Every city has one (almost). At least in China. It’s part of the cookie-cutter approach to building here. It’s a walkway, at least, where you can stroll and shop without worrying about being run over by an e-bike (e-bikes cruise on sidewalks, with the exception of the walking street).
Shanghai’s walking street is over 3 miles, where you find most international brands, including a large and always crowded Apple store.
The walking street where I’m living in Zhangjiagang (a 2-hour drive north of Shanghai) is just shy of two city blocks, tiny in comparison, but still an attraction for being outdoors with plenty of commercial activity within reach. The only international brand on our walking street is Kentucky Fried Chicken and there are three of them, one on each end and one in the middle. (I don’t remember ever having been in a KFC, although I may have been prior to the age of reason). If only they sold chicken feet, they might be even busier than they already are.
I live only a block away from bù xíng jiē (boo shing jay), as it’s called here. I don’t get there often figuring I’ll leave it to the locals, but this weekend I meandered through twice, specifically to scout ideas for men’s printed shirt motifs. I found a little shop that has a few nuggets of unique designs.
Kind of like a mini version of La Rambla in Madrid or Barcelona, many of China’s walking streets are perfect promenades for wallowing away an hour or an afternoon while soaking in some fresh air.
Now we can look forward to lanes dedicated to walking and texting?