Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The People's Park (4/10-12/2011)

Sunday, April 10, 2011
Time for a walk in the park. People's Park was once a racecourse for horse racing. It was torn down in 1949 as a symbol of western decadence. The northern half was made into a park, and the southern portion became People's Square for political rallies. Later People's Square would become the landscaped home for the Shanghai Museum.
The office building housing BASF, Harbour Ring Plaza, looms over the Southeast corner of the Square.
A sidewalk sweeper - there is one of these and a hundred human sweepers!
Ground lamps and an false rock speaker:
The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center behind cherry trees with people posing for photos:
To the east of People's Park, there is a church surrounded by tall buildings.
It was built in 1929 as the Moore Memorial American Baptist Church. After the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), it reopened in 1979 as a nondenominational church. Billy Graham preached here in 1988, but now services are in Chinese. 
We have a Hershey's store! 
The People's Park includes a very small amusement park:
That is the Radisson Hotel (2005) in the background with the space ship top (a revolving restaurant).
Bumper cars:
where you can drive in any direction you wish!
Tulip magnolia in full bloom:
Placing individual river stones in the decorative gutter:
One of our goals today was to find the Marriage Market:
Imagine three of these tents full of personal ads placed by the parents and grandparents of prospective brides and grooms.
Some people placed their ads on easels or umbrellas:
Supposedly the children are too busy working to find mates, and some parents are doing this without their children;'s knowledge.
Behind the park is the Park Hotel: 
This building was the first skyscraper in the Far East, built in 1932 and designed by Hungarian architect Laslo Hudec in Art Deco style. It was the tallest building in Asia for 30 years, and in Shanghai until 1983.
Another stylish tree protector.
Photinia (red-tip) in three color phases:
Um, "Thank you, come again"? 
Our second goal of the day was to visit the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. With an unusually high admission fee of 30 RMB ($5), we had great expectations!
The 1st floor Preface Hall contained the sculpture titled "Morning in Shanghai" which includes the major landmark buildings in the city, plus at least one planned for the future. 
There was also a model of the Bund, and a relief sculpture on the wall called "A Million People Moving House in Shanghai."
We were looking for the model of Shanghai that you could also see from the floor above:
But wait!...
The Main Hall was the Hall of the Historic and Cultural. There were many photographs of buildings, bridges, etc., as seen at the turn of the 20th century and today. An interesting display showed one photographer's photos of streets and neighborhoods taken in the 1980s and 90s, and at the very same location in the 2000s. From dirt streets to highways, shacks to high-rises. The changes in just the recent past are amazing.
A model of the Garden Bridge with a trolley:
A model of Xintiandi, the renovated shikumen, or stone tenement houses:
Aha, the 3rd floor Hall of Master plans was what we were supposed to see!
Every building over three-stories tall is represented in this model at 1:2000 (feet?) or 1:500 (meters) scale in the downtown Shanghai area within the Inner Ring Highway.
Our new serviced apartment is in this picture:
As seen from the floor above:
A ficus with interwoven trunks:

Monday, April 11th
Had to take advantage of a clear day to take more photos. The Shanghai Concert Hall:
Built in 1950. Having excellent acoustics and due to its architectural and cultural heritage, instead of being demolished, it was raised and moved 218 feet to its present location in Music Park, separated from People's Square by an elevated highway.
Tomorrow Square rises above the Shanghai Museum:
Built in 2003, it is another landmark building.
The Shanghai Exhibition Center: 
Built in 1955, this building was a gift from the Russians to the Chinese, and its architecture is described as "Stalinist Gingerbread." We are looking at it from the rear.
Nanjing Road, the shopping street west of the pedestrian area, has a Louis Vuitton!
Many, many people check the garbage cans for recyclables:
There are Daewoo diesel buses, Volvo electric buses, trolley buses, and Sunwin Super Capacitator buses:
Sweet landscaping:
Union Plaza with cool columns:
An Art Deco apartment house:
Palms and begonias:
Haitong Securities Building (2003): 
The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center (1999) and Shimao International Plaza (2005):
The Shanghai Municipal Government Building:
I found the pigeons!
And Eurasian Tree Sparrows: 
Shanghai Grand Theatre (1998):
Designed by French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier.
China Minsheng Banking Corporation Tower with a British colonial turret:  
Shanghai Art Museum:
Formerly the racecourse clubhouse (1933).
The clubhouse clock tower:
Back to the Park Hotel:
And its next door neighbor, the old YMCA (1928), now the Shanghai Sports Association building:
The Pacific Hotel (1926):
Bamboo is usually held up by a horizontal bamboo structure:

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