Born in China, I later studied and worked in the US. I am an architect and also do art, mostly painting. I love art and architecture, painting, visiting galleries and museums, cooking, swimming and travelling.
I am very familiar with Shanghai and can recommend nice areas, shops, restaurants, cafes, bars as well as help in translating from or to Chinese if necessary.
I also have several guide books on Shanghai and China you are welcome to have a look at.
Nice things to do in my neighborhood:
You could start the day by having breakfast in the terrace while enjoying a view over this typical, lively Shanghainese lane neighborhood and observing the many activities of its inhabitants. Lane neighborhoods (lilong or longtang) are Shanghai’s typical architecture, usually just 3 storeys high, they were built in a hybrid style combining Chinese and foreign features, in the early 20th century.
You will also hear the neighborhood sounds, like people collecting old items or selling, the neighbor’s melodic, singing parrot and so on. From the veranda, however, you may observe the messenger pigeons the neighbors raise flying in a group circling the neighborhood at regular intervals during the day.
You could go for a swim at the inexpensive but nice and bright indoor swimming pool just across the street (it faces a row of bamboos) or you might want to do one of the following walks:
To get to Zhongshan Park: you will walk along Yuyuan Road, which is one of the nicest streets in Shanghai and used to be one of the most fashionable place to live back in the 30s, it is lined with plane trees and historical buildings, some of them are elegant villas with gardens where political figures and the wealthy used to live.
This area feels like the forrmer French concession but is not as gentrified or foreign, most people here are locals. This district used to be part of the former British Concession, which later joined with the American concession to form the International Settlement. Some parts of the International Settlement are very much like the French Concession in terms of architecture and layout, this is the case of Yuyuan Road.
In Zhongshan Park, you can enjoy the typical Chinese park, some people dance or sing karaoke, others exercise, practice taichi or fly kites, you can also go boating or maybe have a picnic. If not, you can walk to Cloud 9 shopping mall where you have excellent restaurants and shops, from a very popular Korean barbecue restaurant to Japanese yakitori or all kinds of Chinese regional cuisines, such as Beijing duck. You may also want to get some groceries in Carrefour or along the way in the small shops.
To Jing'an Temple: alternatively you may want to walk Yuyuan Road to Jingan Temple and Nanjing West Road (about 15 mins), again this side of the street is lined with pretty historic lane apartments. Jingan Temple is a historic temple in Shanghai, Nanjing West Road is a modern area with high towers and skyscrapers and has high end and not so high end shops, offices and malls, but also cafes, bars and a park with a small, cute Chinese garden, the back streets are filled with pretty lanes. After exploring that bustling area you can take the subway to People's Square (from here just 1 stop, where you have museums, the Barbarossa bar & park) or Nanjing East Road and the Bund.
You can also walk to Suzhou River (about 10 mins away) and jog, bike or walk along the river, there is a big flower and bird market you can visit and walking along the river you can eventually get to M50, a former factory converted into an art area filled with galleries or if you are a resistant walker you could even get to the Bund by following the river.
Another walk is to go to the French Concession, you will be walking Jiangsu Road to the South or can walk to Zhenning road or Urumqi Road and then walk along these streets to the South (that means turning right on those streets).
In terms of restaurants and food, there is a Shanghainese restaurant that serves delicious food in a historical villa with a garden just across the street, other luxurious Shanghainese restaurants line the street (the same owner and one rates as among the best in Shanghai) or if on a budget you can try the nice vegetarian restaurant near the subway, or one of the original restaurants to try xiaolongbao or shengjian, typical Shanghainese snacks, there is also a restaurant with Xinjiang cuisine and freshly baked bread and many, many more great restaurants. You are also welcome to use the kitchen here.
In the late afternoon or evening, you may want to try a massage, there are several places nearby but it's also possible for an additional fee to call the masseur to come home and give the massage here. You may also want to try one of the music clubs around here.
In short, the apartment is pretty central, just within walking distance of Jing'an Temple, one of the most happening areas in Shanghai.
This is a general guide for my neighborhood, I will be happy to advise you if you have specific interests.