Neighborhoods

The former Royal Asiatic Society building

Far from the maddening crowds on the Bund, the Rockbund Art Museum on Huqiu Lu (虎丘路) is a favored destination that singularly embodies the East meets West history, design and architecture of…

The simplicity in patterned wood

I’ve always liked the predictability and soothing effect of uncomplicated patterns. This was one reason why I found myself standing in front of a discreet entrance off the…

The diversity of design in shikumen headers

What makes a shikumen (石库门) header an architectural tapestry so emblematic of Shanghai? The grey stone pediment, shaped in a triangle or semi-circle, contains designs that range from the…

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A parking lot in four frames

I recently had an appointment at a hospital located along Fengyang Lu (风阳路) off the Northsouth Elevated Highway Road (南北高架路). One look at the numerous moaning patients spilling out…

Reflections at high noon

12 o’clock. The heat from the asphalt emanated with a kind of fury that dulled the senses and eventually the body. I tasted the salty perspiration on my…

A dog’s life and a cat’s world

I’ve encountered my fair share of pets while roaming in old neighborhoods. Live poultry aside, they range from scruffy half-heartedly adopted dogs and cats that looked like they…

Shantou and the Teochews

I visited Shantou last year but have only gotten around to sharing what the city is like. You can read and see more photos at “Exploring Shantou’s vanishing treaty port…

Mahjong in the rain

The raucous clatter of tiles was unmistakable as I approached the corner of Zhijiang Lu (芷江路) and Xizhang Bei Lu (西藏北路) in Zhabei district. In a public playground,…

Loitering youths and homemade tattoos

[imagebrowser id=41] Unless you have a specific purpose, hanging around the human crush at the clothing wholesale district of Qipu Lu (七浦路) is best avoided unless you take particular…