Posts/August, 2009/

Saturday Morning Along the Chongqing/Chengdu Elevated Highway

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

On Saturday, J. and I woke up some of the best Shanghai weather in recent memory. Mild temperature, bright sunny skies, and a gentle breeze. The air was clean and scenery popped in vibrant, dust and haze free color. Originally, we had planned on taking a subway to the end of the line, but we decided to bike instead. Our route took us north along the well maintained bike lanes under the Chongqing/Chengdu Elevated Highway. We passed over Suzhou Creek and train tracks, heading all the way up to the dimpled golden sphere of Shanghai Circus World.

On the way home, we explored some crumbling buildings and stopped for some pineapple smoothies at Cafe 85°, a Taiwanese bakery and drink chain with excellent and cheap treats. Our two drinks were 11RMB for both, on special. For lunch, we stopped at Wagas and had waspy and gourmet salads.

Some photos:
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Bi Feng Tang, a chain of reliable Chinese diners.
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The garish Buckingham Palace karaoke club.
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Live traffic conditions for drivers about to enter the elevated highway system.
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Drink delivery.
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Pointy building with inner sphere.
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Caged water.
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Classy air traffic controller style building top.
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The elevated highway is certainly tall.
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Woman and child on bike.
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Bike at intersection. Man attending to jug of oil.
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The decorated massive column that supports the highway interchange.
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Police motorcycles.
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Zoomlion Brand cranes.
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Crusty dessert crepe presses.
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Old building with water tower along Suzhou Creek.
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New striped building.
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Bound tiles.
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Old buildings along Suzhou Creek.
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Clothes drying.
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Man drinking water as bike transports some plastic.
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Security cam.
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Man sleeping under highway.
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Behind apartments.
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Bike and fridge.
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Bridge over train tracks.
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Building with hole.
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Train tracks behind the main Shanghai train station.
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Another view.
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Weights.
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Rolling lane dividers on the highway bridge.
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Train and abandoned residence between train tracks.
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Statues outside a barber shop.
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Rusted gate.
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Old tiled building.
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Tile detail.
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The weird architecture of a TV studio.
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Fake roses on the wall outside a subway stop.
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Bamboo behind fence.
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The walls of the Shanghai Circus World sphere.
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Decommissioned sports stadium, falling apart,
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Another shot.
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The entrance to the old stadium.
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Red tile building.
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Technicolor umbrella, tight buns.
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Emergency spiral staircase outside a motel.
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Crystal shaped tile fence.
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Newsstand and crumbling building.
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A pile of lumber.
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Bike-only underpass.
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Riders.
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View of the underpass from the underside with massive apartments looming in the distance.
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Golden windows.
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Shirtless man walks across street.
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Men discussing birds for sale in the park.
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Hot rod handicapped tricycle.
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Friend standing on rear bench on the way to the convenience store.
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Mediterranean plate for lunch at Wagas.
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My rusted bike.
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No better way to end the day than to press a bunch a lot of elevator buttons.

For dinner, we met D. for some Southeast Asian food at a new restaurant called Ginger Indochina. Curries, papaya salad, rolls, mojito, 50% off. For desert, we stopped next store for some chocolate and coffee. The place was packed. Afterward, J. and I went to meet a group of 20+ teachers who had sauced themselves with margaritas at a nearby Mexican restaurant. There was little room for me at the table, and I felt like an outsider amongst the talk of teaching a merriment. As the gang ramped up for shots and a change to a dancing venue, I walked out, hailed a cab and headed home to watch Hot Fuzz.

Hot Fuzz is an amazing movie: solid wit, quirkiness, and playful energy from start to finish.

J. got home around 1AM. She would spend the rest of the night dealing with mild food poisoning. I survived with a rumbling stomach but no Double Dragon.

Despite my gut feelings, it was a great Saturday.

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