Dispatches: A Bunderful Life
Reading the article made me think back to visiting Shanghai back at the end of 2010. As is my nature, I had to go revisit those images.
In all my travels, there have been two places that really rang “exotic” to me – Standing the the Chor Bazaar of Mumbai, India, and getting the chance to go to Shanghai. To me, “the mysteries of the Orient” were illustrated by what Shanghai was in my mind: dark, foggy streets filled with sailors, working girls and opium dens.
I can’t rightly say I found that but I greatly enjoyed Shangahi nonetheless. It’s such a classic old city that is being reborn every day.
After doing the work that we had to do, my first experience visiting The Bund was one evening with the team I was with. We had heard that it’s the place to be at night, so we headed down there one late afternoon. We had the opportunity to watch night fall on the Shanghai waterfront, and see all the colors rise around us.
It was a warm evening, with many people out and about. I remember stopping at a hotel bar to get some snacks and light dinner before really exploring. Very exotic…
The thing about The Bund, there’s so much going on, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to see, and nothing seems really unexpected. Even a photoshoot with a glamours model-type. (I felt bad, I kept jumping this guy’s lighting scheme from behind. Not very good manners on my part.)
The shot everyone wants to get, though, is looking across the Huangpu River to Pudong. I joined that crowd as well.
This excrusion was on a Thursday. That Saturday morning, I got back down to the Bund as I wanted to see what early mornings were like. I had heard of the special events that the older folks often took part in.
Kite flying was, indeed, the special event. Quite a good number of elderly gents with some fantastic looking kites. Me, I’m used to holding a little plastic T-shaped string holder, bouncing a Spiderman kite along the sky. These guys were serious about what they were doing.
As I walked around, the morning was chilly. I got that shot that leads of this post, of a lone security guard swallowed up by the skyscrapers. I really wished I had been back int he 1930’s, when the Bund was fantastically teeming with junkets and sailors, all kinds of excursions going on. Don’t get me wrong, I may never get back to Shanghai, and I still have some good memories. Still, it’s such a classic city. I’d have liked to delve into this area a bit more.
One other memory I’ll have…that evening on The Bund, I met Johm and his girlfriend, doing the same thing I was doing, shooting the nighlife. He asked if I could take a photo of him and his girl. Of course I said yet. We tripped through the language barrier abit, but I gathered he was a Canon photographer. I explained to him about my 100 Strangers project, and asked if I could include himself and his girl. He was happy and proud.
They are #62 in my project. I gave Johm my card, but never heard from him. Still, when I think about my trip to Shanghai, I think of them and the time spent exploring The Bund.
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