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.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Shanghai ~ day 2 & 3: French Concession

I wandered around the French Concession area today, close to the Taikang Road art district and west of the Huangpu River.

I couldn't quite find the way to Xintiandi ("jing-tahn-dee"), Shanghai's version of London's Covent Garden or LA's The Grove. Tina told me this is where Derek's family has a(nother) Zen Chinese restaurant. I got to see the area one night as Sandra brought me here...via taxi ;) It's "towner central" at night with hoes and dudes on the pull. But during the day it's probably "likeable".

Instead, I reached Sun Yatsen’s house – he’s famous for his efforts to modernize China in the early 1900s by uniting the various ruling clans and containing the concessions given away to foreigners. He is honored in China for his work for the Republic of China (ROC). After his death the party had a power struggle which eventually led to the Communists taking power in China (People's Republic of China) and Sun Yatsen's protege and general, Chiang Kai-shek, going to Taiwan and running the Republic of China. But I'm no historian and it's kinda complicated?!

The Taikang Road is a cute set of streets that seem to go around in circles...I know because I couldn't find my way back to a store that had some great vibrant t-shirts. I turned one-way and then another...I walked through shops to get to other courtyards, but after chasing my tail I gave up. This is where you're most likely to find tourists or expats, but not the "feral coach tours" as Lonely Guide so aptly put it! ;)

A community of people actually live here and as you can see from the pics they're not your arty, east London types, or trendy, edgy yoof. These are regular locals who play checkers, spit and hang laundry in their yards and surrounding streets. I have no idea what they made of me or my fellow tourists, but without them much of the character of the neighborhood would be lost.

When I told the lady at the sorbet kiosk I liked the quiet streets without the crazy traffic she suggested I take a walk along Shaoxing Road which is a tree-lined street...just like my quiet neighborhood in LA or Europe...

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