Originally from Sydney's eastern suburbs, photographer Rodney Evans has lived in Shanghai since 2005. He first came to China when he had some photos featured in a Tourism Australia exhibition that was travelling through Asia. He'd never been to China and "having heard rumblings of this up and coming beast, i wanted to check it out". He spent a few weeks in Shanghai and was sold. He moved here six months later.
The Huangpu River shoreline has been magnificently redeveloped on both sides. The Puxi side now has some world-class museums and galleries, and consequently we are lucky to see some major international shows passing through. The Power Station of Art is a contemporary museum in a refurbished power station and further west, the Long Museum, Yuz Museum and Shanghai Centre of Photography are all worth checking out. With landscaped shorelines, it's easy to casually amble along this part of town. The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center in Peoples Square has a full-scale model of Shanghai that is constantly being updated to reflect the changing city. Here, the city plan is outlined clearly for all to see and it's evident what an awesome city Shanghai is.
On the other side of the river in Pudong, there is 25 kilometres of pristine, brand new landscaped bike paths alongside the shoreline. Rent a bike or grab one of the many available public bike-sharing bikes and cruise along stopping as you please. It's also easy to cross the river on the bike ferries at Fuxing Lu which costs only 2 RMB. [Note - Puxi is the west side of the river and Pudong is the east side. Xi=west , Dong = east.]
Our local xiao long bao (dumpling) shop, Lin Long Fang, is a hole-in-the-wall with some of the best traditional Shanghai snacks. Try the local specialty, cong you mian (scallion oil noodles) and amazing soup xiao long bao for a fraction of the price of the Michelin-starred Din Tai Fung. This store is a Shanghai institution in a fast disappearing pocket of Old Shanghai, 10 Jianguo Dong Lu, near Zhaozhou Lu, Huangpu.
Two of my favourite bars are neighbours on Wuyuan Lu in the Former French Concession. Senator Saloon is a dimly-lit speakeasy with wood panelling, rich curtains and pressed copper ceilings and an amazing collection of whiskies. I opt for Michter's Bourbon instead of the usual scotch. Down the road is Bitter, which offers more of a molecular approach to cocktails, and serves my Negroni habit well. See senatorsaloon.com facebook.com/bitterinshanghai/
Don't talk about politics.