City Guide

Four Hours in Hong Kong 2008

30 Apr 2008 by Ciprian Hirlea

Lau Liang Tong discovers the city harbours several establishments catering to lovers of vintage goods.

Go back in time

Picture This has established itself as a stopover for art collectors, particularly those interested in old prints and photographs. The shop, located on the second floor of Prince Building in Central, features neatly arranged vintage posters, hardcover first-editions and black-and-white scenes of Hongkong from the 1970s to the ’90s. If there is something specific you are looking for, owners Christopher and Pamela Bailey or their shop assistants are always ready to assist.

A sample of the goods: reprints of Keith Macgregor’s photographs of Hongkong, hardcovers of James Bond and Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, non-fiction books and antique maps. The poster section covers a wide range of subjects, from movies to travel, advertisements to even sports events. Airline and hotel decals from the ’60s are also available. Prices start from US$51 for posters, US$90 for first-edition books and US$231 for movie posters. Open Monday to Saturday from 1000 to 1900 and Sunday and public holidays from 1200 to 1700. Shop 212, 2nd Floor, Prince’s Building, Central, Hongkong, tel 852 2525 2803

Furnish your pad

Chen Mi Ji has been in the neighbourhood for nine years. This furniture shop, located at the end of Peel Street in Midlevels, is easily distinguishable by its neon pink wall (which should instantly send out the message that this is no ordinary showroom). Funky lamps are strung from the ceiling, and more are perched on the shelves waiting to be brought home. From armchairs with loud prints to brightly coloured telephone models harking back to the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, this is the home of retro décor. Most of the items are one-off pieces sourced from Europe. Shop by appointment only. 69 Peel Street, Central, Hongkong, tel 852 2549 8800. Take Exit D2 from Central MTR station, and hop onto the Midlevels escalator. The street may be a bit complicated to find, so just ask for directions along the way.

Swing to that familiar beat

The first thing you notice when you enter Elton Wong’s Walls of Sound music shop is a guitar and an orange-coloured record turntable. He has also decorated the entrance of his establishment with music news clippings. A vast collection of 10 and 12-inch long playing records from the ’50s are stacked neatly in shelves. A basket of seven-inch records is tucked away in a corner.

The collection consists mainly of jazz, fusion jazz and soul funk by artists such as John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan and Thelonious Monk among others, but there are also records by Prince, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and some oddities like the movie soundtrack of ET on a 12-inch LP record. The laid-back atmosphere and Wong’s chattiness invites browsing. Prices start from US$4. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 1230 to 1930 and closed on Monday. 3rd Floor, 38 Cochrane Street, Central, Hongkong, tel 852 2805 1584. Again, take exit D1 from Central MTR station, get on the Central Midlevels Escalator and ask for directions along the way if lost.

Add to your wardrobe

Probably only die-hard fashionistas are in on this well-kept secret. Certainly no one would suspect the narrow staircase leading to the shop on the second level contains a treasure trove of retro clothing like biker jackets from the ’60s, rugged jeans and other such finds at attractive prices.

Most of the items at Me & George Fashion Import Shop are from Japan, first-hand sample pieces from yesteryears. New shipments are said to come in every two days.

Classy, well-tailored waistcoats for both men and women are found in abundance, as are out-of-season (but still fashionable) jackets and jerseys and bags. As there are no fitting rooms, it might be a good idea to bring along a measuring tape. Prices start from just US$0.60 for a vest. Open Monday to Sunday from 1000 to 2100. 9 Li Yuen West Street, Central, Hongkong (opposite H&M), tel 852 2501 0186

Drink and make friends

Cellarmaster Wines is more than just a store selling bottles, both of vintage and recent quality. It’s also a centre for aficionados of the grape, providing a venue for networking and lectures on wine appreciation.

Its shelves contain labels from the New World: Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina and the US, as well as the traditional sources of France, Spain and Italy. They are the sole Hongkong agents of Pesquera wines (those vigorous Spanish reds) and have branches in Singapore, Malaysia and Shanghai. Prices depend on the selection. Open Monday to Friday from 1000 to 1930, Saturday from 1100 to 1800 and closed on Sunday.

9th Floor, World Trust Tower, 50 Stanley Street, Central, Hongkong, tel 852 2791 6332, www.cellarmasterwines.com/hk

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