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March 18, 2019

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A multicolored stairway that’s to selfie heaven

AN address on Yan’an Road M., near Huashan Road, used to be the site of one of the city’s most glamorous night spots.

But the area, close to Yan’an Hotel, later faded after the MYST club moved.

A recent micro-renovation project has given the abandoned site a new lease of life.

The stairs leading to the doors have been painted in rainbow colors, and an eye-catching art installation made out of junk bike parts put up at the front.

Heart-shaped pink “wish cards” are hung on bike hubs and tires, adding some romantic ambiance.

The site is now popular with local trendsetters looking to post photos on the Internet.

“I’ve seen many of my colleagues posting their photos with the rainbow stairs on WeChat Moments,” said Gu Xiongwei, who works for a drug-manufacturing company just on the other side of the road.

“It looked fancy and I wanted to have a look too.”

Mengmeng, a new staff member at the local memorial hall of Cai Yuanpei, was surprised to find the place during her lunch break walk.

She sat down on the rainbow stairs and took selfies.

“It’s such a delight,” she said.

Due to property problems, after the club closed in 2017, the site was left locked, desolate and dirty.

“Its gate was black, its roof was black, which led many people to mistake it as a garbage dumping site,” said Zhang Hanyun, Party chief of the local Jinghua community. “They randomly threw garbage around, its messy condition was really against the bustling Yan’an Road and high-end Jing’an commercial zone.”

The local community decided to spruce up the once-glorious site, spending several days redecorating the staircase.

Officials also came up with the idea to add a local touch by reusing the recycled old bikes from the community.

“It has been a headache in our community that piles of bikes in disrepair are piled by roadsides and in our neighborhoods,” Zhang said.

Last year, a plan emerged to allow local people to trade in their old bikes for rice, offered by Bright Dairy, which has an office in the community.

So far, the community has collected more than 70 abandoned bikes.

“We dismantled the bikes that are too old to be repaired, and used the bike hubs and tires to put up a bike tree,” Zhang said.

“We especially picked the bike parts from local time-honored bike-makers such as Phoenix so as to remind locals of their childhood memories and raise people’s awareness of protecting our old brands.”

He added: “Also, it’s a wish tree where people can hang their wish cards, just like they do at any other popular tourist destination.”

Zhang said local residents, white-collar workers and professional designers have discussed their expectations of the project.

“White-collar workers said they want something fashionable and attractive, featuring bright colors and delivering some hidden meanings,” he said.

“They want to turn it into an Internet attraction.

“While our residents pointed out the vital importance of maintaining the site, they said they would volunteer to patrol the site and keep it clean.”

They have done just that.

One day last week, they found that continuous rain had flushed away some of the bright paint so they immediately told community officials.

Workers came to repaint the stairs.

Zhang said that volunteers patrol the community by riding previously abandoned bikes that have been recycled.

“We fully use what we have,” he said.

About two weeks ago, more than 20 residents and local white-collar workers got together to put up the “bike tree” and painted the stairs.

They included resident Ding Xiaoming, 55.

“It’s great to take part in such an event,” he said.

“It looks like a rainbow which makes us smile and lights up our lives.

“I chose to paint the purple color because I love purple,” he added.


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