Tag Archives: architecture

Life in the slow lane, part 2

8 Maj

So. What did I mean when I wrote that everybody is actually not sad that these old lanes with shikumen houses are disappearing, giving way for glitzy new high rises? Well, according to Gangfeng Wang, this makes everybody happy. As you can see from the pics below, the houses are often in a deplorable state. The people who live here get monetary compensation for leaving, and they will end up in modern apartments. The developer of course will make a lot of money from the new development, and the government will also get money – from the developer. ”The only people who are not happy are the tourists”, Gangfeng Wang told us.

Entrance to somebody’s kitchen.

This absolutely charming old lady showed us the correct way to wook green beans.

Electricity meters. Up to twelve families might live in one house, and every family has a meter of their own.

Every family has their own water faucet too.

Why not pimp your water faucet?

Not everybody has washing machines.

A bathroom, never renovated.

Me thinks Kitty needs a good scrubbing too.

Shoes being aired outside the kitchen window.

By the way, every family has their own light bulb.

Kitty seeking shelter on a hot day.

So does Kitty’s master.

Quaint stilleben with spittoon. I think it is a spittoon, anyway.

The beauty that once was…

…and still is.

Gray, gorgeous, gloomy, glorious

24 Apr

Today I’m NOT feeling quite alright….some vicious virus seems to be attacking my stomach….making me feel kind of….pukish. So, what suits my mood better than to publicise a couple of slightly scary/intimidating/ugly pictures of an abandoned banking palace here in Shanghai?

My friend C and I stumbled on this extraordinary place while enjoying one of our city walks, when we look at and learn about all sorts of interesting old buildings in Shanghai.

Sometimes, when trying to get a closer look into interesting buildings in this city, you are more or less brusqely told off buy an intimidating looking security guard. And sometimes, you are heartily welcomed in. And in some cases, you encounter guards who are so perplexed by your appearance that they forget to tell you off and just smile broadly at you and your strange interest in ”their” building. The latter was the case when we peeped into this magnificent place…

Luckily, C can read Chinese, and the hand-painted signs at the door told her that this building, which is situated at the back of the Bund, is/was some kind of banker’s association headquarter.

Well, as you can see, this place is in dire need of thorough renovation. I just hope the city doesn’t tear the place down. It is truly magnificent.

The grayness of it all.

An awe-inspiring entrance.

The discrete beauty of grime.

Behind these doors, there used to be some VERYVERY SERIOUS and TOTALLY IMPORTANT banking work being done. Just imagine!

It was not until C, on a whim, took a flash shot of the ceiling, and we looked at the pic, that we realized what exceptional stuff is hidden in this gloominess!

Eventually, the soft-spoken security guard gently turned his back on us. Thank you so much for letting us in and about 🙂

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