Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pujiang New Town (4/21-5/13/2012)

Monday, April 16, 2012
In one of the food courts, I got a photo of the food service people who wear clear mouth masks to protect your food:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I decided to hop on the Metro to the town of Qibao, to take another look at the indigo-dyed fabric products they sell there. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the prices were much less than at the Nankeen Blue Exhibition Hall. There is no bargaining here either, but... I bought a qipao dress for the same price as Kent's tie! Now the qipao, the iconic Shanghai dress, IS very tight!
Didn't think I'd take any photos in Qibao, but for one, there were these souvenir "ornaments" with a live goldfish in each:
Qibao was crowded with senior citizen tours, with many Chinese ladies crowding the clothing shops. Then came the school groups!
Kids buying the goldfish ornaments:
And overwhelming the shops that had toys:

That evening, we decided to go out to dinner, which is unusual on a weeknight. We met at the Lujiabang Metro station, and took Line 9 to the Yunshan Road station. From there it was a bit of a hike to Biyun Road.
Passed the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church:
We were in an eastern Pudong district called Jinqiao, a pocket of westerners. Had dinner at the Pistolera Mexican Restaurant with their award-winning chili, the best in Shanghai:
with some tough little cornbread "cookies."
On the walk back to the Line 9 Metro station, we saw lots of blinking lights in the night sky. UFOs? No just kites with lights!
(We need a TV-grade videocam!)

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Today's destination is Pujiang New Town. Apparently in 2001, in order to deal with a fast-growing population, Shanghai initiated a policy to relocate residents to outlying districts by creating new towns. The policy, called "One City, Nine Towns" called on international architects to develop nine town centers inspired by the foreign countries who had some influence on Shanghai: England, USA/North America/Canada, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands/Holland, Spain, and Sweden, plus Chinese and a mixed-western town. The project was discontinued after 2006, at the end of that particular five-year plan. Although the infrastructure is in place, it is difficult to attract people to come live in an area without shops and services, while it is also difficult to attract retailers and service providers to an area without customers. These new towns end up being "ghost towns."
Today we took Line 8 south to the Pujiang New Town station.
A Line 8 Metro train.

Pujiang was the Italian project, but rather than being a "ye olde" town as with some of the others, this one was to be a modern Italian/European town.
Upon arriving in Pujiang New Town, we saw a new office and retail complex located to the east of the station. Looking appropriately European-modern in sort of a Le Corbusier-style, we explored there first.
Cool streetlights.
Layers of pools:
Decorative pool with iris plants:
Iris confusa/Bamboo Iris:
which were situated under the bamboo:
A view of the surrounding rural area:
The identity of this structure puzzled us:
I hope this guy is alive!
We determined that this was not the New Town, and went to the west side of the Metro station, crossed under a highway, and followed the locals on a path along the top of a berm:
On the other side of the berm was a road alongside a concrete wall surrounding a huge area of construction. The project of "One City, Nine Towns" may have been discontinued, but building continues.
A girl collecting flowers:
Post-lunchtime mess at pop-up restaurants for construction workers:
The first road we reached brought us to the "Breeza Citta di Pujiang" Reception Center:
More like a sales center, where the sales girls were expecting only Chinese customers. I don't think "Breeza" is an Italian word, perhaps just a name. "Citta di" is Italian for "city of." This is the development that the winning Italian architectural firm, Gregotti Associati Internationale, designed. There were four planned city blocks of residences.
We crossed the canal to walk between two of the blocks:
A peek into a resident's kitchen:
with its outdoor sink.
At the intersection dividing the four city blocks:
A view of some villas through the gate:
The residences were behind guarded gates, and we were not allowed to enter. The fourth block was still an empty lot.
We turned left to make a big circle back to the Metro station.
Look out!
We had to follow a dirt road:
And stumble through lots of rubble:
Passed an old street:
Maybe it can be preserved to serve as the tourist destination of "Pujiang Ancient Town!"
Back at the Metro station, there were many motor rickshaws:
All-weather rickshaws:
Back in Shanghai proper (Pujiang is technically in Shanghai), we ended up at the Yongkang Food Street:
We tried what is supposed to be some of Shanghai's best fish and chips at The Sailors:
Ordered the Big Set/sampler to share:
Herb-y breading on the fish, decent chips, and not mushy enough or enough peas! It also came with fried squid, scallops and shrimp.

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Happy Mother's Day!
It was misty rainy today.
Breakfast at Mr. Pancake House with three dessert-plate sized thick pancakes smothered with banana slices and walnuts! There was always a queue waiting for the few tables:
That old guy is wondering what the fuss is about:
Later hopped on the Metro to return to Pujiang New Town. Went a bit farther this time, looking for a more inhabited part of the town. Saw a couple fisherman at this canal:
 This could be a lovely rose trellis:
Trying to give the effect of canals?
"The Making of a Garden" shop:
Rental bikes:
The Venice River Bank mall directory:
The Megafit Cafe was busy inside today:
Only Caucasians from the 1980s come to this gym?
The empty Venice River Bank mall:
A post office with a postal worker going in and a customer coming out:
Postal worker bikes to the left.
An underwater dock:
There is a school:
PJs Cafe & Bar outdoor seating:
The only grocery store in town:
Lots of flowers on this bridge:
Sculptures walking up on the observation tower:
More sitting on the edge of the exhibition hall roof:
Some public art:
"Gazing Back No. 6" (2009) by Lin Tianmiao:
Definitely not a total ghost town, but still not Shanghai busy!

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