Christy Campbell’s website laneletters.com is a wonderfully personal, idiosyncratic take on Shanghai. You’ll find her favorite finds and musings on life as well as custom maps, links to other blogs on China that she recommends, and websites and apps that are essential resources for anyone headed to China. On every page, Christy’s photographs bring Shanghai to life, beautifully. We asked her to share some of her knowledge about the Paris of the East.
Q: How long have you lived in Shanghai?
A: I’ve been living here off and on for a decade. I’ve moved away on several occasions but the allure of this city keeps pulling me back.
Q: Which neighborhood do you live in?
A: While each neighborhood has its own charms, I’ve continued to move deeper into Jing’An as it seems to be in a perpetual tug-of-war between “up-and-coming” and determinedly traditional. There’s something to be discovered here everyday.
Q: Do you have a favorite shopping neighborhood?
A: For the best of the city’s boutiques, curios, and bistros stroll down Wuyuan Road in the former French Concession. I’d recommend starting at Changle Rd and heading west.
Q: Any advice for travelers considering a tailor to create a custom suit or dress?
A: Do a little research up front and ask for recommendations, depending on what you’re after. Also budget plenty of time for alterations. While suits can be made in as little as two days, it often takes one or two fittings to get the cut just right, which could mean a couple additional trips back to the tailor’s.
Q: What should travelers know about Shanghai’s markets?
A: Shanghai’s markets are unquestionably city institutions and a must-see if you’re visiting. But if you’re after the experience alone, try the Bird and Flower Market or Tea Market and skip the chaos of the “fake markets.” If a good haggle is what you seek, know what you’re after when you start shopping or you might walk away with far more than your suitcase can hold.
Q: Can you recommend a favorite not-to-be-missed restaurant?
A: Nestled between the boutiques in the former French Concession and the glitzy stretch of luxury malls on Nanjing Rd, Xibo (http://www.xiboxinjiang.com/en/index.htm) is on the third floor at 83 Changshu Rd. With a swanky interior, a few outdoor tables and a lunch-set that features mouth-watering Xinjiang fare, this is the perfect spot to rest your feet and plan your afternoon.