Of all the terrible things happening in Hong Kong today, the impending demolition of the General Post Office ranks pretty low. By 1970s standards, the architecture isn’t too horrible. Obviously it’s a familiar landmark and widely used public facility. Who can forget the huge portrait of the Queen in the main hall? And the cool government bookshop with all the maps at street level? But the main loss will be the empty space and light around the building, as it will of course be replaced by a monster office complex.
The redevelopment plans presume that demand for top-grade office space in Central will be booming in the 2030s like it was in the 2010s. And will there be a luxury mall or two? Can’t believe the bureaucrats and developers will miss the opportunity to cram at least one more vast marble emporium full of shops no-one uses into the area.
At the other end of the retail scale, the Graham Street Market, amazingly, lives on. It’s smaller than it was, and no longer features frogs in cages and the raucous live abattoir action that made it such a fun place to show vegans passing through town. But the remaining stall-holders seem to have adapted to gentrification and redevelopment, and the quality of fruit and veg is, if anything, better than it used to be. The HKFP piece says there’s now a hipster food court – which has escaped my notice (and I shop here at least twice a week). It’s the rare things that don’t change that stand out.
Beer of the Week is this French stuff ‘Sombrero Red’, pretending to be an exotic Mexican concoction infused with a rare sacred guarana fruit. But here’s the thing: it tastes surprisingly like Pimms. HK$12.90 at U-Select. You’re welcome.