Gen’s Favorite Things
It has been a month since arriving here in Shanghai, and because I don’t have any real witty comments to make about chinese culture…Welcome to my blog post with the winning idea I knocked off of Oprah.
Gen’s Favorite Things…In Shanghai. All endorsements are welcome.
-TIANZIFANG LU. I know I wrote about how much I loved that area of the french concession where the kin cafe/design concept store is located. But I had to go to a small, condensed neighborhood called tianzifang yesterday for work (twist my arm). No cars allowed, just winding alleyways full of outdoor cafes, art galleries, photography studios, funky jewelry and fashion boutiques. My favorite place was probably a small fashion boutique next to a belgian beer/coffee bar that sold vintage sunglasses. I took a small detour from promoting in order to try on literally. every. pair.
C’s Dive bar and Soho Music Club. C’s is like this basement grundge bar. Its dark, but it is filled with winding hallways full of giant booths so you can sit with all of your friends. Next time, I am bringing a permanent marker to write on the wall with.
Let me tell you, this is a tough one, I have literally tasted my way through Shanghai. but I have to say Jin Tai Fung’s xiaolongbao is extraordinary. This restaurant doesn’t even let their chefs make the xiaolongbao for customers unless they have three years of training, and it shows. My other favorite food, which I don’t know the chinese name for, is this really spicy chinese cabbage with shredded pork. I get it every time we go to dim sum. Shanghai Street Food should really be in a category all of its own. there are food stands for steamed buns, noodles, and vegetables. they stand outside next to charcoal grills and grill the food that you have selected and throw all kinds of spices on it. One time I got talked into getting chicken hearts. At first I was suspicious, and I thought they were joking when my friends told me it was delicious, but it actually was. and ranks high on my list of favorite street foods!
Favorite purchased souvenir
I have this cool ring made out of fresh water pearls, and these bracelets made with carved jade beads that are supposed to bring good luck!
Favorite Tourist Attraction
Definitely The Bund. I have been twice now and the view continues to take my breath away. It also is kind of mind blowing to look at the buildings knowing it has only really been there ten years or so….
Favorite Thing I have done at work
promote my event at Tianzifung Lu, and listen to two presentations given by our CEO cathy huang. one about the five senses and one about the meaning of transversality. both really thought provoking.
Favorite place to people watch
In all honesty, i feel like such a creep with all the people watching I do. but Prime People watching is the walk between metro line 10 and metro lines 3/4. the mass of people is overwhelming, but also because there are a lot of people trying to make it to their transfer train. when i say a lot, I mean hundreds and hundreds from all walks of life, on their way to do all kinds of different things. However, the best person I have seen is Matt Dillon. but that wasn’t on the metro (refer back to my entourage post for a hint).
favorite question I get asked by locals
Why don’t you use an umbrella? My answer: because I don’t typically use umbrellas in the daytime to shield myself from the sun. In fact, when the suns out, I strive to achieve lighter hair and a california tan.I also think that I might be vitamin D deficient. Basically, I like to use my umbrella when it rains.
favorite person I have interviewed
D.J V-Nutz or Carl Liu. D.J V-Nutz was great to interview because he is the head dj and part owner of this cool club called The Shelter. So now I get to say that I have met him. Carl Liu is a well known chinese designer. His sketches are often used as models in art and design schools. We bonded over our mutual love for steve jobs….
My favorite question I am continually asked by my parents:
But could you live there??????
I have always answered I don’t know, or, probably not. But as I spend more and more time here, and discover little niches of the west like Tianzifang, I am starting to think that maybe I could live here. At least for a little bit. Living here as an American is a completely different experience than a local. The Chinese are incredibly welcoming, they have great food, cheap travel to interesting places such as Bali, India, Russia, Thailand. And the energy here is addictive. It is so easy to get caught up in the shanghai spirit. On top of that, young people from half the countries in the UN are flocking here for work. If you are 20 something….who wouldn’t want to live here?
okay, yeah there is communism and there is no such thing as a news channel. but ignorance is bliss, isnt it?