Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Water Concert & Maglev (9/17-18/2011)

Saturday, September 17, 2011
This morning on our beer-run, we took the long way and found this shop:
It might mean "Uncle Kent" or perhaps "Fakes by Kent" (it seemed to be a men's clothing store)!
For a big late lunch, we went to the Hongmei Pedestrian Street, one of the many "food streets" in Shanghai.
It is also know as "Foreigner Street 101" because it is located along the 101 Passenger Railway Line. Somebody complained that the word "foreigner" is insulting to foreigners. Not to worry, most foreigners can't read that it says "foreigner!"
It is made up of several blocks of restaurants, mostly of "foreign" cuisine. Hier ist Papas Bierstube:
We tried the Shanghai Brewery, a microbrewery:
Well, plenty of greenery, anyway!
They were out of the IPA (, so Kent had the Amber to go with his Sausage Platter:
Came with a mini-pitcher of onion gravy...
I had the schnitzel and fries, and a salad, too:
But enough for at least two people!
We ate a big late lunch because we were asked to be ready for the van to Zhujiajiao by 4:30 PM. We had a wonderful opportunity to see "Water Heavens," a musical performance composed by Tan Dun. Our Grand Gateway got us tickets at 20% off, and were providing transportation to and from the show.
We had been to Zhujiajiao just the week before, so we knew it could take over an hour to get there. We had also seen the theater:
The building on the right is the Water Music Hall.
Below is a view of the rear of the theater:
The large central windows open to the sides to allow interaction with the river and the Buddhist Temple across the river:
It turned out there were only three of us from Grand Gateway attending the concert and we arrived in less than an hour. We had an hour and a half to show our companion a bit of the town and have drinks before the show. "
Water Heavens" was a fabulous show, described as architectural music for strings, water, pipa and voice. They also used the steel beams, floor and stairs. And the monks chanting across the river. Learn more from Tan Dun:
(Photo from Shanghai CityWeekend Magazine. We did get splashed as our seats could not have been any closer to the action! There are some photos here:

Sunday, September 18, 2011
Kent was leaving on a business trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I accompanied him since it was sunny and he was taking the Maglev train. We still had to take the Metro to get to the Maglev, but it cuts the time of the commute to the Pudong International Airport.
Maglev is short for magnetic levitation and here in Shanghai we have the first commercial high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world.
Here it comes:
Today we were ordinary people (the other option is VIP):
The Maglev has reached a record speed of 501 kmh/311 mph, but its operational top speed is 431 kmh/268 mph. That said, the train eases along at no more than 301 kmh/187 mph:
The train departed at exactly 13:15:00 and took 8 minutes to travel 30 km/18.6 miles.
The station at the airport:
The Maglev was built by Siemens and opened for service in 2004.
I took the Metro on the way home, and in the same 30 km/18.6 miles, the Metro makes an additional 10 stops and you have to change trains along the way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
A few more villas, these are on the Cypress Hotel grounds at 2419 Hongqiao Road:
This one has been touched up and has some landscape touches. One description of the Sassoon Villa sounds like this one, sort of a one-story brick and wood structure with a roof of red tiles and walls painted light yellow, with a two-story section on the east side. I think the second story windows and balcony here are new additions, perhaps just lofted windows for more light.
With its own address of 2409 Hongqiao Lu:
A typical Bristish rustic house with reddish brown roof tiles, black & white open wood structure, elegant pink walls and a British-style chimney (hidden by the tree). Built in the 1930s, it is an English Countryside style villa and is called the Times Villa.
The next villa was also built in the 1930s, in Spanish-style, and was owned by the American-Oriental Banking Corporation.
The Welcome sign at the Hongqiao Hub area near the train station and airport, still proclaiming Expo 2010:

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