Bruce Lee is watching. With his back to the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, which form an irregular wall of glass and steel on the far side of the pungent width of Victoria Harbour, he stares unblinkingly from a granite pedestal. His body, rigid in bronze, is primed for action; muscles taut, legs splayed balletically, arms poised for defense or attack.
In front of him on the Avenue of Stars, a paved walkway that juts out into the harbor, six elderly people — two men, four women — maintain a similar stance. To the warble of Chinese music, they shift their weight from foot to foot in perfect unison. They each raise one arm up and pull the other down to their sides. They twist the raised palm. They step forward. They lean back. The choreography is executed slowly, with controlled grace.
It is a morning ritual that is replicated in public spaces throughout the crowded mainland district of Kowloon. The relentless bustle of the city momentarily recedes. The cacophony of traffic, of radios blaring from open apartment windows, of squabbling market traders, of barking dogs, fades. All senses are invested in each purposeful movement. For these few minutes, the stresses of age and of the modern world are conquered by tai chi.
Outsiders tend to regard tai chi as a slow-motion imitation of a Chinese martial art; a harmless daily diversion for sprightly seniors. The reality is more complex. There are five main schools of tai chi with roots that reach back centuries into the remote, misty mountains of the Chinese hinterland. From these five basic forms, many more styles have evolved. Some are athletic and combative, others are elegant and meditative.
The most popular version of tai chi is the Yang style, which incorporates an array of poetically named postures (White Crane Spreads Its Wings; Parting Wild Horse’s Mane). In a typical session, practitioners progress through a sequence of postures. A 16-posture sequence will take two minutes to complete, while a 103-posture sequence takes around 30 minutes.
On this humid morning, the six people on the Kowloon waterfront move through their long sequence without breaking a sweat. They keep their breathing deep and regular. They twist, they turn. Every posture flexes particular sets of muscles. The whole routine is designed to keep the body supple and strong.
The benefits are not only physical. Tai chi requires supreme concentration, unifying mind and body with an intensity that few other activities achieve. For the young Bruce Lee, it possibly provided salvation.
Although he had been born in San Francisco, Lee’s parents returned to Hong Kong when he was still a baby, settling in Kowloon. As he reached his teens, Bruce started to get into fights, and his father decided that his boy needed the personal discipline that tai chi could provide.
Young Bruce was indoctrinated into the Wu style, which helped to provide the foundation for the distinctive form of kung fu that he would make famous in his movies. Generations of young men have celebrated Lee’s fighting prowess, yet when his fighting set-pieces are slowed down, the fundamentals of tai chi are clear to see.
In the shadow of Bruce Lee’s statue in Kowloon, the duality of this seemingly innocuous martial art becomes apparent. Out in the harbor, a traditional junk sails in front of skyscrapers and gaudy advertising billboards. Modern China is built on duality. As the seniors wind down their routine, the kung fu master maintains his pose, perfectly balanced between serenity and aggression, youthful vigor and timelessness.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.
There’s an aspirational rustic chic/farm-to-table restaurant genre often associated with Northern California’s wine country. When you drive down the main street of Napa, Sonoma or any of the other towns, it appears there are as many of them as there are vineyards. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this genre, as the quality of the food is consistent and ambitious chefs earnestly endeavor to elevate home-style dishes to a higher standard.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco announced a new amenity for guests in collaboration with Porsche. Porsche electric vehicle charging stations will now be located in the valet area of the hotel’s parking deck, allowing guests and visitors to top off the batteries of electric vehicles while enjoying a cocktail at Top of the Mark, enjoying farm-to-table fare at Nob Hill Club or staying overnight at the property.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Reykjavik with us.