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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Strolling down memorable lanes

By Chen Ye (Shanghai Daily)

10:40, January 09, 2012

Shanghai Old Street (Shanghai Daily/Dong Jun)

GRANNY Xue is huddled in a red coat and hat, selling her smelly fish in front of a gray wall covered with dirty towels from a nearby foot massage store.

"Soon I will lose my bread and butter and I have no idea what I can do since I'm an old lady," says 72-year-old Xue, who declines to give her full name.

She's one of the remaining residents of run-down Hongzhen Old Street in Hongkou District, notorious as a squatter settlement with a gangster past from the 1980s.

The area is being redeveloped, residents have been relocated, tall buildings are rising and in five years the street is expected to be gone. It's not one of those quaint old streets with historic architecture, it's an eyesore, but it is colorful.

What's left of Hongzhen Street itself is a stretch of around 500 meters running east from Xingang Road and west to the intersection of Hongzhen Road N. and Feihong Road.

Now it's a sprawling, noisy, messy open-air market, filled with peddlers, food vendors, people cooking meals and shoppers. There are office ladies, housewives, businessmen and others who come for low prices and fresher (they claim) vegetables. Some grew up there.

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