Friday, April 15, 2016

Shanghai Tian Zi Fang

Tian Zi Fang is a warren of alleyways that run off of Taikung in the old French Concession of Shanghai. It is similar to Nanluoguxiang in Beijing in that commerce is used as a basis for architectural preservation. But the vibe is a bit different. The alleyways of Tian Zi Fang are narrower and higher; the surrounding buildings are at least two to three stories high. The construction of a Beijing hutong is generally lower. Tian Zi Fang serves as a sort of creative and bohemian center of Shanghai. In Tian Zi Fang there are artists, especially painters, doing their thing. Thus, it has an element of Beijing's 798 Art District with an active creative-artistic energy, but not nearly as expansive and industrial as that famous Beijing art space. There are many small shops, cafes, and curious stores that hold all sorts of items of interest.

This section of Shanghai is fairly well preserved, given the explosion of property development and building that has happened in the past twenty years.

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