Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2018/04 Moments April 2018

Toronto, Ontario; Agincourt, Ontario; Shanghai, PR China; Wuhan, PR China; Vancouver, BC.

Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Urban foresters pruning our city-owned tree away from electrical power lines, viewed from our second-floor bedroom window. The cutter in the bucket and driver clearing falling debris were working their way down the street. Preventive maintenance of essential infrastructure shows good long-term planning in our municipality. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20180403
Buddhist Vegetarian Kitchen
Buddhist Vegetarian Kitchen: Convened a family dinner, as travel schedules have members coming and going so much that most will miss the clan’s annual spring event. Venue selected as Chinese vegan cuisine, consistent with the eco-Atkins plant-based diet almost 4 weeks in progress. Ordered goose, beef, chicken, pork dishes, all mock meats, finishing with a side order of duck and then black sesame soup dessert. (Buddhist Vegetarian Kitchen, Midland Avenue, Agincourt, Ontario) 20180409
Zhangliang Tongji United Plaza
Zhangliang Tongji United Plaza: Picking own ingredients to put into soup broth is a fast way to ensure a vegan dinner. Requesting “bu la”, or not spicy, didn’t seem to reduce the heat of malatang. Runners in the store will pick orders for phone-in takeout orders. A quick meal before an earlier bedtime, with a 12-hour time zone jump on a 14-hour direct flight. (Zhangliang Malatang, Tongji United Plaza, Zhangwu Road, Yangpu district, Shanghai, PR China) 20180414
Godly Nanjing Road
Godly Nanjing Road: Intersecting @doug_schuler to discuss pattern language research trajectories. He is at end of visit from Seattle, we are at beginning from Toronto. After vegan duck, fish belly, beef and crab meat, walked through People’s Park marriage market umbrellas. (Godly Nanjing Road, Shanghai, PR China) 20180415
Bitter
Bitter: Comparing @snousala @doug_schuler radical approaches to higher education that enable students to learn differently. Signals that China is changing pedagogical approaches for new young leaders, and investing heavily in academic research and advanced education in ways not apparent in the west. (Bitter, Wuyuan Lu, French Concession, Shanghai, PR China)
Fushun Road
Fushun Road: Wicker chairs on cart pulled by worker on foot on the city street, in the old fashioned way. Had a morning walk around the neighbourhood south of Tongji U., active with early shoppers at markets. (Fushun Road, Siping district, Shanghai, PR China) 20180417
Anshan Road
Anshan Road: Small world intercept with TL in stationery store, on random walk around the shopping streets near Tongji U. DY had expressed admiration of the variety of colours of the pen set in the office. Our chance encounter spoiled a surprise gift planned for an hour later. (Anshan Road, Siping district, Shanghai, PR China) 20170417
Hongqiao Railway Station
Hongqiao Railway Station: Long queue builds anxiety, as gates open just 20 minutes before train leaves, and platform is through the turnstiles and down stairs. Chinese crowds are pushy, in contrast to more orderly western groups. D-train Shanghai-Wuhan speed is up to 250km/h, as compared to G-train up to 300km/h. (Hongqiao Railway Station, Shanghai, PR China) 20180418
Wuhan U. of Technology
Wuhan U. of Technology: Man exercising with diabolo spinning with string between two batons, on the exercise field in the middle of campus on a warm spring morning. The short cut across the track has been closed off since our last visit, it’s a long walk from the east gate to the College of Art and Design. (Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, PR China) 20180419
Donghu Lake
Donghu Lake: Docks on the west shore of East Lake, on the edge of the Wuhan University campus. Young people dangling legs over the edge, speedboats stopping to pick up passengers for a water crossing. Further south, we encountered couples posing for wedding photographs. (Donghu Lake, Wuhan, PR China) 20180420
Hongshan Pagoda
Hongshan Pagoda: Tower built in 1280 AD, originally named Lingji Pagoda in memory of the Buddhist master, north side of Baotong Temple. We climbed the narrow steps of irregular heights to ascend to a majestic view of Wuhan. The descent was just as challenging, as stability called for me to sit at each steep step, to deliberately place my foot down. At the end, my clothes were covered with dust, and the tops of my thighs trembled from fatigue. (Hongshan Pagoda, Baotong Temple, Wuhan, PR China) 20180421
Baotong Temple Vegetarian
Baotong Temple Vegetarian: Our group shared the widest variety of Buddhist vegan cuisine that I have ever encountered. We were hosted by the restaurant manager, whose son had been guided to graduate studies abroad by SN. The luxury of a large, air-conditioned room on the second floor, meticulously prepared foods and attentive servers were a refreshing follow-on from climbing uphill through many temple halls, and navigating steep steps up the pagoda. (Baotong Temple Vegetarian, Wuhan, PR China) 20180421
Jiulong Hongshan
Jiulong Hongshan: Conference dinner with speakers and organizers for SCUD2018 on Smart Cities and Urban Design. Cajoled to consume my first alcohol of the year, thimble-sized goblets of rice wine permitted, to follow a Mongolian ritual toast for the heavens, the earth, and ancestors. (Jiulong Hotel, Hongshan district, Wuhan, PR China) 20180421
Smart Cities and Urban Design
Smart Cities and Urban Design: Painting by Professor WU Xingkuan in honour of formal opening of SCUD International Smart Cities and Urban Design Conference. Our group had the first plenary session slot, and we learned more about each others’ research focus, because the prior meetings have been much more on process rather than content. We’ll refine our collective direction, with diverse perspectives and interests as our strength. (2018 International Conference on Smart Cities and Urban Design, Xiongchu International Hotel, Hongshan district, Wuhan, PR China) 20180422
Tongji Huangpu School
Tongji Huangpu School: Lecturing again to high school class, on systems thinking relevant to their current project to design a bridge. Eased into systems levels and pacing with a personal story about family and service systems at home. Whiteboard discussion on bridge led to a question: will animals be permitted to cross the bridge, or will they be prevented from following their nature? (Tongji Huangpu School, Middle Sichuan Road, Waitan, Shanghai, PR China) 20180423
Vanilla Rockbund
Vanilla Rockbund: Colleague out of town presented an opportunity for more deeply acquainting with the spouse. Discussed life in Shanghai, the history and status of Finland over the past 25 years, and upcoming options for residencies elsewhere in the world. No alcohol consumed, it’s a school night! Venue was trendier than our usual style, the four millennial women at the next table were preoccupied with their mobile phones, and taking selfies. (Vanilla Rockbund, Beijing East Road, Shanghai, PR China) 20180423
Long Museum Pudong
Long Museum Pudong: Massive central hall leads to galleries on upper floors. “L’étranger mélancolie” of post-1911 exchanges between China and the west, “90th Anniversary of Army Day”, and 1700s Qing Dynasty sceptre were interesting on technique, but the subjects weren’t of our usual contemporary interests. On a Tuesday morning, we two seemed to be the only visitors to this large art museum, a long taxi ride from our hotel in the Bund. (Long Museum Pudong, Luoshan Road, Shanghai, PR China) 20180425
Long Museum West Bund
Long Museum West Bund: Long taxi ride back over Huangpu River to newly developing West Bund neighbourhood. Enjoyed “Asian Impression” of contemporary Chinese, Japanese and South Korean art. Downstairs gallery included Shi Yongjun (2012) “Daily Routine”; Li Jikai 2009 “On a Dumped Riprap”; Tu Hongtoa (2006) “Pure Landscape”; and Luo Quanmu (2007) “Lost Deer”. Also saw the movie set of Yong Fudong (2018) “Dawn Breaking” of 30-day filming, each day complemented by a video diary of crews at work. Venue is so far upstream on the river that familiar Bund sights aren’t visible from the banks. (Long Museum West Bund, Longteng Avenue, Xuhui District, Shanghai, PR China) 20180425
Brewery Creek Mount Pleasant
Brewery Creek Mount Pleasant: Flowering cherry trees in full blossoms along many streets, planted in Vancouver since the 1930s. Visiting town for a four days to visit DY’s family, routing PVG-YVR-YYZ at no extra charge. With 9-hour time zone change over the international date line, opted for a basement apartment in a residential house towards the east side. (Brewery Creek / Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, east 12th Street, Vancouver, BC) 20180425
Gaoler's Mews
Gaoler’s Mews: Incongruity of having lunch at vegan MeeT at Gastown restaurant, beside L’Abbatoir named for the city’s former main butchery and meat packing distict. Opted for a Beyond Burger special not on the regular menu, that looked and had the sensation of a rare beef patty. While not terrible, I prefer the denseness of the veggie burgers that we’ve had for decades. Dining al fresco in warm spring weather. (MeeT at Gastown, Gaoler’s Mews, Water Street, Vancouver, BC) 20180426
MeeT At Gastown
MeeT At Gastown: Managing to adhere to a vegan prescription with the pea-based Beyond Burger veggie patty, although the kaiser bun and french fries aren’t on the Portfolio Diet or Eco-Atkins Diet. Enjoying western style food in the clean BC air with greater spring weather, after 10 days in China. (MeeT at Gastown, Water Street, Vancouver, BC) 20180426
Tangent Cafe
Tangent Cafe: Local jazz listings found @wmatsushita in Nicholas Bracewell The Collective with Chris Fraser, Daniel Howard. He was surprised to see us, since at home in Toronto is a more likely encounter. The variety of beers in this venue seems to attract customers more than the food, which was good. (Tangent Cafe, Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC) 20180426

Vancouver Harbour North Shore
Vancouver Harbour North Shore: View off back of the Seabus is better than that out the front, on both directions. Met with DY’s friend for lunch in Lonsdale Quay, had a view of workmen painting concrete barriers yellow. Snow on the mountaintops gradually receding in the warm spring sunshine. (Lonsdale Quay from Seabus, Vancouver Harbour, BC) 20180427
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