Another Hole in Montreal’s Heart

The lower Main in 1997. Photo by Kate McDonnell One of the defining features of Montreal’s cityscape is the abundance of vacant lots. Weedy, gravelly blocks of land, they can be seen in every neighbourhood, in some areas on every street, delineated by rows of misshapen concrete blocks, like boulders left behind by the retreat […]

Fighting Food Inflation in Shanghai

Built in 1715, the Shangchuan Huiguan (商船会馆) or Merchant Shipping Hall, was a place for business traders to congregate for wheeling and dealing, or to rest for the night before continuing their journey. Their boats would be moored off the ports located southwest of the Bund, along the Huangpu River.

While the Hall itself is authorized for preservation, all the surrounding living quarters have fallen to the wrecking ball. Currently, a family from Anhui lives onsite and are responsible for organizing the razing. On my last trip, I noticed many plots of vegetables surrounding the Hall, on what had been rubble only months ago. Any left over vegetables were laid out to dry in various parts of the house.

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Food, Heritage and Preservation, Society and Culture by Sue Anne Tay Comments Off on Fighting Food Inflation in Shanghai , , , ,

Life Under the Landing Gear

The approach to Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak Airport was notorious: planes that swooped down toward its runways passed so close to the rooftops of Kowloon City that they practically risked tangling their landing gear in laundry lines. Nearly thirty years ago, life on Neptune Road, hard by Logan Airport in East Boston, wasn’t quite […]

Hong Kong’s Disappearing Shophouses

Johnston Road, Wan Chai. Photo compilation by Lee Chi-man When Philip Kenny wanders around Hong Kong, taking photos for his blog on local heritage, one type of building always catches his interest: Chinese shophouses. “They are a reminder of what Hong Kong used to be like — a bit old and rickety, perhaps, but vastly […]

The Widening of Dorchester

One of the more overlooked stories in the history of Montreal’s urban development is the widening of Dorchester Street. For more than a century, this long street spanned the centre of Montreal, from the working-class neighbourhoods of the Faubourg Sainte Marie to the more cossu quarters of the Golden Square Mile and lower Westmount. It […]

Posted in: Canada, History by Christopher DeWolf 3 Comments , ,

Big Changes on the Upper Main

Bingo Villeray, demolished this week Major demolitions on the Main. Older buildings flattened and replaced by megastores, old folks’ homes, condos. Not the plot of a dystopian movie: it’s begun this summer on Boulevard Saint-Laurent above Jean-Talon, but the long shabby decline of that part of the street means it’s not at all necessarily a […]

Posted in: Canada by Kate McDonnell 2 Comments , , ,