Shilong Road at night

The lessons of the chance encounter

It took a while to come across it. Slightly off to the left as you approach the Shanghai Station South from Shilong Road along the main driveway. Access is an issue for most of us, taxi drivers, ‘black’ taxis, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. This building and its environs, I now realise, are so iconic and so significant in terms of local regeneration, that they might prefer to keep us all at a distance, on some [...]

East of the town

The  yoga class at Yoga Space in Hengshan Road, a few metro stops from the Square Mile, was another reminder of traditional Chinese teaching methods. “Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one…Go!” The Shanghai Museum, considered the finest museum in China, offered me an antidote of cultural authenticity. The intricate and subtle relationship to the natural world is overwhelmingly present in the third floor Painting and Calligraphy rooms.

These qualities must [...]

Global news

The diversity of life on Earth is undergoing an ”immense and hidden” tragedy that requires the scale of global response now being deployed to tackle climate change, according to one of the world’s most eminent biologists.

Prof Edward Wilson, an ecologist who has been described as “Darwin’s natural heir” and hailed by novelist Ian McEwan as an ”intellectual hero” and ”inspirational” writer, told the Guardian that the threat was so grave he is pushing [...]

Red is an old-fashioned colour

Red is such an old-fashioned colour.

It’s the Qigong Chicken Form. I can teach you.

The library is my favourite place.

We bring our songbirds here every day between 6am and 11am.

That lady was speaking Shanghainese, so there are not only migrant workers living here.

The (eight lane) road cuts straight through our campus and [...]

Quiet transport

It’s 8.15am.

I’m counting pedal-powered, gasoline-free vehicles, standing on the corner of Shilong Road and Longwu Road. This may be the morning rush-hour, or I could already have missed it. I count over a thousand in 30 minutes. That’s two thousand an hour. At one intersection.

The relationship to pedal power here couldn’t be more [...]

Overcast Saturday late afternoon

We’re making ‘field recordings’ with the Saturday workshop group members. We’ve divided into smaller groups and each has chosen a different chunk of the Square Mile to explore with audio recordings.

I’m with a group of six members, Professor Shen Ji and translator number 2, Frances. We explore the outdoor market and, with the support [...]

Urban jungle takes hold

The thin, misty, afternoon light may be part pollution, but has its own soft qualities of intrigue. The bamboo grove in the Station South Park merges into the sky and almost leaves the traffic behind. The architectural gem of the public toilet, with its own encased mini bamboo grove, is close by.


Famous station

It was on a trip downtown that the iconic nature of the South Station became apparent. There it was on a billboard near The Bund. Not just a local phenomenon.

Could some of this glamour rub off on a mere foreigner?

How did this happen?

I’m [...]

The less famous Long Distance Bus Station South

Is another hub and major carrier of people from the south to Shanghai. A near neighbour of the station, it deserves some quality attention. Architect unknown and unfound.

Rain provides a certain gloss

By Shilong Road Metro Station

Humin Road close to Caobao Road Metro Station