Descriptions of developers' sites are masterpieces of imagination

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 October, 2011, 12:00am

At the end of last month, during a week of high drama with stock markets plunging, warnings that financial institutions could collapse and the nail-biting wait for potential candidates to decide whether or not to run for chief executive, it was refreshing to note that our property developers had not lost their sense of the ridiculous.

New World Development's two-page [sponsored feature] spread ('The Masterpiece transforms TST into a chic metropolis', September 28) had me rolling in the aisles with its gushing description of the unbounded creativity of its architects that has revitalised the district into an ?ber-chic Tribeca.

I was in that part of Tsim Sha Tsui earlier this month and it looked more like an industrial park. The streets were gridlocked with goods vehicles but there were very few pedestrians on Mody Road. When this street was a row of attractive low-rise buildings, like New York's Tribeca, it used to be full of life but the pavements are now deserted.

The glowing reference to the melting pot of cultures and traditions had some of my non-Chinese friends holding their sides. Every time they sit down at the public open space of K11 ('brings art, people and nature together'), the mall's security guards tell them to leave the seating for mainland shoppers. The art I saw was some plastic cups hanging from the ceiling and an ear-shattering repetitive video on the very large screen.

According to the ad, the Tribeca art scene extends to the waterfront. This is amusing when you consider that there is no street-level crossing over Salisbury Road and certainly nothing remotely arty along the way. Perhaps they are referring to the antics of the copy watch touts?

Still sniggering over this flight of imagination, my sense of humour was tickled again by the advert for Hopewell Centre on September 30, 'A magnet for top brands' - sure, like ParknShop and McDonald's. Rather alarming was the news that a number of car showrooms are opening up on what is one of the most congested streets in Wan Chai. Car showrooms offer test drives of the models on sale. Queen's Road East, with its crowded pavements and nose-to-tail traffic, is hardly an ideal location for this business. How did they get the necessary permits?

Regulations on inaccurate property sales brochures are going to be introduced soon. We will miss these hilarious, over-the-top pretensions to culture that have brightened many a day.

Martin Brinkley, Ma Wan


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