Saturday, June 16, 2012

Shanghai Treasure Hunt 5 (6/16/2012)

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Time for the last of the "Time Out Shanghai" magazine's Treasure Hunts. This one called "Explore Arts and Crafts in Taopu" begins and ends at Qilianshan Lu station of Metro Line 11. Take exit 5, turn left and walk north on Qilianshan Lu.
We had to find some of the answers on the way back, as we were detoured off the sidewalk by workers in a cherry-picker truck trimming branches along the utility lines. So we totally missed the Shanghai Hero Pen store at No. 127:
Founded in 1931 as the Huafu Pen Co., the name was changed to Hero in 1966. They make fountain pens.
When we did find the shop, we entered and looked at every pen on display, twice. We were to find the pen that looked like white and blue ceramic with a picture of the 2010 Expo mascot Haibao and a steel model of the China pavilion, and note what other creature is on the pen. Other Westerners were in the shop as well. Finally, I asked in my limited Mandarin, which pen has Expo Haibao. The woman jabbered at me, then indicated they don't have any more. Then she brought the blue and white ceramic-look pen like one in the case, to show me the Haibao on it. Aha! The way the pen was displayed, you could not see Haibao, and this was the one pen without a price tag (we were given the clue that is cost 638 RMB/$100). Now I could see that the steel China pavilion, which I imagined as a flat charm perhaps wrapped around the pen, was the top of the pen. And the other animal was, as the woman said, a long/dragon.
Next on Qilianshan Lu, you reach the high white gate of the Hero factory.
It says if the guards allow you, you can go in and see the machinists at work in Building 11, first floor. The guards did seem to question us, and I handed him the magazine page that showed a photo of the machinists. I assumed other Westerners had already come through. Well, one guard did say in English, that it was "Saturday and no people work." He led us back into the complex to an abandoned-looking building, then pointed up, showing us four fingers - the fourth floor. By now we thought we were being shown to the studios of artists who set up shop in empty rooms in the factory. Maybe there were artists' spaces here, but it was pretty junky; even an old piano-type instrument:
The fourth floor was the roof!
We admired the view and carefully made our way back down:
We took the long way back to the main gate, seeing a few machinists at work, but not the ones in the magazine photo. Once upon a time, this factory area must have been very nice, with arbors:
and a sort of garden:
At the gate, we were to find a rare mini-poster for Girolamo Marri's seminal album "You Broke My Art," and determine the year the album was released. Girolamo is an Italian artist with a studio here. He calls himself a performance artist.
We were looking all around the outside of the gate, when a couple Westerners came out of the factory complex. They asked if we were doing the contest, and then pointed out the utility pole at the edge of the sidewalk. Up in the branches of a tree, you could just see this poster!
"The seminal album from 1932..." (Girolamo was born in 1980...)
Continue along Qilianshan Lu, crossing Yongdeng Lu and pass between two tall chimney stacks. Do not expect them to be obvious! We found the red and white striped chimney on the right, back behind a factory complex on the other side of the road:
I could not see the red brick chimney of the Shanghai Dye Chemical Factory No. 8 on the left, because of a tall concrete wall. Kent had to hold the camera over his head to get this photo:
On our way back, we found a gate to look through for a better look:
At Wuwei Lu, you have the option of turning left and walking 200 m. to the Huahuan Hotel Goods City. Expect to walk 400 m to the corner of Jinglai Lu where you will see the sign for the huge market:
Then walk another 100 m to the entrance at No. 259:
Rows of buildings housing shops for everything you need to stock a hotel including appliances, uniforms, dishware:
pots and pans:
Some ads on the outer fence:
Back at the corner of Qilianshan Lu and Wuwei Lu, you look for the grandiose apartment (and office) complex (empty) with a statue of Julius Caesar out front:
Here Julius is pointing at the red brick chimney:
You go back to the corner of the intersection to which he is pointing, face him, and make a hard right. That means going down Wuwei Lu in the other direction. You might think you have made a wrong turn, as this dead-end road appears unused, with heaps of trash on the far side:
But you will arrive at the entrance, on the left, of the TOP (The Outstanding Park) Creative Park at No. 18:
Once in the park, your first stop is supposed to be the Dolce Vita Cafe on the left. On the right of the cafe is a small rockery and koi pond:
Inside the cafe, you were to find the cross painting of Ding Yi:
and look at the opposite side of the cafe for a print of a giant crab looming over the Forbidden City:
"What colour are its claws?" (White and orange with green on them!)
TOP Creative Park is home to many design, fashion, and photography companies, as well as to art galleries and artists' studios.
Your next treasure hunt target is on the second floor of Building 5:
In room 5203, you will find the Bachmann Company model train store. They have a small model train setup:
We were to note the color of the display's police cars (white and neon orange):
Walking further into the complex, we though we found the entrance to Le Louvre:
A phoenix mural and garden:
Big red building No. 8, a former factory with its typical shape, houses the ShanghART Taopu Warehouse:
Inside, a grouping of working speakers:
"Broadcast" (2008) by Shao Yi.
Olive green refrigerators filled with speaker parts and spray foam that is supposed to represent adipose tissue (fat):
"Tools-1" (2007) by Zhang Ding.
Evolution gone awry:
"The Moon's Hues are Teasing" (2002) by Shi Yong.
A historic fax exhibition:
"Let's Talk About Money - First International Fax Art Exhibit in Shanghai 1996," a room displaying works from the exhibit in 1996, of artists from 17 countries.
This old vehicle has a movie camera strapped to one wheel:
"Forever" (1994) by Zhu Jia.
We were to check out the small store just behind the ShanghART exhibition space. As we walked around the red building, we saw a locked door to the ShanghART supermarket. We went back inside the gallery, and found there was another way to get to the store, which is actually in the front left corner of the warehouse. We were to determine what was unusual about the toothpaste and shampoo at the store:
For starters, the "Supermarket" is an art installation by Xu Zhen, and the product bottles and boxes are all empty.
After exploring the TOP Creative Park, you exit onto Wuwei and turn left, then turn left on Qilianshan Lu and return to the Metro station.

Later today, we finally found the Children's Market, called both Nihong and Neon Kids Plaza, which is located underground at No. 10 Pu'an Lu.
A fat angel in front of the Ascott Hotel on Huaihai Road:
We had dinner at Chu Chu Yuan on Songshan Lu. We were at first given placemat menus in Chinese, no pictures. Someone then brought us a picture menu:
There's a fly (dead insect) in my soup!
Lots of Chinglish,; here is a representative page:
The meal was good, however!

Speaking of good meals, I'll add our Fathers' Day meal here.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Happy Fathers' Day!
We went to the Southern Barbarian in the restaurant complex off Jinxian and Maoming Roads. Decided to get the set meal for two-four people at 188 RMB total/$30.
Started with a cold eggplant and tomato salad with spicy chili sauce.
Fried goat cheese (it tastes so much better than it looks!):
"Smashed" broad beans and Yunnan ham:
Two different kinds of potstickers, one meat and one veggie:
Pork and veggie stir-fry with ginger:
Spicy chicken wings:
"Crossing Bridge" noodles:
And a crispy shredded potato pancake:
Second best meal in China?!

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