It is still hot, muggy and loud from the cicadas outside. I never thought I would say this, but I cannot wait until the fall and cooler weather! Not to mention I will then be able to break out my new rain/fall trench coat I had made for me at the fabric market ;-)
Everyday has gone by so quickly, I suppose this is a double edged sword... I just hope I'm not wasting too much of the well deserved off time. It's definitely difficult to stay motivated to go out and do something when it's 100 degrees outside, who wouldn't rather stay in their air conditioned apartment? With that being said, the nights are the best time to get out. It has cooled down (slightly) and there is no sun beating down which helps magnificently. So in that sense, the nights have not been wasted... To help you get a feel for the endless nightlife here's a starting list.
Shanghai Nighttime Romances (so far):
Tara 57: Been there twice, cool suave, intimate setting with red velour couches surrounding the bar while the DJ mixes it up in the corner. I went on Tuesday and there were few people, however on Friday it was hopping with Latin jams, salsa and men in pink shirts.
The Shelter: Literally a shelter, this old bomb shelter was converted into a bar and has great foreign DJ's when you are tired of the same hip hop mixes at the other clubs. Not sure you could fit through the entrance cement tunnel if above 5'8"... so beware. When I went it was bass and drums music with some techno and ended off with German's beatboxing.
Club 88: The generic Lady Gaga/hip hop mashup but with a lively dance crowd of mostly foreigners. There are a few tables and VIP couches, mostly this club revolves around the smoke machine, lights, bad "music videos", DJ and a stage for dancing. They did have actual, mediocre dancers on stage for a few songs (looked like Eastern European's- tall blondes), but otherwise it was crowded and smoky- perfect recipe for dance mania!
Paramount: You may get tricked into thinking you are walking into a movie theatre with a large store front on the busy street corner. Once you find your way inside and through the metal detector, there are stalactite/icicle looking blue lights from the ceiling, lighted stairs winding to the upper deck, a cage and bar. The cage is small and again mediocre Chinese hip hop dancers, someone lip-syncing the songs which are is again the standard mashup. Free drinks for both ladies and guys until 11 pm makes a great starting point. Disappointingly not as much dancing as expected though.
Boxing Cat: This is a nice expat bar. Predominately foreigners who are looking for burgers and brew. The Boxing Cat has their own brewery and a delicious selection from light to darks. A typical sport's bar atmosphere...
Monkey Lounge: Hidden off an alleyway and a monkey sculpture in the door already gives this place a certain appeal. Definitely a lounge, comfy laid back sofas with some top 40 jams in the background. Think of a speakeasy... just needs some live jazz or at least more alternative music selection.
Enoteca: This is a cozy wine bar that also serves up some delicious courses including amazing salads. Not much of an atmosphere, but the low lights gives a certain ambiance.
Malone's: Another sport's bar, amazing burger and beer specials. There's an outside patio, and inside is live music with a pool table upstairs. Typical American sport's bar... all foreigners.
JZ Club: Only here briefly, but the rooftop bar was incredible, plants, patio seating a little view of the French Concession, not a tall building so you can't see everything from up there. Seeing a brilliantly lit shooting star over Shanghai from the rooftop was incredible. Just walked through the bar inside, but it was a more upscale bar with the decor and top 40 hip hop songs- not much of a dance floor though.
El Coctel: Very loungy. After walking up the stairs and trying to figure out which door is the right one to get in, this bar offers a great vibe, classy and luxe with couches and stuffed chairs. The flowered wallpaper on the ceiling adds to the inviting and intimate setting. Great place to go even for some coffee or tea if not in the cocktail mood.
Well that's my preliminary list. As I get more experienced in this city that doesn't sleep, I'll make another posting and maybe even with pictures! My camera doesn't do the best in the dark... so my words will have to suffice for now.