Jing'an moments (August 2018)

Jing'an moments (August 2018)
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Farewell to rundown homes

Early this month, people living in an old neighborhood in downtown Jing’an finally said goodbye to their cramped, decrepit quarters.

The neighborhood, sandwiched between relatively new and modern residential apartments, is the last crumbling neighborhood remaining on Kangding Road in the Caojiadu subdistrict.

Due to unstable structures, the old houses shook when heavy trucks rumbled past. Many residents lived in cramped space without private kitchens or toilets.

The neighborhood was zoned for urban renewal in December 2017. So far, more than 99 percent of residents have agreed to be relocated. They began moving out to new homes in the suburbs this month.

Subdistrict officials said experts will be dispatched to examine the condition of the shikumen buildings after residents leave. Those with historical value will be preserved. Plans for future development are still being discussed by authorities.

Ti Gong

 Doraemon used-battery bins 

Some Doraemon-shaped battery recycling containers were installed in the Beizhan subdistrict.

The idea to fashion the containers after figures in a popular Japanese manga series came after Cheng Kai, director of the subdistrict’s Party working committee, visited residents and heard their complaints about the lack of disposal facilities for used batteries.

“It’s good that most residents know it’s harmful to throw old batteries in with other household waste,” Cheng said. “They just didn’t know how to deal with the batteries.”

Greenery authorities were ordered to address the problem.

The battery recycling containers stand at the entrance to neighborhoods. Property management officials send people to empty the containers.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

 Zhabei Park reopens

The renovated western section of 72-year-old Zhabei Park, the oldest park in Jing’an, reopened this month after eight months’ work.

The 5.7-hectare western section holds the park’s major attractions.

A new drainage system that collects and purifies rainwater has been installed in accordance with the city’s “sponge city” concept of water management.

Historical structures such as the tomb of Song Jiaoren, a Chinese revolutionary and founder of the Kuomintang, retain their original appearance. Riverside corridors and pavilions have been given a facelift in the style of a traditional Chinese garden.

The park’s eastern section, featuring a water lily pond and a children’s play area, will be closed for renovation now that the western section has reopened.

The park, located at 1555 Gonghexin Rd, is open from 5am to 10pm every day from May to October, and from 6am to 9pm every day from November to April.

Ti Gong

Blackpool meets Shanghai

Chinese dancers Zhang Aimadi and Jia Haoyue, winners of the Blackpool 2018 Under 21 Latin competition, gave a performance at the legendary Paramount ballroom in Jing’an earlier this month.

The young dance sensations blended the ballroom’s history and Shanghai culture into their performance.

The British Blackpool Dance Festival is known as the “Olympics of ballroom dancing.”

The 85-year-old Paramount ballroom, one of the most glamorous dance halls of the Far East in the 1930s, played an important role in introducing ballroom dancing and popularizing it in China. The ballroom is celebrated as the site where Charlie Chaplin once danced, “golden voice” Zhou Xuan once crooned and movie queen Hu Die once famously got engaged

This year, the Paramount ballroom dancing alliance was formed as to better promote its history and culture.

Ti Gong

 History on a window

Ten amateur painters, including a white-collar worker, a primary school student and an architect, were invited to create a view of Shaanxi Road North on the window of the historical road’s information center at 600 Shaanxi Road N.

The painters produced the scene of a Western-style garden villa surrounded by sycamore trees.

The design is aimed at both attracting visitors to the center and providing a colorful introduction to the road’s history.

Yu Ruwen / Ti Gong

Baristas show off skills

Four baristas from four coffee shops in Jing’an gave a presentation on how to select the best premium beans and prepare artistic latte art at HKRI Taikoo Hui late last month.

Jing’an has an active coffee culture, with many cafes in the district, including the popular Starbucks Roastery.

The district sponsors a coffee festival every year for local cafes to promote their brands and highlight coffee culture. The festival spans a variety of activities, like turning out specialty brews and offering free tasting to visitors in popular retail malls.

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