Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shanghai Fabric Market

I can't believe that in the almost two months that I've been living in Shanghai, I haven't visited the fabric market!  I trekked down there (line 4, Nanpu Bridge) on Saturday to see what it was all about.  If I had a sewing machine I would've gone nuts over the bolts and bolts of every fabric imaginable, but I was mostly interested in having some clothes made.




I didn't take many pictures inside because some of the shop owners get weird and defensive when you try.  I wandered through the three floors of clothing shops for about two hours feeling fabrics, looking at samples, and haggling.  Most of the stores have books with sample pictures to look at, and some have clothes that you can try on.  I ended up ordering two loose, open-front jersey knit cardigans from store #210, and a black jersey skirt from #341.  Both of the shop owners that I worked with quickly took my measurements and were great about noting any changes that I wanted.  I think most of the shop owners speak English, which is helpful.  We'll see if I'm as impressed with the stores when I go to pick up my clothes next week!


Clothing samples in store #210

After exploring the fabric market, we wandered outside and headed north on Lujiabang Lu, just to explore.  I thought this area was so much more interesting than the fabric market itself.  



All of the buildings were really run down, but the neighborhood was so busy and vibrant.  It seemed to be an extension of the fabric market, with tailor shops and fabric warehouses, but there were plenty of other types of stores along the same street.








I was so tempted to buy fabric at this store, but I wouldn't know where to begin.  I don't think that any of the shop owners spoke English, as we were the only foreigners in the area.  I'll need to brush up on my Chinese sewing terms!










Unfortunately, it seems like this whole neighborhood will be torn down soon to make room for more high rises like the ones in the background above.  It's these kinds of places that are the most interesting to visit though, because you really get a feel for the city.  I guess I'll need to go back soon to stock up on buttons and zippers!



Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm not THIS adventurous...

I had a very nice dinner with friends the other night at an authentic neighborhood Chinese restaurant, but we weren't brave enough to try the "Ribs and Pupa."  Some other highlights were "Homemade Small Intestines," "Sauce Skeleton," "Embalm Sauce Family," and "Spicy Meat Blasting Heart Care."  

Oh, and "Crispy Donkey."   

Yum!



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lists

From Yuyuan Gardens a few weeks ago


Things that I dislike about Shanghai:

-Insane drivers that pay no attention to pedestrians
-Men spit all of the time



Things that I love about Shanghai:

-Watching Tai Chi groups on my walk to school
-Fruit vendors on the street
-The amazing mix of food from all over the world
-Bookstore street, sewing street, antique street...
-My adorable school
-Exploring on the weekends
-The Rummery
-Public transportation
-The gorgeous parks that randomly pop up in the middle of the city
-Tianzifang



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pearl Tower, Family Picnic, and a New Toy!



Tianzifang is a series of alleys between two larger streets in the French Concession area of Shanghai.  It's crammed with tiny shops, restaurants, and art galleries.  I didn't buy anything except a few postcards, but I had some great Indian food!  Unfortunately my phone battery died before I got there, so I didn't get any pictures.  The one above is borrowed!




I also made it over to Pudong to see the Pearl Tower.  It's the most bizarre structure.  I didn't go inside because I didn't feel like paying just yet, but I walked all around and into the nearby SuperBrand Mall.  The mall is gigantic---8 floors, I think?  Lots of good people watching!




I can't remember who this building was dedicated to, but it was some sort of art gallery.  I just liked the brickwork.




Thursday night happy hour in the French Concession.




A fellow teacher performed with his band, The Horde, at a local venue.  They play a mix of bluegrass/rock/folk, and it was really fun to hear live music.  




On my walk home from school the other day I passed by this guy with his giant fruit bicycle.  On the other side he had mango, dragonfruit, and some other things that I've never seen.  Does anyone know what the things tied to the handlebars are?




We all spent last Saturday at our school's family picnic.  Since the school is inside the zoo, the picnic was on zoo grounds.  There's this cool old Ferris wheel that I was dying to go on.  Next time, I guess!




The face painting table was madness!




Finally, my new toy!  Monday was payday so I headed back to the music street to pick out a ukulele.  My fingers are sore, but I've got a few chords down!  My goal is to accompany my students in class, but I'll need a lot more practice before then.