Same or different?

A friend of mine sent me a set of PowerPoint slides with pictures of Hong Kong in the yesteryears. One of them shows Hennessy Road in Wanchai. Of course the topography is very different from the Hennessy Road today that I get past almost on a daily basis, which is as shown in the photo at the bottom. For a nostalgic guy like me, the choice of which scene I prefer is not a difficult one.

Two things particularly strike me. The first is that one can actually see the hills as backdrop in the old picture - something that is totally impossible today! With those tall buildings lining the road, you can hardly even see the sky. The second is the nature of business of the shops. While the old picture shows, from what I can make out, two restaurants, a tailor, a private school, etc., in the recent one, the four signs in the foreground show three finance companies and one bank.

These two pictures are very revealing about the changes that have taken place in Hong Kong in a matter of half a century.

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