Shanghai, China. For me, it’s one the most interesting cities in China. While some neighborhoods have been modernized, just like almost every city in the country, a lot of it remains untouched.
There are neighborhoods like the old French Concession that look much as they did in the 1930s. The buildings are western styled, the streets are wide and leafy. Many of the big old houses that were carved up into muti-family apartments after the revolution in 1949 have been restored to their former glory.
A lot of protests start in Shanghai. The academics there started the protest that eventually traveled to Beijing and became the protest in Tiananmen Square that lead to the massacre on June 4, 1989. The Chinese government is still trying to deny that it ever happened.
Protests started again in Shanghai this year and traveled to almost every major city in the country. The people were tired of being in total lock down every time somebody sneezed.
So, they hit the streets. The Chinese government could not control the people. A few days ago the government stood down, changed their draconian rules and started cleaning the streets as the citizens moved around fairly freely.
There are a couple of things to take away from these two stories.
Shanghai people are tough. They’ve survived the western partitioning of their city. They survived Japanese occupation during World II all the while harboring Jewish evacuees from Europe.
There is something that many people in the west do not know. The Mayor of Shanghai is almost as powerful as the Premier of China. Typically, the mayor is a lot more moderate.
It started out as a photograph that I made while exploring a neighborhood in transition. You can see the tall, modern building way in the background in contrast to the more typical 1930s buildings in the foreground.
While I was tinkering with it I stumbled onto an app that turned photographs into something that approximates a watercolor. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of controls so you kind of get what you get.
Sort of like life.
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