Teahouses, Temples, and WaiTan

The US edition of GQ has a photo spread in this month's magazine called "An American in Shanghai" featuring one of summer's best and most versatile materials, seersucker. The photo locations are M on the Bund, Fangban Rd (near Yu Garden), Fuxing Park, Dongtai Rd, Cheng Huang Temple (Yu Garden), Huxinting Teahouse (Yu Garden), and Nanjing East Rd.

The depressing thing for those in China who see the spread is that, despite the summer sun starting to bare down on Shanghai (and Beijing), options for summer suits are minimal. Summer suits made of cotton and seersucker are perfect for every occasion, dressed up enough for the office (though not for a major client/customer meeting), they also are very easily dressed down for a stylish, but casual touch at weekend parties or a night on the town. However, they are almost impossible to find in stores or at tailors in China. You'll either have to make a trip overseas or look at high end retail shops, as the fashion labels all feature these great summer suits. Even staid old school Brooks Brothers has released a cotton version of their great Fitzgerald suit (aka the JFK suit) for the summer.

Linen is the other great summer fabric, though it is more for casual situations (or possibly a more casual, non client/customer meeting day at the office). Senli & Ma, my favorite Beijing tailor, now has linen in, its extremely high quality, but with a hefty price tag to match.

Oh yes, and about the copy, I hate the DC is to New York as Beijing is to Shanghai, NO! Granted, Beijing is the capital and home of the government, like DC, and New York is the home of US financial matters while Shanghai has a stock exchange, but Beijing, especially with the creation of its Financial District, is an equal player in the finance world. To argue which city is cooler, has better restaurants or better nightlife is not an easy argument and it really depends on your own personal preferences. Finally, a correction, Shanghai is not Beijing's sister, its more like Beijing's granddaughter, thank you very much.

And before we go, on the Laowai front, the article did justice to our post last week, mentioning stuff Laowai like about Shanghai (#2):
"neighborhoods built in the 1920s and ‘30s.” (read: love the history and "authenticity")
"staggering mix of old and new" (read: Acceptably Chinese)
French Concession “1920s art deco mansions, tucked-away cafes”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found the pictorial to be pretty tasteless. Everything deemed "cool" by the article's writer is a colonial-era relic or tourist trap/expat hangout. That and the photos themselves were pretty sleazy and orientalist.

As an American in China (Beijing), it's nice to see a mainstream American magazine glamorizing something about China. I just wish they had shown some taste in doing so...