Southside, “Greater China”

I’m off to Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and the weather forecast says it will be thunderstorms in both places for the next week. I’m only gone for two days thankfully, so I’ll be back and blogging by the weekend, but I imagine I’ll miss the nice Shanghai weather… I’m fine with thunder and lightning, I just don’t want to be dodging massive raindrops like this poor guy:

I quite like the movement his poncho was getting from the wind, but strong winds = painful rain. Let’s just hope for the best.

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Posted in Bikes, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Rain and Snow, Yellow | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekend Exercise, Fuxing Park

Fuxing Park, home to Shanghai Fashion Week, is one of my all time favorite places to hang out in Shanghai, so when I was up early this past Saturday morning I decided to head on over and see how the locals like to start their weekend.

Everyone seemed to be in high spirits, like this elderly Chinese lady:

Everyone seemed to be working the kinks out, and although public group stretching is nothing new to me here on the Mainland, this stretch definitely was:

But if group stretching really isn’t your speed, you can join in on the public group dancing:

Even if you’re hungover or sleepy, you can’t help but to feel pure joy when the sun in shining and people like this are beaming from ear to ear:

So if you can get yourself out of bed early enough on the weekend to catch the morning crowd, definitely take a stroll in the park and you’ll feel infinitely better! It’s one of the best ways to get out all of the kinks before the work week…

Posted in Active, Dancing, Fuxing Park, Old, Park | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

You Are Not My Father, South Bund

Yesterday I participated in the first “Blog Talks” event organized by Sandy Chu of http://shanghaistyle.net/. I really enjoyed presenting CPHNS (as well as chinafashioncollective.tumblr.com and chinafashionbloggers.com), but I also loved hearing other people talk about their blogs and why they write what they do. Although they covered as diverse of topics as fashion, personal style, cooking, and general interest blogs, there was one unifying theme: all these blogs were very personal.

It was inspiring and uplifting to be around people who also write about what they love, and have a way to share it with the world… I write CPHNS because I love studying Chinese street style, and it’s so cool that I can share my pictures and thoughts with people everywhere.

So to commemorate and remind people of the personal nature of blogs around the world, I tried to find the most “personal” picture I could find… But I don’t usually post pictures of myself on CPHNS, so I thought this picture below (taken at DAFF) was the best candidate for a “personal” photo that I’ve taken:

Albeit a bit weird, it could just be a Star Wars reference, in which case it’s awesome… I have a ton of “literal” pictures, which seemed to be a big hit at the blog talks, so I’ll try and post more in the future.

Thanks to everyone who attended the event, and all of the wonderful readers out there!!

Posted in Bloggers, Context, Just for Fun, Literal, South Bund | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog Talks Take 1, French Concession

Sandy Chu of Shanghai Style kindly put together an amazing night of blogger presentations, so if you’re available May 23rd (that’s today!) between 8pm and 12pm, please stop by for 2 for 1 drinks and some interesting talks about blogging in China. I’ll be presenting as well, so I would love to meet any readers that are currently in Shanghai!! Here’s the info below:

Join bloggers for the first Blog Talks night at Apartment
3/F, 47 Yongfu Lu near Fuxing Xi Lu
Wednesday May 23rd from 8pm (2 for 1 signature cocktails and martinis from 8pm-12am)

Blog Talks Take 1
will feature:

Timothy Parent of Chinese People Have No Style, China Fashion Collective
Vivian Tothill Cinch By The Inch
Dani of Expatcucina
Fan Huang of Shanghaiist
Ciga Blogbus

Each speaker will talk about their blog for 15 minutes (covering topics such as fashion, lifestyle and/or food) providing an overview of what they write about, why they write and what their blog/blogging means to them- followed by a Q&A session. Come see what Shanghai’s bloggers are writing about and see what’s available for you to read!

Posted in Blog, Just for Fun, Xu Hui District | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Gym Park, Beijing

I was up early on Sunday morning last week in Beijing, so I decided to ride around on my trusty-ish bike, looking for whatever I could find. Aside from the boys wandering out of Beijing’s major gay club Destination at the early hours of the morning, I also happened across a gym near Sanlitun:

Although the machines are pretty low-impact (meaning all body-weight, no jerking kinds of exercise) and are more to “move around” than “work out” (by Western definitions), they were actually quite effective for the purposes of well, moving around and toning muscle… That’s more my kind of gym anyway, as it was more akin to a playground for old Chinese people than a gym for one to “pump iron” at.

But even though most of the senior citizens were simply moving around and shaking out the kinks, there were also some Beijingers doing some serious work at that place… Take, for example, this elderly yet very flexible lady:

I love how this gym was 1 – filled with old Chinese people; 2 – outside; 3 – free; 4 – open to all; 5 – low impact (or high impact, if you would so choose). The fact that anyone just passing by could use the equipment and do a little loosen up mid-day was baffling to me… It seems like common sense to promote general public health, and still I have yet to see one of these gym parks in the US.

I mean, seriously, how great does this stretch look here? Who doesn’t need to stretch their back like this, especially if you’re hunched over a chair all day…

Not only would this feel great, but it would also give you a great perspective… Can you imagine stretching your back like this and staring up at the sunlight peaking through the beautiful, rustling canopy?! These elderly Beijingers knew that there is no such thing as too old to work out and/or play around a bit. So keep hopes high, spirit young, and body healthy everyone!.. And take the time to lay on your back and look up once in a while, it will do wonders for your mind and perspective.

Posted in Active, Beijing, Chinese People, Conspicuous Leisure, Green, Gym, Just for Fun, Old, Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beijing Street Style, Beijing

Although I rode around Beijing on Vega Wang‘s bike most of this past weekend, I still feel much less capable of describing Beijing’s street style than Shanghai’s… I guess I just don’t have as many pictures and references for understanding Beijing’s sartorial culture, but given the Alexander Wang party that I attended on Friday night, I felt as if Beijing was a bit more hip than Shanghai to be honest… Or at least a bit more “underground.” It could partially be because the Alexander Wang party was in a parking garage literally underneath Sanlitun’s Village and DJed by Diplo, or because I spent a majority of my time in Beijing’s enchanting hutongs, but the city as a whole seemed grungier and more street and “real” (if it’s fair to use that term) than it’s commercial sister city Shanghai.

Two hip, street savvy Chinese boys on “skateboards” in Beijing’s hutongs proved that at least parts Beijing’s youngest generation are cool yet down to earth, and not at all concerned with pretense (or pretension? Is that a word too?) but rather just having fun.

I feel like Shanghai can learn from Beijing in this regard, as I find the city becoming stuffier and stuffier with its commercialization. The saturation of the market with expensive stores and luxury brands, accompanied by boring, stiff, and all too proper events makes people too uptight and no fun at all. I don’t think China is inherently this rigid and formal in its culture, so although they should be dignified at certain times, at other times Chinese people need to remember how to just let loose.

Alexander Wang’s party reminded me of this fact, and I think he has the perfect brand to enter the Chinese market. Upscale but not pretentious, well designed and accessible, wearable yet edgy, I believe this brand will go far in China, and hopefully keep Chinese people simultaneously cool but also down to earth. China neither has the room nor the need for pretense/pretension, so hopefully it will stop developing in that direction… Anyway, more on the party and store opening coming soon.

In the meantime, if you want to see more of Beijing’s street style, you can check out my friend’s blog at http://www.stylites.net/

Posted in Active, Alexander Wang, Beijing, Bikes, Future Development, Just for Fun, Kids, Skateboards | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Fine Day on “Cheap Road”, Zha Bei District

Aside from super feminine and slightly ridiculous styles on Qi Pu Lu, I also came across a good amount of literal t-shirts. This one, which read “YOU, ONE FINE DAY, ME”, was one of my favorites, although the Chinese girl wearing it did little to tempt me to her proposition:

But some people were not so lucky as to have the choice of being in a relationship, even though their boyfriends (or their t-shirts) would claim that they were, in fact, quite lucky:

Other Chinese people didn’t want to say outright that their partners were lucky to be with them, but this guy obviously wanted his shirt to let others know that his girlfriend was a lucky one because he was able to afford a “BURREBRY SPORT” shirt:

But I think the luckiest guy of all was the one with this girl, if she actually heeded the advice on her own t-shirt:

She seemed to be pretty chill, as opposed to these other Chinese people who all seemed to be making desperate attempts to either attract or keep their significant others interested in them via their literal t-shirts. But even if this girl was uptight, at least she was wearing a cool t-shirt.

Posted in Just for Fun, Literal, Literal, Zha Bei District | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Qi Pu Lu, Zha Bei District

Far from Beijing’s hip Sanlitun district is Shanghai’s Qi Pu Lu, known in English as “Cheap Road”:

It’s a major destination in Shanghai that I’ve only recently discovered, and I’m so glad I did, as this is the kind of thing I saw:

But this girl was dressed in a style more typical of Qi Pu Lu:

Girls on Qi Pu Lu are usually dressed super feminine, which is a pervasive style in China that I’ve failed to capture in Shanghai until my Qi Pu Lu adventures.

If you want to find clothes such as the ones you’ve seen above, or just see Chinese people like the ones you’ve seen above, head to Qi Pu Lu!!

Posted in Gen Y, Super Fem, Zha Bei District | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Off to Beijing!!

I’m off to The Capital in a few hours for the Alexander Wang opening at The Village in Beijing’s hip Sanlitun district on Friday night… It should be an amazing store opening, as it’s Alexander Wang’s first store in China and the invitations are naughty-looking light-sabers.

But it won’t be all fun and play in Beijing, as I’ll also be meeting with some of Beijing’s top designers, including Xander Zhou, Vega Wang, and Liu Lu… But don’t worry, I’ve prepared a couple of posts while I’ll be gone, so be sure to check back!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ethnic Minority Hats, Shanghai

The other day I took a designer friend to lunch at a Xin Jiang restaurant in Shanghai called Xibo. Previously I’d only been there at night for dinner, and never noticed the decor on the wall near the entrance:

The owner explained that the hats were all from Xin Jiang, from various ethnic minorities. I asked if they would be willing to sell any, but they said they were increasingly difficult to find and thus not for sale.

When Westerners think of Chinese hats, they typically envision this sort of hat:

But beyond this prevalent style of hat, pretty much every ethnic minority in China (there are 56 recognized ethnic minorities in Greater China) has its own style(s) of headwear. I haven’t seen that many in Shanghai, but you can always recognize people from Xin Jiang, like this guy.

Usually, people don’t have cards sticking out of their hats, but I guess it was hot that day and it functioned as a sort of visor.

I’ve been so intrigued by these hats of various ethnic minorities that I went searching for somewhere I could actually buy them, and I found quite a few at the Dong Tai Antique Market:

Such objects are a testament to China’s unique sartorial culture and the diverse heritage that China has and is losing, as these hats are typically no longer produced and worn in a country that arguably marginalizes ethnic minorities. These ones are mostly from the more prominent Miao minority, but there are also hats from the Dong minority and others.

Most Chinese people claim they are part of the Han minority, but I think people should be proud to be unique and different, and proud to represent their individual cultural heritage. I think these hats are absolutely stunning and will personally be collecting them, and they are just one example of how truly incredible China’s ethnic minorities are.

Posted in Color, Cultural Heritage, Diversity, Domestic Development, Ethnic Minorities, Hats, Minorities, Xu Hui District | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments