Monday, May 30, 2011

Lu Xun Park & 1933 Building (5/28/2011)

Saturday, May 28, 2011
Well, the monsoons did not begin after all. Another hazy day. This time we will go to a park in the former Japanese section of the International Concession, north of the Bund. Hongkou Park is now called Lu Xun Park. A sign seems to tell us that no cars, bikes or motorbikes are allowed, no loudspeakers, no pets/dogs, no swimming, and, I think, no digging:
Some nice fuschia-colored iris, late in season:
In one corner of the park is the Hongkou Football Stadium.
As you can see by the practice field, football in the rest of the world means soccer.
They were practicing on artificial turf:
Uh, oh, first broken rule: A pet/dog:
This border collie was herding the red basketball. When the guy kicked it up into the air, the little dog used his chest and front paws to stop the ball after one bounce! Ouch!
video
A dragon coaster in the amusement park:
This ride is called Pirates of Aden:
You shoot little rubber balls at the pirates:
A gazebo on the lake, where two guys were playing their saxophones.
Later we saw a dancer inspired by the saxophone:
video
Rental boats and frog fountains on the lake:
The guy on the edge of the lake is fishing and the sign on the bridge says "No Fishing."
Kent defended the guy by saying perhaps the sign meant no fishing from the bridge (but no one on the bridge could read that sign!).
See how long the fishing pole is?
Little tree in Taihu rock:
Perhaps you can see what happens when you don't prune the Japanese yew:
St. Johns Wort:
Playing a Chinese board game:
Rental war boat:
The woman in the dress and floral leggings was jogging:
We had line dancing and group singing right next to each other:
video
At first we thought the crowd was listening to a singing group, but they were the singing group!
Park map in Braille:
Look closely at rule number two:
Usually one is not allowed on the grass in parks, this is why!
This park was big enough to have multiple dancing groups, all with music speakers blaring (second broken rule!). This guy with the lipstick and dangling earrings found a temporary dance partner:
Then he was on his own:
video
Or you can just bring your own speaker and burst into song:
video
There was a Lu Xun Memorial Hall and Museum, this time all in Chinese. Lu Xun (1881-1936) was a novelist whose most famous work is The True Story of Ah Q. The book lampooned the Chinese national character of the time. Lu Xun was a proponent of the plain speech movement that simplified the Chinese script and used spoken Chinese in literature.
A lotus creek:
Now, these guys were all plugged in to speakers!
video
Can you believe it? Even bass harmonicas!
What are they doing to that child?
Floating inflatable bouncers?
Several people were playing the erhu/Chinese fiddle in this part of the park:
Organized activities for the kids:
Lu Xun's Tomb:
Chinese juniper trees:
A motor-tricycle gang?
And the third broken rule!
Some tough games of badminton:
video
Butterfly garden:
Cabbage butterfly:
Oxalis articulata:
An artificial waterfall (not turned on today):
The waterfall is supposed to tumble down the North Mountain (a man-made hill).
Fourth broken rule!
Okay, we didn't actually see them swimming, but the one guy was in the water hanging onto the wall before he climbed out.
A peek at the crane on the rooftop of a Korean-style building in Plum Garden:
See the spindly trees with orange blossoms?
(And note all trash cans have two sections, for recyclables and non-recyclables.)
They are pomegranate trees!
A different color flower and buds:
China-Japan Friendship Clock:
The local street scene:
A steamed dumpling shop:
A sidewalk barber:
A noodle restaurant in the street:
Peeling bricks:
We found Lu Xun's former residence, but it was being renovated:
Another street (Liyang Lu) with red lantern and star lights in the trees.
Another gray granite and red brick residence:
Later we learned these are American-style homes built around 1914.
A gas station!
The pumps show the numbers '93' and '97.'  Can't be the price, so it must be the octane. We learned that the government sets the price of gasoline and that it remains at that price for a long time. If the government feels it is right, they will even lower the price. People hear about the gas price in the news.
Chicken on a shoestring:
Wild architecture:
Ominous looking building:
We were looking for the slaughterhouse, but the one that was the largest in the world for a while.
Here it is:
Built in 1933 in art deco-style, it has been renovated into a creative space with shops, restaurants and theaters, called "1933."
Posers:
Quite a surprise inside, a circular building surrounded by a square,
with the two connected by "air bridges,"
cattle paths (purposely made rough to prevent slippage before Grandin!),
and spiral staircases:

 We had lunch here at the Noodle Bull, with a rolled up paper menu:
The spicy roasted beef noodles:
The big bowl of bull noodles:
1933 is known for flowering columns:
and lattice windows:
Barred windows?
A bridal procession passed under the pedestrian overpass:
How did they get matching cars?!
Except that the lead car is an Audi, the rest are Buicks!
A new bank building on Sichuan Road:
The Shanghai General Post Office:
Built in 1931, it is still the Shanghai General Post Office!
It now includes an extensive postal museum.
The atrium ceiling:
The rooftop garden was closed for reconstruction. We were to try several times to see it, but this is the closest we will get:
Outside, there are still people who read the daily paper by going to boards where it is posted:
Just down the creek is the Broadway Mansions:
Yep, another art deco, or streamline moderne, apartment building completed in 1934. Now a hotel.

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