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Shanghai's 'other' market

By Wu Yiyao  (China Daily)

08:16, October 08, 2012

Second-hand items find a new lease of life at flea markets around Shanghai. [Photo / China Daily]

It's a city famous for stock market wheeling and dealing, but Shanghai is also home to an equally-vibrant street market scene.

When Jenny Chu lived in London, she enjoyed nothing better than to spend her weekends wandering around the city's many famous markets and street stalls with friends, hunting for bargains, trying out different types of food, stopping for coffee, or simply watching the world go by.

Her favorites were Borough and Camden markets, and when she returned to the skyscrapers and loud, towering streets of Shanghai she feared she would find it hard to continue her weekend passion.

But the 29-year-old graphic designer, who now works for a visual art firm in the city, says Shanghai's market scene is just as thriving as in the UK capital - in fact, in many ways, it's even better.

"London has so many markets to go to, and I enjoyed them so much.

"But in Shanghai, markets play just as important a role for many people. Market life here is very exciting and very varied," says Jenny.

Local street markets are certainly not a new addition to Shanghai life. There has always been a tradition in the city of gathering with friends, family and neighbors at weekends, at marketplaces near to home, to mingle, dine, shop, or just wander.

Shanghai's oldest neighborhoods have always blended work, home and recreation - a long history of what today's urban theorists like to call "mixed use".

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