Friday, November 9, 2007

Hong Kong

my last trip to Hong Kong was miserable because I had bronchitis from too many smoke filled nights in tokyo. This trip, I made a point NOT to go to superdeluxe in tokyo because of the smoke but if you are ever in tokyo, i highly recommend a visit as i heard that smoking in bars will soon be banned! anyway, i can write about superdeluxe in another post....on to hong kong!

hong kong is really a wonderful place – truly a city for the future. arriving at their airport is enough to fill a new yorker with anger at the poor job the port authority is doing with nyc's 3 airports. i am truly embarrassed knowing that a visitor landing for the first time is presented with such a nightmare [i LOVE NYC, just wish the airports were updated to match the century we live in]. even tokyo, with all it's high speed rail links to narita is pathetic compared to the ease of boarding the train to the city from hong kong's international airport – no stairs, elevators, escalators AT ALL – get your luggage, get a ticket, walk 20 yards or so, and you board a train that takes you to kowloon or hong kong central in 24 minutes or less! truly, an airport designed by real travelers who have struggled with suitcases in Tokyo and NYC. unfortunately, most elected officials go from limo to private jet to limo....really now....onto hong kong.

i checked into the lovely JIA hotel in causeway bay and caught up on emails and calls to NYC. I was then too exhausted to do anything. The next day, I took care of bank errands and walked around to do my market research. We don't do well in HK in terms of sales but do get a lot of press attention. I understand that HK is a city for BIG established brands and is difficult with Nooka being just 3 years old. No problem, I'm patient.

in the evening, Allan, my friend and distributor for HK came by the hotel and took me to see some stores. We met the owner of a toy shop that stocks nooka and then went for a french meal at a cute place he also owned called LE MARRON. If you want a secret place to impress your friends – this is the place. the tables are divided into private areas with lace curtains and they have some private rooms. they also have a terrace for smoking [HK recently banned smoking in restaurants and bars! yeah!]. check out their site here.

the next day was crazy busy: robert and imelda arrive at 9:00 am and come to my room as theirs is not ready yet. robert, eddie and i then had an 11:00 meeting to meet a silicone goods manufacturer for potential new products [went well]. we then reconvened with allan for a delicious dim sum lunch at a place near the jia as allan and i had a 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm appointments with press [went well]. in between i we met with Raffy, our agent in the philipines. i had a 5:30 pm meeting with michael young, and then off to dinner in kowloon city to a seafod restaurant eddie wanted to take us to...cocktails with friends and finally bed AFTER checking emails and interfacing digitally with my staff in NYC!

design notes: even though taxis are inexpensive in HK, make a point to take the metro [subway]. each station is designed to a different color featured in custom bisazza glass tiles on the walls with either matching, complimenting or coordinated color flooring tiles [not bisazza]. it's unfortunate that they cover most of the stations with floor to ceiling ad wraps as 1. it covers up the beauty of the stations and 2. though HK is a great place to marvel at urban planning, it is not a great place for graphic design.