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Meet the Editors: Toby Skinner
March 24, 2011
Introducing our Chinese team
- Text by Terence Teh
Satellite Voices: What’s your occupation?
Toby Skinner: I'm the editor of Time Out Shanghai magazine.
SV: What inspires you about the area that you live and work in?
Toby Skinner: The fact that on a ten-minute bike ride you can pass Art Deco cinemas, futuristic skyscrapers, Japanese izakayas and elderly locals playing mahjong outside traditional lane houses. It's not quite the vice city of the 1930s, a lot of the frantic development is completely misguided and the cultural scene is all very new - but it's still a fascinating mash-up of old and new and different cultural influences, with a pervasive sense of possibility.
SV: What is your favourite hidden city spot?
Toby Skinner: New Star, a Korean-style bathhouse where you can get soaked in hot pools, then put on pyjamas and lounge around in heated hobbit homes and human kilns, or get a foot massage on a reclining sofa. It sounds weird, but it's blissfully relaxing.
SV: What can you find in your city that you cant get anywhere else?
Toby Skinner: So many things. Old Shanghai brand watches and retro clocks, locally-made retro Forever bikes, old propaganda posters and perfect fake Mulberry bags, all for absurdly low prices.
SV: How would you describe your personal style?
Toby Skinner: I'm a bit obsessive-perfectionist about work, but not so with personal style. Walking past Chinese men with wifebeater vests rolled over their bellies takes its toll, and the longstanding Shanghai obsession with Louis Vuitton bags is ennui-inducing.
SV: What other projects are you working on at the moment?
Toby Skinner: We're launching a Time Out website and trying to do more cultural events in the city - we're currently working on a mini film festival with local directors.
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