The Concrete Jungle

I cannot tell if this is an old structure or merely a brand new structure made to look old

Back on August 28th,  I made it out to the "Old City" and the YuYuan Gardens. The Gardens, to which I leave the Wikipedia entry as adequately descriptive, covers some 5 acres of some very skillfully designed small spaces with such appropriate scale that these 5 acres seem much larger than they are. I somehow managed to enter the Gardens via the Exit, and hence, missed the grand entrance and their associated crowds until the very end:

This was for the best because I got to explore the quieter parts of the Gardens in relative seclusion. I took many photos of the various details used in the Gardens, many of which are commonly cited for replication in classic garden design; I'll leave those for another post.

The title of this post owes to my consternation of whether the stone pictured here is actually Jade stone or whether it is craftily cast concrete (it also refers to my later journey to the near top of the local world).

Thresholds, structure and repeated forms

One of the smaller scaled spaces

Another small space (P.S. This image is numbered 888! Very auspicious indeed for Chinese numerology!)

After my visit, I decided it was high time to see The Bund. I made an attempt to intercept Fuzhou Lu which has a lot of art supply stores on it, but I must have hit it too far east because by then I had arrived to see a massive (for its width) constructed levee:

The levee serves as an ultra wide promenade, which, during the day has scores of people. It was not until night that I realized why they made it so wide...

Concrete Jungle meets Green Wall at The Bund

The skyline of Pudong, and the skyline associated with Shanghai is rather drab during the day. It looks more impressive at night when they light up the buildings (and also when you cannot so easily see the garish paint jobs on some of these buildings).

After walking down the Promenade and meeting another pair of "tourists" wanting to go see the "famous tea ceremony" I proceeded to the Bund Tourist Tunnel. I just bought the regular ticket and not one of those bundles which included going to the top of the TV Tower or the Jianmao Tower because I read somewhere that you just go the Bottle Opener building for either free or a lot less. I have a video of the entire Tourist Tunnel trip but I will wait to post/transcode it when I get back to the US because the internet here is too slow to post a 378mb video 🙂

The finely manicured Pudong district. This roundabout must have been a civil engineer's dream (I will about this soon in another post)

This was my first time as a pedestrian in the Pudong district. It didn't feel any different save for the perception of there being less people in the streets. The Financial District is only served by one metro line, and there's only one station in the area.

I also could write another post on Chinese consumption and consumerism. A note on Apple products here in China for those saying the phones are cheap here (they're 30-40% more expensive than in the US, except in HK apparently): they remove the Wifi chip from the phones so that people are forced to use 3G (also, no 4G phones or Ipods sold in China)

I was making my way over to the Bottle Opener building (some people call it the Can Opener building, but it's really in the shape of a bottle opener...), which is currently the third tallest building in the world.

The Jian Mao tower in front of the Bottle Opener building or known as World Financial Center Shanghai

I had read that the WFC has a restaurant near the top so I made my way over there.

Looking up at 1,500 feet of glass from the base I couldn't even fit the building into the viewfinder, and the camera I've been using is pretty wide angle to begin with (6.2 to 18mm)

The view from the 91st floor

Now, I later learn that the viewing platform is on several floors above me, but then again, I wouldn't have had the pleasure to eat the highest meal I've ever had (on constructed ground):

Crepes and a mango cocktail at 4 in the afternoon

I got impatient waiting for them to turn on the building lights, so I went down and walked around at night (and that's when I met the crowds at The Bund)...

The two buildings at night which I decided it was high time to head on home leaving the concrete jungles of the city behind me.