New Map Feature: the place for true hipsters

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map sampleI just created a new feature for the blog, a google map with photos and info of my neighbourhood. Check out the pages sidebar immediately. Not only that - I am about to lay out the case for why it is the ultimate neighbourhood for true hipsters. As you will see, this area includes Yuyintang and other significant scene spots too.

First of all. Yes, you can play with the map from the page and it's cool and embedded. But, I've got to be completely honest, it's much better of you click the link to the larger version.

So, what's the deal with this Xinhua area? First of all, it's downtown - inside the inner ringroad and a desirable part of town. Then, it's off the tourist map so mercifully free of tourists and ... other hipsters. I have lived around here for six years. The places I'm about to describe are all within walking distance of each other. This is a small sampling.

We have:

Yuyintang Live House the premier venue for local rock, indie and punk.
Logo Music Bar the premier hipster hangout
C's Bar the premier dive bar and spiritual home of Antidote
Sus2 Music Bar the originals, now running a laid back cafe version right here
Rehearshal Rooms one of the famous band rehearsal spaces is on the east side of the block at Huashan lu/Huaihai lu

Sofa Cafe modern wifi hangout with great food
Marco Polo Cafe and Bakery small ultra hip place on the Xinhua garden street
Banyan Tree Cafe Chinese style wifi cafe on Fahuazhen road

Xinhua Road conservation area and lanes (Xinhua Bieshu) Our beautiful tree lined main strip and surrounding lanes. Former British and German suburb that includes the former home of J. G. Ballard - this area was also a playground for neo-colonial fetish of the month, architect Laslo Hudec. Perfect for inspirational literary strolls and free of tourists. You can live in them too, I spent two years in a beautiful terrace right on the strip for 1500rmb a month (shared). 

Affordable Housing my friend Anthony had a perfectly good place here for him and his GF (now wife) for 1500 rmb a month all in. And this is a nice downtown area. You can even get a modern style two or three bedroomed place for 2000-2500 rmb a month in the infamous Fanyu Dasha ghetto towers. Split three ways that's cheap. And Anthony's 1500 place could house two people, or even three with a room share of the big room - if you're young and struggling. Ideal for hipsters and young uns alike.

Come and check it out, live here even. Who knows what the place will be like even two years down the line - this place changes fast.

Endnote: this is my 50th post in the music scene category. Hooray.  

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Huh? Nothing in Pudo... uh, never mind.

Hey Micah

I once had to sub in for someone teaching lit at Huashida's international high school in JiangZhang Gaoke ... or is that Zhangjiang? It was three mornings a week for two months.

What can I say?

Hehe, hence the subtitle of my weblog, 宁要浦西一张床,不要浦东一间房.

I didn't realize Dingxi Road could be so cheap. We used to pay RMB 2750 for a miniscule two-bedroom apartment on Dingxi Rd two minutes from Zhongshan Park. That whole area is great for public transportation, too.

Congrats on 50 posts :)

I call that area the F visa ghetto - recent arrivals, short-term, business or "business" types who think 6000 RMB for two bedrooms "downtown" is a "great deal". (Not saying you're one of those, of course!) Fun to contrast the Fahuazhen Lu'ers with the residents of the three Laowai Lou above the Hengshan Lu subway station - would make for an interesting sociology thesis.

But I also have a lot of Shanghainese friends living around Ying Cheng, one has a great, spacious old house there for like 2500/mo. I've been told that Chinese don't like to live in that area because the police station where the Japanese tortured and killed a lot of people was on Xinhua Lu, hence the prices (except for gullible laowai) remain quite low.

F-visa Ghetto - I like that.

Hmmnn, part of the post is talking about how it is cheap to live in the Xinhua area, so I'm not sure about what your comment means. Unless the 6000 for two bedrooms is talking about Zhangjiang? I mention that you can get two bedroom places for under 3000 and even under 2000 there.

Oh, what I meant is that a lot of the "F-Visa Types" are pretty gullible on the property rate front, and pay ludicrously high rentals for otherwise cheap real estate. They thus drive up prices accross the board, and are why few Shanghainese can afford to live downtown anymore. I theorize that normalizing real estate prices was one motive behind the Great Visa Cull of 2008; and certainly the bulk of the culled in my circle were overpaying for flats either in the Fahuazhen ghetto or in the Hengshan Lu Laowai Lous.

An obvious but effective trick the agents like is asking you the price range you want - then, no matter what ideal price you say - they will just show the same shitty places they are having trouble with. As long as what you said is over the actual value, that's fine. Simple, really.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on September 4, 2008 12:57 PM.

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