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Shanghailander page of Shanghailander, the blog about Old Shanghai
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Shanghai art deco furniture
05/12/2023

Shanghai art deco furniture

Although it was only named in the 1960’s, Art Deco was the dominant style for modern design in the late 1920’s and 1930’s. Named after the 1925 Paris “Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs“, the style was dominated by simplified geometric patterns, inspired by nature and exotic co...

Modern Shanghai history, 10 years of Bar Rouge
28/11/2023

Modern Shanghai history, 10 years of Bar Rouge

This blog was originally started to talk about Shanghai both Old and Modern. Only a few posts about modern Shanghai were published as my attention was fully taken by Shanghai history, but the similarities between Old and today’s Shanghai have often come back to me. With nearly 11 years of life in ...

The crime is mine
27/11/2023

The crime is mine

The crime is mine
27/11/2023

The crime is mine

French movie “The crime is mine” is inspired by a play from the 1930s. Director Francois Ozon have turned into a movie that has many references to French cinema past and present, including many actors that are famous in France. This will probably be lost to the non French viewer. What is stunnin...

Noir on the Bund
21/11/2023

Noir on the Bund

Candid black & white shot of Old Shanghai waterfront and most prominent location. Feeling like in an Old Shanghai movie.

Piazza Regina Elena, Tientsin
14/11/2023

Piazza Regina Elena, Tientsin

This post is not strictly about Shanghai, but about its little less known sister, TianJin. Shanghai colonial is well known, researched and documented… but it was not the only treaty port. Along the Chinese coast other international concessions were built on with foreign buildings, including ShaMie...

  old and new
07/11/2023

old and new

As much as a I love Shanghai, it was not the first city I fell in love with. Getting used to the Chinese megalopolis in 2004 was actually not easy coming from the charming Central European City of Budapest. I have spent more than 5 years walking the paved streets of this XIXth century beauty. … Co...

Bundwalk empire
31/10/2023

Bundwalk empire

The roaring twenties was a period of economic growth and recovery from the horrors of WWI. WWI fueled Shanghai growth by cutting supplies from Europe and the return of links with Europe brought new opportunities to the city. In the USA, it was also the time of alcohol prohibition from 1920 to 1933.....

Love and Duty (part 1)
24/10/2023

Love and Duty (part 1)

Ruan Lingyu (阮玲玉) was one of the stars of Old Shanghai movies. Acting in silent movies her career brutaly stopped when she committed su***de in 1935. One of her main movies, “Love and Duty”(恋爱与义务)1931, was supposed to be lost until a full copy was found in Uruguay in the earl...

H. B. M Consulate, Shanghai
17/10/2023

H. B. M Consulate, Shanghai

When Georges Balfour, the first Consul in Shanghai arrived in 1843, after the signing of the treaty of Nanking, what is now the Bund was very different from today. The world Bund comes from colonial india, meaning a mud bank on a river. On those early days of Shanghai, this is just what the Bund …...

10/10/2023

CUVVE, nightmare at Bund 18

When the former building of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China reopened in 2004 as Bund 18, it was the best example of colonial building renovation in Shanghai. The project had all the elements for success, including a building rich with history, a fantastic location, an architect firm...

The Old Shanghai A-Z
03/10/2023

The Old Shanghai A-Z

Paul French has long been one of the known writer and researcher on today’s China. Besides his business writing and advisory, he is clearly fascinated by Old Shanghai and the Republican period, having published several books on the topic including Carl Crow’s biography “A tough old China hand....

Shanghai Saga republished
26/09/2023

Shanghai Saga republished

John Pal’s Shanghai memoir, Shanghai Saga, has been recently republished by Earshaw books. Readers can now enjoy the story of John Pal, customs officer turned journalist at the Shanghai Times, just like I did when I first read it. Details are in original post Shanghai Saga.

Center Stage / 阮玲玉
23/09/2023

Center Stage / 阮玲玉

Actress Ruan LingYu 阮玲玉 was one of the main star of Shanghai cinema in the 1930s. Shanghailander.net’s series of blog posts about her 1931 movie “Love and duty” sparked interest in the readers. One of them pointed me to the 1991 Stanley Kwan Hong Kong movie “Center Stage” or 阮玲.....

Taras Grescoe’s Shanghai Grand
19/09/2023

Taras Grescoe’s Shanghai Grand

Searching for “Shanghai Grand” on the internet leads directly to a Hong Kong action movie from 1996 set in Shanghai. Much more interesting is the new book from Canadian travel writer and journalist Tara Grescoe, focusing on the life and relationships of New Yorker writer Emily (Mickey) Hahn duri...

Shanghai heat
12/09/2023

Shanghai heat

I have written several posts about Shanghai’s winter that makes people miserable for a few months, but I did not write much about Shanghai’s summers. Activity continues despite the heat and tourists come to visit the city (see post Tourists in summer Shanghai written three years go). The streets...

Sung Sung dairy box
05/09/2023

Sung Sung dairy box

One of the latest post on Shanghailander, was focusing on milk distribution in Old Shanghai (See post “Shanghai Milkman” for more details). Among other things, I was showing an antic milk box from Culty Dairy. Soon after publication, a Shanghai antic dealer came to me with pictures of another mi...

Just finished reading “The Peking Express”. Great research and easy to read. Lot’s of information and links to Old Shang...
03/09/2023

Just finished reading “The Peking Express”. Great research and easy to read. Lot’s of information and links to Old Shanghai. Recommended reading!

The story of express train abducted in Shandong province by local gangsters in the 1920s was the base for World famous 1932 Hollywood movie “Shanghai Express”. James Zimmerman’s “The Peking Express” is the true story of this incident and its consequences in China and beyond. Although the w...

Béla Mátrai, Hungarian architect in Shanghai
29/08/2023

Béla Mátrai, Hungarian architect in Shanghai

Having lived for years in Budapest before coming to Shanghai, I still feel connected to Hungary after all those years (see post Budapest Old and New). As explained in post ” Looking for Hudec“, discovering about the Hungarian architect in 2008 was a big surprise and I could see the parallel with...

Gordon & Co Construction, Shanghai
22/08/2023

Gordon & Co Construction, Shanghai

Old advertising for a construction company in Shanghai, Gordon & Co on Sichuan lu

Shanghai   Studio
15/08/2023

Shanghai Studio

Shanghai Cinema studio had been on my visit list since a long time. The studio is famous to host a rebuilt version of Old Shanghai. It quite famous has it was for period movies and TV series, including “Lust, caution” and “Shanghai Shanghai“. It takes a long drive to reach the location in So...

American   Equipment Co.
08/08/2023

American Equipment Co.

Where to buy radio equipment in Shanghai ... in 1935?

01/08/2023

Opening post

It’s a warm night in Shanghai, and after discussing it many times with friends, I am starting this blog. There are already many blogs about Shanghai or about the experience of foreigners in China. I will try to add my little original touch to this electronic mess. This blog is dedicated to Shangha...

Lost in transmission
25/07/2023

Lost in transmission

Old Shanghai was a city based on trading with the world, communicating with the tools of the time… airmail and telegram. I recently found one telegram from 1947 in an antic market. 1947 is only 60 years ago, but communication was using means that are so different from today. Touching this old piec...

ABC News Company
18/07/2023

ABC News Company

Article on a ABC News Company book seller in Old Shanghai

Allez les Belges!
11/07/2023

Allez les Belges!

The 2008 Olympic games mainly take place in Beijing, but a small bit is happening is other cities. Of course, all finals and prestigious events will be in Beijing, but other cities got some leftovers. Shanghai was generously granted the right to host a few qualifier football game. It was very diffic...

It took me a while, since the book was published in 2020, but here is my review of "The last kings of Old Shanghai", als...
09/07/2023

It took me a while, since the book was published in 2020, but here is my review of "The last kings of Old Shanghai", also published as "Kings of Old Shanghai".
Interesting and bringing new information, as well as shallow on some points

2020’s book “The last kings of Shanghai” by Jonathan Kaufman has been on my reading list since publication, but I only read it recently. I had high expectations from the review and the book has some really interesting parts, at the same time it is a bit of a disappointement from an Old Shangha...

A trip to old Rangoon
04/07/2023

A trip to old Rangoon

Arrival in Yangon (Rangoon) at night woke back many memories of other cities frozen in time. The first contact reminded me of arriving in Saigon in 1998. Same trees, same roads and mostly 1980’s Japanese 10th hand cars around. The cars falling apart with wheel on the wrong side reminded me of Camb...

  pattern book
27/06/2023

pattern book

display embroidery pattern haipai style from old shanghai

Hugh Martin’s grave in Shanghai
20/06/2023

Hugh Martin’s grave in Shanghai

Last weekend, I found the remains of my previous life in Old Shanghai. Here is where and how. Song Qin Ling memorial on Hong Qiao Road is an important remembrance site in Shanghai today, built on the location of the International Cemetery. This spot was by far not the only cemetery in Old Shanghai,....

Casablanca
13/06/2023

Casablanca

This post about the movie Casablanca is a deviation post still strongly linked to old Shanghai. The 1942 movie takes place during World War II in Europe when Jewish refugees from Central Europe were fleeing persecutions in their home countries, selling all their belongings to try and reach a safe he...

I finally read Inspector Danilov novel by MJ Lee, "Death in Shanghai". This crime novel taking place in Old Shanghai is ...
11/06/2023

I finally read Inspector Danilov novel by MJ Lee, "Death in Shanghai". This crime novel taking place in Old Shanghai is a great read!

I have read a number of novels taking place in Old Shanghai, but for some reason I missed MJ Lee’s “Death in Shanghai” until now. It is amazing I did not get to read it before, having been interested in both crime novels and Old Shanghai for a long time. Piotr Danilov is the only … Continue ...

I have been there many times but every time I am amazed by the Peace hotel (former Sassoon house hosting the Cathay hote...
09/06/2023

I have been there many times but every time I am amazed by the Peace hotel (former Sassoon house hosting the Cathay hotel). One of the most beautiful art deco building in the World. First time on the small front terrasse over the Bund.

Dreaming of old Nanjing Road
06/06/2023

Dreaming of old Nanjing Road

Old Shanghai feeling on today’s Nanjing lu

Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in Shanghai
30/05/2023

Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in Shanghai

I have previously written about Shanghai Art Deco architecture, this post is focused on a different style also popular in Old Shanghai, the Spanish Colonial Revival style. A bit like Art Deco was inspired by the 1925 Paris exhibition, Spanish Revival was inspired by the Panama-California exhibition....

Saint Therese
23/05/2023

Saint Therese

This church is hidden in the labyrinth of lanes from 370 Da Tian Lu, currently in Jing An district. When I first found out about it, it was really difficult to see from the outside as the whole are area was surrounded with blocks and block of lane. This area has now changed tremendously, with … Co...

  of the East
09/05/2023

of the East

Old Shanghai was often called “Paris of the orient” or “Paris of the East”. I have read or heard the later used for several cities inspired by the French capital including Budapest (with its Andrassy ut looking like Champs Elysees), Bucharest (because of boulevards and buildings French inspi...

Famous website 知味葡萄酒 has translated and published Shanghailander articles about wine in Old Shanghai on their wechat [Gr...
05/05/2023

Famous website 知味葡萄酒 has translated and published Shanghailander articles about wine in Old Shanghai on their wechat [Grin] (with permission)

上世纪二三十年代来上海淘金的外国人也带来了他们的饮酒习惯。之前几百年里,中国人喝的主要是各种米酒,但随着外国人的到来,啤酒、金酒、威士忌和葡萄酒也都进来了。

An old favorite, The Glamour Bar
02/05/2023

An old favorite, The Glamour Bar

The Glamour Bar is one of those places that make you stravel to old Shanghai just by going there. A bit like the now gone Face Bar, there is something in this place that is uniquely Shanghai. Australian Michelle Garnaut has put her soul and attention to details in creating an anchor of Shanghai. M o...

Champagne was flowing in Old Shanghai parties… just like today. New post on Shanghailander.net: https://shanghailander.n...
01/05/2023

Champagne was flowing in Old Shanghai parties… just like today. New post on Shanghailander.net: https://shanghailander.net/2023/04/lots-of-champagne-in-old-shanghai/

Champagne has been the drink of parties and celebration since the 18th century and a lot of it was consummed in Old Shanghai. In 1934, about 42.000 bottles of French Champagne where imported in China, mostly through Shanghai port. Champagne was served in the many private parties organised then. It i...

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