Street food is dying in Shanghai. There seems to be a real stigma against being seen eating from a cart, which is a terrible tragedy because some of my fondest memories of going back home was my grandfather taking me out to his favourite breakfast stall in the mornings, to buy all kinds of steamed buns. The lady would see him, pull him aside, and give him the ones fresh out of the steamer. It was really special, and something I think often about.
Around New Year's though, there's a resurgence of stalls and carts selling food to prepare for celebrations - all kinds of things promising good fortune and prosperity. And sometimes a gem can be find. These Xinjiang migrants have almost a monopoly on the sale of freshly roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts. One can clearly see why with a taste - they're roasted and seasoned perfectly.
Sitting in restaurants with fancy tablecloths is great and all, but you can't forget that sometimes the most memorable food comes from far more humble places.