Exploring – Shanghai’s Hongkou district

23 Oct

During the recent long holiday (when I wasn’t sick in bed with a cold) – we had the opportunity to explore one area of the city that I hadn’t been to before – the Hongkou district.  We followed another one of the Time Out Shanghai walks and had a beautiful sunny day to explore this section of the city.

Another blue sky day – Duo Lun walking street

The first stop was a road called Duolun Lu – formerly known as Darroch Road which was part of the former Japanese concession.  China and Japan have been doing a lot of political posturing lately about the Japanese position on the Diaoyu Islands and visiting this section of Shanghai during the midst of that did lend a different perspective to the reconstructed walking street.

You can get a sense of the western and eastern architecture combined in this church

On the street was also a small modern art museum and one of Shanghai’s first Christian churches with characteristics of both a Chinese temple and a western church.  There was also a Paulaner brew house but I didn’t see any other foreigners.  It was a neat area.

My favorite exhibit in the art museum

Discussing with the famous poets

The other highlight (for Li at least as I hadn’t heard of most of these writers) was a visit to a house that was the home/meeting place of many of the leftist writers who set up the concepts of communism prior to the rise to power of Chairman Mao.  The building had been newly renovated  in the middle of a very local back street and we were the only people there during our visit.  These writers included Guo Moruo, Lu Xun and Tian Han.

Signs and historic memorabilia

The history inside was palpable. Li said that many of these things reminded him of his childhood – so they weren’t really that old.

We also poked our way into a couple of antique shops and then (per the tour) went into a bank where on the second floor was an exhibit to the same writers.  There was no sign and when we were there the security guard had taken off his shoes and was taking a nap in the deserted exhibition room.

Our final stop was a wander through the Lu Xun park which is right next to the Hongkou Football stadium.  The park was absolutely packed because of the holiday and the nice weather.  All over were groups of retirees singing Chinese nationalistic songs at the top of their lungs.  There were children’s rides, and a huge set of lantern exhibits ready for the lantern festival later that evening.  I think I would like to go back when it is a little less boisterous – but we had some lamb kabobs and called it a day.

This post marks another milestone for me and I think it is fitting that I am posting about Shanghai and exploring another part of the city.  This is my 200th post since I started Zhongguo Jumble a year ago July.  Posting has been a great antidote to the busy life here and I have found and explored many things across these 200 posts.  Thanks for reading and commenting!

Have you been to an exhibition before where you were the only person there?  It was eerie – and not something that I would have expected in Shanghai over a national holiday.

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8 Responses to “Exploring – Shanghai’s Hongkou district”

  1. નિરવ ની નજરે . . ! October 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    After the discussion , what other poets said ? 🙂

    • gkm2011 October 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

      I think they were in shock how the communist society they helped fabricate has their statue in front of a German beer advertisement!

  2. roomaomao October 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    The That’s Shanghai Walks are great! It was my second time back to Duolun cultural street but I saw a lot more the second time around. Good pictures and writing!

    • gkm2011 October 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      I agree, the walks really add a lot. I am even going to try the one in my neighborhood because I heard it just gives a very different perspective.

      • roomaomao October 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

        Which neighborhood do you live in?

      • gkm2011 October 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

        I live in Puxi, close to The old town walk they published this year.

      • roomaomao October 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

        Very nice. I bet that walk showed you a bunch of places you’ve never been to. I wouldn’t have thought to duck down all those cool alleyways.

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