Monochrome Macau

Here’s a selection of photos from Macau which, I thought, looked better in monochrome.  The better to show off the smog in the first two photos.

 

In the waters around Macau

In the waters around Macau

Another view from Mont Forte

Another view from Monte Fort

On Fort Monte with a view of Grand Lisboa Casino and Hotel in the northern half of Macau,

On Monte Fort with a view of the Grand Lisboa Casino and Hotel in the northern half of Macau.

 

The facade of St. Paul's with those lovely striped stairs resulting from the Black and White conversion.

The facade of St. Paul’s with those lovely striped stairs resulting from the Black and White conversion.

Senado square.

Senado square.

My partner and I decided to forego the temptation of the casinos in Taipa, and the swimming pool at the hotel, and walk into the commercial centre of Taipa. At the pharmacy below we finally found aspirin, which we had been unable to figure out how to buy since Shanghai! It wasn’t quite dark, but it was smoggy and the buildings were tall so the lights are already on. The boys??? Well, make up your own mind.

In the 'city' of Taipa in the northern half of the island which makes up the bottom half of Macau.

In the ‘city’ of Taipa in the northern half of the island which makes up the bottom half of Macau.

Streetside Zhongshan

Zhongshan 2013

Zhongshan, a block or two from the river in the previous post.

Scooters, the transport of choice, unless you happen to have a tricycle:

Efficient transportation and parking.

Efficient transportation and parking.

Oven mitt hand-protectors!

Oven mitt hand-protectors!

A working tricycle: recycling

A working tricycle: recycling

Back on the hotel side of the bridge – street vendors.

In colour and cropped.

In colour and cropped.

In Black and White and not cropped.

In Black and White and not cropped.

In the background, the pedestrian bridge we crossed.

In the background, the pedestrian bridge we crossed.

Zhongshan 2013

When Pigs Fly – Street Photography in Shanghai

When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly   (Taken from the bus…)

Taken earlier in the day outside the Shanghai Museum while waiting for our bus.

Stricken with Pixie dust?

Stricken with Pixie dust?

I have no recollection of what part of Shanghai these next pictures are from. It was very crowded and full of interesting small stores with fairly pushy vendors.  I do know I bought two delightful pictures of very young children feeding each other with chopsticks.  The pictures are now framed and in my dining room.

We were turned loose in a crowd.

We were turned loose in a crowd.

Lovebirds' selfie.

Lovebirds’ selfie.   And Starbucks.

Where are we?

Where are we?

At some point we went to a more modern shopping area in Shanghai, the Nanjing Road, which was closed to motor vehicles (welcome relief from Chinese traffic.)   There were small trolleys, each with about three cars, which shuttled people back and forth along Nanjing Road for a small fee. We were near a huge glass-fronted Apple store when we watched a fight break out between a woman who fell (or was pushed) off a trolley, and the driver.  The woman threw the first punch and was joined by two of her female friends; the poor guy was taking quite a beating – and he didn’t fight back.  A security person called the police.  We left when they showed up. It took a lot of will power not to snap pictures. And so I have none of Nanjing Road…

 

These last three photos were taken from the bus as it returned from supper to our hotel.  The building below looks like something from the Arts and Crafts movement in England at the end of the 19th century but the window is dated 1998.

The window is dated 1998.  A beautiful facade to a well proportioned building.

 A beautiful facade to a well proportioned building.

The streets are ready for October 1, and the celebrations for the founding of the PRC.

The streets are ready for October 1, and the celebrations for the founding of the PRC.

Inside and outside on a busy Shanghai street.

Inside and outside on a busy Shanghai street.

Next post: Goodbye Shanghai:  more views of the Huangpu river (and smog)

I am wandering off to San Francisco to visit the grand-triplets (yup, three of them) but have some posts ready to go.  If I can publish them from my iPad, there will still be posts every couple of days.  If not, see you in early March.

Leaving Beijing on laundry day

Sunny and no smog.  Downtown Beijing as seen from the east.

Sunny and no smog. Downtown Beijing as seen from the east.

When I awoke that morning (September 24, 2013)  there were beautiful clear views of the centre of the city.

Zoom in on the centre of Beijing as seen from the east.

Zoom in on the centre of Beijing as seen from the east.

…while down below, people played Jianzi in the parking lot.

…while down below, people played Jianzi in the parking lot.

After 30 posts, I have exhausted my stock of Beijing photos. But before we left we took a quick tour of the neighbourhood around our hotel, the Lijingwan International, just outside the ‘east 4th ring road middle’ near the Shilipu subway stop.

Between the market (previous post) and our hotel was a hardware store, colourful with plastic bowls and buckets.

Between the market (previous post) and our hotel was a hardware store, colourful with plastic bowls and buckets.

It was laundry day and the fence next to the canal (Google doesn't give it a name) was put to good use.

It was laundry day and the fence next to the canal (Google doesn’t give it a name) was put to good use.

Mother's little helper.

Mother’s little helper.

From baby buggy to heavy cart.

From baby buggy to heavy cart.

I did not stage this.  Well maybe a bit.  But the underwear was hanging inches to the right of where it is in the photo. (Our hotel is in the background.)

I did not stage this. Well maybe a bit. But the underwear was hanging inches to the right of where it is in the photo. (Our hotel is in the background.)

Farewell Beijing.  This is the traffic situation as we headed to the airport to fly to Xian where the adventure continued…

Bus 2

Bus 2

Next post: Xian at sundown.

Hutongs 1

In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.  The number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically since the 1950’s as they were demolished to make way for new roads and taller buildings. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history. (Wikipedia)

Where we entered this set of hutongs. There were cars parked here but only scooters, bicycles and motorcycles in the narrow lanes.

Where we entered this set of hutongs. There were cars parked here but only scooters, bicycles and motorcycles in the narrow lanes.

One attraction of the hutongs is also that they are at a human scale, whereas the 22 storey condo or apartment buildings throughout the rest of China are not.  Hence, a visit to a hutong is a must for a Chinese tour and a visit to a brand new apartment tower is not.

Small industry among the houses.

Small industry among the houses.

Bicycle portrait #1

Bicycle portrait #1

Bicycle portrait #2.  Nice that the bike colour matches the pipes on the wall.

Bicycle portrait #2. Nice that the bike colour matches the pipes on the wall.

Some homes are now bed and breakfasts.  We had a tour of one (not this one) and got to ask the owner questions, but I did not take photos inside.

Some homes are now bed and breakfasts. We had a tour of one (not this one) and got to ask the owner questions, but I did not take photos inside.

In the commercial area at the edge of a canal, a cotton candy vendor. Another colour/B&W comparison shot.

In the commercial area at the edge of a canal, a cotton candy vendor. Another colour/B&W comparison shot.

Hutong 1-2478-2

 

Next post: Shopping and glamour in the Hutongs

Clean windows

The buses we travelled in during our tour of China were clean, including the windows. So, apart from reflections, I was able to get quite a few good shots while stopped in traffic or even while moving. Hotel windows were so-so, but if you put your camera lens right up to the glass and focus on your subject in the distance, bits of dirt and water spots on the glass fade somewhat into the smog or grunge of the urban landscape.

These photos aren’t particularly brilliant, but continue to show just how densely developed the cities of China are.  Beijing has about 16 million people in the urban centre, 23 million including surrounding territory.

The first two pictures were taken in Beijing from our 19th floor (+ or -) Lijingwan International Hotel room, facing west.  We encountered smog everywhere in China, but on the morning of this, our first full day in the country, it was relatively clear and foretold of  the heat to come.  The green carpeting and round building in the left foreground of the first photo belong to an ‘Ivy School’ which appeared to be a private school aimed primarily at the ex-pat community (but I’d be grateful if someone corrected me.)

Looking west from our hotel  towards the centre of Beijing on a relatively clear morning.

Looking west from our hotel towards the centre of Beijing on a relatively clear morning.

View to the northwest from our hotel room.

View to the northwest from our hotel room.

The next three photos were taken from a moving bus as we approached the ‘Temple of Heaven’ about which I will post soon.

Rickshaws, bicycles and few cars in the business district of Beijing. Taken from the bus.

Overpasses and hundreds of residential blocks.

Overpasses and hundreds of residential blocks.

Residential blocks everywhere you look

Residential blocks everywhere you look