Friday, October 24, 2008

798 Art District, Silk St. Pearl Market, Marco Polo Bridge, Hou Hai: Day 22

798 Art District

Featuring Professor Woody

Do you have a permit for those sir?



Transform and roll out!

There were some interesting spaces and galleries but nothing totally awesome (besides the Transformer!)

Sculptures @ (0.5, 0.5, 1.0) scale

Magic home

Random closed off space.

Big head Nat

By the entrance of 798, there was this out of this world over the top Korean kareoke place with gold trim and giant golden statues of knights and horses. As big as the horse below.

Eyes to the future.

This was at some other supposed artist community. We were all pissed that 1) we arrived at 798 before any of the shops were open, and 2) we had to leave 798 earlier than we all wanted to to go to this place that had nothing worth checking out. Woody lauded how awesome it was (he was there the day before with Simon) so it was a disappointing morning.

Speaking of disappointing...

well the lunch wasn't terrrrrrrible.

"Please don't eat me"

The reunion crew again.

Oh, no wonder why we had to leave 798 so soon. We have another appointment with the kickback shopping mall. 6 stories of fake merchandise. Maria had a good haggling story here. She bought this red "Maxmara" sweater that she bargained down like crazy, pretty much driving the sales lady mad until my mom swooped in and ruined Maria's bargaining mojo. It started at something like 280 RMB and my sister wouldn't budge from 80 RMB. Our tour guides did mention that for bargaining, you should start at 33% the asking price and never go over 50%? Maybe it was less. Anyways, Maria was on track finally moving up to 88 RMB and I think the asking price down to 120. With all the 90s to work with the crushed spirit of a sales woman, a nice sub-100 RMB price was on the horizon. Till ma came in at 100 and the lady, so happy to just get rid of her...

Me and Woody sniff out a "DVD salesman" down the street.

This sort of looked like the pierre cardin branded McDonalds. If only...

CCTV building "tour." Instead of checking this cool building out, we just drove by it.

And instead of checking it out, I just slept. We drove by there before so I saw it.

At the Marco Polo Bridge (Luguoqiao) park. This is where WWII broke out in China.

Must... climb...

See that on the lady's box? We can't escape Wong Li Hom








Oooooooooo, hold it just one sec fellas!


Out of my way peasant!

So our tour guides are so lame...
To salvage money, they cancelled our dinner for tonight and brought us to the place we were supposed to go for dinner last night. THEN, they charge us the cost of dinner (KFC) from last night and take the "remains" and order us some "extra" dishes tonight. Mind you even with the so called "extra dishes" there was a woeful amount of food. We were appalled. But worse was the food which made us not want to ask for more food because it really wasn't worth it.

So one of the big draws of this place is supposed to be the Face Changing performance. Now I watched the movie King of Masks before and even though that is a movie, this just really wasn't impressive at all. There needed to be more theatre in the act. Added to the fact were all the standing yahoos flooding in to watch obstructing our view. Oddly enough, I could only find a French trailer for this movie, and the full movie itself. Well here a clip from the end of the movie. Just watch from about 7:50 in. I guess that movie wasn't as good as I remembered it.

Maria gives the thumbs down. Which segways to...

Another fish face.

I think this is at Yan Dai Xie Jie near the hutongs we were at as well as Houhai. It was crazy festive with people playing badmidton, shuttlecock (chinese hacky-sack), line dancing, waltzing, and then this guy... Did you notice him the first through?

Here we are on the Houhai bar street.

The street is full of these beggar hosts. That's the name I made up. They are like hosts/hostesses, the ones that usually stand in front and take your name down when you have to wait for a table. Except that lurk outside and BEG you to come in. It's a desparate hassle that could really use some class and pixie dust. They don't seem like they know how to really sell their institution but yet they are so persistent.

We ended up getting some beers at this weird quiet loungy bar. This turned out pretty good as we ordered this semi-battered fried corn snack that was pretty darn good and after our horrid dinner experience, really hit the spot.

Maria gives the thumbs up. Woody: "can't talk, eating."

Good night.

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