Sunday in Shanghai

While you in Corning and other parts of the US have already been having temps in the 90’s from time to time for quite a while this Spring, we in Shanghai have barely made it up to 80 yet. In fact, this coming weekend is the first time the temperature is predicted to go to 89. We have steadily been having pleasant temps in the 70’s for weeks which is a bit disconcerting, frankly. It’s June; it’s Shanghai; we’re supposed to be dripping in hot, muggy sweat by now!

On Sunday it was, again, pleasantly in the 70’s and I was amused to see a lot of people were still out in long sleeves, pants, and even jackets. The babies seemed to have been freed from their padded jackets thankfully which wasn’t the case the first few warm days we had. Admittedly, it was mostly the population over 30 that was so overdressed:

I got an Easter Egg! Look at this guy’s socks!

Because it was such a nice day, Mark and I did one of the walks in the book “Shanghai Story Walks.” Here’s a couple of the highlights.

Petunias are everywhere in Shanghai at the moment. They’re not my favorite summer flower, but I like these all right.

Looks like Nanjing Rd’s wire bicycle man has a competitor–who looks a bit peeved about having his picture taken!

This is the back garden of the home of Cai Yuanpei. He believed in education for the common folk and the study of science, a frank departure from the Confucian thought of education for the elite and the study of literature. He was the minister of education in 1911. And he had a nice garden!

Isn’t this fabulous? My apologies to the people eating lunch inside if this is your home!

These winding staircases are quite unusual for lane houses.

Eww! Pigeons in cages. What could possibly be the reason?

Do they do something with them down this dark alley? It will remain a mystery.

Speaking of dark, this is what my camera found when I pointed it into a dark door! A market! Bean sprouts by candlelight, anyone?

This is the former Russian Orthodox Mission Church built in 1932 in the French Concession. Originally the domes were a brilliant blue. Most recently the building was a restaurant, but now it is empty. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Russians were the second largest population in the French Concession, after the Chinese.

Are these homes for trolls? No, the 337-329 block of Changle Road used to flood, so to fix it they RAISED THE ROAD!

This was out front of a hotel I can no longer remember the name of (sorry!).

“I don’t want to hear about you having to work in a cubicle, ok?”

The Mansion Hotel, originally run by gangsters where you can spend $1000 a night (for a suite–other rooms are cheaper) for a piece of history. Or just go into the lobby and look around like we did.

The lobby was filled with old phonographs, electric fans and cameras. Although it has wheels, I think this camera would have put a damper on my photoblogging.

Yes it was 3:30 in the afternoon and she still had her pj’s on. But….she was pregnant, so I guess I’ll cut her some slack. And her socks did match.

Somebody managed to get dressed, but one guy got the ring bearer’s pants!

Aww. My thanks to their photographer for finally getting out of the way so I could get my shot.

Wedding #2 on the same lawn seemed to be having all the fun.

My thanks to their photographer for his 5 takes of this shot so I could capture something other than the top of the building.

The wedding pictures were taken on the lawn of this hotel, the Jin Jiang. It’s famous because this is where Nixon and Zhou Enlai signed the Shanghai Communique in 1972 leading the way for diplomatic relations between China and the US. It’s also unusual in that it had a female manager both in 1972, but also when it was first established in 1951 as a luxury hotel for high-ranking Communist Party government officials and foreign visitors. The architecture is nice, but still rather plain and “dorm-like”, nothing like the architecture you would see on something like the original portion of the Okura Garden Hotel across the street, for instance, and so I suppose it is in keeping with Communist philosophy.

It has a rather lovely and bright staircase.

The Lyceum Theatre, built in 1931 where Margot Fonteyn once danced, and Meredith and Zoe watched Shakespeare!

The Cathay movie theatre, a 1930’s art deco building which was an original holding of, who else, Victor Sassoon. (I’m beginning to think he owned most of the town.) It’s now a triplex and shows first run movies.

I’ve heard that ticket prices are high in Shanghai theaters, but the popcorn looks pretty cheap–$3.00 for a large.

No, I did not go tip him over.

He’s selling cherries (very expensive!) and bayberries, something I’ve never seen before and learned about on I let him sleep, because I’d already bought bayberries from somebody down the street from the Avocado Lady.

They remind me of bumpy grapes. I quite like them.

On the subway home we saw this:

This guy can really take the pain.

Recycling guys need to check their email at the red light too.

In a society where dogs still find their way onto people’s dinner plates, (but with much less frequency now, according to a recent NPR report) a dog playing catch is a novelty that draws a crowd.

More and more Chinese are having dogs as pets, but generally they are smaller than this one because they find big dogs frightening. They love to dress their little dogs in cute little outfits.

Everyone loved the shoe post, so I’m collecting more shoe pictures from our travels around the city that I’ll put together in another post sometime. However, there were some remarks about the “age” of my shoes and I just wanted to clear something up:

Some people in the family have an even harder time giving up their old shoes than I do; not that I’m naming any names.

In the evening we went to a French restaurant called Cuirve which Mark and I had each been to separately. Mark and Meredith had weirdly textured chicken:

Meredith said it feels like you’re eating fish, but it tastes like chicken.

The swordfish and foie gras with grapes were ok, but frankly, the next time I want French I’ll go back to La Saleya and have some of their lamb and wonderful desserts.

Pretty mail envelope


About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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2 Responses to Sunday in Shanghai

  1. Ramona Williamson says:

    What are the “bummpy” grapes? I think the flowers are the most beautiful that I’ve seen. Not leggy like here.

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