Saturday, May 19, 2012

Magical and City Hall (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

What do the three photos above have in common and to do with this week's themes for  Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts?  Really, truly, the answer does involve City Hall and the magical!  (But, yes, I think this requires some explanation.  So please read on...)

Before anything else, here's pointing out that Hong Kong does indeed have a City Hall (along with several town halls -- the latter in New Territories locales like Tsuen Wan, Shatin and Tuen Mun).  Also that between 1869 and 1933, there existed a City Hall building which looked very impressive indeed  But first in 1933 and then again 1947, sections of it were demolished to make way for bank buildings.  

The "new" Hong Kong City Hall buildings (that consist of the unimaginatively named High Block and Low Block) that came into being in 1962 were built in the International Style that I frankly don't find all that appealing.  Indeed, so physically unappealing do I find the exterior of the current Hong Kong City Hall that I've taken very few photos in which it is the subject in focus.

At the same time, their central location means that the City Hall buildings do almost invariably appear in many of the photos I've taken of the impressive -- and often magical looking even? -- northern Hong Kong Island skyline from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront area down at the southern edge of the Kowloon Peninsula or a Star Ferry ride across Victoria Harbour.  

And while I'm not a fan of Hong Kong City Hall's exterior, I must say that I do go to that facility quite often to take in performing arts productions and -- during the Hong Kong International Film Festival -- film screenings.  Among the more magical performances I've been treated to at City Hall over the years have been a City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong concert with the amazing percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie, as the featured soloist, a Hong Kong Sinfonietta concert headlined by the incredible violinist Ning Feng, and a super energetic and energizing performance by South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo (complete with their trademark kicking moves!).  Oh, and yes, the Big Band Fests that the Saturday Night Jazz Orchestra (pictured above) have performed at have been pretty fun affairs too! :b

*N.B. I've linked to Youtube video clips of Evelyn Glennie and Ning Feng performances.  Especially if you're a music fan, do please check them out! :)


Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, I like your new look. I had to make sure I was on the right blog before reading on. :) Very cool take for the two themes. Your photos of the skyline is very beautiful especially at night with the bright lights. That Jazz concert looks like so much fun. Bet it was.

Wonderful post. Have a great weekend.

magiceye said...

lovely takes!!

rainforest said...

very nice piece on the 2 themes. lovely photos as well.

happy sunday!

Gattina said...

Very nice pictures (and history) ! I like the new look too !

Susan Demeter said...

I love a good "magical" performance and what a cool venue to have one :) Great take on the themes :)

Anonymous said...

It's sad when you think of how many beautiful buildings have been torn down over the years to make way for giant banks. SIGH

Kim, USA said...

A performance that made my jaw drop and stay on my mind for days is what I call magical. Love your information here thanks for sharing.


Carver said...

What a great way to combine the themes. Performances can be magical. Interesting history and I enjoyed the photography. Happy Weekend.

LifeRamblings said...

what a beautiful skyline especially at night. i particularly like the look of the Bank of China. :)

YTSL said...

Hi Trekcapri --

I'm glad you like my blog's new look. After more than 5 years, guess it was about time I "redecorated".

And also am happy you like my take on this week's two themes. :)

Hi magiceye --

Magical even? ;b

Hi rainforest --

Thanks for reading as well as looking. :)

Hi Gattina --

Thanks -- and another vote in favor of the new look -- yay! :b

Hi Sue --

There actually are a good number of places in Hong Kong where magical performances are staged. Many of them are not much to look at from the outside but, fortunately, what goes on inside is so much more satisfying! :)

Hi JDeQ --

I find it generally sad that so many beautiful old buildings get torn down to make way for bigger but often also uglier buildings... :S

Hi Kim --

Did Ning Feng's performance make your jaw drop? It certainly was so with me! :b

Hi Carver --

I'm glad you got something out of reading the words on this entry as well as viewing the photos on it. :)

Hi LifeRamblings --

The Bank of China is definitely one of the top modern pieces of architecture to my mind. :)

sarah bailey knight said...

hi ytsl,

I am liking your new look.

Also in the first photo I like how the photo looks kind of turquoise which is something I haven't seen in photos of the harbor.

CherryPie said...

I love the water reflections and city hall does sound like a magical place to visit.

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

You noticed more changes to the blog design since you last visited? ;b

Re the color of Victoria Harbour's water: I think it's different because I took the photo on a cloudy day just after the rain, so the sun's not shining as brightly as usual. Makes a change, right? :b

Hi CherryPie --

City Hall is one of those places in Hong Kong that has given me a number of good memories. Among them are watching "Nomad", a seminal Hong Kong drama there -- and hearing the audience laugh at dialogue in the film in which City Hall was referenced in an amusing way. :)

baroness radon said...

Harbor skyline nostalgia. Thanks!!!

YTSL said...

Hi baroness radon --

You're welcome... and when should Hong Kong expect you for a return visit? ;b