Monday, June 11, 2012

Shanghai Treasure Hunt 1 (6/11/2012)

Monday, June 11, 2012
Although I started quite late in the day, I decided to do the first of the Treasure Hunts sponsored by the Time Out Shanghai monthly  magazine. Despite typos and number errors, I managed to find my way, and find the answers to five questions.
The Treasure Hunts are meant to be walks to explore "new" parts of the city, and nicely begin and end at Metro stations. However, as I suppose they cannot make it too easy for you, they do not specify the Metro Line.
We have already been to many of these places, which will be linked to the previous blog.
The first Treasure Hunt is titled "Find Hidden Gems in the Heart of the City."
Starting at People's Square Station (Metro lines 1, 2 & 8), you take exit 8 and head across Nanjing Xi Lu to the sidewalk in front of the Shanghai Sports Bureau:
This was the former YMCA, built in 1928. Inside is a hall of sports-related sculptures:
The entrance to "Huang Heroad" or Huanghe Road, the famous food street off Nanjing Xi Lu:
The Grand Theatre cinema on Nanjing Xi Lu:
Who knew there was a passageway that begins on one side of the theater and goes around to the back?
Actually there are two passageways, one on each side, but the one on the left side of the theater takes you to the photos of movie stars that switch between their faces of younger and older ages. We were supposed to name the famous American actor featured third from the right. Ronald Reagan was the third from the left:
A Chinese actress was third from the right.
Next you turn into Lane 270 off Nanjing Xi Lu:
This brings you to Tongfu Li, an area of 46 lilong/lane houses built in 1926:
After walking through Tongfu Li, you turn right on Fengyang Lu. At the intersection with Huanghe Lu stands the Taisheng Yuan Jiujia:
Supposedly a Western-style Chinese restaurant, for those dishes you crave from back in the U.S.!
This dragon has been painted gold since we last saw it:
We had to check the side of the restaurant to find out what the sign banned:
You continue along Fengyang Lu, to Lane 228:
This is the entrance to Tongchun Fang, built in 1933:
After walking straight through Tongchun Fang, you exit on Dingxing Lu and turn right. The first gateway is the entrance to Renin Li:
Renin Li was built in 1901 by a private realtor named Chen and is one of the oldest nongtang/lane houses on this walk.
Must have been recently renovated, except they maintained the outdoor sinks:
Out the other end of Renin Li, you turn left on Guling Lu, then right on Huanghe Lu. After you cross Beijing Xi Lu, you see the nongtang at No. 231:
A large gardenia bush covers the number sign:
This is Suzhou Li, built in the 1930s:
You head straight in and at the T-junction you turn right. At the next T-junction you look for a plaque displaying the number of the electric lighting overhead. I was looking in the wrong place at the first T-junction, and a man who seemed to be post-stroke pointed me in the right direction. There must have been a lot of strangers through here because of the Treasure Hunts!
We were to note the number:
Okay, now at this T-junction you turn right, passing the dumpling makers at No. 17:
I guess they were all dumplinged out.
You make a left turn before the lane narrows:
and then look to turn left at a lane with  an archway with golden characters:
You are now in Chengxing Li.
Gas meters:
At the western edge of Chengxing Li, you pass through a cramped tunnel:
Turn right on Xinchang Lu to Lane 389:
Walk through Maoyi Li, red-brick houses built from 1912-1936:
Many of these lane homes do not have indoor plumbing, but some must have. Once in a while you hear water running through pipes and emptying into outdoor ditches:
When you can go no further, turn right. Just before exiting onto Shanghaiguan Lu, I saw this man loop the ropes around a thick piece of wallboard:
Then the two men above lifted the board.
Take a left on Shanghaiguan Lu, passing noodle and crayfish vendors:
The fishmonger:
Pick your own frogs:
Poultry and kittens?
Qing Dynasty-style housing with wood fronts with windows across the second floor:
After crossing under Chengdu Bei Lu. Shanghaiguan Lu runs along one edge of the Jing'an Sculpture Park. Active basketball courts:
Across the street is Lane 274:
After entering Lane 274, you take the first left. Here is a Shikumen-type stone gate:
You pass through the breeze blocks into a wider alley:
Breeze blocks is the UK term for cinder blocks.
In front of No. 2, we were to note what is etched in gold paint atop a stool:
It looked like a Pomeranian, but I think it is supposed to be a lion:
 Pingde Li:
Exiting Pingde Lli, you turn right on Datian Lu to No. 370. Located here is "Little Theresa's Church:"
Built in 1930 by bishops who were spared in the civil war; it was returned to the Catholic Church in 1993.
Catholic cats:
Datian Lu just after Xinzha Lu:
 After turning right on Xinzha Lu, you find Lane 568 on the left:
This is Siwen Li, it was once the largest compound in the city when built in 1920 with 700 houses. Now only the eastern portion remains:
 The first alley on the right has the remains of a full portrait of Mao:
Probably painted during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
Continue straight on the main lane, then turn left just before the lane narrows. When you can go no further, turn right:
I ended up at an exit onto Datian Lu. At many of the entrances/exits to these lane communities, are the public restrooms. Those without indoor plumbing come to use these facilities. At night they use the honey pots, and bring them here to empty them, or at least to clean them:
 I got re-oriented and headed towards the exit to Nan Suzhou Lu:
Here we were to count the number of decorative spokes on top of the exit gate:
There are nine of them, the one on the far right is hidden.
Now you turn right on Nan Suzhou Lu, going under an elevated highway and eventually passing the SOHO International Youth Hostel:
Continue along Suzhou Creek until you come to the "arch" bridge and turn right on Wuzhen Lu:
At the T-junction, cross the street and turn left to find the Xinzha Metro Station on Line 1.

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