On Hollywood Road

Days of Dirty Air

Posted in Uncategorized by Alex Daye on March 24, 2010

Ellis and I have been dying to go to the Woo Ping Optical Company ever since Brandice first wrote about it in the j.a.daye Guide to Hong Kong, and so, despite the fact that yesterday’s was the smoggiest, filthiest air ever recorded in Hong Kong, we set out for a walking tour of North Point and Tin Hau- with only a day a week off work, we weren’t about to let a little pollution ruin it! I don’t know whether our excitement at discovering this fabulous shop lessened the effect of the fumes and dust or whether we’ve just developed iron lungs, but we literally hardly noticed.

An early inspiration for our Moustache sign

Both Ellis and I have been fans of nerdy glasses for many, many years, and one thing we have always found so cool about Hong Kong is how ubiquitous they still are here- and not in the way they are ubiquitous in say, New York City: here they are worn by young and old, and only sometimes with irony.

Ellis and I in our new nerdy specs

Another great difference between buying retro glasses in Hong Kong and New York City is the pricetag. While I’m pretty sure I paid more than USD 40.00 for my last pair from Sol Moscot, I actually paid less than that for these much cooler ones! Plus I had the pleasure of hanging out in a shop with almost perfect brand stuff: signs, business cards, receipts, &etc…

So thrilled with our purchases, we decided to go ahead and wear them, even though we were both in our contact lenses- and truthfully, they probably helped keep the sting of airborne toxins from our bothering our eyes while we meandered from North Point to our favorite Hong Kong neigborhood, Tin Hau, or more specifically, the bit of Tin Hau known as Tai Hang, a low rise neighborhood with a funny mix of mechanics, car painters, and cute cafes, bars and restaurants- presumably for those dropping off their Rolls Royce for a paint job? In any case, we ate lunch at Panda, a fantastic Japanese curry house which I heartily recommend, before having a wander around Tai Hang’s charming old streets.

A very old street sign

Alleyway garden with laundry

Auto shop


From Tai Hang, it’s a surprisingly short little jaunt to Causeway Bay, where we took in the Hong Kong Flower Show, which, though slightly bizarre and absolutely teeming with photographers leaning in for extreme closeups, usually with a telephoto lens, is absolutely worth a visit.

This cutie is made from organic vegetables

Our favorite exhibit- so arty!

Though there was a lot more of this type of stuff…


3 Responses

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  1. wecouldgrowup2gether said, on March 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    i had a pair from there to! when i was still in highschool! like a million years ago! LOL

  2. jasonschlabach said, on March 30, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Found your blog through We Could Grow Up Together. Great stuff, I can’t wait to visit your store. This is exactly what I was looking for. Most opticians here seem to just offer the same dozen labels that slap the largest logo possible on the frames. Oh, and I just downloaded your guidebook which I’m really excited to start using. Thanks!

  3. Weekend « the Shongs of Hong Kong said, on May 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    […] we hadn’t visited yet (and got sucked into buying glasses at Woo Ping optical thanks to a recommendation from our friend Alex.) I’m picking them up on Tuesday and I’ll be sure to post pics. […]

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