Yesterday, to celebrate the end of classes for the semester and the completion of a week of speaking exams, I spent Saturday in Shanghai, taking the 8:14 am train from Suzhou and returning the same evening. It makes a nice day trip; the express train only takes 25 minutes. The weather was cold, but the sun was out, but I still spent the whole day coughing from pollution. I just call it my “China cough.” When I returned to the USA last summer for 3 weeks, the cough disappeared after about 7 days.
I explored parts of the French Concession, a section of the city filled with old villas and many older buildings ranging in style from classical to art deco. I visited a French cafe and bakery, Farine, I’d just read about online. I had my first Kouign Amann, a Breton pastry, as well as a croque monsieur and a an espresso. The sunlight streaming through the front window took away the chill, as did the atmosphere and smells of the bakery. The breads looked tempting, but were quite expensive. Nearby was a Marseille wood-fired pizza restaurant that I’ll try next time I’m in town.
I next took the subway to the disappointing Tianzifang area, a traditional enclave of narrow alleys re-colonized by artists and craftspeople, but now tarted up as a tourist destination with upscale eateries, Hard Rock T-shirts, and quasi-artsy vibe. Then it was back to the central city, to walk along Fuzhou Road, one of my favorite areas, with bookstores, a shop specializing in Yixing teapots, and a pretty good foot massage place I frequent when I’ve been walking too much. Lunch was a Reuben sandwich at Tock’s Montreal smoked meat deli. The meat was delicious, but the sandwich couldn’t compare to my memory of Miller’s Pub on Wabash in Chicago. Now that was a Reuben. Oh yes, I visited V Coffee Roasters for a bag of almost-freshly-roasted beans. The coffee was a delicious way to start my day this morning.
Curls and shadows, Shanghai French Concession
Farine cafe and bakery, French Concession – home of authentic French baked goods. I read online that they import their flour from France. The espresso isn’t bad either.
Kouign Amann, Farine cafe and bakery, French Concession. Pastry was delightful but the caramelized sugar coating was a bit difficult to bite off.
fancyfruit, in a deco building
Normandie Apartments (Wukang Mansion), French Concession
jewelry display window
December strawberries, street market, Shanghai
“1927,” old buildings in central Shanghai