Neighborhoods

Rockbund Museum Shanghai RAS 01

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…

ZhapuLu Wooden Home 01

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…

Shikumen 01

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 smile a day balloons in market

A balloon a day…

A neighborhood market can sometimes be like the beating heart where all arteries lead to, the arteries being the longtangs or alley houses that surround it. There is…

Things as they are were

Home owner, house father

I had never met a resident in the longtang (弄堂) who owned all three floors of his shikumen (石库门). The structure is traditionally narrow – the door opened into…

Worn sole, worn soul

Apparently, in shoe factories in China, it takes two hundred pairs of hands to make a running shoe. Cutters stamp sheets of fabric to form soles, stitchers then…

Shanghai's Musical Ship 02

The Singing Ship

This old and rusting ship was moored off the Pudong side of the Huangpu River (黄浦江) by Zhangyang Harbour (张扬码头), but is no longer there. Nobody was ever…

Carom precision

Carom precision

The balmy autumn afternoons seem so far away now that the cruel mistress that is winter taunts us with a wet chill that seeps into bones and dulls…

Seeking double happiness

Double Happiness

It’s the 3rd day of Chinese New Year and I’ve been partaking in family and epic culinary festivities non-stop, which has resulted in my brief absence and my…

An ode to les poissons

Les poissons

Best heard with Les poissons. It was an open street of poultry and seafood massacre, and a very busy day for everyone at the market. The word glee…

A bit of glamour

Street glamour

A little randomness along Changle Lu, Shanghai’s boho-fashion district. The female shopkeeper wandered out, eyed my camera and said casually, “The dress is very beautiful. Are you interested?”…

The promise of a leather jacket 01

The promise of a leather jacket

Who doesn’t want to look as handsome as James Dean, decked out in a dangerous looking leather jacket with a fur collar? The salesmen were not ethnically Chinese,…

IMG_3433a

Making his way home

I was running for the ferry when I came up alongside an old man. He was blind so a kind dockhand helped him on board. As we bobbed…

The makings of a humble pancake

The makings of a humble pancake

For poor construction workers, each meal is about loading up enough carbohydrates to carry them through the day of heavy lifting, shoveling or jack hammering. The foundation ingredients…