Demolition

May 31, 2007


We are currently off our bike on doctors orders so are filling in the gap with this video shot from our bedroom and balcony as the old factory next door bites the dust. Not surprisingly we eagerly await a heavy rain to wash said dust off the house.
The price of steel is so high in China now that it is worth paying seven guys and an excavator for three days to extract all the rebar from the rubble to be sold as scrap.

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Staying Put – for now.

April 25, 2007


All the recent media attention on the Chongqing nail house reminded us of two similar Shanghai cases just around the corner. The first one promptly disapeared the next week but the half-a-house across the road remains intact with its tennants still running their sugar cane distribution business from the kitchen.
Both these houses used to be part of streets that were demolished to make way for the high-rise development behind.

Hello? I’m on a Bike

April 16, 2007


Hello?…hello? yes…I’m on a bike…hello?…what?… Yes, I’ll be..hello?… home for dinner…Yes…hello?… noodles sounds goo… Oh bugger!

Hard (?) Hat

April 3, 2007


In another sign of the times we spotted this guy in a wicker hardhat and realised that we haven’t seen one in years. Back in the 90’s these were an everyday sight but in Shanghai at least they have been largely consigned to history.

But Is It Art?

March 3, 2007



We think it is. Last year we had the opportunity to visit China’s famous Flying Pigeon Bicycle factory in Tianjin – see photos below – and brought home this souvenir.
We fondly remember wobbling our first Flying Pigeon across Tiananmen Square in 1989 but have to admit that these days we prefer the comfort of a mountain bike (especially since our route to work frequently takes us across a building site) and the last time we lived in Beijing in ’98 our office WAS a building site. So this Flying Pigeon hangs proudly on the courtyard wall waiting for a visitor brave enough to take it out for a spin.

Steel frames piled up

Frames being welded

Spokes go in

Flying Pigeon badges

Up In Smoke

February 18, 2007


Midnight at Chinese New Year on The Crash Test Dummy’s street in Shanghai. It’s actually a clear night – all that haze is the smoke of tens of thousands of fireworks drifting across the city. Incredibly Wingman actually slept through all this.

The New Year Build Up

February 14, 2007


Chinese New Year is just around the corner and the build up to the big bang on saturday night has begun as people just can’t wait to make a noise.
The first set of firecrackers goes off unseen down a side alley but the second lot was right by our ear. That lady in the red coat wasn’t too pleased, I can tell you.