Wednesday, May 03, 2006

And to Think That I Saw It on Tianlin Street, Pt. 2

This is part two, where I show a little more of the shopping street of Tianlin Lu. It's a fun little shopping street that nobody would call the highlight of Shanghai, but does provide some nice scoping.

Shanghai doesn't have as many beggars as San Francisco or Oakland, but it does have a fair number, many of whom are missing limbs or have some obvious physical problem, other of whom have sad stories written out in chalk in front of them. Actually they seem to do pretty well with donations, I see people give beggars money plenty. Personally I give money to street musicians.

But that's that backdrop to the picture. In the foreground is a gang of teens, they give cards that list, generally, discounted fairs on air flights. They can be really agressive in trying to give you the card and they're pretty annoying. Maybe they'll suddenly flick the card right in front of you, or they'll dive at your bag to drop a card inside. There's not many on the street though, and for some reason they're all congregated on this one corner. The same street corner, tangentially, has a Pizza Hut restaurant. In Shanghai it's considered a fairly nice restaurant, I get the impression it's a popular place for dates. Whatever the reason, people are lined up outside:

Like a lot of places in Shanghai, similar groups of stores congregate here. There's a number of athletic supply stores, selling upper-end athletic shoes and higher-quality athletic equipment. The athletic store below is just recently opened, so there's a group of floral decorations out front, mounted on reed stands.

Another thing you see a lot of is smaller boutique clothing store, mostly it's women's clothes. It ranges from places that look very fancy to places that sell overstock, on massive sales. These places are full of frantic women, tearing through the stockpiles. There's also mannequins that seem vaguely scary, and I'm not one to be easily scared by a mannequin.

The shops along this area look pretty nice. Whether this building is brand new or just kept in good condition I'm not sure, but brick buildings and trees along the sidewalk give a pleasant atmosphere.

There's a lot of food on sale here. Some of the stores have side-fronts selling pearl milk teas or ice cream. Shanghai's Ice Cream is cheap and I think it's pretty good, but foreigners in Shanghai are always complaining about it so maybe I'm wrong.

I guess it's a seasonal thing, but lately there's been a lot of crawfish being sold from stalls. They're huge and they look pretty tasty, but they're sold by the entire body and I'm lazy to eat food I have to pick at. The most popular street food is probably grilled meat on a stick, which I think tastes fine but is really nothing special.

This is Croissaints de France, a popular Bakery Chain. It can seem bakeries selling fancy breads are on every block of Shanghai, I'll get a sandwich sometimes even though they use sweet mayonnaise. Maybe I miss-remember America, but I think bread is much more popular in Shanghai than in the US - perhaps it's considered something of a fancy treat over here. To the right is Family Mart, a convenience store.

Newspapers aren't sold from machines in Shanghai. They're still popular, people buy them at convenience stores, or from hawkers in subway cars, or read the copies sometimes posted in Parks or Apartment Complexes. There's also a lot of stands, they'll have huge selections, and often they'll also have a little side-business selling Phone Cards, like you see in the front left:

Scattered throughout the street are small offices which list apartments and houses to rent or buy:

The shopping road ends with, and I suppose is anchored by, Trust Mart, a massive Target-esque department/grocery store. You think of such stores as wiping out the local competitiors, but that obviously isn't the case here. The first floor is given to small stores and chain restaurants, such as McDonald's, Ajisen Ramen, and a Mr. Donut. Out front, Tibetans sell Tibetan jewelries and chotchkies.

1 comment:

alai said...

That's crawfish (xiaolongxia), not shrimp. ;)