BY JUSTIN BERGMAN
As settings for art fairs go, there are few as wonderfully distracting as Hong Kong. No matter how many times I’ve been to the city, I’m always struck by the awesome views.
It seems I’m always climbing as high as I can to take it all in: riding the Peak Tram to the summit to see the light display of Hong Kong Island at night; hiking the Dragon’s Back ridge for a view of the secluded beaches and turquoise bays on the island’s quieter southern side; climbing to the top deck of Hong Kong’s iconic trams to watch the chaos of color as the city whizzes by below.
The best way to soak it all in is on foot, starting with a wander through Central, Hong Kong’s glitziest shopping and eating district, just a short taxi or tram ride from the Art Basel fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Hollywood Road, which predates the more illustrious Hollywood in California and is believed to have been named after the holly trees once growing on either side, was traditionally the center of Hong Kong’s antiques trade, but these days is lined with some of the city’s best shops, bars and restaurants.
The homeware store Goods of Desire (48 Hollywood Road) has become a local institution thanks to its colorful, Hong Kong-inspired designs (tote bags featuring mah-jongg tiles and shower curtains decorated with the city’s charming old-fashioned mailboxes). Down the street, a 1950s complex for married police officers has been transformed into a marketplace for designers called PMQ (35 Aberdeen Street), where you can find, among other things, buffalo-horn sunglasses at the Belgian-owned boutique Smith & Norbu and handmade silver earrings in the shape of broccoli at 794729 Metalwork.