Monday, July 23, 2012

My Travels in China: Shanghai Day 1 (part 2)

My Travels in China: Shanghai Day 1 (part 2)

Dr. Arnold Plotnick of Manhattan Cat Specialists, loves to travel and loves cats.  So off he went... East... way way East... to China.  Over the course of the next few weeks, we will share the cultural and kitty cat highlights of Dr. Plotnick's trip.

(Continued from Day 1 part 1)



We decided to head over to the cool neighborhood – The French Concession – but I took us on a detour to a small museum that I was dying to check out: The Chinese Propaganda Art Center.


It wasn’t easy to find; it’s located in the basement of a building in the middle of a housing complex, but I’m glad I persisted.  The museum consists of several rooms with the walls lined with great propaganda posters from the Maoist era.  I’ve always loved this kind of art.





I can think of no better examples of the power of art to strongly persuade than these posters. I was really fascinated by it all.


Check out this one: The inscription says something about promoting the friendship between Russia and China.  This is the gayest thing I think I saw on my entire trip.


I went a little crazy  in the gift shop, purchasing four posters and two mugs. 

We continued our stroll, passing this lovely, discreetly named building: .


Imagine walking out of this building and bumping into a group of your friends.  Can you say, “die of embarrassment”?

We finally hit the heart of the neighborhood we sought: the French Concession.  This is a very cool neighborhood of tree-lined streets and an intriguing mix of architectural styles dating from the colonial era.


The  neighborhood is filled with quaint boutiques and galleries, and lots of cool restaurants and bars.


It reminded me a little of Soho in NYC, but more neighborhoody.  
As we strolled the streets, we encountered some interesting monuments, like this statue of Pushkin, one of the traces of Russian influence still found in the neighborhood.


We found the U.S. Consulate, which stood out because of the military guards out in front. I tried to take a photo, but the guard angrily tried to wave me off.  I went  down the street and took the photo anyway.


I then came upon a statue of Nie Er, the guy who composed the Chinese national anthem.


By this point in the day we were getting tired and hungry, so back to the hotel to relax a bit before heading out to dinner. We really loved the French Concession, so we decided to head back to see what it’s like at night.  Having enjoyed the Yunnanese cuisine at Lost Heaven the night  before, we tried another Yunnanese place, called Southern Barbarian.


We got the fried goat cheese, shredded potato pancake and pork with  sauerkraut.  Not your typical Cantonese or Beijing cuisine. The place was fun, and very popular with expats.

The French Concession, in fact, is very popular with expats; we saw young parents out for a stroll with their kids, foreign exchange students, American businessmen.  If I were ever to move to Shanghai, this is the neighborhood I’d want to live in, with all the shopping and restaurants and trees.  Wherever you are in the French Concession, you’re never too far from a park.

After dinner, it was back to the hotel for some much-needed rest.  Sorry, cat fans.  No cats today.  I know… I’m disappointed, too.  Perhaps tomorrow we’ll see some?

CHECK BACK SOON, Dr. Plotnick's China Travelog continues.

Previous Posts
Beijing - Day 1, Day 2 Part 1, Day 2 Part 2, Day 3, Day 4 Part 1Day 4 Part 2, Day 5, Day 6
Shanghai - Day 1 part 1

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