02 Oct 2014

Shanghai: Beneath the Bund by emiliu74

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Before I start, I must inform you that I do not have any food porn. I'll try to capture more, but most of the time I just forget.

Either way, Stella and I made plans to check out M50, a creative zone with lots of interesting works of art. We originally wanted to go to the Dongping National Forest Park (东平国家森林公园) on Chongming Island (崇明岛), but Baidu and Google Maps told us it would take approximately 4 to 5 hours via public transport to get there. Oddly, another source said it would take only 2.5 hours, but we didn't want to risk it, so we planned for M50 instead.

We met up with friends Arthur and Andrew at the lobby of Grand Pujian. They had no plans for the day, so I invited them. We took the subway to West Nanjing Road (南京西路) to grab lunch.

West Nanjing Road is a street filled with stores (e.g. UNIQLO, H&M) and LOTS of food. Arthur wanted Ippudo, but after seeing the prices (58RMB for a bowl of ramen? Yikes!), we settled for a cheaper alternative in the form of RamenPlay.

I am not a picky eater, so anything that isn't bitter, sour, or gives me a stomachache is good.

After ramen, it was time to start Day 2 of Fall Break!

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After ramen, the Gang of Four (Chinese historical reference, haha) headed toward M50.

We took the subway from West Nanjing Road (南京西路) to Zhongshan Park (中山公园), and from there, we took Bus #13 to the West Tianmu Road - Hefeng Road bus stop (天目西路恒丰路). It took us awhile to find the bus stop...

From the West Tianmu Road - Hefeng Road stop, we walked an extra 20 minutes to reach the creative park.

The cool thing about M50 is that it has many galleries, and they are all free. Sadly, like many art galleries though, you cannot take photos.

I successfully captured a few though which you may see below.

One artist was working in his studio carving words about the Cultural Revolution (sensitive topic), but the words are only visible if you look at it from a certain angle. Another way of sidestepping Chinese censorship perhaps?

Another artist made dumplings out of porcelain with different designs. They were SO cute and I really wanted to buy one, but one dumpling about the size of the palm of my hand was 120RMB and I didn't bring a lot of cash with me.

Oh well, another time perhaps...

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Last year at around this time or a little later, New York City's center for street art expression was painted over by authorities. 5 Pointz, an artistic and cultural center, was gone.

For those in Shanghai who are nostalgic for the old 5 Pointz or just love street art, check out Moganshan Road (莫干山路). After you pass the M50 galleries, you will arrive at a street where the walls are decorated with street art and graffiti.

The left side of the wall tends to be a bit disorganized and can be classified as graffiti, whereas the right side of the wall holds amazing works of art.

Note that there will be a lot of giddy Chinese girls taking selfies and posing with the street art.