Our second full day in Shanghai began with another delicious breakfast at Jiao Tong University. The rich liquid-y yogurt (that you must drink with a straw) is a crowd favorite along with dumplings, noodles, and stir-fried veggies. The atmosphere at the University is an eclectic mush of students from around the world and visiting faculty. Our group attracts a few stares as we bumble through the breakfast line and as our fried eggs slip through our chopsticks.
We took the metro and headed to the Bund, an area of Shanghai where art deco architecture and modern skyscrapers face one another on opposite sides of the barge-filled Yangtze River. This was a fun area to photograph tourists, the iconic Shanghai skyline (including the “pearl of China,” a tall building with a ball and spire at the top), and the older architecture of some Chinese government buildings.
After our time at the Bund, we hopped the subway once more to explore Tianzifang, a walled maze of tiny shops—teashops, candy shops, food stands, and restaurants. This bustling area was a photographer’s dream. Steam poured from vendors roasting skewers of meat. Colorful silk scarves hung from the walls of many stores. Bright red lanterns, hanging plants, and a rainbow of signs clogged the walkways and blocked the cloudy sky from view.
A.j's favorite part was going through Tianzifang, and seeing all the specialty shops. He especially enjoyed the hand crafted candies. "I watched in awe as large colorful pieces of sugar were sculpted down into tiny works of art."
The store windows, mirrors, and intricate gates provided the perfect perspectives for our current assignment—abstract photography. We experimented with interesting reflections, layers, and blurs. Laura really enjoyed shooting through some sleek, lime green café chairs.
Post photographic-blitz, we headed to the French Concession to find dinner, an area whose architecture greatly resembles that of the streets of Paris. Chinese characters, the constant honking from zooming motorbikes, and the scents that waft from food vendors serve to remind us that we are, undeniably, in China. Many of us ended up at Shanghai brewery, a place crawling with expats looking for a taste of home.