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Places in Shanghai

Dumplings galore

After the lovely salted herring, yummy black pudding, and a myriad of other tasty things, life has resumed as normal in China. That means my mind has drifted back to dumplings!

A month or two ago, at the tail end of my three weeks soloing it, I went on a dumpling tour in Shanghai. It was basically four hours of eating, strolling, eating, chatting, eating, and on and on. Time well spent!

Potstickers

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Pulling paper

The Chinese invented a lot of stuff. Umbrellas, chopsticks, kites, and of course firecrackers. They also invented paper, one of my weird obsessions. Being back in California means I get to go to stores like Paper Source. Strange to some but quite clear to me, although don’t ask me to explain it.

San Francisco most likely has the highest concentration of small shops selling letterpress cards (I have not yet been to Portland). Just before moving to China I did a few letterpress printing workshops at the San Francisco Center for the Book and there is nothing more enjoyable than pulling your own prints off a press (except for eating oysters of course).

letterpress

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Shanghai

I recently spent a week in Shanghai and did not yet get a chance to write about my little adventure. As I was on my own in China for two weeks, I decided to spent some time in Shanghai without the constant commute or at least I traded the train ride for a nice morning stroll. Once settled, I quickly picked up a daily routine that would include a small wander, some nice food and finding a cool new shop. I did have to work some days too…

shanghai

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The noodle machine

It’s official. I am working again.

It did not take long to get used to this time (3 days to be precise). I’ve become a pro at starting new jobs having started a few in the last couple of years. This time it will hopefully be a little less short-lived as so far I am enjoying the journey (literally).¬†Getting up early is a little easier in these parts of the world. As we are a good bit further south, there is not so much of that dreaded and depressing winter morning darkness going on, which makes getting up all that much more bearable, although some will disagree.

To get the earlier of the two trains, I leave the house at 7am. A driver (whom I pay…) collects me from the house. It’s a different person each time but always holding up an A4 sheet with my first name. It’s a little funny having some guy standing outside your door holding a piece of paper with your name on it but it beats looking for a taxi any day.

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A different kind of red town

Last weekend we paid a visit to another factory in Shanghai that was abandoned, then converted for the artistic community and now labeled as a creative zone. Red Town was once occupied by the No. 10 Steel Factory but since 2005 it has housed the cool Shanghai Sculpture Space with its outdoor sculpture garden.

red town shanghai

You can also find galleries, studios, cafes, offices and a few shops in the beautiful red brick buildings that were once used as warehouses and have now been restored.

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M50 Shanghai

On my first trip back to Shanghai this week (in search for work) I had some time to go to the M50. This one not being a motorway, the name stands for No.50 Moganshan Road, an arts district along the Suzhou creek on the grounds of an old textile mill which closed in 1999.

M50 Shanghai

Apparently this area is well known and one of the better creative spaces in Shanghai for established artists as well as new talent. But even if you don’t have an art degree this place is pretty cool to wander through as it also houses some small shops, cafes and restaurants. The exhibition spaces are great and the whole place still has a very industrial feel to it. The area houses over 100 galleries and art studios and you will also find architects, photographers, graphic design offices, media companies, as well as clothing and furniture shops. And apparently it attracts tourists as well as art collectors. So far I am in the first category!

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Please come again :)

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