People’s Park and People’s Square, Shanghai, China

A walking bridge around the pond in People_s Park in the center of the city, Shanghai, China; during colonial days, the park formed the northern half of the Shanghai racetrack

A walking bridge around the pond in People’s Park in the center of the city, Shanghai, China; during colonial days, the park formed the northern half of the Shanghai racetrack

 

During the colonial days, Shanghai’s People’s Park (Renmin Park), located south of Nanjing Road in the center of the city, formed the northern half of the Shanghai racetrack.  Today, the park features 30 acres / 12 hectares of flower beds, lotus ponds, and paved paths.  This park is also known for its Marriage Market where every Saturday and Sunday afternoon (12:00-17:00 hours) parents flock to the north end of the park to find suitable partners for their unmarried children.  The park is one of the prettiest parks in Shanghai and is home to two museums, a pond, and several other attractions.  People’s Square is located directly south of the park.

 

As we walked through People_s Park, we noted many beautiful sections, Shanghai, China

As we walked through People’s Park, we noted many beautiful sections, Shanghai, China

 

One of many card games underway with numerous spectators in People_s Park, Shanghai, China

One of many card games underway with numerous spectators in People’s Park, Shanghai, China

 

The opposite end of the pond in People_s Park, Shanghai, China

The opposite end of the pond in People’s Park, Shanghai, China

 

A panorama of People_s Square, Shanghai, China, looking north with the Shanghai Grand Theater on the left, the refurbished Shanghai Municipal Government Mansion in the center, and the

A panorama of People’s Square, Shanghai, China, looking north with the Shanghai Grand Theater on the left, the refurbished Shanghai Municipal Government Mansion in the center, and the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall on the right

 

People’s Square is he city’s main square is a social and cultural center and home to the Shanghai Museum.  “After renovation, the new Municipal Government Mansion lies in the center of the northern People’s Square, while the Shanghai Museum, which was designed to resemble a Chinese cooking pot, is located to its south.  Flanked on both sides by 17-meter/56-foot-wide green belts, People’s Avenue goes across the center of the square.  At the northwest corner sits the Shanghai Grand Theater which is a colossal construction made almost entirely from glass which is balanced by the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall [see our previous blog post titled, “Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China”] in the east and in the northeast side lies the subway station.  Along the south side of the People’s Avenue, there are several large underground structures, including Hong Kong Famous Brands Street and Dimei Shopping Center, the largest underground city transformer substation of Asia and the largest underground parking garage of Shanghai.” – http://www.travelchinaguide.com

 

The Shanghai Grand Theater, People_s Square, Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Grand Theater, People’s Square, Shanghai, China

 

The entrance of the Shanghai Museum, which was designed to resemble a Chinese cooking pot, People_s Square, Shanghai, China

The entrance of the Shanghai Museum, which was designed to resemble a Chinese cooking pot, People’s Square, Shanghai, China

 

Home to China’s premier collection of artifacts, the Shanghai Museum is made up of 11 galleries that exhibit fine Chinese art that includes paintings, bronzes, sculpture, calligraphy, jade, furniture, and seals. Signs are in English and audio guides are available.

 

Polychrome Glazed Pottery Statue of Tomb Guardian Beast, Tang Dynasty, A.D. 618~907, the Shanghai Museum, People_s Square, Shanghai, China

Polychrome Glazed Pottery Statue of Tomb Guardian Beast, Tang Dynasty, A.D. 618~907, the Shanghai Museum, People’s Square, Shanghai, China

 

Zun (vase) with Fenacai Design of a Hundred Deers, Jingdezhen Ware, Quinlong Reign (A.D. 1736~1795), Qing Dynasty, the Shanghai Museum, People_s Square, Shanghai, China

Zun (vase) with Fenacai Design of a Hundred Deers, Jingdezhen Ware, Quinlong Reign (A.D. 1736~1795), Qing Dynasty, the Shanghai Museum, People’s Square, Shanghai, China

 

Eat local: Shanghai dumplings at Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

People_s Square (viewed from the top of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall), Shanghai, China

People’s Square (viewed from the top of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall), Shanghai, China

 

One of the very popular local foods in Shanghai that are well known around the world is the so-called “Shanghai dumplings.”  These steamed marvels are very difficult to make, as the dough, filled with minced pork, or a mixture of minced pork and crab meat, or pure crab meat, etc., is twisted around the filling and then a little broth is added before the dumpling is twisted close.  To eat them after they have been steamed, you place the dumpling onto a Chinese soup spoon that already has had a little burgundy-colored vinegar and picked slivers of ginger root added to the bottom.  Then, 1-2-3, it’s into the mouth all at once (be careful when they are served, as they are steaming hot); biting on the dumpling dough releases the soup and then you have a wonderful combination of the soup, filling, and steamed dough, with a touch of vinegar and ginger all coming together in you mouth.  Delicious when well made!

 

Each Shanghai dumpling is made by had by this hard working staff at Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

Each Shanghai dumpling is made by had by this hard working staff at Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

 

Thanks to Google Maps on my Google Pixel phone, we left the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall at People’s Square and had only an 8-minute walk to a total hole-in-the-wall, local Shanghai dumplings ONLY restaurant that was recommended by fellow travelers and where not a word of English was spoken by the staff — Jia Jia Tang Bao, on Huanghe Road.  Luckily one of the locals in line with me at the cash register (at the front when you enter the tiny space which has, perhaps, seating for about two dozen diners — they also sell a lot of take out!) was able to explain that the hanging red banners with Chinese characters on the wall were the “menu” of what was still available for purchase.  With our friends we got a couple of steamed baskets of pork and crab Shanghai dumplings, one of all crab dumplings, and some seaweed soup, with the obligatory Tsingtao (local) beer.  For about US$32 the four of us feasted like kings and queens.  Our lunch was quite tasty and it was a great experience to be the only “big noses” in sight on the street and in the restaurant.  Of course, when a fight broke out at a nearby table at the restaurant (two couples were arguing over who could claim 2 seats at a community table – the last two seats in the restaurant) we were mesmerized and also a little scared, as we couldn’t tell if the extremely loud five minutes of arguing would culminate in a fist fight on the spot.  Luckily the hot-headed guy’s girl-friend pulled him away and back to the entrance to await some open seats.  Some friends on the ship who had lived in China subsequently told us that this arguing is rude, but not atypical.  We had not expected live entertainment during lunch…

 

The baskets of Shanghai dumplings are steamed to cook them, Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

The baskets of Shanghai dumplings are steamed to cook them, Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

 

What the fuss is all about – wonderful pork and crab Shanghai dumplings, one dozen per steam basket, Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

What the fuss is all about – wonderful pork and crab Shanghai dumplings, one dozen per steam basket, Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

 

To accompany our dumplings we also had seaweed soup, Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

To accompany our dumplings we also had seaweed soup, Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China