Saturday 14th May
“Boulevard Moscow”: Scandalous Russians in Old Shanghai
with journalist and photographer Katya Knyazeva
In the gilded age of colonial Shanghai – from the 1920s to the 1940s – the French Quarter was a Russian enclave. Eight out of ten westerners strolling on Avenue Joffre spoke Russian, and the street was nicknamed “Boulevard Moscow”. An extraordinary community of criminals, celebrities, spies and spiritualists made this district their refuge from the Communist revolution. The Russian emigrants left two glorious Orthodox cathedrals, while Huaihai Lu (former Avenue Joffre) is still lined with art-deco apartment buildings designed by architect Alexandre Koukline.
The walk will take us through the former French Concession, where we’ll visit shops, theaters, schools and “passages” (as Russians called lane houses) that housed Russian refugees and adventurers. We’ll connect some delightful locations with delicious stories involving murderous and chivalrous White officers, the miserly aristocrat Mme Pavlova, and the Gipsy ventriloquist Mme Litvanoff who conned three governments.
Expert: Katya Knyazeva is a journalist and photographer from Siberia. She has been living Shanghai since 2006 where she worked variously as an illustration artist, writer, photojournalist and historian. She has published articles on Chinese cuisine, arts and theater, urban form and Shanghai history. Katya guides Shanghai Flaneur’s guests through the secret lanes of the Old City and the leafy avenues of the former French Concession. She has been a speaker at Explore Shanghai Heritage, the Royal Asiatic Society, Shanghai Expat Association and World Art Deco Congress. She is the author of “Shanghai Old Town: Topography of a Phantom City” (2015), a photographic atlas, a street guide and an oral history of the oldest and most obscure quarter in Shanghai. Katya has been walking with SHANGHAI FLANEUR since March 2011.
Meeting point: South entrance of Fuxing Park (Fuxing Rd and Chongqing Rd) (Chinese address: 复兴公园南门，位于复兴路与重庆路交界处)
Finishing point: Changshu Road subway station (Line 1,7) (Chinese address: 常熟路地铁站，地铁1号&7号线)
Costs: RMB 300 p.p., RMB 250 2nd person, RMB 250 p.p. for groups above 3,
RMB 180 students
Registration: publicwalks(at)shanghai-flaneur.com or call 138 1892 2040