I would like to send my best wishes to all readers for 2012. Hopefully, this year will see even more interesting (re-)discoveries about Old Shanghai, better preservation of old buildings and many more people interested in this topic. Technical issues stopped all email notification to readers in early December, though I kept on writing posts about an ancient book about Yunnan and the opening of a new club in Bund 18. Thanks to the team at IT-Consultis for fixing various issues and upgrading the software running the blog. To start the year in a good way I have compiled the most read post during year 2011.
#1 – Reading “The Shanghailander” (May 2011): Writing about this long defunct magazine attracted a lot of attention this year. I believe this is one of the very few copies still available, if not the only one. Published in June 1937, just before the Japanese invasion of Shanghai, the central topic is about places to avoid hot and humid Shanghai summer, including places like seaside resort Qingdao. Articles on the same topic are published yearly in today’s equivalent like That’s or Time Out.
#2 – 20 years on (December 2009): The pictures of 1990 Shanghai are still catching a lot of attention. The difference between this version of Shanghai and today’s is really stunning. Shanghai’s architecture did not change much from the 1950’s until the 1980’s, but the city really caught up with modernity, destroying a lot of its past in the same move during the last 20 years.
#3 – Sam Sanzetti, Shanghai photographer (June 2011): The rediscovery of Sam Sanzetti portraits of Old Shanghai residents took the Chinese internet in a storm. Using the latest social media, the Israeli consulate managed to find back a number of original models of the pictures. An exhibition should follow in 2012. Hopefully, the media exposure will expend to other countries, allowing models to be found in places were Shanghailanders and Shanghainese left such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, the USA and Australia.
#4 – Sin City (March 2008): The adventures of Huddersfield boy Ralph Shaw in Old Shanghai continues to attract readers to this blog. This is not the only first account of life for British single in the city, but it is one of the most well known and the book is really hard to find. Brought from the UK by the army in 1937, Ralph Shaw then moved to become a reporter for the North-China daily news, the most influential paper of North East China.
5 – Up river, Hankou’s foreign concessions (June 2008): Foreign presence in China was not confined to Shanghai by far. Up the Yangtze, today Wuhan, was a very developed city being the main transit point for China’s interior. Hankou was the third largest concession area after Shanghai and Tianjin, leaving an extensive heritage that is still visible today.
Once again, a happy new year reading Shanghailander.net