Shanghailanders may recall the sweltering and unbearable heat waves
experienced in the Shanghai Ghetto during the summer months. It happened
when the hygrometer (humidity sensor) reading, even in the evening, equaled
the numerical output on the thermometer, that refugees escaped from their
flats to a cooler place.
For those with some extra Yuans, there were several open-air cafes (figure
one), operated by refugees, where one could spend a comfortable evening
consuming a glass of Natovic’s “Obi” (figure two), or a bottle of fruit
“Kwass” (figure three). There was also the Corso Garten, not illustrated,
that was located in the lane at 24 Ward Road, right in back of the police
station on Muirhead Road.
A more popular open-air café was the Mascot Roof Garden (figure four,
photo, (courtesy H. Eisfelder) located on the roof of the Broadway Cinema at
57 Wayside Road (figure five, photo R. Harpuder, 1999). During my return
trip with my wife to Shanghai in 1999, our personal tour guide took us to
the top of the Broadway Cinema where the view, as we can see from figure
four and figure six, almost remained the same.
Since my last report about a photo taken sixty-three years ago, yours truly
was again fortunate to find two additional vintage photographs (figure
seven) never before published, of refugees relaxing in two of the
above-mentioned garden cafes.
Again, I wish to solicit the help from anyone
to help identify the persons shown in the photographs.
There were, of course, other restaurants and nightclubs owned by refugees
that operated the year around. They too provided that certain Gemütlichkeit
(coziness) and Abwechslung (change in atmosphere), so much needed during
those harsh and difficult days in the ghetto.