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Traditional homes in north Shanghai

Shanghai 上海

1933 Shanghai: Art Deco Abattoir

Outside an old slaughterhouse in Shanghai
The distinctive facade of 1933 Shanghai.

Gathered here are several photographs from a brief walk around 1933 Shanghai (上海1933老场坊), an unusual slaughterhouse in Hóngkǒu 虹口, part of the former Shanghai International Settlement. Designed by a British architect in an arguably Art Deco style and built with imported cement in 1933, it was recently renovated and transformed into a hub for the creative industries. Seeing as how this is Shanghai, several high-quality English language articles have already been published about it, so I will hereby refer you to Atlas Obscura, Shanghai Art Deco, Mas Context, Randomwire, and La Casa Park for more information and informed analysis.

Where Shanghai Disappears

A wizard’s castle in the ruins of Shanghai
A wizard’s castle in the ruins of Shanghai.

Yesterday I was on my way to check out 1933 Shanghai 上海1933老场坊, a restored Art Deco slaughterhouse in Hóngkǒu 虹口, when I stumbled upon a compact neighbourhood in the process of being torn down, part of an ongoing process of urban renewal in Shanghai. Every year more of these old areas are torn down, their residents forcibly evicted, and new high-rises and shopping malls go up in their place. My time in Shanghai is too short to allow for any measure of expertise to grow—so all I have to share here are a few photos and some comments from a quick walk around (and through) the block.

First Light In China

A shopping street in Chuansha New Town
A shopping street in Chuansha New Town, Shanghai.

For all that China looms large in the collective consciousness of both the west and Taiwan 台灣, where I usually reside these days, my first experiences of the Middle Kingdom were exceedingly unremarkable. I was only in the country on a layover of about fifteen hours so I didn’t get to see much apart from the airport, the metro system, and a small part of Chuānshā New Town 川沙新镇, one of countless planned communities in Pudong, the newly-minted eastern district of the largest city in the world, Shanghai. I will return in a couple of weeks for a longer layover—four full days this time, as I am taking advantage of the free 144-hour transit visa—and will have more to share later on.