The Happiest Place in Shanghai

Well, sort of. If standing in line—a lot of lines—makes you happy, then a visit to the two-year-old Shanghai Disney park will be an unbeatable experience. In eight hours at the park on a Monday earlier this month, I spent roughly two-thirds of my time in one line or another and read an entire novelContinue reading “The Happiest Place in Shanghai”

Speaking Events in Shanghai and Hong Kong

  Early morning jet-lagged greetings to all from Shanghai, where I landed last night. This is my first time in China since the summer of 2016, and I’m very curious to see what has changed in the intervening two years. So far all I can say is that they now take your fingerprints when youContinue reading “Speaking Events in Shanghai and Hong Kong”

Weekly Wanderings: Nittany Lions Edition

▪ I spent last Tuesday and Wednesday visiting Penn State, where history professors David Atwill and Kate Merkel-Hess (a fellow UCI History graduate) had invited me to talk with their grad students about getting a PhD and then going into a non-academic career. I also gave a presentation on the Zhang Leping biography that I’veContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Nittany Lions Edition”

A Short Interlude in Swampy Shanghai

After five days of enjoying the beautiful Beijing spring, I headed out to the airport one evening and boarded a flight to Shanghai. As I stood on the tarmac waiting to ascend the plane’s steps, I looked around and thought to myself how absolutely perfect the weather was. Two hours later, I de-planed into theContinue reading “A Short Interlude in Swampy Shanghai”

Five Photos from China in 2005

Mid-February always makes me think of my first trip to China, which began when my plane landed in Beijing late at night on February 16, 2005. As I wrote last year, the six months that followed were simultaneously exhilarating and challenging: as much as I loved living on my own and getting to know aContinue reading “Five Photos from China in 2005”

“Home” Again in Shanghai

The work portion of my China trip over, I flew to Shanghai on Sunday morning for a week-plus of vacation. The minute I walked out of Hongqiao Airport, everything clicked: I was back in familiar territory—my territory. I jumped into a cab and smoothly gave the driver instructions to get to my hotel, knowing exactlyContinue reading ““Home” Again in Shanghai”

LA Review of Books: The Beautiful and Damned

I have a new post up at the LA Review of Books China Blog, about a new(ish) book of translated short stories by 1930s Shanghai author Mu Shiying. Mu was a dashing young man who frequented the city’s nightclubs and wrote dazzling works about the excesses of the age, much like F. Scott Fitzgerald didContinue reading LA Review of Books: The Beautiful and Damned”

Dongtai Road Antique Market Update

As I wrote the other day, Shanghai’s antique market on Dongtai Road is slated for closure and demolition in the coming months, with the street’s shops scheduled to shut their doors today, October 15 (the freestanding stalls are supposed to close by the end of the year). When I visited the market on Sunday afternoon,Continue reading “Dongtai Road Antique Market Update”

Disappearing Soonish: Shanghai’s Dongtai Road Antique Market

I don’t venture over to the antique market on Dongtai Road all that often. I have plenty of Mao pins and propaganda posters, porcelain and jade really aren’t my style, and the stuff that I like the most—Art Deco furniture and light fixtures—is both out of my price range and a hassle to get backContinue reading “Disappearing Soonish: Shanghai’s Dongtai Road Antique Market”