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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2016, 5:33 AM
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This is great stuff, why haven't I ever bothered to explore this area? Reminds me a lot of Omotesando's side streets and the areas around Aoyama and Hiroo in Tokyo. The green must be so refreshing.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2016, 12:53 PM
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2016, 9:22 PM
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Fantastic thread man! I was in Shanghai for only a handful of days last summer. I mostly stuck to East Nanjing Road and the Bund, but now I'm wishing I had checked out the FFC. It looks like such an interesting area.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2016, 4:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
This is great stuff, why haven't I ever bothered to explore this area? Reminds me a lot of Omotesando's side streets and the areas around Aoyama and Hiroo in Tokyo. The green must be so refreshing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanman View Post
Fantastic thread man! I was in Shanghai for only a handful of days last summer. I mostly stuck to East Nanjing Road and the Bund, but now I'm wishing I had checked out the FFC. It looks like such an interesting area.

You're not alone. The FFC doesn't seem to be a high priority for tourism here. Most tours go to the Bund, East Nanjing Rd, Yu Garden etc. While these places are important to Shanghai, they barely register with the locals. Actually, most people that live here will go out of their way to avoid these places. They don't represent the daily life in Shanghai at all, yet those are the only spots most tourists will see when visiting.

Thinking about it, I guess the FFC is hard place to promote because there isn't any real focal point to it. The attraction is the neighbourhood itself, and that might difficult to sell to people who aren't in to walking around a whole lot. I'd wager less than .5% of all tourists that come to Shanghai have exploring the FFC on their itinerary. This is part of the reason I'm doing this thread in the first place; to show some love to one of Shanghai's best, but least explored areas.


This tour will be of Shaanxi Rd. It's the busiest road I've covered so far, and stretches far beyond the FFC to the north. I wasn't able to do the whole street due to time, but I got most of it here.


We'll be heading north from the corner of Shaanxi Rd. and Jianguo Rd.

fc shaanxi by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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We're getting close to intersecting with Huaihai Rd. It's one of central Shanghai's busiest east-to-west arteries. Any FFC road that goes through it will see an uptick in general traffic.

fc 112 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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The roadwork is nonstop around here.

fc 114 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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Intersecting with Huaihai Rd.

fc 118 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Here's a quick and crude short video I shot of the intersection.

Video Link





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A good little strip of restaurants. The Ramen Shop is run by a stern-looking Japanese guy who doesn't follow normal ramen conventions. Of course, I always order the white ramen aka tonkatsu ramen. It's good.
Five Star Hainan Chicken Rice is legit. If you have a hankering for Singapore's national dish, and you happen to be in Shanghai, you can't go wrong here.

fc 134 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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fc 135 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Julu Rd. signifies the northern border of the FFC. Even though the French influence can be felt further north, it officially ends here.

fc 136 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 137 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Even though it's not technically in the FFC, I had to snap of shot of the Moller Mansion one block up.

fc 138 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr


See you for the next tour.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2016, 6:28 AM
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Got an odd Mexico City vibe from the first set. Zona Rosa ish. Fascinating area and nothing like anything I saw there in 06. Keep it coming.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2016, 6:57 AM
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Great thread mate!

I never made it down there when I visited this fall
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2016, 7:07 AM
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This is amazing. Thanks for sharing your photos
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2016, 1:42 PM
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This walkabout through the Former French Concession may be a little tough to view. A fair warning.

I learned two new things last week.

1. Jinling Rd (a street in Central Shanghai that runs from the Bund through People's Square) is, in fact, part of the FFC, but has been cut off from what most people would consider the boundaries of the neighbourhood by roadways and expressways. It served as a light industrial and business district for the French with apartments scattered about. For a CBD, it was pretty well placed; the Brits' and Americans' CBD, The Bund, was only a few blocks away on the westside, and the residential portion of the FFC was to the east. Besides the architecture, it doesn't really feel like the FFC at all. This probably has to do with the high density surrounding it, and, despite its location, a more working class population.

2. This eight block stretch of Jinling Rd is about to go through a massive redevelopment. How much will be torn down isn't known, but there will be casualties. I saw some positive signs, and some not so positive ones, so I'll remain cautiously optimisitc. Upon learning about the imminent changes coming to this street, I decided that I should tour it as soon as possible, and get some pictures. Last I heard, all tenants and businesses had to vacate by January 25th.


The portion of Jinling Rd. that is up for redevelopment is in the upper right corner. The red line is the covered area in this thread.

fc jinling lu by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



I'm actually pretty familiar with this area. I lived right across the street from this building a few years ago.

fc 140 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



The white or red boarded-up windows means that the tenants have been bought out, and left the building. A lot of people have yet to leave.

fc 141 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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You can see how close this area is to the river and Lujiazui.

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Whenever I see scaffolding like this, my heart sings. This is a very good thing.

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This block is done for. Buildings have already started to come down.

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This block looks like it's going to be safe.

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This stretch of Jinling Rd. used to be bustling. All the businesses have left.

fc 173 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Jinling Rd. intersects with the very busy Henan Rd. It takes on a completely different character at this intersection.

fc 174 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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These banners translate in to slogans like "Practical benefit for the people – faster renovation of old neighbourhoods." and "Renovate an old lane – benefit a bunch of common people." or "Hurry with urban renewal, assess the houses according to the law".

Make no mistake, this all has to do with money, and has nothing to do with the common people.


fc 182 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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There's a really nice, old building behind all that cladding.

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It looks like this newish building is going to be demolished. All of the restaurants that I used to go to have vacated.

fc 198 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



There are a lot of interesting layers on Jinling Rd. I truly hope they handle them with soft hands. Time will tell.

fc 195 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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fc 197 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2016, 1:49 PM
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what a visual treat. Thanks for the great photo essay. I spent a lot of time touring the French Quarter and periphery when I visited a few years ago, and this brings back good memories.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2016, 3:57 PM
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I really like those buildings with the pillars and sidewalk overhang.
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  #31  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2016, 3:07 AM
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  #32  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2016, 2:58 PM
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What a spectacular thread, thank you for sharing your amazing work with us, giallo. There is just something about this neighbourhood that screams out with its fascinating layers of history. I have a feeling I could wander those streets for the rest of my life and never get bored of it.
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  #33  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2016, 6:42 PM
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Nice pictures. Captures the look.
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  #34  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2016, 6:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fflint View Post
Fascinating and eclectic--it looks unlike any place I have ever been. If I were only allowed to travel to one city in Asia, I would pick Shanghai.
Well I have traveled quite a bit throughout Asia and even lived in Bangkok for a few years. Shanghai to me is a rather soulless place. Indeed China as a whole is my least favorite country in Asia (among those I've been to). It looks good in pictures though.
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  #35  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2016, 9:39 AM
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I was thinking about this thread the other day, and now that the leaves are almost off of the trees, I'll do another tour. Stay tuned.

Thanks for checking the thread out.
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  #36  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2016, 12:03 AM
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Nice pics, this part of Shanghai looks very much like Europe. It could almost be Germany or France.
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  #37  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2016, 4:59 AM
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I'm such a fan of your photography in general it's almost embarrassing!
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  #38  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2016, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
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I'm such a fan of your photography in general it's almost embarrassing!
Dang. Thanks, shappy!



After a long hiatus, I've grabbed some more pictures now that winter is in full effect, and a good portion of the leaves have fallen from the trees. Sorry for taking so long, but after the last Chinese New Year, I didn't have any time, and then the next thing you know, it's April, and all of the trees are fully leafed.

Google Earth is being super weird on my new computer, so I can't show you the exact path that I walked. It's not a particularly long distance (about 25 minutes end to end), but I think it's a pretty interesting corner of the Former French Concession. It's an area I frequent a lot, so I'm very familiar with it. It's mostly populated with local Shanghainese and one of the largest foreign communities in the city. English is everywhere.

We start at the official northern border of the FFC; Julu Rd. We will head south on Changshu Rd until it meets Anfu Rd.


The buildings in the background are part of the Jing An CBD

fc 199 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Where Julu Rd meets Changshu Rd.

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fc 201 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Changshu Rd. is mostly commercial; office and retail dominate. The residential areas are off on the side streets.

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A residential side street

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Back on Changshu Rd.

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Looking down Anfu Rd. While I've been meaning to do a photo tour of this area, the main reason for me coming this time was for coffee. A local roaster by the name of Sumerian makes a very good morning roast, and I was all out of it.

fc 224 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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The aforementioned coffee shop; Boom Boom

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Success!

fc 232 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Back on Changshu Rd.

fc 233 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Another residential side street

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A Changshu Station entrance/exit for Lines 1 and 7. Definitely one of my most frequented transfer stations.

fc 237 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



We turn west on to Wuyuan Rd. A rather nondescript and short street that I find very comfy. The locals are super friendly in this area - more so than other streets for whatever reason.

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This lot has been empty for years and years. Someone was holding on to it for the right price, I imagine. It looks like construction is gearing up.

fc 249 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



This is the intersection of Wuyuan Rd and Wulumuqi Rd. Wulumuqi Rd will get its own photo tour one of these days. It's definitely one of the most important streets in the FFC.

fc 250 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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We'll head south on Yongfu Rd for one block. If you live in China, and you're into underground music, you'll know this street.

fc 258 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 259 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



The street looks unassuming enough, but it houses (for the next couple of weeks, anyway) the most important underground nightclub in the country

fc 260 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



And here it is; The Shelter. Opened in 2007, The Shelter singlehandedly put Shanghai on the map in Asia. While Beijing was becoming the rock capital, the Shelter was waging an electronic assault in SH, and it quickly spread throughout the country. The amount of people that have come through here is staggering. It's almost like the CBGB's of Shanghai. It sits in an old bomb shelter from WW2. It's dark, it's loud, it smells funny, it's unpretentious, and it's the best nightclub I've ever had the pleasure of spending my time in. Unfortunately, December 31st 2016 will be its last day. They couldn't renew their license due to tightened restrictions of clubs that sit underground. After 30+ people were crushed to death on The Bund two NYE's ago, the city did some serious soul-searching, and started shutting down potential fire hazards. It's tough to argue with them, but it doesn't make losing the Shelter any easier.

fc 261 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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I've spent many a weekend here trying to get a taxi home in the early morning hours.

fc 264 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



We turn off of Yongfu Rd, and head east on Fuxing Rd

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fc 266 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Arcade is another bar in the area. It's got great cocktails, and, of course, countless video games.

fc 267 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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The Iranian Consulate

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So that's it. I'll try to get out with the camera more. There are still dozens of streets I'd like to cover. Thanks for checking the thread out.






Edit: While I was putting these together, a massive rainstorm hit, and then out of nowhere, the sun breaks through while it's still raining, and shines over the French Concession. It looked really cool.

bipolar by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



And one more of the FFC just taken a minute ago.

bipolar 2 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr
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Last edited by giallo; Dec 22, 2016 at 1:36 AM.
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  #39  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2016, 2:26 PM
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to the questions on air quality, shanghai's air quality is not great, but it's not as bad as cities in more northern chinese locations
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  #40  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2016, 5:15 PM
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