Stepping back into the 1930s

Residents are able to experience Shanghai's "modern age" dating back to 1930s at the Sinan Mansions in Huangpu District through the end of the year.
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Visitors gather at Sinan Bookstore, which opened yesterday. The store is bringing in authors from 4pm to 8pm every day for the next 60 days who will discuss writing.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Huangpu District launched a batch of retrospective events yesterday to recall Shanghai’s 1930s era.

Held at the French-styled neoclassical Sinan Mansions villa, residents are able to experience the flavor of the time when Shanghai was dubbed “Paris of the Orient.”

Classic cuisine, a bookstore, old-time photos and Suzhou pingtan — a traditional storytelling to music that originated in neighboring Suzhou that was once popular in Shanghai — are all on offer at the villa.

Ti Gong

Old style portraits are displayed at the Sinan Mansions where visitors can also take a similar one during the two-month event.

Sinan Mansions has been turned into the “Modern Age Club” for the two-month event that runs till December 31. Most of the events are free of charge. “To the city Shanghai, ‘modern’ always means to accept and welcome new things, as well as the passion and innovation to urban life,” said Zheng Yi, brand director with Sinan Mansions. 

As a highlight, a “modern age restaurant” is being run at the villa on 505 Fuxing Road M. during the event. Opting for the Old Clerk Set meal, allows visitors to sample classic Shanghai-style western food, such as borscht soup, deep-fried pork chops and salty toast.

Shanghai-style western food was especially popular around the 1930s. To have a meal at a western food restaurant then was deemed as a stylish event for an important occasion.

Ti Gong

A classic People's Photograph Studio is opened where visitors can take a vintage photo with 1930s furniture, qipao clothes, makeup and haircutting.

A classic People’s Photograph Studio is opened nearby where visitors can have a vintage photo taken of themselves with 1930s furniture, qipao clothes, makeup and haircutting.

At the Sinan Bookstore renowned writers such as Taiwan professor Leo Lee, the author of “Modern Shanghai,” share their stories of the city’s history.

Gao Bowen, a pingtan artist, will narrate some old Shanghai stories, while actors and dancers perform.

Ti Gong

A old-style rickshaw is displayed at the Sinan Mansions along with other vintage facilities.

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