Masterpieces of Light and Space: Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Hong Kong, China

Hong KongHong Kong, a city that truly never sleeps…pretty sure you could see it from space if you needed to. 

I knew that Hong Kong was a former British colony well before I ever had the opportunity to visit, but I guess I never realized just how British it would still be nearly two decades after the colony was handed back to the People’s Republic. I also had no idea at the time that Anglican churches and their histories would become very interesting to me – I certainly did not foresee my return to church, nor my return to church happening in a member of the Anglican Communion.

Hong KongBell tower of St. John the Evangelist in Hong Kong’s Central district

So today, looking through my old photos for a beautiful old church to write about, I came across the photos of this beautiful old church in Hong Kong, only to to burst with joy in my heart when I realize it’s the Anglican Cathedral in Hong Kong, the seat of the diocese of the Anglican Church in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. The church I’m referring to here is the beautiful, understated, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

Hong KongEven the interior of the church is stately, reserved, and beautiful

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is, like the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, a haven of calm in a frenetic, bustling city. Given all of Hong Kong’s glitter and glamour, a quiet, calm spot is a bit of an oasis. I guess it always seemed that way, as the were conducting mass in the church even as the Japanese were shelling the island during the second world war.

Hong KongThe Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is completely dwarfed by its more modern surroundings

It’s also a great contrast between 19th century British Empire and ultramodern Hong Kong/Chinese architecture. The contrast is stark. From any angle of St. John’s, a skyscraper looms in the background. The sound of taxis and the lift to the summit of Victoria Peak create a din in the background. The tropical environs clash with the British decorative-Gothic architecture of 1849.

What a cool old church, in a cool old/new city.

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Lazy Man’s Wonton Soup

It feels like a million years ago, a lifetime away, and like it was maybe in a different dimension or something, but one time mommyPrimate and I spent a week in Hong Kong. We wanted to go to China before we moved back from South Korea, but not China China…the cool China from Kung Fu movies and organized crime movies, and movies in general.

streetscene

See? I’ve been to Hong Kong. I drank a milkshake thing that had to be chewed in Mongkok. I loved Hong Kong. I wanted to move there. I wanted to be a salaryman for a big crazy international financial company and commute to work on an escalator. Well, that hasn’t happened yet, but today something happened that made me think of those few days we spent walking the streets of Hong Kong and slipping into some greasy but Michelin starred restaurant for a big bowl of delicious.

I totally made the laziest freaking bowl of wonton soup you can make. Here’s how I did it.

I put a tiny bit of oil in a heavy bottomed pot, then tossed in some minced garlic and ginger and sautéed it for a bit, then added in like 64 oz of chicken stock and a couple green onions, and a little splash of soy sauce. Then once it was tasting nice and garlic-ginger-soyish I tossed some super basic store-bought frozen “asian” dumplings in and let them cook until they were at the “hahaha yeah right try and pick these up with chopsticks and you’ll drop boiling soup broth on your crotch idiot” stage of texture.

It reminded me somewhat of something I ate at Food Republic in Kowloon, but made with chicken stock instead of fish stock and you know, not quite as awesome. So basically, I cooked something that vaguely reminded me of how awesome Hong Kong is and how I don’t live there. Wah.

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