Sunday, June 3, 2012

Thames Town (6/3/2012)

Sunday, June 3, 2012
In honor of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth of England, we visited Thames Town.
This morning we met Bruno and Tuk across the street at Element Fresh. After a late breakfast, we hopped on Metro Line 9 to head south to the last station at Songjiang Xincheng/Songjiang New City. There we took a taxi to Taiwushi Xiaozhen/Thames Town. This is the first and most successful of the "One City/Nine Towns" initiative started in 2001 to draw population away from central Shanghai. According to one report, the "One City" is actually Songjiang, and its development was given the English theme. Of the "Nine Towns," we have visited four others: Anting/German, Gaoqiao/Dutch, Luodian/Swedish, and Pujiang/Italian.
We started at the entrance to Thames Town with its red-uniformed guard:
Not exactly a Buckingham Palace Guard, nor a Beefeater.
Those fuzzy spotted deer are a symbol of Songjiang:
The Thames Town Kindergarten looks like a zoo:
Probably also looks like a zoo when the kids are there!
Here we cross the Thames River?
Waiting for the red double-decker bus:
With Kent, Tuk and Bruno.
Then Kent and Tamiko:
Bruno and all his baggage!
Tuk texts with the other mobile phone users:
Oops! Chinese laundry is showing:
Grass-covered tree lawn!
Kent ambles through the vague resemblance to Trafalgar Square in London:
This building has a vague resemblance to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square:
Awww, look at their t-shirts:
Splashing boys:
A relief of Thames Town, with portraits and handprints of the Chinese movers and shakers:
Also on this square was the Songjiang Art Museum, featuring an exhibit on calligraphy:
There are many styles of calligraphy:
The second floor gallery:
Kent with calligraphy that looks sideways:
Tamiko with calligraphy on a unique background:
There was one small room with paintings:
A tree root carving of nine dragons playing with a pearl:
Kent's hand is on the BIG pearl.
Nearby were some smaller art galleries:
One gallery belonged to Li Tianji, who was present with his wife who spoke English. Many of his paintings were of northern China, and others were of Thames Town.
Walking one of the Queen's corgis?
Tamiko at a "Victorian" tea room:
Fountain on the green:
Flamingo fountain:
Tree sculptures with Bruno, Tamiko and Kent:
Posing with Harry Potter:
Tamiko, Kent, Tuk and Bruno.
What I thought was a boat wharf is the "floating restaurant:"
Some artificial Chinese vines on a British-style coffee shop:
Our next stop was the immense Songjiang Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, with a model of the entire area:
A model of the crazy hotel in a quarry, being built right now!
The industry of ancient Songjiang - weaving:
The industry of Songjiang today - toy auto paints?
The local tram:
Tamiko attempts to call home:
I had been looking for a replica of a fish bar from Lyme Regis in Dorset, England, and mistakenly was looking for the Lyme Fish Bar. It turned out it was the Cobb Fish Bar and the next door Rock Point Inn that were copied from Lyme Regis. There must have been enough complaint from England, because it was the building now marked Weill below that was the Rock Point Inn, making the building on the right the "Cob" Fish Bar of Thames Town. Of course, both buildings have never been occupied. There are no fish and chips places in Thames Town.
Ye Merrie Olde England:
Another big wedding photo location:
Bruno, Tuk and Kent meet with Winston Churchill:
A replica of Christ Church in Clifton, Bristol, England:
Inside the church, there was a service in progress, but not a wedding.
Outside the church - a movie cast?
Or are they cosplays (costume players)?
Regent's Canal?
Or the canal network in Birmingham, England?
More posing:
Does London have a French Quarter?
Tamiko tries to figure out who this guy is in front of the Hotel de la Cote.
Time for a break at La Gare Cafe:
A motorcycle draws a lot of attention and posing:
Flying gas can pigs:
Uh, oh, there are deserted streets in this town, too:
Tamiko, Princess Diana, and Tuk:
Bruno's new girl:
Tuk sneaks into the conversation:
Now Kent is horning in:
A wall of empties:
We must be in Ascot, now:
Ivy-covered Tudor-style buildings:
An oriel-gable-tower!
This building looks like the Cross and Rows in Chester, England.
Ta-ta, Thames Town!

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