Built on the site of a former typhoon shelter, Victoria Park is an oasis of calm in the midst of Hong Kong’s frenetic Causeway Bay neighborhood. Located within the park, the beautiful turquoise of Center Court hosted the Salem Tennis Open, sponsored by Winston-Salem, until the city’s 1999 ban on tobacco advertising.
Tennis would return, but beyond sport, the park is a natural hub for civic life. The weekly Sunday pro- gram, City Forum, is broadcast here and plays host to debates on issues of the day by politicians and prominent local figures. The show also draws a reliable crowd of older men known as the “uncles” of Victoria Park. These “indigenous communist” gentlemen object to any opinions expressed that diverge from those sanctioned by the Communist Party of China, and are known occasionally to take backhand swings at fellow debaters with their canes.