Day Tour of the melting pot of pre and post Capitalism Shanghai
20.12.2008 9 °C
Glamour of high-end shopping experience - Nanjing Lu
The moment I stepped out of the designated glam area, I got acquainted once again with the more familiar decay and the overhead cables that connected the new found capitalist landscape to its shabby past.
Old City Area (lies just next to the popular tourist attraction - YuYuan), a gritty urban experience and a bustling colourful one.
And the people's voices had extended to global issues - Anti-Global Warming
This is an impoverished area in the vicinity of the railway station that serves as the centre of domestic migration. You can still see many street hawkers who set up stalls right at their doorsteps. The homes are not well equipped with basic facilities and a lady had to wash her hair over a basin of water outside her dwelling.
In the midst of the decay, a relatively tall 6 storey European piece of architecture rose near the Suzhou Creek. This housed galleries and design firms as well as a restaurant which we dined at. The owners had managed to adapt the old building for modern use while making minimal changes to preserve the distinct architectural characteristics.
Oh well, guess they couldn't decide what to do with the old windows so the best way was to hang it on the wall as a momento.
Xintiandi was only exciting for 5 minutes and my comrades and I were already out of the glam zone by then. Our senses were instantly bombarded by the chaos of the real streets of Shanghai. I could hardly contain my excitement when we passed the dimly lit dwellings, often opened to the walkways along them, and the neighbourhood they created. I walked in to take photographs, completely oblivious that I was trespassing.
Perhaps I appeard so blase that nobody cared to take notice. I bypassed the security point of a school without even realising it cos I was too excited by what Greg Girad's would have taken for Phantom Shanghai coming alive right in front of my eyes.
More of the vernacular Shanghai (near Lu Xun Park)-