THERE are some streets in Shanghai, hidden in the busy commercial center that combine the features of the metropolis with quiet elegant surroundings. And Nanchang Road is undoubtedly one of them.
Although not the first time we've explored this road, with old stores closing and new ones opening, and long-standing ones reinventing themselves all the time, Nanchang Road, parallel to the well-known Huaihai Road W., deserves another visit.
Today, we bring you to a diversity of businesses that have established themselves as long-term residents on this vibrant and creative road.
It's widely believed that every senior Shanghainese has heard of Hu Jiang (Shanghai River) hair salon, one of the few old-style Shanghai salons left in town. The branch on Nanchang Road, run by senior local hairdresser Chen Guoliang, opened 12 years ago. The brand itself dates back some 60 years and Hu Jiang's main store was on nearby Huaihai Rd. A member of Shanghai Beauty and Hair Association, Hu Jiang has very high reputation among Shanghainese, especially older generations. Tidy and simply decorated, this local salon is very different from trendy ones in the town, but the barbers and hair dressers in their white uniforms set a familiar tone for regular clients. Prices are also very reasonable - a haircut is around 40 yuan (US$6.45).
Address: 183-A Nanchang RdOpening hours: 9am-9pm
Nanchang Road developed from a quiet residential street to today's trendy location partly thanks to the many fashion stores that have opened there - local indie designs as well as imported top brands. Donna collection, run by local female fashion buyer Jiang Wei, celebrated its fifth anniversary last week. Jiang says she quit her previous nine-to-five job and opened this store to realize a dream of "fashion and traveling." She fulfils this by jetting around the world to explore fashionable cities such as Tokyo, Milan, Paris and New York, buying up the latest fashions and bringing them back to her clients. Items in Donna are mainly targeted at female fashionistas, with an average price between 1,000-2,000 yuan (US$161-322). The store is decorated in distinctive red and white, with fashion magazines strewn on the floor. A red sofa gives the small store a homey feeling. Customers can get advice from Jiang while trying on garments, then relax on the sofa and enjoy a drink Jiang prepares for you and chat with her about the latest fashion news and gossip.
Add: 183-D Nanchang Rd, close to Shaanxi Rd S.Opening hours: 1pm-9pm
Established almost 10 years ago, this nail beauty salon has moved once from the corner of Ruijin Road to Nanchang Road, next to Shaanxi Road S. Decorated in pink and red, the salon is definitely a favorite with girls and young women - cozy and cute. Offering beautifying treatment for finger and toenails, Sweet Nail was one of the first nail salons in Shanghai. Its owners say they keep up to date with the most advanced technology in nail beauty from Japan, Taiwan and Europe, and promise the most trendy nail colors of the season and the best equipment. As the salon is usually busy, especially at weekends. Reservation is recommended.
Address: 338 Nanchang Rd
Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Shanghai-based tarot reader Chen Yang opened her tarot studio on Nanchang Rd three years ago, in which time the practice of claiming to predict the future through card-reading has become increasingly popular - especially among young people. There are now a number of tarot card premises in town, with practitioners who say they can answer clients' questions about their current situations and future life. CY Tarot has a very small doorway and is easily missed, but you can usually find it by looking for young people waiting outside for their turn. Inside, Chen - the tarot reader as well as owner - sits in front of a table which is covered with a black cloth, on which sits a set of tarot cards. As well as getting a reading, customers can also buy tarot cards, tarot books and runes, as well as crystals and jewelry said to help bring good luck or help with accurate tarot readings. Chen only sees people who have made a telephone reservation with her at least a day in advance. For each question she charges 100 yuan (US$16.12).
Address: No.1, Lane 205, Nanchang RdOpening hours: depends on the reservation, generally 3pm-10pm