Drunken expats ruin Shanghai French Concession district art street

Published:  18 Jul at 6 PM
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Riotous party nights involving Shanghai’s young expat community have put paid to a formerly quiet residential street known for its art galleries and workshops.

Just three years ago, CNN Travel highlighted a street in the city’s former French Concession district given over to arts and entertainment. Yongkang Road was a hub for art galleries and local eateries on the ground floor of traditional Chinese shop houses, with families living on the upper floors.

Today, CNN apologised in print to the unhappy residents for revealing the secret in a report which has changed the character of the quiet residential area for ever. Nowadays, the street explodes nightly into a riot of young, drunken expats and unbearable decibels of noise.

The former art shops and local retail spaces are now tacky bars and eateries, but the upper floors are still residential, creating hell for the families who live there. Local people are angry and disgusted, with water being thrown from upper floors onto the revellers below.

Local authorities seem powerless to stop it, although bars are now expected to close before 22:00. The mayhem and drunken caterwauling, however, seems unstoppable, especially on weekends when the 50m street is packed with drunks.

A waitress at one of the bars told reporters that residents had been given money in compensation, but declined to say how much. According to local photographer Min Wei, expats have no respect for those living on the upper floors of the shophouses, nor for the fact that many residents get up early to work, adding that many elderly people living along the street are frightened by the noise and unable to sleep as a result.
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