Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Shanghai, baby...the Paris of Asia?

Arriving in Shanghai you immediately notice the grey smog that seems to envelope the skyline and, unlike the LA grey, it doesn’t seem to burn off by mid-morning. My itchy nose told me that the grey wasn’t just cosmetic. This city is polluted.

My daytime stroll along the Huangpu River highlighted the grime, but an evening stroll in the Bund area along the East Zhongshan No. 2 Road is a wonderful way to admire Shanghai’s Pudong skyline which used to be farmland until it was redeveloped into a commercial area a bit like the Docklands. The omnipresent Oriental Pearl TV Tower stands tall in an odd, impractical and kinda 60s futuristic architectural style.

What makes Shanghai special is the different districts that hark back to the cosmopolitan “trading” partners that settled in Shanghai in the 1900s, including the Brits, Americans and Russians. Surprisingly, despite rampant development, these areas still remain (though are not necessarily nurtured) and cannot be left off of any tourist itinerary: French Concession, The Bund and the cute artistic district of Taikang Road.

Food is the other treat that Shanghai offers. If you think a dim sum menu is confusing, wait till you get into regional delicacies that Chinese food offers. Tonight Sandra took me to Jinsadao near her apartment in south Shanghai. It’s Xinjiang food from the northwest region of China– think of Muslim spicy lamb kebabs, cold noodles with chili oil, cabbage soup, and the local brew called black beer (wait…I thought Muslims didn’t drink alcohol?!). It’s not as unappetizing as it sounds…it’s a sweet stout, a bit like Newcastle Brown Ale. But, I’m not sure it went well with the spicy dishes as it seemed to induce some mouth numbness! And I only had half a bottle of the stuff!

Xinjiang was recently in the news because violence broke out as its people protested for their right to be independent from Chinese rule. Hmmm. Add Tibet and Taiwan to the mix and China looks like it has its hands full as it tries to govern such diverse areas and manage its own presence on the world stage as it reaps the rewards of the Olympics.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home