“Kong! Kong! Kong!” As you walk down a very particular alley of Yau Ma Tei (油麻地), this is the only sound you will hear. Whether it be under the glaring sun, or amidst a downpour of rain, the three Coppersmiths of Ping Kee Copperware will be sweating through the day with a hammer in one hand, and their artisanal masterpieces in the other.

The Luk Brothers are the owners of Ping Kee Copperware, Hong Kong’s very last handcrafted copperware shop. Their journey began when the two brothers graduated from primary school in the 1940s, and quickly began learning the tricks of the trade from their father, apprenticing under the senior Luk for over 30 years. After gradually gaining the requisite experience to run a business in addition to working as a craftsmen, the younger Luks have since taken over.

Ping Kee Copperware makes all types of copperware from small pots and pans to big decorative art pieces. The time spent sculpting their work may range from as little as a few hours, to weeks and even months, depending on the size and shape of the piece and the intricacy of techniques involved. “Most of the time I just need my good eye and trusty hammer, but sometimes I need other tools like this!” said Luk Keung Choi, the younger of the two, as he proudly holds up a plain blue plastic cyclinder with a wide grin across his face.

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It was evident that the Luk Brothers carried on their father’s legacy not just to make a living, but because they have a passion for their work, despite the many uphill struggles and competitive challenges that come their way, namely the saturated market for common, dispensable kitchen cookware. Ping Kee Copperware do not offer any frills. They don’t do fancy. And you cannot buy their wares on demand, as they do not operate on the principle of Prêt-à-Porter. Everything is made to order, which can be slow and tedious. Furthermore, from a materials science standpoint copperware is often more brittle than what you can find in most conventional crockery stores. What Ping Kee does have though is their painstaking craftsmanship, with its nods to traditional Chinese culture embedded in the handiwork. In fact, they even offer repair services free of charge, something almost quaint in this world of single-use consumer goods—but, hey, loyal customers keep coming back.

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Hidden in plain sight is this rare gem of local Hong Kong history, regardless of what the future may hold for this unique craftsmanship, the Luk Brothers represent the best of #youdoyou. Their passion, strength, and resilience are an inspiration.

 


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Graham Turner gives us the lowdown (pun intended) on the latest technology to transform hairy beasts into male beauties in the 852.

(Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

Let me paint you a picture: it’s 2009, I’m in my early twenties, fresh out the shower at the gym (a membership I’ve long since rescinded as it was cutting into my cheeseburger fund). I notice the gentleman – nay, Sasquatch (#sasquatchshaming) – beside me drying himself off, the poor man’s back looking like an unsettling field of disturbing brown grass. I smile to myself as I appreciate the fact that hair-wise, I’m basically a goddamn Ken doll.


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(Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

Do you look like total crap? It’s okay. Looking good in Hong Kong can be an uphill battle – Heathcliff was never a sweaty mess, and Patrick Bateman had that weird eye-mask thing that doesn’t work in real life (I tried). Whether you need a total transformation or just a bit of routine upkeep, our fair city has become a hub for the barbershop renaissance. Every budget is catered for, with a consistent level of quality when it comes to the base services, and any extra cost going towards bells and whistles. So, if you want to go from a mess to your sexy best, then read on.


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(Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

It’s your big day, the day where first impressions are everything, where everything must be absolutely perfect and nothing should go wrong. You’re all set – you’ve got that nice new moisturiser, that designer aftershave, and even that suit you bought off the rack, which you’re sure will fit fine. You put on the suit. Something doesn’t feel right. You look in the mirror and your heart stops – you look ridiculous.


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 (Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

In a city with arguably the most literal approach to the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic, finding the time to stay in shape can be a real challenge. To help you get on top of your game, we’ve gathered together a panel of Hong Kong fitness gurus to give you the low-down on fitness trends, common workout mistakes, and top tips on how to shake up your regime.


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 (Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

Are you finding yourself staggering about Lan Kwai Fong on a Friday night, clinging on to lukewarm pint of Carlsberg that skinned you for $75? Are you asking yourself why? Isn’t there more to life? Well, the answer is yes my friends. If we’d had this discussion a decade ago I would say you’re pretty much out of luck, drink your medicine, and stop moaning, but the tides have turned – ferociously – and we take beer very seriously in Hong Kong now. And it’s glorious.


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As If There Was Any Other Way

So you’ve fancied learning to surf ever since you watched Point Break for the first time. Don’t worry, we get it too. Being one with the ocean; the adrenalin of catching the perfect break; the bikini-clad lovelies that seem to congregate at every great surfing beach - there’s a lot to like about boarding.


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Live Life Wirelessly

It’s amazing, when you think about it, what you once thought you couldn’t live without, and now do, happily. There was that first big crush, the succubus that deflowered you, devoured your innocence, and turned you into a sobbing poet (and a real drag for your mates). There was your first Walkman (man you thought you were cool); your first ten-speed; your first Converse kicks; and of course, that old Run DMC ball cap. But that’s how it is with life – things come, and things go. Including wires.

Live life unhindered by wires with the Jabra Elite Sports, tiny techy noise-reduction wireless Bluetooth earphones that will blow you away with their sound capabilities. Don’t be put off by the name; they don’t come in fluro; they won’t monitor your heart rate (unless you want them to, because they can you know); and they look just as good with a suit and tie as they do with your gym ensemble. A selection of tips and gels ensure the perfect custom fit, while a pair of microphones in each bud filters out the rest of the world, ensuring nothing but great music and crystal clear calls. There are dedicated apps for fitness monitoring and music tweaking, and the three-hour battery time is bolstered by a case that doubles as a back-up charger, offering a total of nine hours on the go.

Now that’s worth writing a sonnet about.


 

Jabra Elite Sport
From HK$2,500
www.jabra.com

 


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Time to Sex up Your Hotel Bathroom

Here’s a spot of trivia for your afternoon coffee break: the term Dopp Kit derives from the early 20th century, when leather craftsman Charles Doppelt (with help from his intrepid nephew Jerome Harris) created the first men’s leather hygiene case in 1919.


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Time to Pack Your Dopp Kit

With greater complexity and a spicy, quirky profile, mezcal, tequila’s ‘ugly sister’, is making waves in Asia’s top cocktail hotspots. Here’s what you need to know to get onboard this summer.

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First it was tequila’s turn. The tipple that turns up noses and finishes nights has enjoyed a renaissance, going from sleazy shots to sipping spirit. And now likely lads looking for their next libation are reaching for tequila’s ‘ugly sister’, mezcal, a blue-collar sibling that packs a spicy punch that lends itself to a raft of traditional tequila cocktails.

So, what is mezcal? Made only in Mexico, mezcal is a distilled spirit produced by roasting the heart of a Mexican agave plant, most commonly espadín agave, in a pit oven, grinding the plant’s fleshy center and extracting the juice, which is then fermented and distilled. It is this roasting process that contributes to the distinctive smoky, spicy notes of mezcal. So you know your stuff when you pull up your next bar stool, tequila is a similar spirit that’s only made in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and only from the blue weber agave, which produces a fruitier, more herbal flavour profile.

Mexcal’s move into the limelight has been slow and steady in Asia. Japan welcomed Asia’s largest mezcal bar, La Mezcaleria Jicara Bar and Grill, two years ago; the Mexican house of mixology offers more than 200 varieties of Mezcal from producers across Mexico. Hong Kong embraced this gritty spirit with the recently opening of On Lan Street’s Mezcalito, which serves more than 60 types of mezcal and tequila, both for sipping and in a list of innovative cocktails.

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“We're seeing more and more people in Asia showing an interest and wanting to sample this spirit,” says Leo Gutkowski, an F&B stalwart, self-confessed tequilaphile, and one of three founders of Mezcalito. “People are naturally curious creatures and when something comes along that they don't know much about they are inquisitive and want to know more. This is certainly the case at Mezcalito.” Gutkowski feels his new concept is just the tip of the spear. “Mezcal is huge in some parts of North America, in Europe and even in Japan. I think over the next 3-4 years mezcal will really blow up in Hong Kong too.”

With different flavour profiles, mexcal and tequila are also served differently at Mezcalito. While both spirits are often drunk neat in Mexico, tequila is most commonly consumed as a shot with lime in many parts of the world, while mezcal is served with a slice of orange sprinkled with rock salt, chili, and sal de gusano, or ‘worm salt’, essentially ground up moth larve that live in and on the agave plants (you’ll also find moth ‘worms’ in cheaper bottles of mezcal). These condiments help to prepare the palate for the smoky characteristics of the spirit.

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For cocktail lovers in Hong Kong, some mezcal-based concoctions available at Mezcalito include the Mint Floyd, a blend of mezcal, pomegranate, fresh lime, fresh mint and agave nectar; Mezcal Paloma, a refreshing mezcal and grapefruit cocktail, usually made with tequila; and the summer cooler, Grilled Pineapple & Mezcal Margarita, which brings the humble margarita to a new level with a mix of grilled pineapple and spicy mezcal.

If you’re looking to add a bottle of mezcal to your home can, there are a few choice drops we recommend. These include Mezcal Rufian; Ilegal Mezcal, which has taken North America by storm; Clase Azul; Bruxo; and El Tinieblo, all of which are available at Mezcalito.


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