Tea Leaves for Inspection in Shanghai, China

Smelling Tea

The thing I have learned though Pamela’s love (some might say obsession) with tea is the joy of tea is much the same as the joy of wine. The terrior, the growing season, how the tea is harvested, the method to refine the tea for drinking, even the sampling methods are reminiscent of wine. How do the flavors hit the palate, what flavors are apparent and perhaps a surprise because of some of the above mentioned conditions. It is honestly quite fascinating. This bowl of (I belive) oolong was set out at one of the very first places in Tea City, where Pamela and I stopped to sample tea. I think I have never seen her so overwhelmed with joy, shyness and perhaps an equal part reverence that that first visit to Tea City.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 30 June, 2015
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 3200
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: Tea Leaves for Inspection in Shanghai, China

Waiting for a Train in Shanghai

Trainspotting

I enjoy spending time in places of transit. I know others find the airports and train stations stressful and tedious (and they can be), but almost always I find them relaxing. There is a part of me that just lets go when I enter one of these spaces. Often I have a bit better access than the general traveler. I know some inside “secrets” and tend to use then as frequently as I can, but even when I am someplace without the greater comforts, I still am able to exhale and settle in. Often I take photos, when they are allowed, as with this one waiting for our train to Hangzhou.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 30 June, 2015
  • Focal length: 31mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Wating for a Train in Shanghai

The Best Spicy Peanut Noodles in Shanghai

Chinese Comfort Food

I have eaten some spectacular food throughout my travels. New flavors, exotic smells, weird dishes…all are an essential part of world travel, today’s photo is one of those. This plate of Spicy Sesame Noodles has all the trappings of “Comfort Food”. I was told the menu on the wall has been there since the 1970’s. They list things as “Out” that they no longer even make. The staff rushes out other patrons out so you can sit down; Chinese Fast Food. There is a gruff lady who takes your money, she speaks no English, for this is a place of locals. The bottles of soy sauce are old plastic, reclaimed for a purpose they are not intended. All matters little, once you have a bite you will know this is some of the best Peanut Noodles in all the World.

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Bricks of Chinese Pu-erh Tea

So MUCH TEA!

I am surprised Pamela didn’t collapse when we entered Tea City. We have been so many amazing places in the world, and I don’t quite recall anywhere bringing her to such a hushed awe. This shelf was completely full of pu-erh tea bricks. I am sure Pamela would have loved to ship the whole stall home!

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Yuyuan Garden Walkway Design Detail

What’s Underfoot

You cant miss this river stone walkway. The moment you step foot on it, you notice the irregularity…its more natural feel. You notice the uneven-ness of nature, but you also know it is anything but natural. This fits perfectly with the way I feel about Chinese gardens in general. It always seems to me the Chinese are looking for some harmony and connection with nature (in their gardens), but it’s always seems a more “perfected” nature, taking the good, discarding the bad…molding to find a perfect form. This is neither good nor bad, and only my interpretation which is course is always changed itself.

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Shelves of a Tea Seller in Shanghai

For the Love of Tea

It is no secret that my wife LOVES tea. So much is her passion, that when I said I would fly here anywhere in the world she wanted to go for her 40th birthday, the answer came without delay. China. I was so happy to take her to her first (I am sure of many) visits to Hangzhou and Shanghai, China, but more specifically Tianshan…Tea City. Tianshan is in Western Shanghai. An endless maze of wholesale tea vendors and shops where your tea dreams can come true. Below is just one shelf of random teas, but the supply was as endless as the offers of more samples. Come prepared to be completely overwhelmed.

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Chinese Window Art

Chinese Details

Another Chinese garden design element. This window at YuYuan Garden in Shanghai is another example of those great natural forms that Chinese artists bend to their will.

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Shapes in Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai, China

Two Worlds

Chinese gardens are dizzying places full of zigzag paths, raised stairs, many, many buildings…it all leads to confusion. Their path madness is said to bewilder evil spirits who must travel in a straight line. I must have a lot in common with these evil spirits. Most of the time I am confused if I have visited a particular area of Yuyuan Garden. I have been there several times and each I have forced myself to surrender to the chaos and just let myself be…to flow though the place.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 2 July, 2015
  • Focal length: 20mm
  • ISO: 640
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s
  • Title: Shapes in Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai, China.psd

Guardian at Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai China

Ancient Guard

This dog, lion or spirit guards (with its companion flanking the other side) one of the entrances to Yuyuan Gardens in Shanghai. You see these statues all over China guarding places from evil spirits or marauding bandits. I always grab a shot of their fierceness and love trying to find new ways to see them when processing.

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I Heart Shanghai

I SH

Pudong and The Bund feel a bit like a circus. Not because there are hawkers at every turn (there are not), but because of the massive numbers of people gawking at Pudong. You literally wade through people to get to an open viewing spot. Often you have to wait for a viewing spot, though if you just get away from the main stairs you will own gawking will be much easier. Once you are at the rivers edge, you are greeted with thew awesome site that is Pudong, if the Ringling Bros. were architects, they would be proud.

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