Today was a beautiful day, but because I worked the whole day at UnitedStyles I couldn’t really enjoy it. But after a heavy lunch (hamburgers from Pete’s Tex-Mex…) Joop and I decided to talk a walk to at least enjoy the sunshine a little bit.
I had never taken a walk in the area around the UnitedStyles office before, even though the company has been here for a couple of months already (I normally spend most of my daytime hours in the Spil Games Asia office). Because the current UnitedStyles office will be demolished soon to make place for new buildings I though it was a good time to check it out. It’s actually quite an interesting area, with both old and new residential buildings, some slums and even an old Catholic church!
The church was built in 1925 and is located right behind our office on the other side of a small river (on Kele Lu, close to Hami Lu). I had never seen it because there is a big building in between the river and our office, and was amazed at how beautiful it was. The gates were locked so Joop and I could not enter the church grounds, but it looked renovated from the outside. A sign said that it was built and designed by Hungarian architect Ladislaus Hudec as a ‘country church’, a reminder of the fact that this suburb of Shanghai used to be far outside the city in the old days.
Not far from the church we found another compound that was being demolished, not an old office compound like ours but a villa compound! Never realized that they demolish these as well. I wonder what compensation the owners get: prices for villas in this area are pretty high, 2-3 million EUR is a normal price for a house.
I always thought there was just one small river in Hongqiao, but it turns out there are actually 2 (it’s one river that splits into 2 right behind the church). The water does not seem to be very clean, but it would be nice to get a small boat once and just float (or paddle) downstream. It’s probably not allowed, because I have never seen any boats in this area.
We also walked through some of the slums that are located on the bank of the river close to the office. Many of them are more like temporary shelters with just some plastic sheets as a roof. I am sure these too will be gone soon when they demolish our office. Quite a nice area actually with lots of tiny shops and restaurants, especially on a sunny day; but probably less so when you live there.
It was a nice walk, glad I did it. If you want to see it for yourself before it will be gone, the area is located around Hami Lu directly to the North of the Shanghai Zoo.