An Afternoon in Shanghai’s Old City, Part 1

12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16Chinatown always has me at nín hǎo*.
Three old men in grey cardigans
talk about the good old days.
A woman in an orange baseball cap
fries dumplings on the street.
Jangles of cheap jewelry
hang precariously
in a store window.
Pink-cheeked kids run
squealing
ahead of their parents.
An old woman in a red apron
sweeps the street
in front of her store.
A
temple
is
wedged
between
a
vegetable
stand
and
a
bar.

One of my first Chinatown visits
was in Washington D.C.
before a Dixie Chicks concert.
I called DPs house
and talked to his dad.
“Be careful”, he said.
“I’m in Chinatown.
What could go wrong?”

Now, in Yokohama,
our apartment
is just outside the gates
of Chinatown.
It’s very popular
with young Japanese lovers.
A quick train ride
from Tokyo,
an exotic afternoon
of Chinese sights
and smells
so close to home.

Shanghai’s Old City,
which we visited in March,
is THE Chinatown
of all Chinatowns.
Ancient. Crowded. Electric.
It stole my breath
and left me with these photos.
Enjoy the tour.

  • Nín hǎo means hello in Mandarin.

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