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Shanghai Day 5

June 3, 2011
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May 31, 2011

Fifth day in Shanghai: Tongji

Arrived at the legendary Tongji University via subway, at the Tongji stop, line 1, decorated with brick and wood like the inside of the Tongji library. Walked the tree-lined road under the gate, past the saluting statue of Mao and up to the library, two giant cubes on a base, front and back looking like an open book. Two long Russian-style buildings flank the main street in front of the library and hold the general classes. We walked around the north hall, and down a street full of cardboard huts built by architecture students at Tongji, and even some built by middle school students. At the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), we ate in the cafe (pork noodles for ~$4, and a shared red bean green tea ice drink). The cozy cafe had a display showing the route through the mountains to Tibet, and lots of manga (in Mandarin) for browsing. So jealous! We saw the legendary (seen it in an architecture book in NYC) utilitarian staircase running up the building. We walked around to the Building for Teaching and Research, next to the Tongji History Museum, where students in graduation outfits were taking photos. The Building is only offices, but inside were many colorful, playfully designed structures in balls or cubes used as theaters and meeting halls, stuck among normal offices arranged around an open central space. Got a great view of the campus from a high floor, and saw the graduation project displays by design students.

We walked through the campus, and sat at a wooden table by the creek running under stone bridges through the campus. We walked through a park full of bamboo, stone benches where couples gather after dark, and a zigzag stone bridge leading to a gazebo in a pond full of ducks (that sometimes stop traffic crossing the road). Fat cats roamed everywhere. In the park was another cafe (好嫉妒). We saw the dorms, and a street lined with cherry trees donated by Japan. I drank taro milk tea poured from a big metal pot (at another cafe!). Inside a building with glass walls, graduating students held a banquet. A giant screen outside showed TV. I bought a SIM card for the phone Yang loaned me and a Tongji shirt in a shop beneath Joy’s old dorm. Lots of boys waited for girls in the rain, and couples cavorted under umbrellas.

Walked by the old communications building and ate crepes on the street (full of vegetables). Grabbed breakfast pastries in a cafe and qingjiaorou [green peppers and beef] fried rice on the way back. Ate it in the (also legendary) Tongji dining hall (吃在同济), and talked the guard into letting us run through the library at closing time. Took photos by the gate, and a cab home.



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