I spent my first six months immersed in language training; eight hours a day, five days a week. I would emerge deeply exhausted at the end of each day. By week’s end, I would be desperate for relief.
I turned to photography, which had been a serious hobby and occasional freelance pursuit since I was a teenager.
Each weekend I set out alone on long walks from my house in the leafy former French Concession. One Saturday, the magical discovery came. A couple of blocks off of one of the city’s fanciest commercial boulevards, I discovered a raw, textured world like none I had seen before in Shanghai. It was a densely packed place of tumbledown, two-story housing and long internal alleyways. The bustle of street hagglers and of job seekers, just in from the countryside, spoke of earlier times.
This therapy turning into a beautiful historical document of past Shanghai, that has been buldozered away to a large degree to give way to the World expo 2010.
More, especially pictures, in the NYT blog Lens.