Roomie wanted to “see what democracy looked like”, so we made a field trip to Occupy Boston’s tent village in Dewey Square…and then went down the street to see stunts filming for R.I.P.D.
Above: The ‘town square’ of the urban village, filled with b-ball players and porters in the evening
If you walk north from the Windows of the World theme park, you will cross over Shenzhen’s main avenue on the Golden Gate Bridge to enter another world entirely: the Shangbaishi urban village (上白石村).
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The village’s density, diverse housing, affordable food, and public activities are the antidote to the overcultivated OCT that surrounds it—and it has so far resisted the gentrification that has set upon other villages, such as Caiwuwei or Dafen.
The repetitive fabric of third-generation ‘handshake buildings’, in fairly good condition, are still punctuated by the second-generation village housing, which are low-rise and deteriorating fast:
The alleys were fully utilized, with everything from pool tables to overflowing hair salons and restaurants. If only the OCT Loft would allow even a monthly Pool Night, the creative park might be perceived as much more welcoming to the surrounding community…
At the heart of Shangbaishi, there is a square parcel of traditional row houses that are in much better condition than most of the other urban villages we have surveyed in Shenzhen. In this elongated courtyard, a migrant woman prepared her fishing nets for returning to the sea.
As we turned the last corner to leave the village, we discovered a dumpling restaurant that had two veg options—that’s two more than any other dumpling house in the OCT.
first time in fuxing park, despite living on fuxing lu for three years.
see the waypoint descriptions on the google map below.
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