Compared with Beijing’s Hutong, Linong(lanes) are very common in old Shanghai. With high speed of modernization, lanes which have great memories about old Shanghai are gradually replaced by skyscrapers. However, when you take a Shanghai tour, you still could find a place named Tianzifang(田子坊) keeping the precious scenes of old Shanghai but also a little bit different.
Fang(坊), in Chinese, is an area that composed of many lanes together. Tianzifang, the original name is Zhichengfang. When famous artist Huang Yongyu visited artist Chen Yifei’s atelier here, he was requested to chose a new name for this area, so he selected the name of a painter who was very long lived in ancient China according to Shi Ji(Historical Records).
You might know well about Xintiandi Plaza because of the high reputation for melting western culture and Shanghai culture. But, many Laowai(foreigners) prefer Tianzifang, some of them even start their business here as life flavor can be easily found in Tianzifang.
Like a roll of colorful film, Tianzifang records the real life of Shanghai citizens in old time which gives you different wonderful sight. Especially when you are close or touch the Shikumen and bricks, you might hear the historical voice telling you its experiences.
This is the old shikumen in Tianzifang but without business atmosphere. Do you know how old Shanghai citizens insolate clothes? You will find the answer here. Besides, have you noticed the birdcage hung on the bamboo pole? Some old retired men like to go for a walk in a quiet place with a bird in the morning.
|When the residents living in Shikumen get up for working, shop assistants are also start to setting tables to get ready for the business. |
Walking inside of Tianzifang, you will realize the real situation about dwelling narrowness when you face to small houses, windows and attics here. However, meanwhile, you will feel warm because food smell blows out from windows as if invite you for lunch, if possible, you could see a hostess cooking stewed pork with brown sauce on the oven. Yes, compared with Xintiandi, Tianzifang makes life, arts and business in a harmony perfectly.
Titled as a paradise of artists, Tianzifang is a Creative Garden in Shanghai. Shops in unique styles and open bars are well-regulated. Decorations on the doors are worth paying attention to. Some are fashionable, some are simple and unsophisticated, some are returning to the ancients. Different time and space mixed together that even turns old things into grace. This design is a good way to satisfy people’s pursuits of fashion and reminiscence.
Missions to Tianzifang always will be seeing works of art, strolling around some special shops, really very small, maybe 2 square meters, or taking photos. But, believe me, no matter what kind of purpose brings you here, you will find peace in your heart and enjoy a good day here.
Tianzifang is a good place for leisure: wandering in the small narrow lanes; sitting in an open bar and chatting with your friends; drinking coffee and reading, or, holding hands with your beloved, walking under the sunshine or stretching an umbrella in the sprinkle, at that moment in Tianzifang, you will find you two even much closer than ever before. All of a sudden, raising your head, seeing electrical wires crowed together, and birds standing there singing, you guys face to each other and give a charming smile. How romantic!
5th floor, No. 5, 210 Taikang Lane----a good place for taking a panorama of Tianzifang.
Author: Wu Zhou Aug 25,2011