Shanghai has dozens of large neighborhoods and districts, all of which seem to be architecturally inspired by different colonial and financial presences. We asked for recommendations from a bellhop, and he directed us to the site of the first National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Oddly, that area of town felt like an American ski town (imagine the village at Vail as the site of a Communist rally…), so we decided to make our way on foot back to the Huangpu River (which separates the Bund and Pudong). Along the way we passed through a much more modest neighborhood, which was really somehow more authentic than everything surrounding it. Tons of little alleys winding through dense housing. Markets without tourists on the main streets and people playing cards or solemnly watching the pedestrian traffic.

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