Things I Miss About NYC, Things I Love About HK


It’s been about 2 months since we moved from NYC to HK, and I’m often asked if I really miss the Big Apple. The fact that I had to think about it a few minutes the first time is telling. I suppose right now, the answer is…not as much as I would have expected. I mean, I love NYC, always will. But HK has so much to offer, feels like New York in many weirdly chaotic but comfortingly familiar ways, and also feels quite different and exciting – that it’s tough not to think of HK as our home now. Granted, we’re still in our HK honeymoon phase, but I have a feeling it will continue to impress.

(Sort of) missing my beloved NYC...

(Sort of) missing my beloved NYC…

That said, there are definitely things I miss about my beloved NYC (and region):

  • L’Apicio, Tertulia, Yunnan Kitchen, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Roman’s, Empellon Taqueria, Eleven Madison Park, Brooklyn Fare, Gwynnett St, Shake Shack…
  • Probably 30 other awesome restaurants that exist already and 30 more promising restaurants opening just next month
  • A relatively high standard, and consistency, of service at restaurants, bars, and stores (usually)
  • Generally reliable restaurant reviews
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dia:Beacon, the Cloisters, the Noguchi Museum
  • Fall For Dance Festival
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) – everything about it
  • The monthly Photo Group Salon at Soho Photo Gallery
  • Sleep No More and other incredibly creative, inimitable performance art
  • Seemingly endless independent and arthouse films
  • Street performers and subway art
  • Taking in the unbelievable graffiti art at 5 Pointz in Long Island City from the 7 train
  • Halloween, West Indian American, Mermaid, and other crazy-ass parades where people lose their minds for a day (or night)
  • High Line Park
  • Loads of greenmarkets
  • Gallow Green and other really original bars with inspired cocktails
  • Cassis violet macarons at Francois Payard Bakery
  • Pudding and vanilla eclairs at ChikaLicious Puddin’ and ChikaLicious Dessert Club
  • Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg, and other sources of gourmet food trucks
  • No pop-up wafting of durian (except in Chinatown, of course)
  • Subways stations that don’t take at least 10 minutes to enter or exit
  • Walking fast and up and down escalators without being looked at like I’m an idiot
  • FreshDirect,, and other ridiculously convenient delivery merchants
  • Return policies
  • What-now-seem-incredibly-reasonable mortgage costs
  • What-now-seems-cool-and-not-humid-at-all summer weather (and the promise of a real autumn around the corner)
  • A/C that does not feel like I’ve entered a meat locker at every turn
  • North Fork wineries
  • Driving through the Hudson Valley
  • The true cultural melting pot that is NYC
  • Last but certainly not least, my close family and friends
But loving our new hometown of Hong Kong!

…but loving our new hometown of Hong Kong!

And only experiencing HK for 2 months, there are already many things I really love here:

  • Greenery – everywhere, even amid skyscrapers
  • Mountains as the city’s backdrop
  • Hong Kong Park
  • Basking on one of numerous beaches in about 15 minutes
  • Hiking and island mini-adventures that can begin within a half-hour
  • Knowing that no real winter will come, and not worrying that my next knee injury (from black ice, anyway) is imminent
  • Taking in HK Island almost end to end on top of a double-decker tram for about 2 HKD (30 cents USD)
  • Seeing the mashup of really old right next to the literally-just-built, east next to west, low-key next to high-end – everywhere
  • Dim sum (the real stuff)
  • 22 Ships, Din Tai Fung, Madame Sixty Ate, Piccolo, Lung King Heen, Blue Butcher, and the hope of discovering countless more restaurant gems, high and low
  • Wan Chai Market and endless other street markets
  • Stumbling upon wonderful little surprises like Maureen Noodles, Tai Lung Fung bar, Pak Tai Temple, Serge et Le Phoque, and Me Plus Cafe, a few blocks from our flat and wedged between auto repair garages, metal workshops, and hole-in-the-wall spots with nothing in English
  • Cocktails on board the Aqua Luna, traditional Chinese ‘junk boat’
  • The over-the-top Symphony of Lights show over Victoria Harbour every night at 8 pm (it still hasn’t gotten old)
  • Rooftop bars on almost every single high-rise building
  • Really good, long massages that cost less than 600 HKD (<80 USD, or often half that) – in spas that don’t terrify me
  • Real cafes (where you can actually hang out and enjoy every minute of it, without dagger stares from waitstaff and other customers)
  • Egg tarts that cost about 4 HKD (60 cents USD), are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and are really bad for your cardiovascular health, but who cares
  • Lychee cupcakes at NYC-based ChikaLicious’ HK bakery, Kisses
  • Rose macarons at Le Gouter Bernardaud
  • Other patisseries on almost every single street corner
  • Fully air-conditioned metro system (not just the cars, everywhere) with air tunnels on every train (thank you, thank you, thank you – even if I am frozen after 5 minutes)
  • Subway cars without garbage, sticky floors, or deafening screeching, and with announcements I can actually hear and understand
  • The universal Octopus Card – micro-chipped to let you ride the train/bus/tram, get into your building, and pay for almost anything with a quick scan
  • Not being yelled at by random people generously using the F bomb, for truly no reason at all
  • Hopping on a plane and arriving in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Bali, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, or almost anywhere else in Asia in a matter of a few hours (at most)
  • Knowing this is just the tip of the HK iceberg
  • The challenge of figuring out local culture and people
  • The prospect of new friends
  • The promise of new opportunities


Posted by

Globetrotter based in Hong Kong, travel and street photographer, Getty Images contributor, award-winning blogger of - seeking true beauty in travel and life!

11 thoughts on “Things I Miss About NYC, Things I Love About HK”

  1. Machelle D says:

    I so love being able to have a taste of HK by reading your blog! One of these days- I must experience it for myself!


    • Hi Machelle – thanks so much for reading, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog! You must come visit someday – so much already to share..



  2. Bing Chang (Your Mom's friend) says:

    Surprisingly, you haven’t visited the Man’s bathroom (ladies allowed conditionally!) on top of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel which boasts to have the best panorama view of HK from urinal.


  3. Bing, you’ve given Deb a challenge worth exploring. ;-). ????

    Deb, could this be an interesting photo op? 😉


    • Unfortunately, I highly doubt the male clientele will appreciate me whipping out my camera in their bathroom!! Although it would be fun to try 🙂



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