36 Hours in Shanghai

36 Hours in Shanghai

Photo of The New York Times

What takes most cities eons to build, Shanghai can do overnight. Shanghai is remaking itself to become a “City of the Future,” but what’s so alluring is how much old-world character remains.

13 Places
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    Combines Spanish-style décor (leather ottomans, exposed brick walls, a floral ceiling design by a Barcelona artist) with one of the most colorful drinks menus in town.
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    Cha’s has become a hit with the Hong Kong diaspora, as well as trendy young Shanghainese with dyed hair and high-tops, so be prepared for a wait.
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    Old men in Mao jackets play cards, while small troupes of musicians gather in hidden corners to sing Peking opera classics. The main attraction, however, happens in the center of the park where well-dressed couples show off their ballroom dancing moves.
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    Piling Palang for Deng Bingbing’s exquisite ceramic and cloisonné pieces.
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    Brut Cake, Nicole Teng makes tote bags and upholstered furniture using old Chinese fabrics.
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    Dong Liang Studio is the place to find rising fashion talents, such as Christopher Bu, the stylist for the Chinese “it” girl Fan Bingbing.
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    Prides itself on using only high-quality cooking oil, filtered water and no MSG. Not only is the food deliciously authentic, it’s much lighter than other local joints.
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    With its industrial feel and focus on modern art, the museum feels similar to the Tate Modern, and it’s already hosted several major exhibitions, including the Shanghai Biennale and the largest collection of Andy Warhol’s art in Asia.
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    A playful tapas restaurant where eating a meal feels more like barhopping. Small plates of miso-grilled mackerel with wasabi avocado and cucumber chutney and oysters with Vietnamese dressing are served at the informal tapas bar overlooking the kitchen.
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    Drop by the Long Bar at the Waldorf Astoria, a 110-foot-long recreation of the original Long Bar at the former Shanghai Club, an exclusive British gentleman’s club that became a KFC in the 1990s.
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    Splurge on a 500-renminbi glass of Yao Ming’s cabernet sauvignon on the rooftop bar at the House of Roosevelt, a neo-Classical building restored by a company run by Theodore Roosevelt’s great-grandson Tweed.
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    The museum exhibits works by well-known contemporary artists like Cai Guo-Qiang and Zhang Huan and isn’t afraid to take risks: One show featured live monkeys in a cage with a robotic Confucius until the government ordered the primates removed.
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