Archive | 8:16 am

Urban Shanghai

4 Sep

A construction site near my yoga studio – the old being replaced by the new, framed by a blue sky

An “empty” storefront, that for the last three and a half years was a home and business.

As I have been getting used to my brand new phone, I have been taking pictures at random intervals, including a few that I snapped last weekend on the street.  Shortly after that I realized that the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge had a topic called “Urban.”  I’m a little late on that topic, but I thought these two photos fit very well.

Shanghai is a city of contradictions – the old and the new coexist painfully and with a relentless pace the old is losing ground.  I’ve now lived in the same area for 4 years and more and more old is disappearing, or has been abandoned.  The march of “progress” continues.

I don’t want to romanticize the historic houses.  They often have no hot water, no indoor plumbing, the kitchens are outside or under a small overhang.  If you didn’t have running water or a toilet and someone offered to relocate you, you may think carefully as well about leaving.  The question will be – what will replace them?

In my complex I speak to my next door neighbors, a Mr. Ge and his wife and his son, very rarely.  We nod politely in the elevator or when we happen to be outside at the same time.  That’s it.  Is that what will happen with all the people in the street, living together, playing cards and mah jong?  That’s what has happened in the US.

China still doesn’t seem to see the value of preserving – of restoring – of remembering the past.  Progress, move forward, forget the past – prosperity for all.

Come visit Shanghai before it’s too late.  I have a spare room.  Hope to see you soon.

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