Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strawberry Picking (3/31/2012)

Saturday, March 31, 2012
Today is the Grand Gateway-sponsored outing for strawberry picking. A nice sunny day as March goes out like a lamb.
The Grand Gateway van took 10 adults and 3 children more than an hour to the west, to Baihe. Although this outing was also provided the week before, we must have had a new driver and new chaperones. No one knew exactly where we were going. After many cell phone conversations and turning around a few times, we drove down a side street past industrial and agricultural areas. We then met up with a girl on a bicycle, who "led" us to the proper location. Her bicycle did not go very fast, and she spent some time running along with it.
Finally arrived down a very narrow lane. 
We were first served a farmhouse lunch.
I think the strategy was to fill us up, so that we didn't eat too many strawberries while picking them.
If you tend to get queasy, do not look into the kitchen:
The old man is putting wood into the wood-burning stove:
The wood-burning stove from behind:
Tomorrow's lunch was running around in the back of the house:
The children were allowed to feed the rabbit:
A few of our lunch dishes - quail eggs and mushrooms:
Sort of a sweet'n'sour fish:
Clear tofu with greens:
We had a total of 17 dishes including vegetables such as spinach, carrots, potato, cucumber, and bamboo. Other meat dishes included pork with the inch of fat attached, more fish, and river snails. There were also farm fresh aggs.
The outer walls had broken glass in the stucco:
Wall design:
Dried peppers:
This is some succulent that the wife had us pick and pop in our mouths to eat:
A cooker that was used to heat water:
Fava or broad bean plant:
We then had to hike across the agricultural area:
To the strawberry greenhouses:
Raised rows of strawberry plants:
Kent picking strawberries:
The strawberries appeared trained to grow to the sides:
Tamiko wore her rainboots:
Some of the Grand Gateway group:
Kent picked a lot more strawberries than Tamiko:
Small but sweet:
The weighing process:
We each paid 100RMB ($16) for this outing, which included a kilo (2.2 pounds) of strawberries.
Yellow blooms of the rapeseed or canola plant:
Almost everyone under the age of 30 fell asleep on the way home (that left us and the driver awake!).

Made "pie crust" from crushed butter cookies and butter:
Our glazed strawberry pie:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Xujiahui Park Revisited (3/26/2012)

Monday, March 26, 2012
The housekeeping crew has changed their times a bit, so that they are not finished when I am finished in the gym. So I have taken some walks in the neighborhood
Xujiahui Park has some new signs:
Magnolia buds:
An outbuilding for storage:
The park inculdes a "Cultural Relic" of which Shanghai has thousands:
The doors of the former office of the Asia-Pacific headquarters of Pathé Orient:
Pathé was a recording studio (now British recording label EMI), and considered the cradle of the China recording industry.
The building was constructed in 1921 of brick and wood:
It was called "La Villa Rouge."
The back of the villa:
The park even had new trash cans:
With a special opening for batteries.
Sculpture titled "New Generation:"
Made by an American sculptor, Manuel Carbonell, in 1988, and placed here in 2007.
A century-old camphor tree:
Note the pair of sword dancers practicing to the left.
Stepping stones:
Elevated walkway:
Over on Hengshan Road, the New Hengshan Cinema:
Remodeled in 2010 in "fake Art deco-style," called fako.
Another sculpture with tai ji-er:

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Hengshan Road, fake door:
This time, Hengshan Park:
This park was originally opened in 1926 to foreigners only.
Good thing these ladies are not stepping on the grass:
Unidentified bird:
Thanks to Bruno, I have identified the Pycnonotus sinensis/Light-vented or Chinese Bulbul. Fairly common, but they never stay still, except to hover a bit to catch insects. Amazing to watch.
Paper bushes:
Bust of Shen Junru:
He was the first President of the Supreme People's Court in China (1949-1954).
On Wanping Road, a recycler takes a siesta:
While a street cleaner has her siesta:
Interesting mailbox:
On Huaihai Road, the You Huang Li villa:
Built in the 1930s, this wood and brick building was part of the residence of the French Consul.
Ferguson Lane Number 378:
A new construction...
to add to Ferguson Lane Number 376:
Ferguson Lane is a small lane of galleries and cafes:
Bicycles are often parked on the sidewalk in areas marked with white painted lines, and usually an attendant is there to collect money.
This one is on her cell phone: