A Travellerspoint blog

Shanghai Film Park

A Short Trip Back to 1930's Shanghai

semi-overcast 82 °F

It's now become one of my hobbies to look through Trip Advisor every so often when planning a trip or trying to find something new to do in Shanghai. A couple of months ago I saw a place called "Shanghai Chedun Film Park," which is in the southwestern suburbs. It's currently ranked #47 (out of 479 attractions in Shanghai), but things are apt to change on a daily basis. Unbelievably, as it stands now, the subway/metro is ranked #1. To think, I get the pleasure of using the #1 attraction twice a day, five days a week! It's quick and convenient, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it an "attraction."

Anyway, the film park is spread out over 433,000 square meters and apparently construction there is still ongoing. Their website (www.shfilmpark.com) says that 48,000 square meters has been constructed, with another 81,890 square meters to come. The numbers boggle my mind a bit, but actually it didn't seem too big and was easy to walk around, although admittedly I didn't visit every corner of the park.

I asked my friend Anna if she would like to go with me, and she said it sounded interesting. Yesterday, she was kind enough to serve as both driver and model, as you'll soon see. The ticket price showing online was 50 yuan (less than $8) but when I got to the ticket window, the price was 80 yuan (about $12.50). I hadn't brought a lot of money with me, but I had enough to get the tickets. If my Chinese was better, I would have pointed out that their website needs to be updated.

Since much of the appeal of the film park is that it shows Shanghai from the first half of the 20th century, I had asked Anna to wear a 旗袍 (qipao), the traditional Chinese dress at the time. I'm so excited about the pictures you'll see with her. She's beautiful in all of them and never once refused to be in a picture. She may have spoiled me - I think I'm better at taking pictures of people than buildings or landscapes, but I'm always shy about asking people if I can get a picture. Having my own model definitely made the day easier and much more enjoyable!

Since the park is essentially several different movie sets in one place, we came across two film crews in different areas of the park. The first one was filming at one of the European houses, the second on one of the downtown streets. Anna and I asked (okay, Anna asked) what the name of the movie being filmed was, and actually it was two different movies. I don't know what either is about, but I'm excited to see both of them when they come out (in a year or so?) because I can watch them and say "I saw that part being filmed!" Those of you in China, be on the lookout for 血之歌 (Xue Zhi Ge) and 风华佳人 (Feng Hua Jia Ren). Loosely translated, the titles are "Song of Blood" and "Elegant Beauty."

One of the first buildings in the park is a large warehouse...full of old, classic cars, trucks and trams (and one 1990's Toyota minivan).  I had taken about two or three pictures here when every photographer's nightmare happened - I filled up my SD card.  I had several with me, but it was the same story every time I checked - every card was FULL!  We went to the information desk and asked but they said they had no cards (or film) for sale.  I had decided a while back that with the falling prices of SD cards, I'd just never erase them and instead buy new ones when I needed them (I'm a bit paranoid about losing pictures if a computer crashes so it's good to have a backup or two).  In the end, I found one partially-used card and then erased another one with pictures from Cambodia.  Actually, one card was enough since I didn't even need to use the one I erased.  I guess I should have kept it in my pocket in case I needed it, but not erase it until that time.  I've said it in a previous blog but I'll say it again, "live and learn!"

One of the first buildings in the park is a large warehouse...full of old, classic cars, trucks and trams (and one 1990's Toyota minivan). I had taken about two or three pictures here when every photographer's nightmare happened - I filled up my SD card. I had several with me, but it was the same story every time I checked - every card was FULL! We went to the information desk and asked but they said they had no cards (or film) for sale. I had decided a while back that with the falling prices of SD cards, I'd just never erase them and instead buy new ones when I needed them (I'm a bit paranoid about losing pictures if a computer crashes so it's good to have a backup or two). In the end, I found one partially-used card and then erased another one with pictures from Cambodia. Actually, one card was enough since I didn't even need to use the one I erased. I guess I should have kept it in my pocket in case I needed it, but not erase it until that time. I've said it in a previous blog but I'll say it again, "live and learn!"

One of the things I love most about Shanghai is what I call its "schizophrenia" - it has an awesome mixture of old and new that coexist side by side.  The SH Film Park was full of picture opportunities where I could show some more of this schizophrenia, for example here, with the beautiful woman in a delicate qi pao standing on the army truck.  The ultimate example of the schizophrenia was in the park itself.  At least one strip of buildings definitely has two personalities - one side is a foreign hospital and faces the lawn with all of the other foreign buildings, while the other side is the shops and buildings on the fake Nanjing Road

One of the things I love most about Shanghai is what I call its "schizophrenia" - it has an awesome mixture of old and new that coexist side by side. The SH Film Park was full of picture opportunities where I could show some more of this schizophrenia, for example here, with the beautiful woman in a delicate qi pao standing on the army truck. The ultimate example of the schizophrenia was in the park itself. At least one strip of buildings definitely has two personalities - one side is a foreign hospital and faces the lawn with all of the other foreign buildings, while the other side is the shops and buildings on the fake Nanjing Road

A scene from 血之歌 (Song of Blood) being filmed

A scene from 血之歌 (Song of Blood) being filmed

Anna on Nanjing Road with lots of male actors/extras lining the street behind her.  I don't know for sure, but I suspect that these people work at the park as full-time extras.  I saw a short interview on the English channel one day with one such extra.  He said that he's had to face the reality that not everyone in movies gets to be rich or famous, but that he still has to make a living

Anna on Nanjing Road with lots of male actors/extras lining the street behind her. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that these people work at the park as full-time extras. I saw a short interview on the English channel one day with one such extra. He said that he's had to face the reality that not everyone in movies gets to be rich or famous, but that he still has to make a living

In the 石库门 (Shikumen), traditional Chinese housing

In the 石库门 (Shikumen), traditional Chinese housing

Some older Chinese people take their birds out when meeting friends - these cages were empty since they're part of a movie set.  I suppose they put birds in them when they need to film at this spot

Some older Chinese people take their birds out when meeting friends - these cages were empty since they're part of a movie set. I suppose they put birds in them when they need to film at this spot

A typical scene in the small lanes of the Shikumen

A typical scene in the small lanes of the Shikumen

Outside a teahouse with an advertisement for tiger balm on the back wall

Outside a teahouse with an advertisement for tiger balm on the back wall

Watching a scene from 风华佳人 (Elegant Beauty)

Watching a scene from 风华佳人 (Elegant Beauty)

One of the actors (portraying a Japanese man) getting his makeup touched up after riding up and down the road in a hot car

One of the actors (portraying a Japanese man) getting his makeup touched up after riding up and down the road in a hot car

Anna with her Chinese Zodiac sign, the ox

Anna with her Chinese Zodiac sign, the ox

Anna with her sign and me with mine, the tiger

Anna with her sign and me with mine, the tiger

We saw a prop gun sitting unattended, so we grabbed it for another "schizophrenic" shot.  Don't worry, we put it right back after I got the picture

We saw a prop gun sitting unattended, so we grabbed it for another "schizophrenic" shot. Don't worry, we put it right back after I got the picture

I was amazed by the detail at the park - not only was the architecture accurate to the time, so were the posters and advertisements placed on the walls

I was amazed by the detail at the park - not only was the architecture accurate to the time, so were the posters and advertisements placed on the walls

A copy of the 外白渡桥 (Waibaidu Bridge).  The real one crosses over Suzhou Creek close to where it empties into the Huangpu River, right next to Shanghai's famous Bund waterfront (wow, that's a mouthful - hope you understand!)

A copy of the 外白渡桥 (Waibaidu Bridge). The real one crosses over Suzhou Creek close to where it empties into the Huangpu River, right next to Shanghai's famous Bund waterfront (wow, that's a mouthful - hope you understand!)

Anna's reflection in a very large puddle

Anna's reflection in a very large puddle

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A couple of shots on the bridge.  Anna was a real trouper, by the way.  She said that standing in this position on the bridge hurt her feet, but she still stayed long enough so I could take a picture

A couple of shots on the bridge. Anna was a real trouper, by the way. She said that standing in this position on the bridge hurt her feet, but she still stayed long enough so I could take a picture

A good picture to show this is NOT the real Shanghai - the streets are deserted

A good picture to show this is NOT the real Shanghai - the streets are deserted

This is the traditional character for "iron" (铁)

This is the traditional character for "iron" (铁)

In addition to making movies, having wedding photos taken at the park is big business

In addition to making movies, having wedding photos taken at the park is big business

The paint here shows that the person living inside owes money.  It also shows that the person who wants the money isn't the most literate (在 and 债 aren't quite homonyms, but they're close (zai and zhai))

The paint here shows that the person living inside owes money. It also shows that the person who wants the money isn't the most literate (在 and 债 aren't quite homonyms, but they're close (zai and zhai))

The characters here show that this place makes and/or sells soy sauce (read from right to left, 酱园, "jiang yuan"

The characters here show that this place makes and/or sells soy sauce (read from right to left, 酱园, "jiang yuan"

The person in the car didn't seem to want to cooperate with me - he kept moving his foot in and out of the car, but I finally got a picture of his foot just peeking out of the car, close to where I wanted it

The person in the car didn't seem to want to cooperate with me - he kept moving his foot in and out of the car, but I finally got a picture of his foot just peeking out of the car, close to where I wanted it

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One last set of "schizophrenic shots - the beautiful woman behind barbed wire

One last set of "schizophrenic shots - the beautiful woman behind barbed wire

In my opinion, the film park definitely deserves to be higher than #47 on Trip Advisor's list. I guess that means I should go online and add some of my comments to help boost its profile.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures. I had a lot of fun taking them and I've already told Anna personally, but I should add here that the pictures wouldn't be half as good as they are if Anna hadn't agreed to be my model for the day. Actually, I've just looked through them again and I have to say, Anna is great at posing! I would ask Anna to go stand in front of a building or on the bridge and so on, but she would decide how to turn her body or her head and I think the result looks great (if you asked me to be in a picture, I'd probably have the same posture every time). So if you're in Shanghai and want to take a short trip to the past, head out to the film park with your camera, get a friend to go with you and start snapping!

Posted by feiheli 20:43 Archived in China Comments (2)

Van Cleef & Arpels

The "Market" at People's Park & then a little jewelry exhibition

semi-overcast 72 °F

I include maps because I know my mom wants to see them, but I either have to zoom in so much that you have no point of reference as to where in Shanghai the site is, or I have to zoom out and then you can't see any details. Fortunately, the site I visited last week is very near my apartment so you can see both places on this map. My apartment is right next to the West Nanjing Road Metro station on the left-hand side of the map and I went to People's Park, just one subway stop away on the right-hand side.

On Sunday, I met a friend and former colleague, Avril, for an afternoon looking at jewelry in the museum in People's Park. Since she had bought a large frappucino before we met and couldn't take it in the museum, we walked around the park for another 10-15 minutes so she could finish her drink. I was glad we had the opportunity to walk around because I've long wanted to include some pictures from there in my blog. There's an informal market that has been taking place there for awhile. Shanghai is full of all kinds of markets - countless food markets, a few fabric markets, a "fake" market down the street from my apartment (it sells fake Coach, fake Prada, fake Gucci, fake "you name it," etc.), at least one camera market and this one - a singles market.

People come here to display and look through ads from singles and when I say people, I mostly mean parents. I asked Avril if these singles know that their information is being put up in the park and she guessed that most of them have no idea. I half wonder if one of them will see a picture from my blog and say, "Hey! That's me! I had NO idea my parents were up to this!"

I took a few pictures here, but none of the singles are suitable for me since it seemed that most of the ads were for women. I find that very interesting considering a statistic I once heard about the ratio of males to females here. China has historically preferred sons and although families have downsized drastically due to the one-child policy in effect for the last 30+ years, many people still cling to the tradition of wanting a son first and formost, therefore males outnumber females by 60 million. (This is the answer to the question "why are so many Chinese girls adopted out of the country?") That means 60 million men will never get the chance to marry. So I wonder why it is that most of the information displayed was for women?

I've joked with friends many times that I want to go there and look for myself. I'm looking for a few very specific details that are probably going to be hard to find: 1.9 meters (6'3" for you Americans reading this) and Christian. I like to tell my students that I have 3 criteria if they want to help me look. First I tell them, he should be Chinese or overseas Chinese. And they always reply, "no problem!" Then I tell them that I want a tall man, at least 1.9 meters tall. And they kind of suck air through their teeth and say, "that's difficult, but we'll try to find him." Lastly, I tell them that the man must be Christian and they let out a snort of disbelief and say "impossible, he doesn't exist!" I wonder how many of those 60 million men meet my criteria???

This is just a small example of the number of ads on offer.  Actually, the people who posted these ads paid 10 RMB for their ad to be there one month.  They've all been laminated and then displayed like vertical banners

This is just a small example of the number of ads on offer. Actually, the people who posted these ads paid 10 RMB for their ad to be there one month. They've all been laminated and then displayed like vertical banners

Apparently this man found a suitable daughter-in-law.  I took a picture of him capturing her information.  The information on these ads tends to be standard: gender, age, height, amount of education and job field are typically listed.  I even saw some that mention their monthly salary!

Apparently this man found a suitable daughter-in-law. I took a picture of him capturing her information. The information on these ads tends to be standard: gender, age, height, amount of education and job field are typically listed. I even saw some that mention their monthly salary!

After Avril finished her frappucino, we went to the museum inside the park. Apparently it doesn't have a permanent display, but instead hosts different exhibitions throughout the year. Since Avril is an artist and enjoys making her own jewelry, she suggested we meet up at the park to see the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition. It sounded like fun (and definitely something I wouldn't think of doing on my own, therefore "touristy"), so we paid 30 RMB each (about $5) and went inside.

Everything was pretty dark inside and I'm not exactly sure why. I can't imagine halogen lights would damage jewelry - even antique jewelry - but it was very subdued lighting throughout the building. I thought I'd seen a sign at the entrance saying picture-taking was forbidden, but once I got in and saw everyone with their cameras out in full view of museum staff, I joined in. No one ever tried to prevent me from getting a picture.

Avril looking at a gold bow - it looked like a Christmas decoration

Avril looking at a gold bow - it looked like a Christmas decoration

I was very happy to get such crisp pictures in a dark environment.  I hadn't taken my tripod with me so everything was handheld, therefore susceptible to camera shake

I was very happy to get such crisp pictures in a dark environment. I hadn't taken my tripod with me so everything was handheld, therefore susceptible to camera shake

Honestly, I think I enjoyed these drawings even more than the jewelry itself.  I thought the colors and details here were just beautiful

Honestly, I think I enjoyed these drawings even more than the jewelry itself. I thought the colors and details here were just beautiful

This is Avril again.  I like this picture because you can see the circle of light cast down to the floor from the orb above

This is Avril again. I like this picture because you can see the circle of light cast down to the floor from the orb above

A girl's best friends

A girl's best friends

A rabbit.  This was really hard to get a shot of - the rabbit was inside a round, enclosed table thing-y.  On top of the thing-y was this glass that created a 3D-like effect so that the rabbit appeared to be sitting on top of the glass

A rabbit. This was really hard to get a shot of - the rabbit was inside a round, enclosed table thing-y. On top of the thing-y was this glass that created a 3D-like effect so that the rabbit appeared to be sitting on top of the glass

More orbs

More orbs

Since blue is my favorite color, I really liked this bracelet.  I'm not a big fan of the Art Deco purse and other thing, though

Since blue is my favorite color, I really liked this bracelet. I'm not a big fan of the Art Deco purse and other thing, though

I assume this is topaz

I assume this is topaz

Big emerald!

Big emerald!

More best friends

More best friends

Princess Grace's tiara, bracelet and brooch

Princess Grace's tiara, bracelet and brooch

Princess Grace's pearls

Princess Grace's pearls

After the museum (and church for me), Avril and I met up again to go to dinner.  We went to a popular Hong Kong-style restaurant and when I saw the receipt holder, I couldn't resist taking a picture.  After dinner, I did indeed "check out" the cashier, but I didn't think she was exceptionally pretty.  Just normal...

After the museum (and church for me), Avril and I met up again to go to dinner. We went to a popular Hong Kong-style restaurant and when I saw the receipt holder, I couldn't resist taking a picture. After dinner, I did indeed "check out" the cashier, but I didn't think she was exceptionally pretty. Just normal...

Now, this has nothing to do with any of the pictures you've just seen, but I feel like I should tell you about it because it's a bit of an "aha!" moment for me. When I went to Changshu with friends and we were walking from the bus stop to the tea shop, a kid - probably around 12 years old - saw me and said "Fat!" I whipped around and told him, "I understand what you're saying! Foreigners don't like when you talk like that!" That's pretty much my standard response any time someone calls me fat (usually kids, but sometimes middle-aged people, too). Invariably, the response I get to that little speech is a widening of the eyes and a ceasing of the tongue. I admit, I am fat, but fat is a relative term. Even a person considered normal-sized in America will be called fat here in the land of predominately petite, small-boned people. Therefore, I think it's important for people to understand what "fat" really means and to know that using the word around a foreigner is probably never a good idea.

When I fussed at the kid about it this time, one of my friends pointed out to me (probably because she was embarrassed by my reaction), "I don't think 'fat' is negative in China." I think she's been proven to speak the truth, but I still can't accept it (no matter how true it is!) when the comment is accompanied by a stare or a laugh once I've passed by. The word may not be rude in China, but the actions that go with it certainly are! Don't even ask me the number of times Chinese friends with me have been asked "how much does she weigh?"

Anyway, last night while flipping through the channels on TV (apparently since Li Na wasn't in the women's final of the French Open this year, China didn't feel the need to show any more tennis to the fans living here!), I came across a show that teaches English to children. There are some cute cartoon characters and the sentences that are being taught are spoken slowly and repeatedly so that people can practice and learn. I've got no beef with the teaching method there - I imagine the children watching it can learn a lot. What I DON'T like is what's being taught.

When I was watching it, the speaker was saying sentences like "He's my friend. He's fat. She's my friend. She's thin." and "He's fat. He's good at math. Who is he? She's thin. She's good at singing. Who is she?" No wonder kids feel the need to say it in my presence (although they're not practicing English from the show since they always say it in Chinese). It turns out my friend is right - maybe it's not negative or meant to be an insult. It's just a hard adjustment to make when you come from a culture where words like that are never said in the person's hearing.

One more "fat story" and then I'll sign off. I actually overheard this story one morning on the subway on my way to work. Before I tell you, I just want to point out that this could happen anywhere - I'm not singling China out as a place with rude people. But it did happen here. Apparently there was a large white man at the airport and several Chinese men were making fun of him and saying some impolite things about him. A Chinese woman went up to them and told them that they shouldn't talk like that because it was rude. They replied, "It's okay, he doesn't understand what we're saying." Then, the person telling this story on the subway, a white male, went up to them and speaking Chinese said, "He might understand. Many of us can understand and speak Chinese." I think he said that the men shut up then.

So what's the moral of the story? If you see someone you think is fat, you don't need to tell them - it ticks off those of us who are and upsets those people who really aren't.

Posted by feiheli 08:15 Archived in China Comments (0)

Haven't done anything touristy yet...in Shanghai

May

semi-overcast 70 °F

There's a group of former students that I've become great friends with. We've travelled to the seaside city of Qingdao together (formerly a German concession, therefore understandably famous for its beer), and last year three of us went to Wuzhen, one of China's more popular and beautiful "water towns." This year, since everyone is now finished studying English and busy working, we can only meet for a day here or there, usually when one of us is having a birthday.

In May, both Kevin and Cindy celebrated their birthdays, so Amanda suggested we visit her husband's hometown of Changshu (top left corner of the map). It's about an hour and a half away, so it was pretty convenient to get there. We started off with lunch at a local restaurant serving local specialties, went to a nice public toilet at Changshu's lake (the smell at the toilets near the restaurant was bad enough to drive all of the ladies away), then drove to Changshu's mountain for the rest of the day.

In some ways, the mountain reminded me of Pilot Mountain in Mt. Airy, near my hometown. I'm from the foothills so the land isn't really flat, but Pilot Mountain still appears as if from nowhere and looms over the rest of the surrounding landscape. In Changshu, the land is very flat, so the mountain resembles a wart on someone's otherwise smooth skin. It's called Yu (虞) Mountain and is named for a man who was buried there during the Shang and Zhou dynastys. I guess this means it must have been in the time between the end of one and the beginning of the other. According to Wikipedia (what did I do before Wikipedia???), the Shang dynasty was from 1600-1046 BC and the Zhou dynasty was from 1045-256 BC.

When we got to the mountain, Anna parked her car and we boarded the shuttle bus that runs between the two extremes of the mountain. We asked a few times after getting on the bus "when do we leave?" Finally the conductress told us that when the other bus got to the bottom, we'd go to the top. What we should have asked is "when does the last bus leave the top of the mountain?" More on that later...

Our one man, Kevin

Our one man, Kevin

Amanda - it was her idea to go to this lovely getaway

Amanda - it was her idea to go to this lovely getaway

Anna - our driver and leader extraordinaire

Anna - our driver and leader extraordinaire

Cindy, the birthday girl, eyeing the birthday cake

Cindy, the birthday girl, eyeing the birthday cake

I love the smile on Cindy's face as she anticipates eating her cake

I love the smile on Cindy's face as she anticipates eating her cake

View from Yu Mountain looking southeast back toward Shanghai

View from Yu Mountain looking southeast back toward Shanghai

According to Wikipedia, Yu Mountain is supposed to look like a sleeping cow.  Now I know the significance of these sculptures placed near the peak of the mountain

According to Wikipedia, Yu Mountain is supposed to look like a sleeping cow. Now I know the significance of these sculptures placed near the peak of the mountain

When we got to the top of the mountain, we found a teashop offering outdoor tables. Each of us ordered a glass of tea. At 24 yuan a glass (about $4), I thought it was highway robbery! The tea did come with unlimited refills of hot water, though. First, we got down to the serious business of eating the cake, then it was time for games. We played UNO a few times, then Phase 10.

When we finally finished the games, we set off to the Buddhist temple nearby to use their bathrooms. Kevin stayed with our stuff so the women could use the bathroom first. On the way, Anna asked one of the men working at the tea shop, "when does the last bus leave the top of the mountain?" He told us that it had left at 4:00, but by that time it was around 6:00!

There was some panic then because even though it's not a huge mountain, it would still take an hour and a half to walk back to the car (and another hour and a half to drive back to Shanghai). For some reason, I was strangely calm, so I said we could try to find someone who had driven their car to the top and ask if Anna and Kevin could ride back with them to get her car. Then, Anna and Kevin could drive up and meet Amanda, Cindy and I who would have already started walking down. My friends agreed that it was a good suggestion, so we walked back to the ticket office at the bus stop to ask for help. Actually, we found two people who each had a car and got rides for all of us back to the bottom!

It's funny the things I do in China that I would never do in the States. I think if I was stranded at the top of a mountain back home, I'd just hoof it down instead of asking a stranger for a ride. Although now that I think about it, there was one time in high school when I ran out of gas on the side of the interstate on my way to school. My cousin Melanie was with me and when a woman pulled over to offer us a ride, Melanie urged us to take it. The woman dropped us off at school and I went to the office to call my mom and tell her that my little Honda was sitting in the emergency lane of I-40. I had told her the night before that I needed gas and didn't have any money to fill it up, but she said I had enough to get to school. Since it turned out she was wrong, she willingly paid for the tow truck and afterwards always loaned me gas money when I said the tank was nearly empty and I had no cash. And no, I didn't take advantage of her.

Zang Hai Temple, on top of Yu Mountain

Zang Hai Temple, on top of Yu Mountain

Another shot of the temple.  I wish we had taken the opportunity to go inside the temple here - it was beautiful from the outside and I imagine also beautiful inside, but we spent our time at the top playing games and enjoying just being outside

Another shot of the temple. I wish we had taken the opportunity to go inside the temple here - it was beautiful from the outside and I imagine also beautiful inside, but we spent our time at the top playing games and enjoying just being outside

This is looking back over the top of the mountain at the sunset

This is looking back over the top of the mountain at the sunset

After leaving Changshu, we stopped on the edge of Shanghai for dinner, then everyone headed home having had a wonderful day out of the city. Following are a few pictures from my apartment. Mind you, they aren't of my apartment. I can't take those pictures until I get some cleaning done.

This is the view from my kitchen.  There's an acrobatic kitty that likes to hang out on the balcony and ledges of the building next to mine.  It comes to spy on my cats, I think.  Here, you can see it resting on a ledge about four stories up

This is the view from my kitchen. There's an acrobatic kitty that likes to hang out on the balcony and ledges of the building next to mine. It comes to spy on my cats, I think. Here, you can see it resting on a ledge about four stories up

This is a view from my south-facing bedroom window.  As you can see, I'm surrounded by lots of different kinds of buildings, both old-style Shanghainese houses and taller hotel and office buildings.  Also, you can see the equipment being used for construction of a new subway.  Right now, line 2 runs under my building but lines 12 and 13 will also connect here soon.  I can't imagine living any closer to the subway than I do right now, which is one of the reasons I've stayed in the same apartment for almost four years

This is a view from my south-facing bedroom window. As you can see, I'm surrounded by lots of different kinds of buildings, both old-style Shanghainese houses and taller hotel and office buildings. Also, you can see the equipment being used for construction of a new subway. Right now, line 2 runs under my building but lines 12 and 13 will also connect here soon. I can't imagine living any closer to the subway than I do right now, which is one of the reasons I've stayed in the same apartment for almost four years

Another view from the same window.  This one is looking to the right to Jingan Villas. The villas, which were built in the early 1930s, were modeled on European-style villas and were originally inhabited by wealthy foreigners and Chinese.  Now, several families live in a space that used to house just one family. Check out the ugly orange cladding on the sides of the buildings.  They were added before Expo 2010 opened in Shanghai. I had hoped they were a temporary fix to give uniformity to the neighborhood, but they're still here two years later

Another view from the same window. This one is looking to the right to Jingan Villas. The villas, which were built in the early 1930s, were modeled on European-style villas and were originally inhabited by wealthy foreigners and Chinese. Now, several families live in a space that used to house just one family. Check out the ugly orange cladding on the sides of the buildings. They were added before Expo 2010 opened in Shanghai. I had hoped they were a temporary fix to give uniformity to the neighborhood, but they're still here two years later

My next blog will be coming soon, I hope. Sunday and Monday are my days off work, so I'm hoping to get my blog up-to-date before I start work next week.

Posted by feiheli 00:10 Archived in China Comments (0)

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