Like many laowai in Shanghai I live in the former French Concession in Puxi.

Daniel Tobin has lived in Shanghai for several years. Here he helped establish an important presence for Urban Art Projects, the Brisbane foundry he co-founded with his twin brother Matthew in 1993. UAP collaborates with artists to design and cast significant public art sculptures for clients around the world. Here Daniel shares his love of the city’s intensity, eccentricities and grace.

Like many laowai in Shanghai I live in the former French Concession in Puxi. The streets are a narrow maze of laneway houses, congested streets and numerous noodle shops, street vendors and drinking holes.

Washing is hung any place you like. I am often fighting for space on my balcony with the neighbors’ endless stream of laundry.

In a city where nothing goes to waste even plastic shopping bags are washed, dried and re-purposed.

Bikes are the best way to get around and my brother’s family makes for excellent company.

The city is a mix of old and new. A retro boombox keeps a local carpentry workshop happy while they work.

The city’s roadways are constantly in flux. the road works are never ending.

And there is always a healthy mix between the new way and the old way. Bamboo is used for everything including access ladders and scaffolding.

In the rush of the city and the nonchalance of the locals, alignment has little importance.

Guests are always welcome, but need to be prepared to be used as subjects.

This weekend’s long Sunday lunch and laneway walk ended with a photobomb. Thanks Lynette, Gilbert and Ollie!