shanghai characters

About this Blog

My friends are always asking me where they should go, what they should do, where they should stay and eat when they visit my home city of Shanghai.

Since I usually stay with my grandparents, eat at home, and wander the streets with my cousins, swindling and spitting at foreigners, I've never been very helpful.

This blog is my attempt to be more of a resource for my friends and any other folks who might be visiting Shanghai.

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Chinese Name For Tapbooty

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Fri, May 10, 2013 @ 11:39 AM
  
  
  
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Anyone have a good suggestion??  Chinese Language Blog author (and my husband) launched a new product and they need a Chinese name!  Here's the gist:
  1. Go to Tapbooty and start using it on your mobile device
  2. In the app, log into Facebook
  3. Play "Name That Friend".  Read 3 facts and guess which of your Facebook friend they refer to.  (It turns out, I don't know my friends that well :-( ... but as a result of playing, I learned some pretty interesting things about them!)
  4. When you win, you can try other apps and convert your win to PayPal cash (this is the Booty!)
Try it out... or suggest a name in the comments section of "How Do You Say Tapbooty in Mandarin?".
P.S. My favorite part has nothing to do with the game or booty but the dancing kitty...
tapbooty

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Just Made Personalized Gifts on FriendFlair

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Sat, Dec 01, 2012 @ 01:02 PM
  
  
  
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I logged onto FriendFlair using my Facebook login and they showed me various products with my Facebook photos on them.  I bought:
  1. A mug with my grandmother, Jonah Lopin (the author of Chinese Language Blog and my husband), and me
  2. Magnets with our families
  3. Coasters with Jonah and his sister
Easy, fun and my family loved them!  (I'm one data point, but I think personalized photo gifts is hugely appealing to Chinese people :-)

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It's Never Too Early to Get Your MBA (in China)

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Tue, Jun 22, 2010 @ 03:57 AM
  
  
  

I was walking on West Jiang Guo Road by what looked to be a pre-school or kindergarten with little darlings running around when this brochure caught my eye:

Little MBA  Children's MBA

Silly me!  These were not children at play... but Capitalists-in-training!!

The brochure describes a rigorous 2 year curriculum for 3-6 year olds: Technology in Months 1 and 2, Entrepreneurship in 3 and 4, Goals and Life Skills in 5 and 6, and on and on (Finance, Speech and Presentation, etc.).

I love that the program is represented by a Eurasian boy-- as if the Western (Capitalist) blood lends it more credibility.  My favorite part is the precocious little girl who, with arm raised, still has a little baby belly.

At least this should allay the fears of those worried about the spread of Chinese Communism and Socialism (see hilarious Daily Show clip on Hacienda Heights controversy over teaching Chinese language and culture in public schools).  Clearly, Capitalism is alive and well in China.  I just hope I can keep up w/these little Gordon Gekkos and Alex P. Keatons!

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85 Cents for a Coke, 2.50 Yuan for Tighty Whities

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Sun, Jun 13, 2010 @ 09:55 AM
  
  
  

There are a lot of things I love about my gym, the Luwan Star Gym, in Shanghai.  For one, there's no towel service because no one works out hard enough to break a sweat.  Instead, they sell out of "fat-dissolving" soaps and lotions at the check-in desk.

Fat-Melting-Soap Fat Dissolving Soap

My favorite addition this year is a vending machine that sells bottled water, ice tea, socks and tighty whities... just in case you're parched, forgot your socks, or soil yourself??

underwear-vending-machinevending-machine-underwear

 

 

Briefs available in package or can.

vending-machine-underwear  can-of-underwear

(Yes, the brand is called, "Chinese Treasure").  Still no towels though.  So next time I'm sweating from actually running on the treadmill, I may have to improvise and towel off with a nice pair of socks or briefs.

Bizarro products aside, working out in Shanghai has come along way.  During my visits growing up, I use to have to jog in the streets, which is basically hurdling over humans.  I've gone to this gym (a stone's throw away from my grandmother's house in the French Concession) nearly every summer since it opened 4 years ago.  Decent cardio, weights, classes, tennis, amazing trainer (Hannah Li) who I keep on trying to abduct to the U.S.  Mix of locals and foreigners.  400 Yuan or $50-60 for a month pass.

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How the Chinese Celebrate Chinese New Year

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Thu, Feb 05, 2009 @ 09:30 AM
  
  
  

Whether in the motherland or around the world (i.e. Boston), the 1.3 billion Chinese people around the world all celebrate Chinese New Year (aka Spring Festival, Lunar New Year) in a remarkably similar way:

1. Collect family and friends

2. Make dumplings together (see dumpling making instructional video made by one of my colleagues)

making dumplingseating chinese dumplingspotsticker dumplings

3. Gorge on dumplings and watch CCTV's New Year's Gala 中国中央电视台春节联欢晚会, the premier Chinese media event of the year.  See Wikipedia's description of CCTV's New Year's Gala.

Warning: the show is VERY culturally Chinese... it's gotten a little more mainstream, Western, international in recent years but the Chinese still love their patriotic revolution songs, sweet children's voices, and cuddly animal dances.  Fast forward to 6 min 30 sec to my favorite-- the acrobatic, bouncing pandas.

 

Taiwanese pop singer/composer/phenom Jay Chou also performed his hit song Ben Cao Gang Mu 本草纲目 or "An Herbalist's Manual" (Chinese and English lyrics to Ben Cao Gan Mu) with guest performers.  I'm a HUGE Jay Chou fan and can't wait for him to collaborate with Western artists and get international attention... because we all know, once you go yellow, there's no other fellow!

In short, Chinese New Year really resembles more Thanksgiving than Western New Year.  Rather than going out and partying, it's all about feasting and lounging around.  Just replace "football" with "CCTV New Year's Gala" and "turkey" with "dumplings".

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My Kind of Chinese New Year eCards

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Tue, Jan 27, 2009 @ 12:07 AM
  
  
  

If you haven't come across someecards yet, clear your calendar for some browsing time... I've been hooked on the site since I read about them in the NYTimes Style section last fall, "Don't Care to Send the Very Best?"  Here were a couple I fired off to my friends to ring in the Year of the Ox.

someecards chinese new year someecards chinese new year monstersomeecards chinese new year yak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you haven't had enough yet, check out the rest of someecards' chinese new year 1/26/09 cards!

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Places to Go Out in Shanghai

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Wed, Jan 21, 2009 @ 02:11 PM
  
  
  

bamboo groveShanghai drinksShanghai dancing

People 7 on 805 Julu Road 巨鹿路805号 near Fuming Road 近富民路 in Jing'an District 静安区 is a chic, minimalist restaurant/bar that serves nouveau cuisine (so scarf down a couple of soup dumplings beforehand) and is a good place for dates or small groups.  Grab some couches and lounge around for the evening.  My cousins and I spent a fun night there taking shots out of test tubes this past February.  I also like the little bamboo grove behind the wall of glass in the back (a nice spot of serenity on the way to getting sloshed).

Glamour Bar on 5 Zhong Shan Dongyi Road 中山东一路5号 by Guangdong Road 广东路 (entrance there, go to the 5th floor) on The Bund in Huangpu District 黄浦区 will transport you to a midtown bar in Manhattan.  More foreigners than locals, $15 martinis... the only thing that seems Shanghai/Chinese about the place is the new 1920's Shanghai Art Deco design.  However, the view of the bund is pretty spectacular.  I spent a quiet weekday evening catching up with a friend there last summer but since then, it always seems overrun by tourists.

Babyface at Unit 101, Shanghai Square, 138 Huai Hai Lu 淮海中路138号 上海广场101室 near People's Square in Luwan District 卢湾区 is highly recommended from a friend who is professional hip-hop and break dancer in Shanghai-- very credible!  I've not personally checked it out as she is embarrassed to dance in public with me.

For more, Smart Shanghai is a good resource for expats and visitors on events, maps, etc. in Shanghai.

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Shanghai Soup Dumplings

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Wed, Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:57 AM
  
  
  

shanghai soup dumplingsshanghai soup dumplingxiao long bao zi

Unless you're vegetarian, this is a MUST try in Shanghai. Most Chinese restaurants serve them but I've never found them to be as good as the ones in Shanghai (and I always order them if they're on the menu, hoping to be proved wrong!). These xiao long bao zi 小籠饅頭 are pork and vegetable dumplings that are streamed in bamboo baskets that somehow have delicious soup inside.  I don't know how they get the soup inside-- special ingredients or way of cooking that releases steam and juices inside, injection by syringe after they've been cooked?  It doesn't matter... they are simply delicious.

Be careful when you take your first bite since the soup will squirt out.  Clumsy foreigners will impress the Shanghainese if you do like they do:

1. Pick up the dumpling and blow gently to cool

2. Dip in a bit of vinegar sauce, which contains dark vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger

3. Bite a tiny hole on the side and suck out the soup

4. Swish it around and wait for the hint of poached pears and nutmeg (just joking-- just eat the dumpling)

Here's a great blog post on How To Eat a Xiao Long Bao

Shanghai Cheng Huang MiaoShanghai Lu Bo Lang Restaurant

The best place to get them in Shanghai is in the oh-so-touristy area of Cheng Huang Miao (Temple to the Town Gods) 城隍庙 and Yu Yuan (The Mandarin's Garden) 豫园 in Huangpu District 黄浦区.  My family's favorite is Lu Bo Lang (Green Wave) 绿波廊.  The picture on the right was taken there in February during the last Wu Clan reunion (note my cousins' perfect position to fire spitballs at tourists below).

If you have a craving in Boston, the next best thing is served at New Shanghai on Hudson St. in Chinatown.  Read reviews on Yelp.

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Intro to Shanghai Districts

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Wed, Jan 21, 2009 @ 07:33 AM
  
  
  
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Shanghai District Map

Shanghai can be divided by the Huangpu River 黄浦江 into two parts: Puxi 浦西 and Pudong 浦东.  Literally, Puxi means West 东 of Pu 浦 (as in the Huangpu River) and Pudong means East 西 of Pu 浦.

Puxi 浦西 is where most of the historical, commercial, and tourist activity are.  Activity radiates from bank of the Huangpu river, making the hottest districts Huangpu 黄浦区, Luwan 卢湾区, Jiangan 静安区, and Xuhui 徐汇区.

Pudong 浦东 is the newer part of Shanghai.  Over the last decade or two, skyscrapers, financial districts and high-tech areas seem to have gone up over night.  It's new, shiny, and perhaps a bit cold and futuristic compared to the old, crowded, chaotic districts in Puxi 浦西.  Then again, with so many residents and visitors, there's no where that's really "empty" or "quiet" in Shanghai!

 Shanghai Tourist Map

Here's another map showing the main attractions in Shanghai.  You can super-impose it with the district map above to see the concentration of activity.

BTW, is this not the most boring blog post?  I thought this intro might be educational and helpful but way to kick this blog off on a snoozer...

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A Chinese Grandma's Visit to Harvard Business School

Posted by Jordyne Wu on Tue, Jan 20, 2009 @ 11:15 AM
  
  
  

My mother and grandmother came to visit one of my 2nd year classes, Corporate Strategy with Bharat Anand, this past Spring.  My grandmother, who writes and publishes prolifically (even at 83-years-old!), wrote a piece on her visit that was picked up in Shanghai's Wen Hui Bao newspaper on December 22, 2008.

Harvard Business School in Wen Hui Bao newspaper

Check out my grandmother's article on visiting Harvard Business School.  I have yet to translate it so check back or subscribe to read the English version.

Check out Wen Hui Bao on Wikipedia.

Read the Wen Hui Bao online.

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