Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pickwick! Books Piled to the Sky!

Going through my many, many photos, I discovered a few, which I thought I share.  Mostly, because the bookshop I discovered down near the Tappan Zee Bridge last December was a bit of an engineering marvel!  Indeed, "engineering" and "marvel" are used to describe how this exceptional collection of books is arranged, and structured to the ceiling of the shop!  It's well worth a visit to this place!


Fudan Library (Part 2): Books and Travels in China (7)

More images from Fudan:  After visiting some of the faculty and student spaces, I ventured off into the various libraries at Fudan University.  Here are just a few images of the interiors of the libraries, as well as the study spaces.  Even in the heat of a Shanghai summer, students are studying with alacrity!  Or, perhaps just sheltering from the blistering heat, finding it easier to read or surf the net inside of the cool library spaces.  Among the various libraries at Fudan, which I visited, there was the science and mathematics library and the humanities library.

Books at Fudan University (Part 1): Books and Travels in China (6)

Fudan University is one of Shanghai's oldest contemporary universities, found in 1905 by the Chinese scholar and Jesuit Ma Xiangbo (1840-1939).  At the center of the university is an enormous set of  towers, the Guanghua Towers, which reach nearly 150 meters.  Above is an image I took from one of the faculty offices there.  Below are other scenes from the university campus, and my visit to the university.

Jing-An Temple (Shanghai): Books and Travels in China (5)

Here is another example of bookish culture, though I only have the architectural grandness of the building to show:  the Jing-An Temple in Shanghai.  Though this temple has a long history, going back nearly two thousand years, its current structure is relatively new, dating to the Qing Dynasty.

Shanghai Travels and China Christian Council: Books and Travel in China (4)

Another return!  I so often fall behind on posting, because of so many other things that occupy my time!  I realized, after spending some weeks traveling for conferences and other things, that I should get back to writing a few more pieces about China, and show some of the interesting images I took from that trip.  Here are a few more images from Shanghai, and a visit to the China Christian Council there.  There were only a few on staff the morning I visited, but I received a pleasant welcome, exchanged gifts, and got a very nice tour of the campus, church, and book store.  Perhaps one of the most intriguing images I found was a defiled Latin inscription, which had been hacked at during the Cultural Revolution (see images below).  The book store of the CCC is plentiful--it has thousands of titles, many of which are not shipped abroad.  I was impressed with their offerings and the various activities they conduct.  Here is a sampling of my photographs that day.  (This was last July, and I figured it was time to share more of this trip!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Cart and Lotus on a Shanghai Street: Books and Travels in China (3)

A Daily Offering...

Here's a little treat for your day: a daily offering of books!  When I first arrived in Shanghai it was sweltering, and I took refuge, of all places, in a local McDonalds.  Curiously, its food items were not what one might find in New York, Chicago, or elsewhere in the US.  Instead, they had infused aspects and flavors of Chinese culinary culture into the food items, including green tea sundaes, and pork sandwiches.  When I finally emerged from the air conditioned "Micky D's" (or "Mick-ee De'zi?") I found this great little truck and vendor, selling books out of the back!  I took this photo along with some of other vendors, including the one at the bottom, who was selling lotuses.  Of course, no one told me how to eat these things, when I did buy them.  So I found them incredibly dry and terrible to chew on.  When I did get the proper lesson in eating lotus, I discovered I hadn't been taking off the correct "plant flesh coating" of the seeds, which do in fact give you a bad feeling in your mouth.  Once this covering of the seed is taken off, the lotus seed itself is quite tasty!  Lesson learned.