Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wandering Around Shenzhen

Heading out for an early morning walk in Shenzhen, I spot portable bun stands on corners all around the city and the delivery vehicle bringing the buns to stock the stands.

 Steamed bun stands on the corners

Steamed bun delivery vehicle

I wander over to the Shenzhen City Hall plaza to see what's new and find that the floral displays from the fall are gone, replaced by sculpture and a new coffee/tea shop.

 City Hall Plaza (with the Ping An Finance Center in the background)

 Sculpture on City Hall Plaza, in sun and rain

New Tea/Coffee Shop on City Hall Plaza

Keeping my eye open for more two- and three-wheeled vehicles, I spot a delivery truck and police transportation.  Yes, they have police cars too, but I bet the bicycle is a lot faster in the [very slow] rush hour traffic!

 Delivery vehicle

Police Vehicle

The Ping An Finance Center  is nearing completion and dominates the view from all over Shenzhen.  I spot it from many angles and take pictures as I wander along.  The building will be completed this year and is the second highest in China, after the Shanghai Tower.  One day it's raining and the views of the tower in the clouds are great.  I bet it's even better from the top!

 Views of the Ping An Finance Tower

Walking back from the City Hall to my hotel in the Futian District, along Binhe Avenue, I see great murals on the walls along the street, similar to the murals that the artists from the M50 art district were creating on the walls in Shanghai.

 Murals on the walls along the street

And, as I approach the hotel, a water truck is washing the sidewalk.

Washing the sidewalk

I grab a quick lunch and hop on the Shenzhen Metro to my meeting.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Wide Range of Experiences in Shanghai

After visiting the M50 Shanghai art district, I stop by at the nearby Jiangnan Silk Museum.  There is a small display showing the manufacture of silk garments, but past that are rooms full of all the silk clothing and bedding that anyone could want or imagine, all for sale.  The Jingnan Silk Museum is located on Aomen Road, about a 20 minute walk south of the Shanghai Railway Station and a 5 minute walk from the M50 art district.

Jingnan Silk Museum (and store)

After browsing and purchasing of two pairs of silk pajamas, I head down the street, past some local markets.

Local small shops

These local markets are often next to, and sometimes in the base of the high-rise commercial and residential buildings.
 Shanghai high-rise buildings

Within the same block, I can shop in a small market or a high-end department store occupying several floors of a building.

Scattered through all the buildings are small restaurants, food stands, particularly steamed bun stands, and, next door in the high-rises, sophisticated and elegant restaurants.  I meet friends at one of these, a Japanese restaurant inside a department store.  We have the set meal for three, including sashimi, crab, and hot pot, where we cook our own vegetables and meats in hot broth.

 Crab, before and after

 Hot pot: cook the meats and vegetables in the broth

 And, for desert, cheesecake and soft-serve ice cream

 A satisfied dinner crowd!

With a great meal like that to end the day, I head back to the hotel, ready to move on to the next city.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

M50 Art Quarter in Shanghai

M50, short for the address, 50 Monganshan Road, is a contemporary art district in Shanghai that houses over a hundred and twenty artists and studios open to the public.  The art district was started in an abandoned mill in 2000, fueled by the cheap rent of the unused industrial space.  M50 has spread to take over several factories and warehouses, converted into studios, galleries, and other art-related businesses.

 Entrance with M50 map
Scattered around outside are numerous sculptures, some whisical, some serious.

Sculpture scattered around

The complex is a maze of passageways, alleyways, and studios.

 Alleyway with studios and galleries on both sides

Wandering through the complex, I stick my head into several galleries and see the expansive and varied collection of art.

 Wandering through the studios and galleries

 Outside, artists have painted the walls along the street and on the construction wall a few blocks away.

 Decorating the neighborhood

 And, not all neighbors are pleased!

After wandering through the studios and galleries, I head along Suzhou Creek back to my hotel, enjoying the beauty and calm of the path and gardens in the middle of this large city.