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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2016, 4:26 AM
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Shanghai: The Former French Concession (ongoing)

I've been a resident of the Former French Concession (FFC) neighbourhood for over 3 years, and since moving here, I've gained a massive amount of respect for my surroundings. It's an oasis deep inside an ever-expanding grey monolith. An almost unbroken mirror in to Shanghai's colonial past. The fact that it still exists at all is due to the dedication of passionate locals that have fought hard to have many of the buildings obtain a protective heritage status, and the marketplace that values the area, and is willing to pay the (relative) high price to work, shop or live here. Without these two reasons, I believe the FFC would only live on in black and white photos.

Rather than put this with my other Shanghai photo thread, I decided to give it an ongoing, dedicated spot where people can come, and view pictures about the FFC, and the FFC only. The Former French Concession is large. It spans three districts, and can't possibly be covered properly in a couple photo walks.

So let's begin.

This thread has been a long time coming. I wanted to start it last spring, but seeing as this thread will focus more on the architecture and urban realm of the neighbourhood, it makes much more sense to do it in the winter. The Former French Concession's streets are lined with century-old maples planted by the French, and with only around 15 feet or so between each tree, it becomes almost impossible to shoot the buildings. The tree canopy's leaves are too thick to be able to take detailed photos of the surroundings. The streets are a beautiful sight in the summer, it's just not the best season to shoot the FFC's built environment.


We'll start with a satellite photo of Shanghai, and the FFC's placement (roughly) within it.

fc aerial new by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr


Zoomed in.

fc new by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr


This day's walkabout (right to left and down).

Starting on Anfu Rd., walking down Wukang Rd., and ending on Huaihai Rd.

french concession space 3 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr


Anfu Rd. is a small, residential street with a decent mix of restaurants, cafes and clothing shops. Some of the old houses have been fitted for offices and retail.

fc 1 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 2 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 3 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 4 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 5 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 6 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 7 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 39 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Walking south on Wukang Rd.

fc 8 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 9 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 10 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 11 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 12 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 13 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 14 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 15 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 16 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 17 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 18 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 19 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 20 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 21 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 22 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 23 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 24 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 25 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 26 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 27 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 28 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 29 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 35 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 36 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 37 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 30 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 31 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 33 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 34 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 38 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr


If you have any questions about the FFC or any of the images, feel free to ask. I'm by no means an expert on the area, but I'll do my best.


Next up: The coziness of Shaanxi Rd.
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Last edited by giallo; Jan 7, 2016 at 1:58 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2016, 7:13 AM
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This is a wonderful photo series and neighbourhood. Thanks for sharing.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2016, 1:18 PM
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Looks beautiful! Can't wait to see more.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2016, 2:32 PM
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Nicely done. I'm curious, do local people still refer to the area as the old French Concession or is this limited to foreigners/expats?
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2016, 3:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
Nicely done. I'm curious, do local people still refer to the area as the old French Concession or is this limited to foreigners/expats?
It's referred to as the Former French Concession by Shanghainese as well.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2016, 4:58 PM
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Thanks for the tour hombre, twas an amazing place to explore.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2016, 11:50 PM
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Nice area. It looks indeed western.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2016, 12:51 AM
boulevardofdef boulevardofdef is offline
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We always hear about how polluted major Chinese cities are, but in your photos, the air looks pretty good (though it's cloudy). Is this typical, or were you shooting on a particularly clear day?
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2016, 5:16 AM
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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.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2016, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boulevardofdef View Post
We always hear about how polluted major Chinese cities are, but in your photos, the air looks pretty good (though it's cloudy). Is this typical, or were you shooting on a particularly clear day?
Shanghai's air is bad in the winter. We do get a bunch of clear days from December to March, but it's definitely the worst season for air quality.


Over-looking a portion of the FFC from my apartment on a cold winter's day yesterday.


Looking southwest.

ffc winter 1 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr


Looking southeast.

ffc winter 2 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr
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Last edited by giallo; Jan 6, 2016 at 2:29 AM.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2016, 3:12 AM
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Not the typical expectation for a Chinese city in terms of architecture. I look forward to the future offerings.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2016, 3:20 AM
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Some cool stuff, other bits look rather average (mostly the single home set ups).
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2016, 4:02 AM
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thanks for the pics; the build of some of the mansions under the tree covers reminds me of some of the older, denser streetcar suburbs in the US, in particular Charleston, Savannah, Houston, Austin. hopefully as those cities fill in they'll look this nice and active.

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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2016, 2:30 AM
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I was planning on following up the first set of Anfu Rd. and Wukang Rd. with Shaanxi Rd., but I had a meeting in Xujaihui the other day (which is just at the very southwestern edge of the FFC), and decided to walk home, and take pictures of a street I've never explored before.

This is Kangping Rd. A four block, mostly residential, and very low-key street deep within the FFC. It's like a different world compared to Xuijiahui - one of Shanghai's busiest and densest areas - only two blocks away.

fc 40 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 41 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 42 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 43 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 44 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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fc 49 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 50 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 51 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 52 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 53 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 54 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 55 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 56 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 57 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 58 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 59 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 60 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 61 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 62 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 63 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 64 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



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fc 75 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



fc 76 by Andrew Rochfort, on Flickr



Next time, it will definitely be Shaanxi Rd.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2016, 4:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boulevardofdef View Post
We always hear about how polluted major Chinese cities are, but in your photos, the air looks pretty good (though it's cloudy). Is this typical, or were you shooting on a particularly clear day?
Shanghai isn't far enough north to really experience much of the terrible pollution that happens in the places where they need to burn coal to keep warm. It's still bad enough during the winter most (but not all) days, but not nearly as bad as it is in the North/Northeast.

Great photos as usual, Andrew. I love the French Concession even though it's far too rich for my tastes to actually live there.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2016, 6:18 AM
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what an interesting shanghai surprize - great thread style too - thanks!
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2016, 2:54 PM
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Damn

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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2016, 7:02 PM
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fantastic. Thanks for all that effort

THIS is why many of us fell in love with this site. Or at least for me...

keep going. Fascinating city.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2016, 8:11 AM
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Wow, fascinating set of photographs.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2016, 5:12 AM
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Awesome.
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