Note: These are the more personal, non-work related notes to complement this blog post.
Day 3 is mostly a tourist day. It’s my first time in Shanghai, so I have some boxes to tick.
First up, laundry service. Turns out the local laundry doesn’t just do service but also hotel delivery. Excellent.
A fantastic almond croissant from a street stall followed by a steam bun, and yet another visit to Aunn. I’m still adjusting to this time zone, and the incentive of a cup of specialty coffee is just the thing to lure my body into China Standard Time.
Strengthened, it’s time to catch some art. We head on up to the M50 art district, a former industrial area that has been turned into a large art and design complex full of galleries and studios. My favorite by far is Island6, the gallery of artist collective Liu Dao, a Shanghai-based “art collective of tech-geeks and creative talents driven by innovation and interaction.” It’s hardly an insider tipp—the space is huge, the collective just celebrated its 10th anniversary—but oh boy is it fun. Lots of hybrid painting-LED combos full of humor and playful interaction. Love it. Would buy some art right away if I could afford it.
We discover a photographer focused on scenes of everyday travel. As our recent Kickstarter for Zephyr Berlin had a reward level that included a postcard, we stock up on lovely local cards with travel scenes.
As a counterpoint, we head on over to Jade Buddha Temple, a beautiful and significant temple complex where we wander and eat a light late lunch.
In People’s Square, we walked by the groups of old smoking men playing cards before crossing right back into the French Concession. A tiny box of a sneaker store sold sneakers that were hand-drawn with dragon motifs: Lovely, but made for significantly smaller feet than mine. At Szechuan Citizen (West Concession) we ate delicious Szechuan dinner and walked home, via a quick mall detour to buy some stationary supplies.
**Day 4 – day of Asia’s first ThingsCon Salon **
Another dumpling breakfast, and we’re good to go. We want to visit Yuyuan Garden, the main attraction in Old Town. We snack frequently. We find a post office and mail the postcards we procured yesterday. We stop when we notice a papar cut artist with a paper cut Snowden portrait on his wall. Rather than buying the Snowden, we ask him to make our portraits. Free hand, in about 3 minutes per person, he does. It’s fun to watch him. On the way to the garden, we stop by the historic tea house, one of the most famous in China, to have delicious (and gorgeous) tea.
I see an ice cream that looks like Steve Jobs.
Shanghai’s metro is almost ridiculously well signposted and usable. You’ll find street signs pointing to certain metro lines. Inside, every platform shows the end-of-line station as well as the next station, and indicates via lights where any train is headed. Even with the language barrier it seems impossible to ever get lost.
In the evening, the ThingsCon Salon with Simone. It’s fantastic. I keep a poster as a souvenir.
Afterwards we head to Blackbird for dinner with automato.farm, some Frog folks and many others for a merry night.