Recorded: February 22, 2010 at 9:18 a.m. Mandy had lived in a small in a small house on Huai Hai Lu her entire life until November 2009 when her house was demolished. Mandy had contacted me after hearing about the Growing Up With Shanghai project on TV and thought it would be interesting to document her memories in the area around her now demolished home. She had mentioned her Grandfather was very knowledgeable about the history of this area of Huai Hai Lu but he was unavailable for the walk- there only in spirit by a scribbled notes on a folded piece of paper. Mandy was a bit nervous in the beginning, relying mostly on her notes to guide her dialog. However, when we finally reached her old house she became more candid, emotional, and spontaneous. Walking down the narrow alleyway that was the entrance to her old neighborhood, it seemed as if we walked into another world. Just beyond the flashy street facades, lay a wasteland of demolished and half-demolished buildings. The few that were left standing still had residents. This is a great document of pre-Expo Shanghai and the changes that were happening to the city we saw and the parts of the city we didn’t. It had been one year since therecording (2011) and nothing still has been built on the site. Mandy and her family have since moved into a residence further down on Huai Hai Lu. One thing I found interesting about her transcript was that she would mostly refer to a location by its previous name and not what was there now. For more information about this project please visit: http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com
*New Audio from the Growing Up With Shanghai Project* Description, Translations, Photos and book coming in January.
*New audio from the Growing Up With Shanghai Project* Description, Translations, Photos and book coming in early January.
Recorded June 12, 2010 at 11:18 am Chongming Dao is the largest alluvial island in the world and it is a county within the Shanghai Municipality. Mostly an agricultural landscape most of its history has literally had an isolation from the surrounding society only a stones throw from its shores. Until recently, ferries were the only means of transport between the mainland and now, a new bridge and tunnel system has been built to reduce travel time and facilitate its economy. This new addition left some of the once bustling port towns quiet and empty. Remnants of its not so distant past still line the streets now only catering to the local population and waiting for its inevitable demise. However, the town is more relaxed and on this beautiful summer day, it was nothing more or less than peaceful- a welcome reverse effect of the new artery. Ben recounts his childhood growing up in Bu Zhen. Although he lives in Shanghai City now, he still comes back to see his mother. His friend’s old house was near the ferry terminal so we borrowed old rusty bicycles from his family to cover the long distance along the main street. His memories are filled with pleasant and intimate emotions possibly not unlike- or even inspired by- the cool early summer morning.
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Recorded September 5, 2009. Here is a road that needs no introduction. The main street of Shanghai has gone tremendous change over the past century and what you see now is just the beginning of it. Connecting Wai Tan (The Bund) to People’s park and beyond, Nanjing Lu is a tourist trap of high-end and local shops mixed in with eateries and hotels. Underneath the neon lights and ornate facades, the stories are endless. Some may not be as pleasant as others but all contribute to the character of the city. Bobby has lived in this area since he was born and he still lives in the area today. his stories are filled with local knowledge that every Shanghai knows as well as some obscure stories only told by our elders. Growing up in such a prestigious area gives this walk a point of view that is different from other walks. It has an air of wealth but still has its roots in the local tradition that a true Shanghainese would appreciate. The ‘Shou Yi’ death clothes from Lao Jie Fu, Traditional chinese medicine at Cai Tong De, the May 30 Massacre memorial at the Tai Kang Food Store, the foreign movies at Heping Cinema, and the seemingly unattainable lifestyle that the Park Hotel once symbolized to the old locals. Although not all statements may not be based on recorded fact, it is a great example of how stories are passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. It is through the memories of its people keep the City alive and close to their hearts. Bobby sums it up beautifully in his concluding statement: “If you want to truly feel why this city is beautiful, feel the commercial atmosphere, and to truly enjoy everything you taste, you really have to put your heart into feeling it. To truly feel it you need to use your own senses and you need to see everything for yourself - but most importantly you need to experience it.” All photos by Weina Li For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Nan_Jing_Lu.html
Recorded September 7, 2009. Welcome to the future. Across the river in Pudong is the traditional metropolis that we are used to seeing in modern cities around the world. Even with the final tower not built yet, the current skyline still awes visitors. Century avenue is the main corridor going from Lu Jia Zui to Century Park. The scale is completely different on this side of the river, with wide roads and very tall buildings, one can finally spread out kick back relax. This recording is a soundwalk where Shanghai speaks through the daily life of its people. We can hear the newest part of town still in its adolescence with the seemingly endless construction sounds, long waits at huge intersections, and the many people and cars. My goal was to walk to from Lu Jia Zui to the Science and Technology Museum but realized it was much farther than I thought so I decided to jump on a subway to shorten the time for the recording. I hope to do more walks on the Pudong side in the future as really none of its recent past really remains. It truly would be a feat to envision how life was before this new City grew through its past residents. This walk is to serve as the beginning of our own story. No matter if you come tomorrow or two years later, the city will always be changing and maturing into something more amazing. No matter our age or our arrival, we will always be- growing up with Shanghai. Strap on your walking shoes and don’t forget your subway card. Welcome to Shanghai. All photos by Weina Li. For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Century_Avenue.html
Recorded August 2, 2009. After almost three hours of getting lost, I finally meet Lemon, her sister, and her boyfriend Jason at Feng Jing town which is actually about one hour of Shanghai. Feng Jing is another ancient water town right on the Shanghai-Zhe Jiang border and its history dates back several centuries. This small town has gone through some amazing changes. The water town area has been renovated and more tourist friendly but still maintains its local vibe. Not many tourists come through here as compared to some other water towns so it is still a relaxing day trip destination. This walk is one of our favorites not only because it is the only one outside of Shanghai city, but also because of the playful and animated dialog of Lemon and her sister. They talk of catching crawfish in the stream, Xun La Si (roast frog), and falling down stairs- all with a laugh and a smile. The sometimes mysterious alleyways, delightful views, and the easy country life make this a place not to miss. Their dialect is quite different than the Shanghainese spoken in the city. More Mandarin words are mixed in with a few local words that may not even sound like typical Shanghainese. Its a pleasant reminder of how large the Shanghai province is and that there are many amazing places to visit outside of the City. If you only go on one of the walks, make this the one. Photos by Weina Li. Additional photos taken by Superjason during the sound walk can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157621828178889/ For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Feng_Jing.html
Recorded August 21, 2009. Changshou Lu is an amazing road. Amidst tall high-rises, a busy and wide road cuts through it. Its hard to imagine that about 20 years ago, a steel factory was where the Carrefour was, Suzhou Creek was black, and the 3 or 4 story houses of the Nong Tangs were the only high-rises you would ever see. Soup recalls an ocean of bicycles and great times. His youth spent at late night study sessions, schoolyard brawls, family dinners at the local noodle shop, and the occasional fire-crackers-in-the-coal-furnace gag. His adventures are almost unbelievable as there are very few places left that could even prove his stories true. Blow the dust off your imagination for this one. Photos by Weina Li. For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Chang_Shou_Lu.html
Recorded September 8, 2009 13:48. This walk was a real treat and I really recommend following it if you ever are in Shanghai. As usual I only had a general idea of the route but little did I know that it would lead into the hidden passageways and give a glimpse of the old, quiet Nong Tangs of Shanghai rarely seen without a local resident. During one of our later conversations, it was interesting to learn that his elementary, junior, and high school have all been demolished- how fascinating that part of one's childhood is erased so quickly. Jian Guo Lu is a 2-lane typical french consession street filled with old buildings and local Shanghai life. Cutting across the heart of the French Concession, it is a more intimate thoroughfare compared to Huai hai Lu or Fuxing Lu which may also lead to its popularity. When embarking on this walk, you will need to follow the map and photos very carefully as the route may not always be apparent. But if you do get lost, explore! Photos by Weina Li. For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Jian_Guo_Lu.html
Recorded July 7, 2009. Xin Hua Lu is a picturesque road similar to many in the French Concession area of Shanghai. Lined on both sides with Parasol trees and vintage mansions of old Shanghai one can easily mistake this to be anywhere in the world. Samantha has lived along this road her entire life. In fact, many of her relatives still live in this area and is an indication of how important family is to her. Her memories are filled with her family and her time spent with her Grandfather, jumping across flower terraces, bakery discount bread-runs, and her precarious playground adventures resulting in a daring rescue. Xin Hua Lu is truly a part of her life and her family. This walk was one of my favorites just because of the amazing coincidences and life that can be heard in the background. The rise and fall of gently passing cars and random conversations. When we entered her residential complex, the sounds of the basketball courts, construction, and baby crying all create an amazing picture. The finale was the icing on the cake as we happen to end in front of a place where a piano could be heard from the street- exit music to a great movie. It is these serendipitous moments that create the essence of these recordings. The realization that they can never be recreated and the reason why they should be ‘recorded’. I felt that this recording truly captured the life of this area. The recording itself is so dynamic and alive- yet not too overbearing as is usually assumed in an urban setting. We hope that you enjoy this recording as much as we do. Photos by Weina Li. For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Xin_Hua_Lu.html
Recorded July 12, 2009. Hua Ting Lu is the birthplace of the Xiang Yang Lu market which is now located at the Science and Technology Center subway station. Nowadays it is a very quiet street connecting Changle Lu and Huai Hai Lu. Some clothing stores and restaurants remain as the only indication of its ancestry. But along this road Gladys shares an intimate memory of her past love. Their first meeting was at the KFC at the end of the road which is still there. The table where they sat was occupied when we arrived so we sat at the table behind. Softly she spoke of her feelings about a man whom she met by chance. At that moment, who would have known what the future would hold for them? The late night conversations, that memorable night after KTV, the break-up, the make-up, and this soundwalk. All photos taken by Weina Li. For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Hua_Ting_Lu.html
Recorded July 5, 2009 1:17pm. Qiu Jiang Lu is a street in Shanghai where you can buy all sorts of used and new electronics equipment. From stereos, cell phones, computers, and porn- anything and everything is for sale. Duscher used to frequent this area quite a bit when he was young to buy ‘punched’ CDs and I.T. related electronics. Although he does not frequent this area as much today, the street has not changed much from what he remembers, save the construction of a new elevated light rail system as well as an elevated highway. He even meets a friend that he used to buy CDs from during our walk. All photos taken by Weina Li. For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Qiu_Jiang_Lu.html
Recorded August 1, 2009. This walk starts down Jiang Ning Lu and finally begins at An Yuan Lu toward the middle of the track. This part of Shanghai has seen quite a bit of change and is now quite modern. Nearby is M50 on Moganshan Lu and there are quite a bit of galleries scattered about the area. Like a jewel in the rough, this ‘Nong Tang’, which is a term to describe the old residential alleyways in Shanghai, still preserves the simple life that was so abundant before and gives an intimate view into the lives of local Shanghainese. Echo grew up here mostly in the care of her Grandmother and still has family and family friends in the area. As we walk into the Nong Tang, the places that she describes are still there and the smell freshly cooked dinner fills the air. Toward the end of the alley, we just happen to run into her Grandmother’s sister and some family friends and she shares some dialog. This unexpected break in the typical soundwalk format is a refreshing example of the uncontrollable nature of life in these recordings. It really shows the deep connection that the speaker still has with the locations. Please sit back and close your eyes and enjoy this recording. All photos taken by Weina Li. For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/An_Yuan_Lu.html
Recorded July 3, 2009 10:00 am. When I first started this project, I didn’t know where it would lead or what people I would meet. This first walk is of a Shanghainese friend, Maggie, who was interested in my project. The concept was simple- walk in a place that you have fond memories of and talk about it. What I did know was that this was not going to be another ‘audio tour’. It was supposed to be more like an ‘audio diary’. From the beginning, I knew that this project was going to be amazing. We started in an abandoned apartment complex that was ready to be demolished for the future expansion of Xu Jia Hui- a growing epicenter of shopping malls and electronics stores. The complex was quiet, save for a few families who have taken residence here until the demolition starts. The government relocated these people a while ago and have since gutted and prepared these buildings for demolition. It was her first time there since she had left and it was interesting to start seeing the actual locations where here memories were took place. We continued along the route she would take to go to her nearby language school. The streets were bustling with daily life with the sound of restaurants were preparing for the coming lunch hour and people returning home from the local vegetable market to cook for their loved ones. Her memories along this road were quite small and intimate- buying stamps at the local post office and the vegetable market where her mother used to shop. As we get deeper into the residential neighborhood, you can hear the amount of street noise drop and become more quiet ending on the busy, noisy road of Pan Yu Lu. Since this was the first recording, it was edited the most. Portions have been cut where the recording was paused. I have deliberately emphasized this with a few seconds of silence as an indication that a small amount of time has passed. All photos taken by Weina Li. For more information about the 'Growing Up With Shanghai' project, photos, and translations please visit our website. http://www.growingupwithshanghai.com/guws/Xu_Jia_Hui.html
Recorded September 7, 2009. It was a beautiful, hot summer/autumn day in Pudong and I was heading home from another sound walk. The Xinyang Market is located in the Science and Technology museum subway stop on Line 2. It is an underground market and can be accessed from the subway station. Sometimes called the 'fake' market most of the stuff here are either fake or souvenirs. Fake or not, it is a cheap place to get anything you want: cd, dvd, software, sporting equipment, camera stuff, clothing, accessories, etc... I had come here before and vividly remember the merchants agressively selling their wares. There was not many people there that day but I still got some offers. I also happened upon some foreigners in a shop and another one that just bought a huge bag of fake football jerseys. You can hear this towards the end when the offers start becoming more frequent. You can notice same background music being heard on and off from the stalls that have radios. It's easy to get lost in the experience but don't forget to go topside to see the amazing Science and Technology Museum.
Recorded June 4, 2009. Another great warm early summers day on Shanghai and I found myself at Duolun Lu. Off the beaten path of the usual touristy sites, this place still has a lot to see and experience. Formerly a part of the US concession, it now has many antique shops, calligraphy shops, cafes, and the Duolun art museum/gallery along its street. Though there is alot to see along its main street, wander through the narrow passageways of the local neighborhood just off the main street. You can find hidden placards, and keystones dating back to the 1920's. This sound walk recording was made along the main street. I walk through an antique store and actually there are parts when the street gets really quiet and pleasant. The last bit of the audio, i came across a group of elder chinese hanging out and chatting in front of a restaurant. You can hear me getting my camera out of my bag at around 8:20.
Er ist zurück. Und billig war es nicht. Teuer auch nich. Es war so semi. Und viel zuwenig drin. Terrible.
[Sounds of Shanghai] Recorded June 1, 2009. The Zhenru Temple is situated in Zhenru Town at the northwestern edge of Shanghai city, near Tongchuan Lu. The temple was built in in 1320 AD, during Yuan Dynasty. The Grand Hall in the temple complex is the oldest wood frame building preserved in Shanghai today. The rest of the peaceful grounds are noticeably new in construction but perhaps no less beautiful than the original. The new constructions are quite ornate and are closely integrated into the existing design. This recording is taken outside of a door left ajar during afternoon prayers (see picture). This prayer is a little less formal than the one taken at the Longhua Temple as several monks seem to sing their own prayers- the fast rhythm of the wooden block being the only element tying them together.
[Sounds of Shanghai] Recorded June 1, 2009. The Tongchuan Lu fish market is a truly amazing place both for a local and a visitor. Within this one block are large covered markets, one right after another, selling any kind of seafood you can imagine. Geoducks, lobsters, crabs, salmon, giant shrimp, and other unknown but sure-to-be-tasty species can be found there. As the Unlike description says, you can buy your seafood fresh then take it to any number of restaurants in the area to be cooked for a delicious meal- you can't get more fresh than this. This recording is a walk through one of the many markets. This particular one was getting its daily hose-down. As you pass the spray of water, listen for the hum of the freezers and water pumps for the hundreds of fish tanks. After your meal you can walk down Lan Xi Lu to the beautiful Zhen Ru Temple to relax in its quiet courtyards.
[Sounds of Shanghai] Recorded May 24, 2009. Dongtai Lu is a great mostly outdoor market. Set in a pedestianized street, you can find all sorts of bric-a-brac kitsch or some genuine antique articles. This recording was done at around 11am and the groups of tourists had yet to arrive. The scene was mostly locals sitting and relaxing in the warmth of the Sunday morning sun while the pet birds sang. There was a man with an interesting instrument that had several pipes that created this melodic harmony. I was mysteriously drawn to this unique, soothing sound of this instrument from a distance almost as if calling me to dance. I walked by slowly and watched him work his magic over the pipes as children and adults laughed and danced about the strange sound.
[Sounds of Shanghai] Recorded May 24, 2009. Not far from Fangbang Lu is the Huang Pu Ferry terminal. For less than US$0.10 you can take a ferry across the Huang Pu river and, from the Fangbang Lu area, its actually the fastest way to get across. If your legs are still working after a day of shopping and eating, have a relaxing boat ride to Pudong. Walk down Dong Men Lu to the Ferry terminal, currently nestled beside a new construction project. Give the teller a 5 Mao piece (the small brassy one) and she will give you a plastic coin which you deposit at the entrance (subway cards work too). Wait for the next boat with the bicycles, motorbikes, and people and sit back and relax as the boat plays 'Frogger' dodging the fast moving freighters and other tour boats. The whole trip takes about 10-15 minutes as you can hear in the recording and offers nice views of both sides of the river. Walk north to the Pudong promenade and end the day at the Paulaner Brauhaus, Starbucks, Haagen-Dazs, and other small cafes as the sun sets over the Bund Skyline.
[Sounds of Shanghai] Recorded May 22, 2009. On the eastern end of Fangbang Lu amidst all the shops lies Sipailou Lu. After a tiring day of pounding pavement, shopping, and bargaining, you can visit Sipailou Lu for an abundant selection of Shanghai Street food. At the entrance gate a freshly cut watermelon serves as an appetizer or, as you leave, a dessert. There are noodle stalls, mala tang stalls, even sweet baked goods- and don't forget the spicy Red Crawfish- all within this one block of cheap street food heaven. Bon Appetit! And afterwards, why not take a nice relaxing ferry ride to Pudong? The ferry Terminal is 5 minutes away.
[Sounds of Shanghai] Recorded on May 22, 2009. The Fangbang Lu Antiques market is located just at the West Gate of Fangbang Lu. The indoor market houses many small shops where you can buy jade, wood carvings, brass objects, and old memorabilia. The shops of the two story main space usually have a chaotic jumble of objects for you to dig through. However, if you make a left as you enter, cross an alleyway into another building, these shops mostly feature more artistic selections, showing only a few objects per store. You can find beautiful ceramics, stones, and wood carved objects in this area of the market. I recorded this as I walked through the main space. It was early Friday afternoon, and business was slow as tourists and locals were out finishing lunch. Some of the shop owners were playing exciting card games or relaxing in the narrow corridors between the stores; some people were preparing for the afternoon tourist rush, and some stores were closed- altogether creating this interesting live/dead dynamic within the space. The recording starts lively, then gradually gets quieter, and ending just as lively.