Posts/June, 2009/

Biking to the Dust of Fuxing Island

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Last weekend in Shanghai was a dusty mixture of bike adventure and doing nothing at all.

Saturday was D.’s birthday. After J and I met he and A. for a the tail end of a noontime brunch, the group set off on a long bike ride. Rather than bike aimlessly, I persuaded everyone to make a Fuxing Island our goal.

If the word “island” conjures us greenery and clear water lapping against isolated shores, be warned that this island was nothing of the sort. All the water around Shanghai is filthy and surrounded by industry. Fuxing island lies at a crook of the Huangpu River as it wraps around the northern edge of Pudong. It’s a small island with one major street that runs down the middle and connects it to the mainland via two small bridges. We expected the island to be industrial, and we were right.

The ride was one of the dustiest yet. Stagnant summer air combined with dusts and smells of rampant construction and greater disrepair of that part of town. The roads were horrible. The buildings were either derelict or abandoned. People looked poorer. Gated industrial compounds had long, cracked roads leading to the river. Chicken were on the street. Everything seemed grimier.

On the plus side, it felt like a part of town foreigners rarely went, especially on bikes. The four of us got a lot of curious looks.
image
Ah, the beautiful garbage pile at our hotel.
image
Brick masters.
image
Tire repair.

Before the trip got going, D. and I needed to get some minor bike repairs. We found a bike store and a patient man patched and straightened my rear wheel and tightened D. and my brakes. Total cost for a patch kit and forty minutes of labor: 10 RMB ($1.4).

While we were waiting, a smiling old lady walked off my feather kicking toy. I had left it on the ground when my bike was inverted, and she must of thought it fair game. I wasn’t going to chase after her.
image
Electric scooter battery being dismantled. It appears to be a battery of twelve colt batteries.
image
Some taking a break tea.
image
Orang shirt in the bike lane.
image
A worker named Ichibod.
image
Two studs and a hot chick wait for the light to change. In the background is the Fuxing ferry building (unrelated to Fuxing Island).
image
Green pedestrian bridge.
image
Building by the river.
image
Potted plant delivery.
image
Open gate to abandoned industrial area.
image
No people.

We took a quick detour to the enormous Brand Mall in Pudong so that D. could buy Jenga and Uno at a toy store. A few of us got some fast food lunch. I mistakenly ordered a spicy fish sandwich from KFC. Kraft had a large and confusing walled-off promotional area in the middle of the mall.
image
Searching for Jenga inside the Brand Mall.*
image
Dominic takes a photo.
image
Silo ladder.
image
Tiled tanks of a Texaco color scheme.
image
Cleat and rope on an abandoned dock.
image
Three shirtless men bringing some coal downstream.
image
Their coal.
image
Hazy industry.
image
Ferry passengers.*
image
Man watches the water.*
image
Tug boat and futuristic haze skyline.
image
Boats anchored in the middle of the river.
image
Temporary construction office built from a shipping container.
image
Intentional cloud mosaic wall?
image
Cart and flowers.
image
Roof tiles arranged as paving stones.
image
Empty room.
image
Rusted door.
image
Verdant walkway with unnecessary bamboo supports.
image
Street chickens and shirtless watermelon man.
image
Snakes for sale.
image
Shanties with a big overhead pipe. Shirtless man.
image
Boats seen from the bridge to Fuxing Island.
image
D. climbs the bridge for a better shot.*
image
Power plant, coal style.
image
Rusty pipes and turquoise wall.
image
Pipe detail.*
image
Huge cranes.
image
An even huger crane!
image
Industrial dorms.
image
Little man-killer.
image
The only main road on Fuxing Island. It looks green, but both sides were industrial.
image
Gravel storage area.
image
Lady watching the gravel boats.
image
Shirtless man stairs at boat.
image
Shirtless man stairs at gravel.
image
Man on small wooden boat washes his hands.
image
J. and the gang.
image
Me, A., and a dump truck.*
image
J. on the dustiest road in Shanghai.
image
Bus and highway.
image
The spigot of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Park. What the?
image
Scooter puppy guards the abandoned industrial area.

We made it back into town around 7:30. It was just enough time for a shower before heading to The Flying Elephant for a Russian birthday dinner.

Sunday was a day of rest and MINECRAFT.

*Photos with an asterisked caption were taken by J.
Archives for June, 2009
Page 6 of 9« First -45678-Last »