depicts the couple’s final trip together to Paris to celebrate…


A young French aristocrat from the 18th Century might have a solution for you

International traveling has been put on halt since the beginning of the year, with countries imposing different levels of travel bans and closing its doors to international travel. Many people have began to ponder the nature of traveling and rethink the implications of borders and globalization. Many have also begun to (re-)explore places of interest within their home town /borders of their own country, or to travel virtually by surfing online or by watching travel documentaries within the confines of their home / room.

Interestingly, the idea of traveling within the confines of one room for an extended period of…


Some minor thoughts

Documenting traveling experiences on social media has become a norm alternative to traditional travelogues.

In just three simple steps — selecting, uploading, captioning — it reveals the subtext of where the location is, what can be done there, and most importantly, to indicate that the uploader was present at the scene.

Swathed by similar feeds and hashtags on Facebook, Instagram and other forms of social media, it guarantees to provide almost identical pictures taken by different people performing a similar travel ritual. Georg Simmel wrote that humans are dualistic creatures from the very beginning. Whilst we generally hope for guidance…


Neko Atsume — Creative Commons (https://flic.kr/p/FBAQSA)

With the ever increasing portability of smart devices and the connectivity of the internet, different areas of life (including pet keeping) are both encapsulated within and extended beyond the electronic device, and has entered into and become intertwined within the quasi-visible rhizomatic cyberspace. The cyber-community’s fondness for pets may be seen as a natural extension of the love and visibility of the pets we encounter in real life, or alternatively, it may be an intentional act to morph pets into the complex cyber dimension. The prevalence of animal memes, pet videos or GIFs, online pet shaming, the rise of social…


Hong Kong Cemetery — Bjørn Christian Tørrissen [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Memento mori, the Latin expression for “remember you have to die” is best exemplified in cemeteries. Located at and contained within specific sites, cemeteries as a space that concentrates the burial and storage of the dead is ubiquitous among many societies. Whilst the urban environment we often interact with is the city of the living, cemeteries poise as the city of the dead — one that acts as an ambiguous mirror image of the urbanscape and shares an intricate relationship with the city.

In a bustling city like Hong Kong, with approximately 8 square kilometers of land allocated for the…


The backdrop for Gotham City used in TV show, “Gotham” (TV Series 2014–2019) vagueonthehow [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

“When is man a city? When is the city a man?”

Superheroes as one of the most popular genres of American comics is inseparable from the urban setting — with crime fighting up on rooftops or down in alleys, monsters and villains lurking in the underground network, or heroes acting as silent guardians overseeing the city skyline — these elements constitute a significant part of the representation of urban imagery in popular culture.

Superhero comics as the modern American myth does not only create a fantasy world for readers as a means of escape. It simultaneously creates an ‘other space’…


Source: https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/pageimage/21185311

The release of Avengers: Endgame marks the end of the Infinity Saga and pays homage to the all the superhero movies which have been created before and during the past decade. The hype and fervor surrounding the superhero movies show how the characters have captivated the minds of people in and out of the silver screen.

And way before that, there were Greek mythological characters.

Many Greco-mythological characters were viewed as the precursors of notable comic book superheroes, Hermes/Flash, Zeus/Shazam, just to name a few. This growing comic book universe was also referred to as the modern American myth. Interesting…


Just as Tom (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) decided to give Summer (played by Zooey Deschanel) “The Architecture of Happiness” by Alain de Botton as a gift at her engagement party, the filmmakers seem to be paying homage to de Botton as 500 Days of Summer is constructed in a similar manner to “Essays in Love”.

As reflected by the film’s tagline — “This is not a love story. This is a story about love” — the film illustrates the journey of how two people, Tom and Summer, fall in and out of love. …


Simply by looking at the name of the performance, it seems to suggest two dimensions of the performance that the audience is expected to encounter: one of spontaneity and improvisation, as suggested by the word ‘jump’ in contrast to the popular imagination of space traveling that involves meticulous planning and protracted exploration; and the other of venturing into the unknown, a journey to the metaphorical Mars.

The performance begins with a solo by Ong Yong Lock, followed by three distinctive duets with Marcia Liu, Elsie Chau and KT Yau. The opening features Lock’s seemingly improvised dance on a dimly lit…

Nicole Liang

Flâneuse │interest in arts, film, pop culture, cities

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