I heard this on NPR a year or so ago - thought the story was wonderful: http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/episode-66-kowloon-walled-city/ Great photos as well.
I’m impressed, but I guess I like my arcades with terrible 70’s space/disco murals.
Hmm, spent most my time, annoyingly and not to anyones credit, mostly in a hanger style building with all of the sound turned all of the way up, with windows… Yes! ¡Windows! above the main attractions… but less often and more sublimely in the back of:
- A Laser Quest
- A burger bar
- A bar*
Seemingly almost always The Back, mostly unused corner of whatever establishment; where strangely, people seldom seem to venture. That hallowed enclosure of private and forgotten space where the bubble bobble table got abandoned.
*totally like, any bar; but one in particular for the purposes of this comment
That reminds me of the weekends that my wife and I spent in the old Chungking Mansions in Kowloon in the late '80s, long before the recent renovations.
Visiting the actual Kowloon Walled City held no attraction for us at the time. We got a good enough look at it from the air since it was quite close to the Kai Tak Airport.
The Chungking Mansions were Blade Runner-esque enough for us - though not exactly a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
Been by there many times but never went in. There used to be some sections of Shinjuku and Shimokitazawa that looked like that for real but both areas were redeveloped years ago.
Also a fantastic Call Of Duty map.
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