Friday, December 02, 2005

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More Shanghai news:

The former flower market came down yesterday:

From the Sina News Center:

2005年11月30日上午,地处上海市中心的文化广场进行了首幢建筑物爆破拆除,文化广场曾经是上海市的标志性建筑。先爆破拆除是一幢5层3400平方米17米的楼房,它的主体建筑是一个能容纳万余人的无柱剧场,该剧场爆破拆除施工将明年初进行。

One the morning of November 30th, 2005, the first in what will be a series of demolition by dynamite was carried out at the Cultural Square in the heart of metropolitan Shanghai. Cultural Square was a site of historical value for the city. The first building to be demolished was a former theater of pillarless construction, capable of holding over 10,000 people; it was five stories tall, 17 meters high, and covered an area of 3,400 square meters. Reconstruction on the site of the demolition will begin next year.

The site goes on to mention that the former French Concession canidrome and once-center of colonial social life maintained 浓重的殖民地或政治化色彩, "a musty colonial/politicized odor".

Also both online and in the 青年报 today are reports of pollution clean-up work along the Suzhou Creek. Although the Shanghai Daily (gracing us with the delightful image of "a yellowish 'waterfall' of excrement") it says that monitoring is near impossible, the Youth Daily promises that round-the-clock automated monitoring of water quality will be implemented along 上海的母亲河, "Shanghai's mother-stream". I had heard that in the old days, rowing teams competed along the Suzhou Creek and I wondered why we don't see those today. Putting this news together with the trash barges I see whenever I cross it, I no longer wonder, and at the same time I'm hopeful. Maybe it's time to take up kayaking?

Finally, the Shanghai Daily (again; hey, they're a pretty decent paper) reports that a joint-venture has been formed between the Rockefeller Group and the New Huangpu Group to renovate "a section of the Bund at the intersection of Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek". I've been noticing that an empty lot just before the 外白渡桥/Garden Bridge has been cleared, and a set of older buildings behind the lot is now visible. Hopefully the involvement of the Rockefeller will help prevent another "renovation" like the one happening at Culture Square.

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