My Favorate Road – Xingguo Road

I love to walk on small and quiet roads like Wukang Road and Xingguo Road.

There is something special in this area: you can walk besides other people’s window!

That is unique compared to the current “Residential Area” design. That made us feel that we are still in a small town, not in city.

The road is quiet – no wonder a shop on this road cost just 1/6 of resident house on this road.

The road is newly renovated for the Expo. Although it costs much more than it should be (completely replaced every tile even though the old tilescan still be used), it is nice after everything is new.

It is a single way road for cars (direction: south to north). Not noisy.

There are nice historical buildings along the roads. Not very famous – those kind of villa still occupied by local residence. It makes you feel you are in a community – a nice one.

Favorite Road: Fuxing West Road

This is part of my Favorite Road Project. I want to write about my favorite roads, and then choose my most favorite road in Shanghai

Another road I do enjoy to wander on is Fuxing West Road 复兴西路。

Facts of the Road

District: It is in the Xuhui District at the heart of the historical French Concession.

Direction: West to East

Range: It starts on the west from Huashan Road, and on the east ends at Huaihai Middle Road.

Length: 1 km (measured using Google map’s measuring tool)

History: It was named Route Gustare de Boissenzon before when French lives along the road. There are nice lane houses along both side of the road.

Scene: Along the road are Phoenix Trees.

I found a nice website with details of many roads in Shanghai: Adaimedia’s Fuxing West Road Page.

Why I Loved It

I have visited one house of a middle class Shanghai people on the road – currently the house was turned into a gallery called Elisabeth De Brabant Chinese Contemporary Fine Art at 299 Fuxing West Road. The internal architect was amazing, and the deep historical root of the house is also wonderful.

On the part of history, there are very conflicting opinions about whether people in Shanghai, or to a bigger extend, people in China should cherish the history of a French concession. Many of my friends hate to talk about it, because the rented land time was the scare on people’s heart. However, people in Shanghai more tend to accept the history and show their love and care about it. The recent Waibaidu Bridge was one of the example that no matter where the buildings or bridge, or architect comes from, as long as it is part of the history, people take care of it.

I am also in love of every small old villa and building of Shanghai. Many people hate them just because who built it. But I think it is dangerous, just as in the Culture Revolution, people destroyed the most precious part of our culture heritage just because they are part of “four old” (belong to the old times).

The Scene

I promise that I will put photos onto this page. There are some nice buildings along the road, which I just need to find time to take photo of.

When I have a meeting on the Huaihai Road, I typically abandon taxi or bus, and walk there, so I can pass this Fuxing West Road.

It is definitely one of my favorite road.

Favorite Road: Wukang Road

I have been asked many times about my favorite road in Shanghai. It is so hard to answer this question, since I have many roads in my minds that can be my favorite road. So I am trying to make a list along my way of discovery of my real favorite road. Wukang Road 武康路 is just a starting point – let me repeat, I have not decided to give my favorite road title to Wukang Road yet.

Where is Wukang Road

Wukang Road is a north-south small road in Xuhui District 徐汇. It starts from the Huaihai Road, with the historical V-shape Wukang Building 武康大楼 as the landmark, and extends northwards until it reaches Anfu Road 安福路, where the Shanghai Drama Institute is located.

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

Why this Road is Special?

Like many of small roads in the Xuhui villa area, the road brings you the best part of old Shanghai (and obviously, it still represents the current Shanghai). Things I like most:

1. The trees

There are many Wutong Trees 梧桐树 (or Phoenix trees) along the both side of the road, and form a beautiful and artistic “cave”. The road is small, and there are not many cars on it (actually, it is a north-to-south single way road). Walking along the road is best experience, since you can just take your time. No hurry, and no car horn. It takes about 30 minutes for one way.

2. The old villas

The highlight of the road is the old villa, and old residential area behind the trees. Even people familiar with the area may not know the name and history of all the villas. Most of the villas are either French style or Spanish style with big yards, and tall trees. Wandering in that area, you don’t feel you are in a big city at all. Sometimes you can see people grow vegetable in their garden, and in an extreme case, I saw chicken running around in one garden. It is amazing how life is in these 100 million RMB houses.

3. Connection with other nice road

Along the Wukang road is a nice area. You will see Xingguo Road 兴国路, Taikang Road 泰康路, Hunan Road 湖南路, Fuxing Road 复兴路, Wuyuan Road 五原路, and Changle Road 长乐路 – all these roads are as beautiful as Wukang Road, and all worth some time to explorer.

It is a petty that I don’t have any picture of this beautiful road yet. I will try to take some and post them here.

Update Photos uploaded March 8, 2009

This cloudy Sunday afternoon, I invited Wendy to go to Wukang Road with me. I did bring my Nikon D50, but I only found out that the battery is dead. So I am using Wendy’s small Windows Mobile phone to take some photos.

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan