Wow, has it really been a couple months?? That’s no good, I’ll be working on that.
Been busy, been sick… let’s just say it’s been hectic.
Here are some quick shots I went out to capture last week when I saw the sky was going to be a good one… all these were taken no more than a 5min walk from my new apartment. The pictured movie theater was opened several months ago, it’s a nice faux-art-deco structure actually.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.
Well, I’m somewhat of a New Yorker myself… born in Morningside and matured (somewhat, actually maybe not) in Brooklyn. So I know me a block party. Close… Converse set this one up on Moganshan Road with head-lining musical act Jeru the Damaja, a legendary 90′s underground MC. I’d seen him before in NYC, but never this close and this out-of-step with his listeners… but that’s not his fault, that’s almost solely the fault of the Chinese.
The police department shut this party down early citing “noise complaints”, which is utterly hilarious in it’s own right, never mind the 24/7 construction (even at 6am on Sunday’s), or the constant car horns, or the firecrackers outside every wedding or business openinig, etc. It’s just sad that the police/government has to clamp down on any form of creative expression, especially in concern with things they don’t understand (like music and art; or just life in general). Jeru said it himself when someone shouted out “f*ck the police, f*ck the government” to which he replied “yeah, you can say that, but I surely can’t say that sh*t cuz I still gotta get outta here.” True.
Anyway, about the pics… some stuff with graffiti, some “typical” NY food, a dope MC, and some dude getting his hair cut (which for some really strange reason was a massive success with the photographer/videographers in the crowd).
Peace & Love.
These are images I took just over a month ago from around my neighborhood, Xujiahui. When I moved here, this site was just a normal block filled with shops and traditional Chinese houses (my complex is right across the street), which was then reduced to this construction site 2 months later, and is now subsequently, a massive parking lot. So goes the large-scale urbanization of China.
My somewhat short walk took me from Tianping Road & Guangyuan Road, across Huashan, up Gongcheng, and back down Hongqiao to the XJH intersection (by the way, in case I haven’t mentioned it before, all the streets in Shanghai (well, most of them) are named after the cities and towns of China).
Well, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo opened last Saturday May 1st… 6 months of crazyness now commences. Our first taste of “Better City Better Life“ occured immediately after, when our local government gave everyone in Shanghai an extra 2 days of holiday (+1 day for Labor Day). I took the opportunity to hit up the Yu Yuan Garden shopping area.
It was a zoo.
Yu Yuan Gardens (Fuyou & Lishu Road) is a tourist hot spot for buying (and haggling) for handicrafts… everything from traditional calligraphy brushes and chopsticks to ”new jade” (fake) bracelets and statues. I also happened upon a “2 Kuai Shop”, which is like the 99Cent stores I am familiar with in New York City, only difference is that 2RMB is equivalent to about $0.30!
Definitely worth a visit, just keep an eye on your valuables (tourist hot spot = pickpocket hot spot), and prepare to bargain hard. There is a Line 10 metro stop close by (“Yuyuan Garden“), but at the time of this writing this line is still in test phase, which means it only runs in the mornings, so keep your eyes peeled, or just walk from Line 8 Dashijie station.
I managed to hook up a sweet fake Zippo with classic Mao propoganda art on it (+ fluid & case) for 9.9RMB. Also don’t forget to stop by the infamous dumpling spot, but be prepared to wait in line.
In my twenty-something years, I’ve hit up twenty-something different countries, and without a doubt Shanghai is the night city of night cities [so far]. I don’t mean that in the sense of things being open (NYC gets that one, minus that stupid curfew), or in regards to nightlife (although no complaints here!), but that the lights are blindly turned on and are in essence: blinding, and furthermore, the crowds disappear (which is a huge plus!).
Let me put it this way: Shanghai by day = *meh*. Shanghai by night: *BLAHM*!
This set of images is from 3 seperate shoots, the first 3 images are around my office building at the end of Huai Hai Road East. The following 3 images are of my quick trip to Pudong to pick up a package sent from the homefront (thanks Mom, there is nothing in the world like Belgian D&L mayonnaise!), while the final 6 were actually taken right after the previous post, at Peoples Square.
Compare image #2 above with the one below… same location 6 months earlier:
And from 4 months earlier [see my full post on the graffiti wall]:
Chinese New Year – Shanghai Warfare:
I was almost part of the image above… standing where that guy is standing (just to the right) about 40 seconds prior to this shot. There was also a group of roughly a dozen people behind that parked car (to the left), luckily no one was seriously injured.
Well anyway, I will keep this short, as you’re eyes have probably already wondered to the thumbnails below.
The Chinese know how to celebrate New Years… one week of intensely beautiful and brutal warfare. Also probably explains why I haven’t seen a pigeon in months.
Video I took around the time I captured images #20-21 above
And here is a video of Shanghai at midnight on Day 1 (not by me, as I left my point-n-shoot in the back of a taxi that night, RIP) that shows the scope of the mayhem that is Chinese New Year, (check it out!).
Oh, and by the way, all these photos (+ my video) were taken a block away from each other and on night 5!
Huai Hai Road is dubbed “Shanghai’s 5th Avenue“.
It is also the main street I walk along if I decide to hike it to my office, here’s a map to explain.
The blue line shows my path to/from work/home, and the fat green line is from shoot #1 (pictures 1-8) on a Sunday, while the purple line is from shoot #2 (pictures 9-14) taken the next day after work.
ps- can you spot the ghost dog?
I met up with a friend in Tianzifang, he wanted to know more about night shooting as a week prior I had persuaded him to buy a tripod.
For those of you who don’t know Tianzifang (and missed my last post about it, which has many more pictures) it’s a block of little alleyways filled with small galleries, shops, and restaurants located between Taikang Road & Jianguo Middle Road very quaint and beautiful.
Once again you can see I’m messing around with my external flash .
T-shirt by Ryan Sullivan