chandeliers in treehouses (tbt)

141030 a

Toshihiro Oki Architect P.C. with Toshihiro Oki, Jen Wood, and Jared Diganci, “tree wood,” 2013

This was a pretty cool project, and one that I almost didn’t see. The last summer I was in New York, I was living in Astoria, but didn’t explore much of my neighborhood until the last few weeks I was there. It was July (2013), and it was hot, but it was also so green and beautiful. Ah, how I miss TREES in Shanghai! Anyhow, it was my first time to the Socrates Sculpture Park, and for the most part I found the park to be just so-so – nothing wildly impressive, but a nice stroll.

This particular project “tree wood” was pretty cool, although it blended in so well with the trees I almost completely walked past it. Socrates is a sculpture park, but this was more along the lines of installation art or temporary architecture than sculpture. Basically it was a tree house structure of sorts, framed with two-by-four studs, with a chandelier, which just won the whole thing. With the streaming sunlight and the quiet tranquility of the park and the sheltering of all those leaves and branches, the project had a really interesting quality to it, natural yet manufactured, unfinished yet refined, public yet secluded.

Not sure if this is still up since it’s been over a year since I visited, but regardless, I love the idea of the project.

141030 b

141030 c

And whaddaya know, the project was designed by architects … I wonder if that’s why I appreciate it so much. I think it’s true that there’s no such thing as a ‘former architect,’ because even though there are many of us who have moved on to other fields, I feel like there’s some sort of weird bond/understanding between architects (past or present) where we just ‘get’ each other. I was talking to a jewelry designer whose pieces I admired, and whaddaya know, she was trained as an architect. Maybe it’s suffering all those hours in studio that gains one entry into the imagined community of architects.

Advertisements

strange fruit in suzhou

141029 a

141029 b

A few weeks ago I went to the opening of an outlet mall in Suzhou (random, I know) and there was a performance by Australian dance and theatre group Strange Fruit. It was downright amazing. They were swaying back and forth on these 5-meter-long poles, and it was completely beautiful, mesmerizing, memorable.

141029 c

The promotional material said their performance “fuses theatre, dance and circus.” It totally does.

rubber ducky, you’re so fun!

141028 a

Rubber Ducky, you’re the one, you make bathtime lots of fun!

Sometimes I just love contemporary art. Like this. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is indeed a giant floating yellow rubber ducky in a lake in Shanghai. And yes, it is amazing. And pretty darn adorable too. The art piece was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman in 2007, and has been touring the world ever since. Note that I called it an art piece. Because … what else would you call a giant floating yellow rubber ducky?

141028 b

I read an article about how it was coming to Shanghai, and since it’s one of those unusual ‘when else are you going to see this?’ kind of things, I just had to go see it. It’s in Century Park in Pudong … and yes, I actually went all the way over to Pudong to see a giant floating yellow rubber ducky. But it was worth it.

It’s only been in Shanghai a few days, and will stay here until November 23. And tickets to the park are only 10 RMB! There had been talk of raising the ticket price to 40 RMB, but eventually the powers that be backed down due to public pressure. The one downside of those cheap tickets were the crowds and crowds of people. But 40 RMB would have been ludicrous, because really, it’s just a giant rubber duck. You see it, you take some pictures, and you’re done. Very cool, but … that’s about it.

141028 c

Aw, but look at that cute duck bum! Although its size relative to those buildings makes it seem a bit Godzilla-like …

red maos make china go ’round

October 1st was National Day, for which we got a one-week holiday as one of China’s two Golden Weeks. But that’s over and done with, and now it’s work work work. So here’s a picture of money. It’s Mao! Because this is why all of China basically shut down for a week and why we’re all back to toiling away.

141018

Red Maos are the 100 RMB banknote in China, and even though they’re the highest-denomination note, they’re worth less than 20 USD. Credit cards are becoming more widely used, but cash is still more widely used, especially among older people. Which is super annoying because you end up carrying a fair number of bills and it just feels oh so sketchy. Or worse, you end up stuck at the bank waiting behind a line of old ladies with stacks and stacks of bills that need to go through the counting machine. And as opposed to when I was in China three/four years ago, I have yet to encounter a fake bill! Progress!

And in related news: I’m going to be working in Shanghai for at least one more year!

the petrified forest (tbt)

It’s been a while since I posted, so here’s a Throwback Thursday from 2012! Located in Arizona, the Petrified Forest National Park is absolutely amazing because it’s wood … but it’s stone. Trippy. It was a great place to scamper around, and it was on the way as we were driving to the Grand Canyon anyway. Although, after a while it’s all kind of the same. What’s over there? Petrified wood. And there? Oh, more petrified wood. Here too. Hm, yep. Got it.

But still! It’s totally worth visiting. And I can’t believe it’s already been two years since I was there. Look at those blue skies, the open space! Ah, the things I miss while living in China!

141016 a

141016 b

141016 c

141016 d

why i like wednesdays: pizza street

Ah Pizza Street, how I adore you! Wednesday is quickly establishing itself as pizza night for me. They do a special deal, two pies for 110 RMB (including delivery) and the pizza’s actually pretty good! Apparently there’s a physical location, but I’ve only ever ordered online. Because when I think pizza, I think delivery and pajamas.

141008

Pizza Street
pizza-street.com
477 Aomen Road, Block 4, Shop 103
Putuo District, Shanghai
+86 21 6233 5969