This year, Shanghai had a 30-year record for spring rain, and winter lasted about two weeks longer than usual. So on March 21, the first day of spring, when the sun shown and we could take off our winter coats, we were already happy. Then Laura, our SNU contact, called. She invited Barry and me to join her for an afternoon in Tian Zi Fang, a Shanghai area of trendy galleries, boutiques, tiny shops, and cafés. Families still live in the neighboring buildings. Of course, we said, “Yes!”
On the bus:
The first day we needed sunglasses in 2012! Laura and I on bus 43 toward Tian Zi Fang
Trendy Tian Zi Fang alleyway
We had the afternoon to enjoy window shopping and wandering through the streets. Everyone smiled in the warming sunshine.
Tian Zi Fang café
Barry introducing Laura to the joys of the Chinese head scratcher!
A sturdy helmet. Perhaps Barry can wear this while riding his moped on Maui.
Tian Zi Fang shops and galleries
Besides the cafés and galleries, small shops provide for the Tian Zi Fang neighborhood residents
This shop has something for everyone: fresh flowers, drinks, cigarettes …
Woman doing her laundry on the balcony. Her husband is just disappearing through the open window.
Laura in front of the café where we stopped for snacks
Kommune Café- the oldest outdoor café in Tian Zi Fang. The waiters wear hats with red stars on the front.
Soy lattes, eggplant sandwich, and waffle dessert = $26 U.S. at the Kommune Café. It was all tasty, and we got to sit in the sun and watch all the tourists–fun.
Barry and I on the first day of spring: Shanghai
Kommune cups- like the ones everyone needed to use during the Cultural Revolution
Tian Zi Fang neighborhood balcony
Boy and his grandma
Piping hot sweet potatoes – one of our favorite street foods
Bicycles are still a useful way to get around the city
Evening comes at the end of the first day of spring in Shanghai 2012
Happy Spring. Aloha and zaì jiàn, Renée