A Late August Weekend of Pictures in Urban Shanghai

The early Saturday afternoon was set for a Shanghai Flickr Group meetup, my first. Compared to the Shangeye gatherings, I would expect some more locals to attend, which is always a welcome thought. Pity I’m a lame-ass excuse for an expat trying to learn Mandarin: I barely even try.

I wanted to pass by HuanLong mall for an eyecup and a spare lens cap for my camera, where I met Craig, a frequent Shangeye attendee, who has recently succumb to a disease I believe I’ve been cured of due to losing a job, and not having enough funds: this-need-to-buy-vintage-and/or-junk-cameras-nobody-wants. With less than half-an-hour to spare, we trekked to the Jewish Refugee Musuem.

We met local Flickr celeb Ya Ya on the subway, which was when she prodded me of my thread comment on Saturday being a bad-weather day, with rain in the afternoon. It wasn’t raining, but it was god-awfullly hot, and humid.

Museum tickets were at a not-cheap 50RMB. Everyone else was who confirmed for the meetup were there before us. The Jewish plight in Shanghai was presented to us in a 10-minute DVD excerpt, though a number of us couldn’t even wait that long to look for interesting shots. Unsurprisingly, after entering 3-4 rooms, and an art gallery, everyone was probably out there in less than 30 minutes.

Ohel Rachel Synagogue

The streets surrounding the museum were almost there in the interestingness scale, but never quite made it to my aesthetic standards (and I’m pretty compromising). A park was nearby, and, with nai-cha (milk tea) in hand, the obligatory group photos were taken, and the park-loungers became prey to this mixed bag of happy snapper-vultures.

It was just past 3 in the afternoon, when we started talking dinner. We were in the Puxi area of Shanghai, and a decision was made to get the ferry ride across Huangpu River to get to the Pudong area. Great, I thought, since I’ve never been on anything floating the river, and I also have my hopes up that this would make up for the 50kwai I wasted a few minutes before.

The ride was alright; a good-enough alternative to those river tours that cost 10 times as much, even if it does last for approximately 2 minutes.

View from Huangpu River Ferry Port, Puxi side

Then there’s dinner. I should pardon myself for not being a fan of Shanghainese food. Give me those sticks-of-stuff-boiled-in-water at any convenience store, or those cheap noodle shops, or just about any other morning street food, but I can only remember one pork broth dish -and I can’t friggin’ put a name on it- that was served at a restaurant table that I would really ask for second servings. However, this isn’t saying that I’m that dude-who-complains-when-in-groups: I’d eat anything, though there is some fear of crayfish, which is the first food that ever got me allergies. But let me underline that dinner was excellent for the people I was with, and that it made up for my not being able to see anything worth shooting that day. Hence, people pictures:


Michael, Craig, and Wendy

And it didn’t stop there.

Maybe its the good company, maybe its because some of us lead boring, non-directional lives (*raises hand!*), but we decided to cap the day off by walking to the riverside, where we can see The Bund on Puxi. The night weather was almost as relentless as what transpired during the day: it was humid as *insert expletive here*. Everyone was tired, I almost lost my lens hood, and Craig and I were regretful that we didn’t bring our tripods. After some final group photos, we did deem the meetup very successful, so, of course, we’d expect Raemin, the organizer for the next meetup, to plan early, as I’m assuming we’re all with eager anticipation that we’d have another great time together soon.

And, please, better weather.

More pictures at this Flickr set.


And after the meetup? Met with friends, ate at the Brazilian Steak House, was dragged, caveman-style, by hair -wait, I don’t have hair!- to a, ugh, bar. I wasted a couple of hours of my life at the second floor of Park 97. Believe me, my preference of music is quite eclectic, but I do have a big problem with the new Sergio Mendes album. Also, I’m no-one to have a night-life of standing-pretty at barely-lit, smoky rooms. And if I get to enter a venue and look funny with my knapsack -my camera bag- its their problem, not mne.

But ok, I took pictures:

Hands going through menu

Girl at bar

More at my Flickr photostream.

I left everyone when they deciced to, ugh, barhop. So if any Shanghai local/expat wants to drag a Filipino dude with a preference for the noisy stuff, to any competent rock venue during the weekends, I’m game. Jazz is good, too, but not pop-py sort. You know, that sax song the buss or subway trains play if its the final stop already. Oh, and I’m usually quiet, just don’t ask me my opinions on photography, art, movies, music, and tech. That is, unless you really want to.

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