The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 19

THOSE WERE THE DAYS
by VIVIAN LO, MRAIC

hen I think of my list of favourite places, several categories immediately
come to mind. Because of my background in journalism and architecture,
these places tend to be landmarks, tourist attractions, great works of
architecture and heritage buildings - the kinds of places that most
people recall when asked to list their favourite places.
But when I think about it more carefully, I realize that my very favourite place must
be somewhere I love to visit and stay as long as I can. A place is an objective and
physical environment, however, my feelings towards that place are a totally subjective - even a mental - experience.
I tend to find the answer by recalling the places I visit repeatedly in my dreams,
where the image of the physical space becomes blurred and unreal, yet my sensations,
mood, and emotions towards that place are still so real and clear.
My favourite place turns out not to be a particular landmark - Instead, it is a place
that gives me fond memories of childhood, playing with neighbourhood friends or
spending time alone. The shattered memories of my favourite place are like a kaleidoscope of mirror-like reflections, where objects fall into a mysterious space where
they might get erased, dismantled, mixed, grouped, and reassembled. I might not
even be able to distinguish which things are real and which are mirror reflections in
a dream-like dimension.
My favourite childhood play area was a generic, empty alley space that connected
several apartments in our residential complex - a fairly commonly occurrence in
urban areas of Hong Kong. The area was composed of several levels with irregularshaped outdoor concrete grounds, indoor stone tile space underneath the apartment
buildings, stairs, curved ramps, mailbox areas, underground parking lots, connected
rooftops providing different views of the city, as well as convoluted, sloped, covered,
and uncovered corridors. For all the children who lived in the residential complex where
I spent my childhood, This was a fantastic playground.
Children not only played badminton and rode bicycles in the open space, but they
also imagined or interpreted those spaces as home, school, market, or restaurants.
The handrail of the stairs became a slide. The small crawl spaces underneath the
stairs were tents in a campground or individual "houses." The concrete fence, which
was about a foot high, was perfect for a countertop to serve food for a tea party or
an imaginative street market place.
There were no limitations to communicating with neighbours and newcomers. We
almost never used telephones. We just talked (or shouted) to each other from the
space at ground level to another child who had to stay at home (several floors above)
and was not allowed to go out until his or her homework was finished. Kids played
together usually after school and especially during festivals like the Mid-Autumn
Festival. To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, we grouped together after dinner to
form a continuous line and walked through the alley space holding lanterns of different
types and sizes. We also brought mooncakes and fruits to share with each other. That
concrete fence, our usual imaginative countertop, became a real countertop to share
festive foods. The candlelight from the lanterns made perfect temporary "restaurant"
lighting for our gathering at night.
This play space is still my favourite place after all these years. It is the place
where I escape to (in my dreams now); it calms me down and lifts me up at the
same time.

I might not
even be able
to distinguish
which things
are real
and which
are mirror
reflections in
a dream-like
dimension.

VIVIAN LO is a Technical Specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Health. She is a Director of the Built
Environment Open Forum and a member of the Right Angle Editorial Committee

The Right Angle | Fall 2017 | 19



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017

Message from the Board
Introduction to The Right Angle Journal
Places
Allied Arts & Professions: Light-Colour-Darkness
Index to Advertisers
Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - Intro
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - cover1
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - cover2
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 3
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 4
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 5
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 6
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - Message from the Board
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 8
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - Introduction to The Right Angle Journal
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - Places
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 11
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 12
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 13
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 14
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 15
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 16
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 17
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 18
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - 19
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - Allied Arts & Professions: Light-Colour-Darkness
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - Index to Advertisers
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - cover3
The Right Angle Journal - Fall 2017 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0320
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0220
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0120
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0419
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0319
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0219
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0119
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0418
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/BEFQ/BEFQ0317
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com