“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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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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Breaking the Ice in Style

Dating can be stressful for both parties. Whether you met the organic way, or simply swiped right one a special lady who didn’t fancy your late-night invite to your man den as a first meeting, there’s a lot of expectations in the air, a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of investigation taking place.


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Feel the Need for Speed

So, summer is almost upon us, and you know what that means, fun under the sun in as many forms as you can find it.


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Put Insomnia on Standby

Jetlag was a curious ailment when it was first described in a 1966 Los Angeles Times article by Horace Sutton. Clinically referred to as desynchronosis, this condition is the result of alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms during rapid long-distance travel.


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Time to Up the Home Bar Ante

There’s little doubt that we’re living in the age of the craft spirit, which is a good thing for lads that like a good drink, but it also means you shall we judged on what you present on your home bar, whether it’s a sleek copper lined number crested with ornate decanters, or just a dusty corner where bottles tend to congregate. The reality is good craft spirits not only make cocktails more interesting, but they also make great ice breakers and conversation starters, which can always be nice if the night’s waning.

Karven Starka Vodka is no ordinary vodka. Crafted in New Zealand with natural artesian water (the family-owned distillery also does an award-winning gin and a very unique vermouth) this savvy drop is inspired by Eastern Europe’s 500-year-old tradition of creating starka spirit, a dry vodka made from distilled rye that’s often buried in the ground the day a baby boy is born and unearthed when he marries. Karven’s starka vodka is rested in American oak barrels for 6-8 weeks and infused with local manuka honey and insightful local botanicals, including native kawakawa. The result is an alluring and intriguing spirit with the deep golden hue of a sunburst Stratocaster, with toasted vanilla and honey notes on the palate, followed by a touch of spice that’s guaranteed to get tongues waggling.

Dare to drink different.


 

Karven Starka Vodka
HK$430
karven.co.nz 


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Time Your Tried Tequila’s ‘Ugly Sister’

When it came to drinking rum and playing with knives, no one has ever mastered this fine balance quite like cutthroat pirate Edward Teach, otherwise known as Blackbeard.


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The New Strike Force

Luxury watch brands have always liked to link their products with various masculine facets, from flying and golf, to motor sports and sailing. But one of the most common themes is the military.


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UMI

Sushi Done Right

So, when it comes to authentic Japanese sushi, there’s a chance you don’t know your nigiri from your uramaki, but that’s cool because it’s never too late to learn.


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Add Spirit Artisan to Your CV

There’s no doubt that gin is seeing a huge global renaissance. The spirit has come a long way since it single-handedly corrupted the moral fiber of London in the first half of the 18th century (leaving you to corrupt the other half during nights on the town in Brixton). This was a time when there was said to be a gin still in every fourth house in the city and when it was safer to drink the juniper-laced elixir than water.

Make your own home a gin joint with The Home Made Gin Kit, a brilliant little set up that allows you to turn vodka into your own small-batch gin in the time it takes to binge watch season one of Ray Donovan. Kick off with the starter kit, which includes everything you need, from two 375ml glass bottles, a fine stainless steel strainer, a funnel, one tin of juniper berries, and one of the brand’s own secret blend of botanicals. All you need to do then is add the ingredients to any old vodka, wait for nature to do its thing, strain, and rebottle. If you’re not a gin guy yourself these kits also make great he-gifts, as do the finished products. Once you have the equipment and know how you can get a little more creative, either with the brand’s own botanical refills, which include smoky, spiced or hopped blends, or with ingredients you come across on your travels.

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.” - Casablanca
  


 

The Home Made Gin Kit
From US$49.95 www.homemadegin.com
www.homemadegin.com


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Start the Year Strong

Forget what you think you know about your face; chances are you’re treating is as poorly as you treat your hands, your liver, and your moral compass. Sure, once upon a time men were expected to age quietly – women had ‘crow’s feet’, but we had ‘character lines’. However, times, they’re a changin’, and it’s time you took the maintenance of your lady catcher a little more seriously.

Fortunately, the sirens at The Strand in Central are a few steps ahead. Located beside the Mid-Levels Escalator, The Strand boasts an array of he-centric treatments, from manicures, pedicures and a full hair saloon (we’ll call it a barbershop if it makes you more comfortable) through to a host of skin treatments designed to make those youthful years last as long as scientifically possible. Start your 2017 filled with youthful zest with the new Skeyndor Eternal Youth treatment, a comprehensive anti-aging facial that targets the skin - contrary to what you might tell the ladies, it’s your biggest organ you know – and helps undo all that environmental damage. Without getting too technical, the machine-based treatment encouraged hydration and the production of collagen and elastin, replacing damaged skin cells and resulting in firmer skin and leaving you with the face of a shaving commercial model. The spa also stocks Skeynor’s men’s range, meaning there’s no reason the face-love can’t last throughout the year.

A fresh face for a new year.
 

 

 


 

The Strand
18 Cochrane St, Central;
2850 7686
Skeyndor Eternal Youth facial from HK$1,480 for 60 minutes
www.thestrandhk.com


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Time to Chill

This might not be news to you, but a recent report published by the Hong Kong Mystery Shopper Service Association found we ranked dead last out of 60 surveyed countries when it came to…smiling! The report cited a direct correlation between the city’s poor smile performance and the levels of stress in the average citizen’s life. Cramped living conditions, traffic, pollution and long working hours are all normal for the average HongKonger, and none of these strains are doing us any good in the process.

All the way from the land of brutal ice hockey, playboy prime ministers and yes, you guessed it, smiles, Slow Cow is a naturally-formulated mind-cooling beverage that’s now available in our fair city. A unique formula of eight natural stress-relieving ingredients, sans caffeine, sugar or preservatives, Slow Cow promises physical and mental relaxation, all with the refreshing flavor of dragon-fruit. There’s valerian and linden to reduce stress; L-Theanine for sharper focus and enhanced memory; chamomile to relieve insomnia; potassium to stabilize blood pressure; and sodium to get your brain pumping.

Now all we have to do is get taxi drivers to drink it.


 

Slow Cow
Available at 7-Eleven, Park’N Shop and Aeon Stores
http://slowcow.hk


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Time to Turn Off

It’s possible you don’t know much about the origins of floatation therapy. Using a sensory deprivation tank (which sounds like the swimming pool at Guantanamo), neuropsychiatrist John C. Lilly pioneered today’s modern float tank concept as part of his research into sensory deprivation back in the 1950s.


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The Next Generation of Junking

We all remember our first junk; the anticipating of making new friends, plastic cups of warm Tanduay rum and coke under a basking sun; perilous leaps from the top deck, the inevitable accidents on slippery timber, the early pass outs, and the serenity of the final cruise as night descended.


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Become a Rock God

We all know that if there’s any profession that’s going to have you on your back and straddled like a prize-winning racehorse, it’s a rock and roll musician.


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We Can All Do With a Dose

Throughout history working men have sought clarity; ancient Chinese practitioners manipulated pressure points to ensure they stayed awake in the royal court and aboriginal tribes would do breathing sessions before night hunts in order to stay alert.


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Time to Clean Up

For those of you who might not have spent much time in the Land of the Rising Sun, an onsen is a Japanese hot spring.


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The Need for Speed

So when you were a little lad, there’s even money that you, like many of your little-lad mates, wanted to be a race car driver.


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Straight from the MotherlandDown

Like many countries in Europe, the Czech Republic, home of leggy ladies and perfect pilsners, has a long and rich beer-making tradition.


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Bringing Sexy Back

You would have to live on the moon not to notice the returning trend in male barbershops around the world.


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Time to Slide, Shenzhen

You may remember, during those golden years of your childhood, carefree summers spent in the backyard with the hose,


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Helping You Help Yourself

So you’ve perfected the art of the pickup. You’re looking great, you’re smelling fantastic, you have all the right talking points, you’ve made her smile, you’ve made her laugh, and now you’re desperately hailing for a cab.


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Ok so you’re a little different: you like to wear ironic hats and do your shirt’s top button up; you love anything checkered or vintage or retro; you stumble into work with organic, single-origin coffee and end the week with small-batch cinnamon-scented moonshine.


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A Travel Agent that’s Licensed to Kill

Go on, admit it, you rather fancy yourself as the next Bond, and which red blooded man wouldn’t?


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Men Speaking the Truth

Truth is a commodity sometimes short in supply in Hong Kong.


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Video Gaming for Adults

When you were young, depending on how long ago we’re talking, you would have gone through a video game phase.


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The Gift that Keeps on Giving

We’re all looking for motivation in life; we’re all looking for satisfaction, renewed energy, and even companionship, and what better time to seek these essential elements out than at the end of yet another year?


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Give in to Your Vanity

Most of us don’t mind being in photos.


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Lock in Your Dining Experience

It’s true that some women love spontaneity in a man; they think it reflects on our romanticism and creativity, and that’s all fine and dandy.


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Ride In Style

You’re a charismatic man of the world, with a nuanced appreciation for the finer things in life and a wardrobe of suits that make Sinatra look like a hobo.


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