Shanghai Spring/Summer 2022: The Season That Never Was


SHANGHAI – Wenwen has a lot of extra harem pants. Not to mention extra shirts, hoodies, and jeans. She runs a beloved, budget-priced boutique in Shanghai’s former French Concession since 2008. It’s the top-rated clothing store in Shanghai, on Yelp-like app Dianping. This year, the market skipped straight from winter to summer. “I had just ironed all my spring clothes before the lockdown,” she told … Continue reading Shanghai Spring/Summer 2022: The Season That Never Was

In Cliffside Village, Hipster Bookshop Spurs Rural Revival


ZHEJIANG, East China — With the twisted mountain road blocked by yesterday’s snow, Zhao Weiren and his friends have no choice but to park their car and climb the last leg of their trip. They’ve come to visit Chenjiapu, a somewhat picturesque but otherwise ordinary village of 100 or so houses with beige plaster and black shingles. Hugging a steep hillside amid forests of bamboo … Continue reading In Cliffside Village, Hipster Bookshop Spurs Rural Revival

The New Breed of Handlers Preening China’s Prize


HUBEI, Central China — With her bushy beard, expressive eyes, and wavy coat, Feifei enters the ring and walks a lap. Set up outside a shopping mall in downtown Wuhan, the show makes some shoppers stop in their tracks to snap photos of Feifei. “What’s going on here?” one asks. “It’s a dog beauty pageant,” a middle-aged woman responds, carrying a toy poodle in her … Continue reading The New Breed of Handlers Preening China’s Prize

The Tiger Art Village That Won’t Change its Stripes


HENAN, Central China — The sweltering July heat, the passing trucks, and the loitering pigs cannot distract the dozen painting students from the task at hand. The villagers, young and old, are sitting around a table in their teacher’s studio, putting the finishing touches on their tigers’ whiskers and fur with the utmost concentration. The village of Wanggongzhuang’s love for the big cat is announced … Continue reading The Tiger Art Village That Won’t Change its Stripes

The Shanghai Sex Shop Selling More Than Just Toys


SHANGHAI — With thousands of sex shops sprinkled throughout the city, another store opening its doors isn’t usually cause for queues. But on Pepper Love Store’s first day, word spread quickly via social media. Soon, a line snaked through the former French Concession, putting a smile on the face of Mao Yongyi, one of the shop’s six owners. “We probably became the hottest sex shop … Continue reading The Shanghai Sex Shop Selling More Than Just Toys