Shanghai writer Chen Cun, 56, has unique feelings about his hometown.
The changes in Shanghai, positive or negative, in Chen's eyes, have had a subtle influence on its residents then and now. By the same token, every detail of life and the way people view Shanghai have changed, too.
Although real-life scenes like street snack peddlers have gradually faded away as part of the price paid for the city's development, Chen said Shanghai people are very quality of life oriented.
Flowing Life in Shanghai
, written by Sun Ganlu, reads like a diary, with stories, poems, essays and notes on daily life. In Sun's eyes, the book captures an era by chronicling the daily lives of so-called cultural celebrities in Shanghai.
As a native-born Shanghainese, Sun demonstrates his observation and understanding of Shanghai in his book.
As a writer, Sun wants to explore more than just ordinary life in Shanghai through his work.
Having been to plenty of cities at home and abroad, Tan Zheng believes that the best cities help people meet their need for cultural and tangible products within a reasonable distance.
Shanghai, in Tan's eyes, exactly fits the standard and enjoys the most modern feel among Chinese cities, as it offers easy access to so many universities, libraries, museums, theaters, cinemas, and products from all across the country and the world.
However, the convenience brought by modernity has both positive and negative sides
Born and raised in Shanghai, Wang Hongtu has a strong sense of belonging to the city.
"I would miss Shanghai more whenever I was on foreign soil," Wang said.
Today's Shanghai integrates all the essential elements of a metropolis domestically and internationally, in parallel with its side effects—people might find their life here anxious and insecure due to the high cost of living, human indifference, the breathless pace of life, and the high value placed on having money.
Shanghai, in writer Zhang Sheng's eyes, is always full of Chinese flavor no matter what the city's identity is--an international metropolis in the 1920s and '30s or today's economic hub of China.
"Before coming to Shanghai, I thought it was a westernized city with exoticism. But after settling down, I found that Shanghai was conservative both in its culture and its life," Zhang said.
As an old saying goes, "All for one, and one for all." Similarly, Zhang prefers "Shanghai for all, and all for Shanghai."
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