Chongming Dao is the largest alluvial island in the world and it is a county within the Shanghai Municipality. Mostly an agricultural landscape most of its history has literally had an isolation from the surrounding society only a stones throw from its shores. Until recently, ferries were the only means of transport between the mainland and now, a new bridge and tunnel system has been built to reduce travel time and facilitate its economy. This new addition left some of the once bustling port towns quiet and empty. Remnants of its not so distant past still line the streets now only catering to the local population and waiting for its rebirth.
The town of Bu Zhen was a port town in its previous life. Today it is more relaxed and on this beautiful summer day, it was nothing more, or less, than peaceful- a welcome reverse effect of the new artery. Ben recounts his childhood growing up in Bu Zhen. Although he lives in Shanghai City now, he still comes back to see his mother. His friend’s old house was near the ferry terminal so we borrowed old rusty bicycles from his family to cover the long distance along the main street. His memories are filled with pleasant and intimate emotions possibly not unlike- or even inspired by- the cool early summer morning.