First, another advertisement in the Shanghai Metro:
Saturday, September 2, 2012
We received a book of walking tours through Old Shanghai called Shanghai Story Walks by Yvette Ho Madany.
We followed Walk I ("A Time to Dance, A Time to Mourn") in reverse order. This walk takes you through an area that was known as the Chinese Territory from the 1840s until WWII.
We started at the oft visited Jing'an Park, which was built on a former cemetery for foreigners. The book notes that in the back corner of the park, on the left side is a garden called Jing'an Eight Scenic Spots Park, which recreates eight scenic spots from the Three Kingdoms Period (3rd century) to the 13th century. One is the Hudu rampart built during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420 CE) to protect the local people from sea pirates. Another is the Green Cloud Cave that was the residence of Abbot Shouning in the Yuan Dynasty (1208-1225):
Having been there, we also bypassed the Jing'an Temple, rebuilt in 1983.
Instead we photographed a couple sculptures in the lane between the temple and Jiuguang City Plaza:
One day, financier Victor Sassoon arrived at the Paramount. When the hostess saw he walked with a limp, she ignored him. Sassoon was angered and left, deciding to build his own dance hall. His Ciro's Night Club soon surpassed the Paramount in popularity.
In 1949 the Paramount was converted into a movie theater. Recently it has changed back into a dance hall, without the hostesses.
Continuing west on Yuyuan Road, we arrived at Lane 395, Yong Quan Fang/Bubbling Well Lane:
The lane of houses was built by the tobacco king, Chen Chuxiang. His workers handed out hand-rolled cigarettes to the Chinese men smoking water pipes, promoting a more convenient form of smoking. The Chen family lived in Nos. 14, 18, and 24. No. 14 was sold, but the Chen descendants still live in No. 18. No. 24 houses military families. No. 24 had a different look, covered with different shades of brown tiles.
The author of the book lived in No.9. The book contains another long story about a resident who lived at No. 4.
The name Bubbling Well has two sources, one was the bubbling well that was located near Jing'an Temple, which was filled in in 1966. The other source was the Chinese proverb that states one will repay a droplet of kindness with a fountain of gratitude.
Across the street from the Bubbling Well Lane, at No. 406 Yuyuan Road, was the former Shanghai Municipal Council's Girls' School. One former student was author Betty Barr who attended as a missionary's daughter. The author of the Shanghai Story Walks book also attended this school, for middle school and part of high school:
Hidden behind walls and a locked gate at No. 699 Yuyuan Road, is the villa of Yan Qingxiang:
In 1949, Yan retired. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) he was locked up in a steel factory. He returned home to find his wife living in one room of the villa. In 1986 at the age of 78 years, he became a board member of the Song Qingling Foundation. Two years later he died. His descendants still live in the villa.
We followed the long wall of the villa on Zhenning Road:
Further south on Zhenning Road, there are modern high-rises typical of the development of Shanghai.
Turning left on Huashan Road, at the corner of Changle Road, there is a large villa:
Many playwrights, producers, directors, and actors lived at Zhenliu Mansion because it was close to the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Zhenliu means "a rock beside the brook" and another name for the complex was Brookside Apartments.
One of the tenants was actress Fu Quanxiang who sang Shaoxing Opera. A fan wrote her a thousand love letters before he was allowed to meet her in her apartment in 1955. They fell in love and married.Another actress, Zhou Xuan, who had a natural affinity for learning songs, lived here. In 1932, when she was 13 years of age, she joined a singing troupe. In 1936 she won a radio competition in Shanghai, becoming the "golden voice" of radio and movie screen. But Zhou had a tragic life; first, being adopted she never found her biological parents. She was divorced, then separated from a lover who would not acknowledge their son. She had a son by another man who was sent to jail. Zhou suffered several breakdowns and died at age 39.
A man who appeared to be a volunteer guard at Zhenliu Mansion motioned us to follow him. He unlocked the building's door and led us through to a large private garden in the back:
Next, the Shanghai Theatre Academy at 630 Huashan Road. The original academy building was built in 1903 and it was remodeled in 1999.
The main theater:
The buildings were designed by Moorhead and Hals for the British Anglican Church Cathedral Girls' School and completed in 1941.A lamp:
A tree being injected?
Huashan Hospital and its secret garden which we have visited already:
Returning to Huashan Road, I discovered a Blue Nankeen shop at No. 388:
We continued to No. 370, the Jing'an Hotel:
Later the name was changed to Haig Court Apartments to reflect the name of the street, Avenue Haig, the Old Shanghai name of Huashan Road. The street was named for General Douglas Haig who commanded the British Expeditionary Forces during WWI. The Shanghai Story Walks book tells another story of a "China Hand" named John S Service who lived here.
In 1949 the building was used by the government, and it is now a high-end hotel.
Next door is the Hilton Hotel with a large silver bear outside:
We had come full circle to complete this walk.
Later in the day we headed to the C-trip offices in Caohejing Hi-Tech Park to purchase airline tickets. On Yishan Road, we passed this modern building which was already undergoing renovation: