Jujube Tree Vegetarian Food, Weihai 696 Art Event

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

This weekend started with extra bike riding. On Friday, J. biked to meet me at work so we could go out to dinner. I’d invited two friends from work, but they were detained with an evening meeting. They told me not to wait, so I skipped out the door and into the Spring evening. Unfortunately, I was frazzled after a long week, so I wasn’t quite ready for dinner. Nor did I want to lug my laptop around in the evening. After some dilly-dallying, we biked back to the apartment. But once we arrived, I got a call from the friends. They were in route to the vegetarian restaurant I had invited them too.

J. and I got back on our bike and pumped hard across town to meet them. The timing worked out perfectly. By the time we arrived, they had already ordered and our wait for food was short. The dishes were a little cold but good. The restaurant was called Jujube Tree. It’s all vegetarian, no smoking, reasonably priced.
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Toothpicks made from rice.
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Braised eggplant.
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Vegetable stir fry and cumin crusted tofu kebabs.
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Cabbage rolls.
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Green beans and garlic.
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Turnips.

After dinner, we biked home along the brightly lit and towering elevated highway. It felt like we had teleported into the future. Dessert was two Magnum ice cream bars from a convenience store near the apartment.
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The futuristic look of the blue-lit Shanghai elevated highway.
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The doors to the nearest convenience store.

On Saturday, we biked to an eco fair near Suzhou Creek. While J. checked it out, I wandered across a bridge and through some dense and busy old neighborhoods. I was offered hasheesh a few times, probably because there would be no other reason for a foreigner to be wandering through old neighborhoods slated for demolition. I shook my head no. Laughs.
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Blooming cabbage at the apartment.
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Verdant street.
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Trees and power lines fused together.
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Banana delivery.
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A busy shopping intersection I bike through every day. It has malls on three corners.
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Cigarette stand.
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Shops on the street.
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No pedestrians on the bridge.
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Suzhou Creek.
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Pipes.
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Drilling away the old flood wall.
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Construction shed.
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Garbage cans.
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Chickens in a bucket.
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Construction wall along the creek.
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Old and new.
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Blooming tree and bridge.
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Bricks.
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A little lane with drying clothes.
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Watch out for the misshapen man in the hat that steals little kids.
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Rusted bike.

After leaving the eco fair, we met up with another American couple for an open house at an old warehouse art studio complex at 696 Weihai Road. The buildings were old, crumbing and amazing. They were full of old stairwells, chipping paint, tiled floors, scary bathrooms, dark halls. The artwork ranged from bad to okay. For me, the appeal was the building.

The complex was next door to an preserved neighborhood of old brick residences. Beautiful.
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Inside the parking area between buildings.
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Vines versus building.
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Stairwell.
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Mysterious lever in spooky hall.
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Spooky hall.
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Floor repair.
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Cans on a sill.
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Chipped paint.
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Old brick homes and new towers.
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Another view.
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Looking up at a damaged roof.
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Another view.
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Studio space.
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Hallway.
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Patchwork closet.
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Rusted stairs to the rooftop.
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Graffiti and opposite rooftop.
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An alley full of empty seafood boxes.
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More rickety stairs.
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Security worth four rusty locks.
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Large pigeon coop on the roof.

Afterwards, we biked to Huashan Greenland for some sitting and feather kicking. Little kids wrestled around us, people played basketball and badminton. There was a crazy man in a tarp.
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Street produce.
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Following our pack of riders to the park.
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Small, but nice: Huashan Greenland.

Sunday started drizzly and grey. Plus, I had to go to work for a meeting about a confusing and last minute project involving sweet carbonated beverages. Definitely not the highlight of the weekend, but I love thinking on the roof of the office.
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The mysterious closet on the roof of work.
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Looking off the roof.
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Skateboard.
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Dueling dishes. One picks up Western broadcasts. The other picks up Eastern.
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A mighty vent.
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A lone satellite dish on a neighboring building. I feel like this dish sometimes.

Week nine in Shanghai starts Monday. Time is slipping through my hand like grains of rice.

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