Located in Hongkou District, Duolun Road (originally named Doulean Road) is a peaceful taste of the past behind bustling Sichuan Road. The villas with different styles lining this pedestrianized road ("open air gallery of Shanghai architecture") are attractive examples of the Chinese and international architecture styles of this former American concession area.
Entitled "Cultural Celebrities’ Street", the road is a living memorial to the modern cultural celebrities of Shanghai and is also a condensation of modern culture. Such Chinese literary giants as Lu Xun, Mao Dun, Guo Moruo and Ye Shengtao once lived here. Today the road is revamped to promote the cultural heritage of the city as home to a fascinating selection of art and antique shops as well as the more usual souvenirs stalls selling Chinese curios and collectibles.
You would be amazed to find a large collection of Mao-related souvenirs. Mao badges are made of many materials including metal, plastic and porcelain; some are as big as a plate and some are made of gold and jade. During the Cultural Revolution, a freshly-minted badge was the first choice with Chinese people who wanted to give friends or family a gift. The shops all along the road sell "old" books, coins, stamps, radios, posters, comic books and every kind of Mao memorabilia you can imagine, including these mini Mao statues. In addition to a museum featuring Mao badges, there are chopsticks museum, strange stone house, coin museum, old newspaper collection, and many other niche collections that worth close examination. It’s interesting to step into these dark dusty shops filled with entirely random objects.
Just at the point where the L-shaped street kinks is the excellent Old Film Café, with a bronze, life-size statue of Charlie Chaplin (who famously honeymooned in Shanghai). At evenings and weekends, the café screens films from the 1920s.
At the Celebrity’s Teahouse, you can enjoy a variety of teas as well as Peking opera, which originated as entertainment in teahouses. In those days, a teahouse was more a place to socialize than to quench one’s thirst. Foreigners often are surprised to encounter that atmosphere when entering a Chinese theatre, where the audiences eat, drink and talk.
If you seek a contrast to the modernity, the road is an excellent place for a stroll, with many interesting stuffs to see!
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