Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shanghai Chic, Volume 1

Shanghai is seriously bursting with energy. The pace of construction alone is mind boggling with buildings being thrown up all around town; people say that China's national bird is the crane. The construction crane. But for me? The energy is with the people.

I am on a serious quest to find and interview the cool people of Shanghai, the ones who are propelling that change.

So when Ted (on the left), the Coolest Person I met at July's YPulse Mashup conference (coveing all things teen & tech) in San Francisco, told me he was swinging through Shanghai via Italy and wanted to get together, I immediately said YES. His hao pengyou (good friend, aren't you impressed with my growing vocabulary?), Evan, brought us to one of his favorite restaurants, Kathleen's 5 rooftop cafe on top of the Shanghai Art Museum. Between the two, they've got the entrepreneurial spirit of Shanghai nailed.

There, looking over the Shanghai skyline lit up like arcade games--or Shanghai women with all their bling--it was the Ted and Evan Show as they regaled me with stories of the Singles Scene in Puxi (the old section of Shanghai). Let's just say I got several ideas for novels from this one dinner alone! SEVERAL. I haven't laughed that hard since moving to Shanghai.

Inspirational in a different way was the tour of my kids' new international school. How weird is it that I was invited to speak at the school two years ago...and now we're members of the school community! The campus is beautiful and vast, housing K-12 students from something like 140 different countries.

If I don't get my act together, my kids will be my translaters. Here's my daughter's Chinese book that the Mandarin teachers said she'd be able to read in a few months...

My hubby and I officially celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in China. (Unofficially, we had partied it up in LA before our move.) So we brought the kids with us to the Face Bar in the Dongjiao State Hotel where we had a fantastic Indian meal. Totally hip and cool, if a little out there in the boondocks. But there's another Face in Puxi, which we will for sure visit.

My own hao pengyou, Stacey--remember? my kids' former music lao shi (translation: teacher. Impressed, yes?)--took me to one of her favorite hot yoga spots, Y+ Yoga near Xintiandi (this is the refurbished area of Shanghai clustered with old courtyard buildings). I haven't done yoga period for 5 months since I bruised the cartilege in my knee in a flow class. (Say no to advanced jumping techniques!) Can you say out of shape? I sweated enough to water my lawn and my neighbor's lawn.

After the class, Stacey and her husband, Richard, took my family out to her favorite restaurant:

I am for sure bringing my sister to this place. And isn't the postcard darling? Whoever the artist is should be a picture book illustrator! Who are you? And couldn't Stacey be a model? She's gorgeous and I'm sure half of the high school boys at our school are in looooove with her.

The brunch was heavenly, but paradise? Being a paper freak, I found it on Fu Zhou Lu. Here's my new favorite store on stationary street--Jian Lan. Just look at all that paper! For a fraction of the cost as in the U.S. Unbelievable. I went a little crazy and will be collaging soon. (No, really, I will be writing again. Really.)

There was a Tibetan rug store that I wanted to visit (as research for a novel), but they had moved and we got lost. But just look at what we found instead. A lovely little alley of old homes.

1 comment:

April said...

It all looks so cool! What a great experience.

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