New York city--based David Chu, executive creative director at Tumi, travels all over the globe, but for him Shanghai is a special destination that brings together business and pleasure. Chu has been visiting the city since he was a child and now travels there three or four times a year to gather new ideas and source materials. "Shanghai reminds me of how Hong Kong was two decades ago," says Chu. "A futuristic metropolis in transformation, filled with an aspirational attitude." When he's not busy with work, Chu can be found searching the antiques market or taking in an evening of jazz. Here are a few of his favorite places to visit:
Lost Heaven, 38 Gaoyou Lu (86-021-6433-5126), offers authentic Yunnan cuisine. I love the combination of Southwest China folk style and the spices of North Vietnam and Thailand used in the food.
South Beauty, 3/F, Citic Square, 1168 Nanjing Xi Lu (86-021-5292-5331), is where I go for modern Sichuan food. I adore the hot-stone beef in boiling oil.
88 Xintiandi, 380 Huangpi Nan Lu (86-021-5383-8833). I swear by this small boutique hotel, with its view of the lake and tranquil setting. The attentive concierge and manager make me feel as if I'm at a home away from home.
CJW, Xintiandi, House 2, Lane 123, Xinye Road (86-021-6339-1777), is conveniently located near the hotel 88 Xintiandi. I take pleasure in a cigar, a drink and an evening of jazz music here.
Shanghai Museum, 201 Renmin Da Dao (86-021-6372-3500), has a great selection of Chinese art. They also have terrific special exhibitions.
I always admire the neoclassical design of Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu (86-021-6323-3355). It houses restaurants, a spa, exclusive boutiques and the Shanghai Gallery of Art (86-021-6321-5757), which is owned by a friend of mine.
Moganshan, 50 Moganshan Lu. As an art collector, I routinely drop in on the galleries along this Suzhou Creek area to hunt for new pieces. Advance Art Center (86-021-6298-6483) is one of my favorites.
Dongtai Lu is one of the few old neighborhoods that haven't been razed. I enjoy the sharp contrast between the polish and orderliness of the postmodern outdoor mall and the Old World flavor and the crowds that form around the antiques dealers and stalls lining the street. I'm always prepared for some hard bargaining here.