When I lived in Hong Kong, the Soho neighborhood was just getting off the ground. I remember going to a Lebanese restaurant there in the fall of 1996 with a group of friends. Around that time about half a dozen new restaurants had popped up and my friends were starting to hang out in this area more and more. The Mid-Levels escalators were new, which gave easier access to areas on the hill going from Central up to the Peak.
I took my family to this area in the mid-90s, but as you can see, the area hadn’t been gentrified yet.
Last week I stayed on a street just down the hill from Elgin Street and boy had it changed in 21 years. Every night the crowds in the many restaurants and bars spilled into the streets until at least 2am during the week.
The dark building second from the left is a Vera Wang boutique.
Breakfast one day from the 7-Eleven down the street.
Many of the lanes going down the hill are occupied by outdoor markets.
PMQ is an old police barracks that’s been converted into local shops, cafes, and cooking schools. I went there for the first time last year with a friend/grad school professor. Last week I stayed kitty corner from PMQ.
This is the view from the flat where I stayed with two friends.
And those famous escalators? So convenient!
One afternoon we were searching for blister prevention cream and I noticed this store from the escalators. It was like a goldmine and my feet didn’t hurt the rest of the trip.
Speaking of shopping, my favorite store in Hong Kong–Goods of Desire–was one street down the hill from us. We didn’t even need the escalators to get there. They have an iconic Instagram wall around the corner from the store!
Like most of Hong Kong, Soho has changed a lot since I lived here. I’m glad the low-rise buildings are still mostly there and haven’t been replaced by gigantic residential blocks.