Hong Kong Journal: Why Laundromats Are the Hot New Place to Hang Out in Hong Kong

Why Laundromats Are the Hot New Place to Hang Out in Hong Kong HONG KONG — On a bustling Hong Kong street lined with dried seafood stores, where baskets of sea cucumber vie for space with scallops and abalone, one shop stands out. Amid the pungent smells of dried fish and shrimp, the scents of brewed coffee and freshly laundered clothes come wafting out of the aptly named Coffee & Laundry.
The shop — half laundromat and half cafe — offers customers a variety of drinks and pastries along with 10 self-service washing machines and dryers.
Washing their own clothes at a laundromat is a new experience for Hong Kong residents. The first self-service laundromat is believed to have opened only in 2014. Since then, the number has taken off; more than 180 laundromats had appeared by the beginning of this year, according to one estimate.
Why this proliferation of laundromats? The reason is Hong Kong’s increasingly acute shortage of affordable housing. As prices keep soaring in what is already the..

Saudi Prince Says Israelis Have Right to ‘Their Own Land’

Saudi Prince Says Israelis Have Right to ‘Their Own Land’ Photo Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has adopted a distinctly warmer tone toward Israel, seeing it as an attractive regional economic and technological hub as well as a potential partner in the kingdom’s cold war with Iran. Credit Amir Levy/Reuters Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince has said that Israelis “have the right to have their own land” and that formal relations between Israel and the kingdom could be mutually beneficial.
The comments by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in an interview published on Monday reflected the distinctly warmer tone toward Israel adopted recently by the de facto ruler of a powerful Arab country that once opposed Israel’s right to exist.
Saudi Arabia and Israel still have no formal relations, and Saudi leaders have historically criticized the Jewish state for its treatment of the Palestinians and for limiting access to Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
But the kingdom’s stance to..

Nonfiction: A Reckoning With an Imperfect Science in ‘Blue Dreams’

Supported by Book Review | Nonfiction A Reckoning With an Imperfect Science in ‘Blue Dreams’ Photo Credit Sophy Hollington BLUE DREAMS
The Science and the Story of the Drugs That Changed Our Minds
By Lauren Slater
400 pp. Little, Brown & Company. $28.
In 1988, Lauren Slater put a single cream-and-green pill in her mouth and, with a sip of water, became one of the first patients in the United States to take Prozac. She also emerged as one of its most poetic chroniclers when she detailed her heady, complex love affair with the drug in “Prozac Diary” (1998).
Thirty years since that first dose, neither Slater nor the drug has aged particularly well. Slater, who has spent much of her life wrestling with bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders, jumped from an initial prescription of 10 milligrams to 20 to 30 to 60, landing at 80 mg, which is where she left off in “Prozac Diary.” A doctor eventually upped her dose to 100 mg a day — 20 beyond what’s F.D.A. approved. But the drug tha..