Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hong Kong Then and Now

Last year I posted photos of my uncle's adventures in Hong Kong. Slides he took in 1969 while on leave from the war in Vietnam. I'm always shocked when someone finds my posts online, and even more so when they post a comment. So to say I was blown away when someone commented with the Google map coordinates of some of my uncle's pictures would be a huge understatement. I can't thank Kevin from Hong Kong enough for taking the time to share what he knows about the places where my uncle visited. Here are a few of the photos from 1969 next to their modern locations. It's fascinating to see how much the city has changed, and yet remained the same.

1969...Hennessy Road, Wanchai. Check out the the white building on the right hand side with the red Chinese characters painted on the building wall. On Google maps below you can see the same building, painted pink. 


2016...Nearly 50 years later.

1969...Paintings for sale at Lok Ma Chau, the Honk Kong/China border

2016... No more paintings, plenty of parking though. 


1969...Victoria Peak lookout, Hong Kong

2014... Not much has changed, you can see the same building that overlooks Hong Kong.
Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan

1969...View of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

2015...Buildings are a little bigger, just a little. 
Photo Credit: Rodney Topor

1969...Hennessy Road, View of the Chinese Methodist Church on the left
2016...The Church on the left has been renovated, but is still recognizable. 



Sunday, February 15, 2015

10 Photographs at a Time: Photos 31-40 (Hong Kong 1969, Part 2)

HSBC Bank Lion - Hong Kong 1969
My Uncle Bill in front of the HSBC Bank

These are the last of the photos from my Uncle's slides of his trip to Hong Kong in 1969 while on leave from the war in Vietnam.

Check out the first set of 1960s Hong Kong photos.

His adventures take us from primitive boat dwellings, to the then 80 year old Hong Kong Peak Tram, to a modern school surrounded by barbed wire. They are a snapshot in time of the people of Hong Kong going about their daily lives.

I love that every time I look at these photos I see details that I missed upon first glance. I only wish there were more, but unfortunately this is the last of the roll. The next photos (which I hope to post soon) are of Vietnam.

  

Victoria Harbour - Hong Kong 1969
Originally called Hong Kong Harbour it was renamed Victoria Harbour after Queen Victoria.

Tanka "on-water people" junks - Hong Kong 1969
Boat dwellings (also called junks) of "on-water people"or "Nam Hoi Yan"formerly called Tanka but that is now considered a derogatory term.

Families on junks in Victoria Harbour - Tanka  - Hong Kong 1969
Close up of the picture above. I looked at this photo dozens of times before seeing the families on the boats going about their daily lives. It's been described that the "on-water people" have lived on junks in Hong Kong "since time unknown."

Hong Kong Peak Tram - Hong Kong 1969
The Hong Kong Peak Tram has been around for 125 years. “You can’t say you've visited Hong Kong if you haven’t been up the Peak, and a journey up Victoria Peak without the Peak Tram is simply incomplete.” 
RIce Paddies - Hong Kong 1969
Rice paddies. Maybe viewed from the tram? UPDATE: This picture has been identified in blog comments as Lok Ma Chau, the Hong Kong/China border.

Prints for sale on the side of the road - Hong Kong 1969
Paintings for sale by the side of the road, I wonder if Mr. Brown Pants buys one or is just posing for the camera. UPDATE: This picture has been identified in blog comments as Lok Ma Chau, the Hong Kong/China border.

Busy Hong Kong Market - Hong Kong 1969
Busy Hong Kong market.

Busy Hong Kong street Mercedes and Double Decker buses Hitachi - Hong Kong 1969
Mercedes & green double-decker buses bearing Hitachi tv ads. Bus transport in Hong Kong was started in the 1920s. 

Busy Hong Kong Street, Mercedes Cabs and bicycles -  Hong Kong 1969
In the 60s European cars were used as taxis in Hong Kong. I think what's pictured here are Mercedes W120 Pontons. 

Hilton Custom Taylor Hong Kong - Hong Kong 1969
Tailor Tailor Tailor. 

School children behind barbed wire - Hong Kong 1969
It must have been odd for my uncle who grew up on a farm with no fences to see school children behind barbed wire.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Photographs at a Time: Photos 21-30 (Hong Kong 1969, Part 1)

Donald W. "Bill" McCaw Jr. (1945-2005)
I came across these long forgotten slides tucked away in a cabinet in my grandma's basement. They were taken by my late Uncle Bill, I'm assuming that he took them when he was on leave during the Vietnam war.

Of all of the family photos I've seen and sorted through these are some of my favorites. They transport me back in time to a place that is foreign and western, modern and ancient, vibrant and grimy all at the same time. 

There's no way I could limit this set to just 10 photos, there are too many great one's that I want to share. So if you want to see more, just check out Hong Kong Part 2!










Hong Kong Festival 1969
The Hong Kong Festival was first held in December of 1969.
Not sure if the construction is related to that since this picture was taken around the same time. 
Much like Molly Shannon on Seinfeld this gentleman doesn't swing his arms when he runs. The randomness of this photo is great, I'm assuming he ran into the shot and this isn't the picture my uncle was intending to take which makes it even better. UPDATE: Taken at 3 Hennessy Road, showing a view of the Chinese Methodist Church that is still there but has since been renovated. 
Victoria's Peak Hong Kong 1960s
These two appear in a few of the shots. UPDATE: Thanks to a helpful commenter who wrote "This must be the Hong Kong/China border. It was hard for a traveler to visit China at that time."

Hong Kong Kow Hoo Shoe Co.1969
And here again walking the streets of Hong Kong looking like they stepped off the set of Happy Days. UPDATE: View of Hennessy Road, Wanchai.
Hong Kong Market 1969 CocaCola and Sunkist signs
Is that a 3-legged dog or is he scratching?
There's so much going on in this one I didn't even notice the dog's legs until the 10th time I looked at this photo. 
Hong Kong Harbor 1969
Hong Kong Harbor. At the time the population was estimated at 3 million, now it's over 7 million.
The best part of this photo is not the boy running with one hand in his pocket (and the other one carrying a ???),
it's that I'm pretty sure what's behind him is called "The Old Dragon Store". 
Sorry guys, there aren't any photos from inside the night club. 

There must be 20 slides of Hong Kong Harbor at night.
I can imagine this would have been an amazing sight to my uncle who had never left the US before this trip. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

10 Photographs at a Time: Photos 11-20 (Around the World with Uncle Doug)

Today we celebrate the birthday of the kind, generous, spontaneous, hilarious Uncle Doug. Uncle Doug is the youngest of the four McClelland brothers, my father the oldest. Because he was a teenager when my brother and I were born he's always been more of an older brother than an uncle.

My uncle started his journey in Berlin, when my grandfather was stationed there in the 50s. Every day is an adventure for Doug, and sometimes I'm lucky enough to go along for the ride.

Did they not have color photography when you were born Uncle Doug?
Ever wonder whose job it was to paint these photos? "What do you do sir? Oh I paint rosy cheeks on babies."
This picture is pure awesome. I would ask if you can get this close to the White House now, but I think we all know the answer to that. Also, do the kids visiting the president now wear suits and ties?  
I can't read it, but I think that's a certificate for Best Goggles. (August 1962)

Doug and my Great Grandpa Charles Siemen on his farm in Elizabeth, Illinois. (August 1965)

The back of this says "Doug Halloween" 4th Grade, Urbana, Illinois.
Way to prepare early for the Zombie Apocalypse Uncle Doug. 

That's my uncle far right. Despite it being the 70s there's not much I can pick on him for in this photo.
Where are your bell bottoms, facial hair and giant belt Uncle Doug? (August 29, 1975)

The house that my grandpa and Doug built. Lake of Egypt, Illinois. As much as we all groaned when grandma pulled out her Polaroid camera, I couldn't be more thankful that she documented every day occasions when I see photos like this. 

My uncles with the cool staches. San Diego circa 1987. 

This one says "Leaving Victoria BC on a boat."
I'd like to get my hands on that cool white coat your lady friend is wearing Doug. (May 1976)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

10 Photographs at a Time: Photos 1-10 (Japan circa 1948)

It's hard not to get overwhelmed by the neatly stacked boxes of slides and photos in my closet. They are the legacy left behind by family that is no longer here, handed down to me because no one else would take them. Although it's not accidental that I was the one who gladly carted them home from Illinois. As a cultural anthropology major, amateur photographer, and part-time writer, I'm fascinated by the stories that they tell. The social scientist in me wants to catalog them, figure out exactly where they were taken and who's in them. The photographer wants to color correct them preserve them, and the blogger wants to share them with the world.

I've come to the realization that it will likely take too long to scan all of them and then categorize them by time and place. So I've decided to just start tackling them 10 at a time, somewhat randomly, and posting them here. They are already sorted by the places my family lived, although I'm not sure that these labels are entirely accurate.

This first set labeled "JAPAN" would have been taken in the late 40s, after the defeat of Japan in WWII. As an army officer, my grandfather was part of the allied occupation and reconstruction that took place from 1945 - 1952.

Floating Fish - There's something magical about the washed out colors and the subject of this photo. 

I believe this is my dad, I can just picture my grandmother telling him to go stand next to this car for a photo.
Photos like this just beg for a description and make me wish my grandparents where here to tell the story of this day.
 
Thatched Roofs

My Grandma Kate

My father and my uncle Dan striking a pose
 
Japanese Children

I'm sure this double exposure was unintentional, but it's one of my favorites. 
Looking at the license plate, this appears to be taken in America, not Japan. 
Out for a picnic.