Posts Tagged ‘Old Docks


Work’s Momentum

In their hands, these workers carried bricks that once made up houses that are now no more, in neighborhoods that the next generation will have no idea once existed.

Their prerogative is only to deconstruct and construct. This side of history, by no fault of theirs, has nothing to do with them.

Taken west of Shangchuan Huiguan (商船会馆), a former temple and lone structure in a vast ocean of concrete rubble. Even children who played amidst what was left over of the neighborhood, are not likely to recall what it used to be.

March 2010


Moving out and moving on

It was the same story. The area by Lanyi Dock Road (赖义码头) was half-demolished and residents have more or less emptied out.

This family had over 20 people involved – hired movers and family members – in vacating the house they owned for over 2 decades. Boxes were hastily wrapped and movers were working at a pace that was as efficient as it was careless.

The workers were in a hurry. To save time, they began to haul boxes out of a window.

“Not so hard!” the owner screamed as a worker roughly dropped a box onto the floor, “I’ve got valuables in there!”

Separated by a wall, demolition workers were busy tearing down an adjacent house.

Down the road, I suddenly noticed a man wheeling a mattress into his house.

“Are people moving in?” I asked a former resident standing next to me.

He scoffed. “Why in the world would anyone move in when they are demolishing the place? They must have just bought a bed, that’s all.”

He shook his head, “It wouldn’t make sense for anyone to move in here at this time.”

Located by Lanyi Dock Road (赖义码头) near Nanpu Bridge (南蒲大桥) Road.

January 2010


Out with the old

It is not uncommon to bump into lone individuals surveying old longtangs that are undergoing demolition – the occasional photographer who quietly weaves in and out of shadowed lanes or curious passers-by wondering what once stood in the place of razed rubble.

But lately, I have been encountering nostalgic residents who have moved out but returned to visit neighbors who are themselves preparing to leave. They sometimes meet in groups just to have tea or chit chat about their new residences or lack there of.

One elderly gent told me he was renting a small room in another longtang after his house was demolished. He has received his compensation and was waiting for his new apartment in Pudong to be completed.

“It is a 2 bedroom apartment, and oversees a park!” he boasted. Old neighbors nodded in approval and agreement. Unfortunately, it was very far away, past the Pudong Airport, which is about 2 hours east from where we were standing.

For the next half hour, I stood with the two former residents and watched movers carry boxes out of a crumbling house.

As we move into the New Year, the adage rings true. Out with the old, in with the new.

Taken near Dongjiadu Lu (董家渡路)

January 2010


Double Happiness

It’s the 3rd day of Chinese New Year and I’ve been partaking in family and epic culinary festivities non-stop, which has resulted in my brief absence and my expanded waistline.  Home is Singapore and we have a reputation of being true blue foodies, a badge I carry with pride and great gluttony.

I almost never say 恭喜发财(gong xi fa cai) which is to “prosper and make lots of money”, when greeting people but have been brought up to always say 身体健康 (shenti jian kang) meaning “to be healthy”. I think health is infinitely more important and wealth will naturally follow a healthy body and state of mind.

But enough mantra from me. I hope you are off to a winning start to the Chinese New Year.

The blanket in the photo says 双喜 which means “double happiness” a common greeting for newly weds. It’s more commonly seen during weddings than Chinese New Year, but I love the photo for its colorful contrast and youthful cheer of the child.

5 new bouncing babies have recently joined in the family, making my extended family on my mother’s side so big we are thinking of starting a new city state. Family reunions are endless fun and the joy is so palpable you can only grin from ear to ear.

Taken near 漕仓路 Caocang Lu by the Old Docks 外码头路.

January 2010

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