20 octobre 2016

Bund 18 follies

Version Française When recently visiting Bund 18, I was impressed by French chef Joel Robuchon's bakery on the ground floor. Inside, most products, like sandwiches or cakes are delicately prepared, showing high quality and surprisingly affordable. A croissant would sell at 15 yuan only and a tart at less than 30, a far better price for value than in other fashionable shops. This new venue is one of the surprises of Bund 18! So let me introduce this amazing place.  History  Bund 18 was built in 1923, designed by... [Lire la suite]
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16 octobre 2016

Shanghai Halloween ghosts

Version Française Halloween is coming, so let's talk about ghosts for a while. When I arrived I Shanghai, I bought a photo album in which there was a big night picture of the Xiang Yang market (photo left), a sort of open air market common in Asia where people get cheap clothes and copies. Unfortunately, at the time I bought the book, this place was already gone as construction of IAPM shopping mall had begun. This is one exemple among others of how fast Shanghai changes and how almost impossible it is to keep updated with its latest... [Lire la suite]
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16 octobre 2016

Fantômes pour Shanghai Halloween

English version Halloween arrive, aussi parlons de fantômes. Lorsque je suis arrivé à Shanghai, je suis tombé sur un livre où se trouvait une photo de nuit du marché de Xiang Yang. Il s'agit de cette sorte de marché en plein air que l'on trouve en Asie avec des copies et des vêtements bon marché. Or, à la période où j'ai acheté ce livre, il avait déjà disparu, remplacé par les travaux du shopping mall IAPM. Ce n'est qu'un exemple des changements qui ne cessent de s'opérer à Shanghai et qui font qu'il est quasiment impossible de... [Lire la suite]
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11 octobre 2016

Shanghai nostalgia

Version Française  I sometimes wonder why I love Shanghai so much. This has probably something to do with nostalgia. Indeed when I compare Shanghai with other cities I equally (or let's say also) like, Istanbul will immediately come to my mind, then Tbilissi, Budapest, Paris, Rome, Mumbai, Berlin, Qingdao, Harbin,... quite a long list actually! All these amazing cities, although not as big as Shanghai, have all something in common: They tell us about history! In most of them, traces of the most often brilliant past still... [Lire la suite]
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09 octobre 2016

Shanghai homo delphinus

Version Française As the biopic on oceanographer Jacques Cousteau featuring Lambert Wilson in the main role, "L'Odyssée" is about to come out in France, I cannot help myself from thinking of another deep ocean lover who was born in Shanghai: Jacques Mayol. Jacques Mayol is known all over the world from Luc Besson movie "The Big Blue" (last photo) which was inspired by his life. He was the son of a French architect living in Shanghai, Laurent Mayol who used to work for the French delegation in the 1920s 1930s. I could not... [Lire la suite]
02 octobre 2016

Father Jacquinot: The Nantao hero 1/2

 Version Française  When famous journalist Albert Londres meets Father Jacquinot in 1932, this one is helping victims of the Sino-Japanese fights in Chapei (Zhabei today). The reporter is surprised by the unusual look of the priest. "Father Jacquinot wears glasses. His neatly cut beard has not the usual shape of missionaries. He has one hand missing. The shabby look of his cassock definitely indicates he has not only been in a church. I wonder if Saint Peter himself would accept him in such a miserable look." Albert... [Lire la suite]

27 septembre 2016

The Long Bar

Version Française When discovering Shanghai Bund marvels, one is often told about the Shanghai Club Long Bar. This actually used to be themeeting place in the 1920s and 1930s for the British elites, but not only them, as the Club was open to foreigners. It was however closed to Chinese citizens and to women who were only invited once a year! The first Shanghai Club, now part of the Warldorf Astoria Hotel, was built in 1864 to provide the newly arrived group of British businessmen with an exclusive place to meet and discuss... [Lire la suite]
20 septembre 2016

Shanghai Sketch

Version Française It's been a while I wanted to write about Shanghai Sketch, this Shanghai 1930's famous magazine. Shanghai Sketch (上海漫画 or Shanghai Manhua, nearby) was founded in 1928 by a group of eleven artists including Ye Quanyu, Huang Wennong, Lu Shaofei, Zhang Guanyu and Zhang Zhenyu. One of the sponsors was Shao Xunmei, the Chinese and highly controversial lover of Emily Hahn. From the very beginning, it used erotic pictures or dramatic scenes on its front page to attract readers' attention. Inside the magazine, one... [Lire la suite]
11 septembre 2016

An Armenian in Shanghai: The Tchakalian family bakery

 Version Française  After traveling to Yerevan Armenia this summer, I got extensive information about the Armenian genocide occurring from the end of the eighteenth century in Turkey to the early nineteenth century. During this period some 2 million Armenian people were slaughtered, walked to death and tortured by Turks and Kurd militias working with them. The peak of this period was 1915 corresponding to the rise of the Young Turks party in the former Ottoman Empire. This very sad episode is still denied by many... [Lire la suite]
07 septembre 2016

The White Countess

 Version Française I recently watched the movie called "The White Countess" with one of my preferate actors, Ralph Fienes (Voldemort in Harry Potter, The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, Schindler List...). This movie is about White Russians in Shanghai 1930s, telling the story of a former Russian noble lady obliged to work as a bar hostess. Although the story itself is of little interest, it is probably the first time I watch such a precisely and well documented movie about Shanghai 1930s. The background is... [Lire la suite]