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This is What Shanghai Looks Like Right Now, in Pictures

A stroll around a shut-in city.
By - Photos: Brandon McGhee Feb 1, 2020 Shanghai Life
The weather forecast for today was cold, clear and sunny, with a side of DON'T GO OUTDOORS. But after being stuck indoors for so long, with the prospect of this lasting at least another eight to nine days, we wanted to get some fresh air and see how the city is coping.

So a few of us took a long walk this morning from iapm towards The Bund to see what we could see.

And what did we find? The city is obviously quiet but there are pockets of life, from the older generation playing chess outdoors while soaking up the sun to a pair of American flight attendants bouncing out of The Park Hotel, fumbling with masks and looking for somewhere to eat. Couples strolled down Nanjing Dong Lu, which is about one-third open, and the selfie sticks were still out at the riverside promenade, even if the big Bund buildings have gone silent.

All in all, it's not the apocalypse that the social media echo chamber might have you believe. Parks are closed, yes. But Shanghai is still here. Dozens of restaurants are still open (as best we can tell — the situation has been changing hour-to-hour). You can even go get a massage.

Of course, whether that's a good idea for your health is your own choice to make, and we are clearly not issuing physical health advice. But if you're looking for a little mental health advice, know that life continues in Shanghai and a walk is not going to land you in the fever clinic. Keep your head up and your hands washed, Shanghai.


We started our walk by bumping into these happy guys, masks off but tea and cigarettes and oranges at the ready, soaking up the sunshine and shooting the shit.

In their lane, a neighborhood chalkboard spelled out some timely advice: Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands!

These guys were too deep in their game to care about N95s and travel bans.

A bit farther down the street, we found the foreigner pit empty...

... and under guard.

Good news at the corner of Huaihai Zhong Lu and Chengdu Nan Lu though: the first Popeye's location has been revealed!

Across the street at Theatre X. Impeccable timing.

The legacy food stores on Huaihai Zhong Lu were doing some business this morning, with a full complement of ready-to-go foods. No shortage on the city's Shanghainese cold dish food supply.

The Shibuya crossing at Huangpi Nan Lu and Huaihai Zhong Lu was a little quiet, though the Tiffany Blue Box Cafe was open — the notorious queue to get in has eased a little this week.

Xintiandi was...


... at least Shake Shack is still open. Pit stop for cheese fries and lemonade.

The black gates are up at People's Park; visitors banned.

The Nanjing Dong Lu walking street was not a complete ghost town, but you'd have to try hard to bump into someone.

Like Huaihai Zhong Lu, the legacy food stores on this tourist stretch remained open and smiley.

How many people are in this picture?

We ended on The Bund, where a handful of people were taking advantage of the clear day to marvel at Lujiazui, take face-mask selfies and just generally try to shake off the cabin fever.

The skyscrapers abide.




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