Beautifying the City

Planting flowers everywhere possible really does improve the enviroment. Sandhya said she read that they’d created new hybrid flowers that will withstand the flower-wilting hot summer!

Mailboxes on Changle Lu

Changle Lu – 52 Weeks 52 Streets

Changle Lu is a nice street for a walk through the French Concession.

Yan’an Lu at Night, near Jing’an Temple

Night Photos

Here are a few night photos from around People’s Square.  They were all hand-held.

The new blue LED lights made it look very cool, but hard to get a good color representation in the photos.  The camera thought that there was no way there could be so much blue, so it added in a lot of red to compensate.  I tried several things in-camera to fix this, but in the end I just had to fix it by using a point on the photo to tell the computer what white was supposed to be.

Beihai Lu – 52 Weeks, 52 Streets

I need to have some variety in times I shoot or everything will start to look the same!  Gary over at Expatriate Games has some really great night photos; if I remember correctly we have the same camera so technically I should be able to shoot in as low of light as he does.  These were all hand-held photos.

Beautifying the streets

These planters with hanging vines actually do make the streets look nicer – they hide the piles of bikes parked along the road.

Beijing Dong Lu – part II

Lots of work is going on… only a couple weeks until the Expo starts!  My favorite photo here is of the worker scraping the Chinese character for “demolish” off of a huge glass window.  I’m not certain if this means the building isn’t going to be demolished (at least not while Expo is going on), or if the window will be reused so they need to remove the paint first.

Beijing Dong Lu – 52 Weeks, 52 Streets

Beijing Dong (East) Road is known for all of little shops selling everything having to do with building things: pipes, wheels, nuts, bolts, screws, transformers, tools, ball bearings, and many dohickies and thingamagigs that I have no idea what they might be used for.

Hanging Meat

Now you see meat hanging outside all of the time.  These were on our roof.  I don’t think it’s cold enough to keep meat fresh.


I always carry my camera around with me for moments like this – when something interesting is happening on the street!  This was about a month ago before Suzy and I did a tour.  Look at the purple and orange rooms in the torn-down house!

52 Weeks, 52 Streets – Anfu Lu

On Friday, I gave my friends KC and Erica a photography lesson.  We discussion composition at my house, looked at a few examples from my photos, and then all went out to Anfu Lu to see what we could find to shoot.  There is always something – you just have to look for it!!  I realized that I could also probably do “sculptures around Shanghai”, “Shanghai Dogs” and “Shanghai’s Dirty Laundry” for photo books too.  Plus a book of textures.


IMG_4558These guys must be fearless.

Improvements for the Expo


Can you see the “ugly” object in this photo that’s been camouflaged for the Expo?

IMG_4584Really, the electric boxes are getting painted in camouflage.  Camo doesn’t usually go so well with urban surroundings!

Shanghai Job Market for Foreign Professionals


The sign on this building says “Shanghai Job Market for Foreign Professionals.”  Apparently there is a lot of unemployed expats and this company helps them find work?  It looks like it went out of business!

Dangling Feet

The other day I was talking to my friend Dan, when he told me that someone was dangling outside of his window and it was bit creepy.

Many of the buildings in Shanghai are getting a face-lift before the World Expo next year.  This guy is putting a light coat of cement over all of the small (formerly) white tiles that are the buildings facade.  Next it will be painted and the cheap, ugly tile is gone.


These guys must be fearless.  They dangle from the side of a building (this is 24 stories up), just sitting on a board that is attached by a rope to something up top.  No safety harnesses.  (He is wearing a helmet, though I’m not sure how effective that would be this high up.)

IMG_4409A bamboo ladder, which they set on a lower roof level to get on the very top of the building.  No roof access, apparently?

Personal grooming

This girl is popping her boyfriend’s zits.

In public.

You see it often – just like you see people deliberately picking their nose, cleaning out their ears with a long fingernail, or clipping their nails. Personal grooming here is NOT so personal!

Things locals do around West Lake…

… feed the swans (Does her t-shirt mean that her fashion is the latest fashion in history?)

… practice tai qi

… sleep (why would you get up at 6 AM to go sleep by the lake?)

… jog BACKWARDS around the lake (apparently it improves balance)

… stretch

Disturbing Images Ahead

If you have a weak stomach or are a member of PETA, don’t look at this photo. It’s pretty gross; gross enough I made it smaller than usual so you don’t have to see many details unless you want to click on it.

Frogs are sold as food here.

One vendor apparently will gut the frogs for you, using scissors.

This is one reason why you really need to watch where you are stepping in China!

Pay Attention to Your Life

This sign was for a home furnishings store. However, I think it should be on all streets, crosswalks, and sidewalks in China.

“Pay Attention to Your Life” is a very important safety notice.

Stick Street Food

After the company Chinese New Year party and some Karaoke, Jon and Jon decided they needed a midnight snack. They bought 34 sticks of food such as chicken hearts, chicken wings, beef satay, pork, potatoes, mushrooms, and fish.

to the Bookworm…

After getting wet feet and starting to get cold, we decided to go to a bookstore/cafe that is becoming famous among expats. The location apparently is not famous though, because the taxi dropped us off at the totally opposite end of the street where it was located at.

This pedi-cab driver wanted to take us there, and after calling them and have them give him the directions, we agreed to let him take us. We actually had to call them again when we got close! But, it was well worth the 10 RMB to get dropped off at the door – we were very cold, wet, hungry and cranky at that point.

Snacking on olives while waiting for our food, which was delicious!

After eating we walked around looking at the shops for a while. This sign was on the walking street.

No spitting, no littering, no digging through the trash to collect bottles, no dogs, no passing out fliers, no bikes, no using long sticks to carrying your bags across your shoulders, no sleeping, no picking flowers, and no smoking.

(Esther took all of these photos.)


Today, Esther flew in! She took a 2 AM flight from Bangkok to Shanghai and I met her at the Maglev station. After relaxing a bit, we met Jon for lunch and then went to Qibao, an area that is like an old water town. It was a little bit touristy, but we only saw 4 other white people in about 3 hours so it was quite local.

One of the thousands of guys who bike around, constantly ringing a bell, to remind you to bring all of your recyclables to him.

Baby birds on a stick… yum.

We’ve been following the situation in Thailand, as Esther should be flying back there Sunday. However, with the state of emergency and such, maybe she’ll be staying a bit longer! Who knows. We certainly wouldn’t mind!

Check out her blog here.

A bath on Nanjing Lu

I was a little surprised to see this guy taking a bath on Nanjing Lu. He was standing in his underwear and was using a hose in a planter to fill a red bucket, then dumping the water over himself. You can see anything on the streets here!

Fashion Friday from a fellow blogger

This is probably the best post on fashion I’ve seen. Don’t miss it!!

Plastic surgery

The Propaganda museum is so close to our house that we just walked back. On the way we noticed this sign for “New Face Plastic Surgery.” I guess it’s great if you want a whole new face!

People watching

It was much more interesting watching the people at the aquarium than trying to see the fish!

Here we have a nice large man-bag, murse, or whatever you’d like to call it.

Red and orange – anything goes in Shanghai!

Most ladies here wear ankle-high nylons with their sandals or shoes. Another common thing is to wear shoes that aren’t even close in color to the rest of the outfit. (yellow shoes, pink shirt)

Most Shanghai girls wear their shorts short. The almost-mullet crimped hairstyle is popular too.

Sky in Shanghai

On Wednesday I saw tons of people taking photos in the street with their cell phones. A LOT of people. I looked up and saw a rainbow! Now, you’ll recall that almost none of my photos have a clear blue sky in them. Mostly, they are foggy or smoggy. So a rainbow was really special.

I couldn’t resist getting a photo of everyone else getting photos!

My co-worker Yvonne (she’s Shanghainese) said that she remembers seeing one other rainbow, when she was in elementary school. Just shows how special a rainbow in the Shanghai sky is!

Shanghai guys

As we were leaving Era, I noticed that Dan was carrying Wendy’s purse. You’ll notice many guys in Shanghai carrying cute little purses – mostly belonging to their girlfriends. I promptly complained about how Jon never carried my pink purse…. so he very grudgingly obliged and glared at Dan.

The moment was too good to miss. I don’t think Jon will ever volunteer to carry my purse. He thinks pink isn’t his color.

Pet Market & Sushi

(These are all photos Hanna took.)

We wandered down a small side street to find a pet market we’d read about. We didn’t find a real market, but the street definitely catered to locals looking for animals.

After a walk down Nanjing Lu, we were starving.

In the metro stop is a Japanese restaurant with sushi going around on the conveyor belt. You just grab whatever you want to eat off of the belt. There are also hot water spigots between every other person so you can refill your own tea whenever you like. Fast and convenient!

After eating, Jon needed to go back to do some work on bidding documents, and Emily took Hanna and Henrik to the Pearl Market. Susan is happy to see everyone that Emily brings to her and gives them all great discounts – no bargaining needed, even!

After a rest at home, we decided to go to a little cafe that Emily had book club at once. It is full of unique items and all are for sale. The food is good, atmosphere homey and prices reasonable, so Jon and I think we’ll be going back a few times.


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