This short street isn’t easy to spot on regular maps and getting there may involve a bit of legwork, but once you reach this interesting stretch, you’ll find yourself making a beeline for a certain shop with the big red and white sign, and enjoy the visual treats dotting the way.
My first visit to Po-Yan Street in 2009 had me feeling rather deflated. All that walking under the hot Hong Kong summer sun amounted to nothing when I found myself facing the place I intended to visit; instead of walking into the Lomography Gallery Store in Sheung Wan HK, I was face to face with this closed red, folding gate that separated the outside world from a goldmine of analogue abundance. Turned out there was a holiday being celebrated. I was due to leave HK the following day, so I had no other time to visit the Mother Ship. I consoled myself by taking a look at the rest of the street and drinking in the atmosphere. Looking at a nearby art gallery and interesting boutique hotels gave me something to smile about. The day wasn’t entirely shot, after all.
Fast forward to 2011, during my New Year’s vacation with my family, I swore I’ll visit Po-Yan Street again. On that fine January morning, the walk from the Sheung Wan station was rather pleasant, as I had the cool winter air accompanying me. Passing the busy shops along Wing Lok Street and watching other pedestrians along Possession Street kept me entertained.
When I came upon Po-Yan, I couldn’t wipe my grin off my face. A portion of the road was getting constructed, and I think it added to the charm of the whole backdrop.
I happily entered the Mother Ship, and satisfied my emulsional cravings. It felt so awesome! Being in a full-scale Gallery store is like walking right into wonderland.
I also successfully deposited my dear LC-A+ for some repairs (it “died” a couple of weeks earlier), then picked up a good supply of film and accessories. The super friendly (and pretty!) attendant made sure I got what I needed. Of course I couldn’t leave the place without a token shot of the giant LC-A and other corners of the store.
After soaking up the surroundings and paying for my purchases, I left the store with a happy analogue heart and a bag full of Lomo goodies (Film! Fotoclips! More Film!). While walking away, I continued to dream of visiting other Gallery Stores, such as the one in Tsim Sha Tsui, and hopefully someday, a more far-flung shop, like maybe in Berlin. Until then, I have my Po-Yan Street memories.
[For more info (and clearer shots! I had the dreaded Forgotten B-Setting Disease that day) check out http://microsites.lomography.com/stores/gallery-stores/hongkong ]