Senator Saloon Dry-era doppelgänger

Speakeasy cocktail bars are all the rage these days. It’s not often though, especially in the Far East, that you find one that manages to capture the spirit of prohibition-era America authentically—the girls, the gangsters and, above all else, the whiskey. The Senator Saloon, though, does so with aplomb.

From the dark wood paneling and the thick velvet curtains blotting out the windows to the pressed tin roof imported straight from Texas, this place recreates the dimly-lit glamor of the 1920s US underground down to a tee. Appropriately, it’s whiskey and bourbon that are the bar staff’s main weapons of choice—either served straight up, sans pretense, or mixed into both classic and newly-created cocktails using the Saloon’s impressive selection of bitters.

Nike X158 Nature, amplified

When Nike spread the word that they were opening a concept store to act as ground zero for their new #NatureAmplified design ethos, people were expecting something special. They weren’t disappointed as X158 opened its doors to reveal this stark, minimal, bunker-style store-space that oozes stripped-down urban cool.

It’s the sneakers not the surrounds, though, that are placed firmly front and center here. The exposed breeze block walls, industrial lighting installations and surgical display apparati play the ultimate austere supporting act for Nike’s brand-spanking new line of colorful kicks—many incorporating the latest advances in Flyknit technology.

If you think the buck stops at forward-thinking footwear, though, think again. X158 also plays host to a number of creative mixed-media installations that complement the innovative apparel on show.

Dongtai Lu Antique Market Searching for leftover bits of history featured

Kind of like a bootleg Antiques Road Show, Dongtai Lu is packed with good old dusty Mao memorabilia, vintage curios and trinkets; even if you have to navigate through the riffraff to find the gems. Look out for small revolution-era porcelain statues and old cameras (buy at your own risk). There’s some treasures in the rough; use patience and diligence to find them. You might want to leave the watches alone all together. Even if you don’t buy, the sheer experience of walking down this alley is something to behold.

Unless you’re an antiques expert, don’t get your hopes up too high for finding a genuine antique at a bargain. Most stalls sell similar wares, so be sure not to buy anything from the first seller on impulse without haggling. Walk on and compare prices, as shopkeepers in China typically raise prices to exorbitant levels when selling to tourists. Being firm helps.

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