25 février 2017

Shanghai Gordon

Version Française I recently found a picture in one of the old photo books at Deke Ehr's Old China Hand bookstore on Shaoxing Road. It represented a deep-blue-eyed Englishman wearing a Turkish fez on his head with the mysterious title "Gordon Pasha". I probably stayed five minutes contemplating this fascinating face, puzzled by the association between the oriental type of his clothes and honorific title and the English spelling of his name as well as his staring at the camera. This is not the first time I hear the Turkish title of... [Lire la suite]

20 février 2017

Meeting with Jacqueline Meyrier

French version Among the people who actually knew Shanghai 1930s, my recent meeting with Jacqueline Meyrier, the daughter of Consul General Jacques Meyrier, is a special one. We did had the opportunity to discuss with the 90 years old lady who specially came to Shanghai to celebrate her birthday after more than 67 years of absence. This unique event happened at the Villa Basset, the French Consul General residence. Villa Basset (last photo) is well-known by the French community in Shanghai as it is the place to celebrate the 14th of... [Lire la suite]
26 janvier 2017

Happy new year, Shanghai roosters!

Version Française On the occasion of the coming of the Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster, I would like to remind my dear readers that the rooster is also the French national emblem. For quite a long period in Shanghai, it was associated with the French Sports Club , today's Okura Garden Hotel located on today's Maoming Road, previously called rue du Cardinal Mercier by the French. Completed in 1926, this wonderful building is the masterpiece of two young and talented architects Alexandre Leonard and Paul Veysseyre who launched... [Lire la suite]
17 janvier 2017

Deda, Russian cafe culture

Version Française There are many places in Shanghai that definitely feel like Europe. However, some are so much part of the local history that even the Shanghainese feel at home there. This is the case of Deda Cafe (德大). The original cafe was founded by Russians in 1897 at 177 Tanggu Road in the Hongkou district of Shanghai. In 1949, the cafe was relocated in to 359 Sichuan North Road, which was the most popular location in old Shanghainese memories. There are two Deda Cafes today. One is in on Nanjing West Road at 473, dating from... [Lire la suite]
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12 janvier 2017

French Concession police story

Version Française I just finished the memoirs of Joseph Shieh (Xue Gengxin 薛耕莘 in Chinese) written with help of French journalist Marie Holzman. This is actually the kind of readings that leaves you with dozens, not to say thousands of questions.  Hired by the Shanghai French Police in 1930, Joseph Shieh made his way through those troubled years marked by the control of gangs on the French Concession, the fierce fight between Communist Party and Kuomintang party and later the Japanese invasion. He ended his life in 2008 at... [Lire la suite]
08 janvier 2017

Shanghai Art Deco top 10!

Version Française Art Deco is a word coming from the 1925 Paris Salon des Arts Decoratifs. This architecture trend is deeply related to the Shanghai landscape where Western influencies met with Asian culture. This style describes a way of life too, reflecting 1920s eagerness for modernity, speed and lightness. As WWI was over, fashion designers, artists as well as architects looked for a brand new way of shaping daily life of people. As Shanghai was a the midth of an economic boom, it immediately adopted the new wave as a strong... [Lire la suite]

05 janvier 2017

Top 10 de l'Art Deco à Shanghai

English version L'Art Deco, ce mouvement architectural né du Salon des Arts Décoratifs de Paris en 1925 à marqué durablement de son empreinte le paysage de Shanghai en y apportant le mélange unique entre influences chinoises et occidentales. Plutôt qu'une série de critères bien définis, ce style est plus un mode de vie. En effet, au début des années 1920, la tendance générale est à l'optimisme et à la modernité. Le premier conflit mondial achevé, le monde cherche en effet à se refonder dans le domine  des... [Lire la suite]
08 décembre 2016

Shanghai bikes

Version Française Among the first images I got from China, the thousands of Chinese workers riding bicycles is probably one of the most vivid of my teenage memories. In the 1970's, China was just waking up from the Cultural Revolution and was known in the world as the "Kingdom of bicycles" (自行车王国), representing 60% of the whole world production. Even after Mao's death in 1976, the dream of every family was "san zhuan yi xiang" (三转一响), meaning 3 spins and one sound, to describe  a wrist watch, a sewing machine, a bicycle and a... [Lire la suite]
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29 novembre 2016

Da Ke Tang, my cup of tea!

Version Française Having tea in the “Da Ke Tang” is one of the most authentic experiences I had (and still have) in Shanghai. Da Ke Tang is an old Art Deco villa, which belonged to a top member of Chiang Kai Shek’s Kuomintang party in the 1930s. Hidden in the back of an alley on Xiangyang Road, this is the kind of place you would never find by accident. On the first time I went there, I could not believe my eyes: none of the original luxurious wood decoration had been changed. The floor, ceilings and door panels were all... [Lire la suite]
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23 novembre 2016

Shanghai butterfly

 Version Française  When recently flipping into Lynn Pan's wonderful book "Shanghai Style", I saw a picture of a lady sitting on the bumber of an elegant 1930s luxury car. She is gorgeous, staring at the photographer. She is dressed with Western clothes although she is undoubteddy Chinese and her hair is curled. She wears leather boots, in the maneer of an English Lady returning home after a fox hunt. This photo is the one of Hu Die, a prominent film star of Shanghai 1930s! Hu Die (meaning butterfly in Chinese) or Hu... [Lire la suite]
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