Look Like a Shanghai Girl in Six Easy Surgeries

Go into any antique market here in Shanghai and you’ll find plenty of reproduction posters featuring the famous “Shanghai Girls” of the 1920s and ’30s. These were calendars and advertisements for products like alcohol, cigarettes, soap, and so forth that featured qipao-wearing beauties with pale skin, pinned-back wavy hair, and a gentle demeanor. The Shanghai … Continue reading Look Like a Shanghai Girl in Six Easy Surgeries

The Billfold: The Cost of Living in Shanghai

I’m a loyal reader of The Billfold, which describes itself as simply “a site about money.” There’s some personal finance stuff—how to save for retirement, why you should know your credit score, what goes in to buying a house, etc.—but most of the articles are less predictable, and some are downright quirky (last week they … Continue reading The Billfold: The Cost of Living in Shanghai

Bookshelf: And the City Swallowed Them

Late one night in July 2008, a 22-year-old Canadian model named Diana O’Brien died in the stairwell of her Shanghai apartment building after being stabbed more than 20 times. O’Brien’s assailant was Chen Jun, an 18-year-old migrant worker from impoverished Anhui Province. Like O’Brien, Chen had traveled to Shanghai without proper papers, hoping to wedge … Continue reading Bookshelf: And the City Swallowed Them

Shanghai Event: History in the Headlines

Next Thursday (March 13), Jeff Wasserstrom and I will be speaking at lunchtime event hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Shanghai. In “History in the Headlines: How Does China’s Past Inform the Present?”, we’ll be putting current events in a long-term perspective, which is something that both of us do in our respective writing … Continue reading Shanghai Event: History in the Headlines