It’s been nearly four months since I moved to Shanghai. It’s a glitzy-glam kind of place. Plenty of pits to throw money into, plenty of big city boppin’ places where you can get all gussied up and pretend you’re a mover and/or shaker. I’ve been to a few. They’re nice and fancy restaurants and bars. French Concession, The Bund, Pudong. These names probably don’t mean much to you, but they are the places where people spend their nights.
And you won’t see many pictures from around there in this post. I just haven’t been out on the town much. And when I do get out, I don’t take many photos. When I do shoot, I shoot mainly around my neighborhood, a decidedly less glamorous place. But I like it well enough.
There are fewer neon lights than in Korea and more of a divide between commercial and residential zones. My old place in Anyang was right next to the sleazmo bar district with its glaring lights, blow up sexy-girl pylons, and red-faced businessmen slamming soju.
While I miss the crazy Korea life sometimes, I think this new place is nicer. It’s a lot of families, and they have the decency to turn the lights out at night. My apartment is charming. Out my balcony window I can see the neighboring apartment with vines growing up the side. My doorbell plays a tune when you ring it. More importantly, there’s a dog across the street I’ve named Captain Ahab. He’s a short, skuzzy thing, and he’s always got his head raised, staring vacantly into the distance and looking for his white whale. He hasn’t been very cooperative when I try to take his photo, and he couldn’t be reached for a comment as to why that is. Yesterday he was wearing a dog sweater with an embroidered panda.
Right now I’m in a rut. I haven’t taken the time to go out and shoot. My job keeps me busy, and my fiancé too. But I’d like to go out more. Before I do, though, I’ve got to reevaluate my shooting. It’s all right, but I need to try new things. I also want to meet new people who are into all kinds of photography. Do you take pictures of buildings? Forests? Naked butts? I’d like to hear what you have to say. I’m going to a photo show today called “Talk to Her”. We’ll see what that’s all about.
Yesterday broke the city record for smoggiest day. It was over 500 parts per million. 200 is considered bad. I said some things that didn’t make sense, and have a kind of filth hangover now. Lots of my coworkers are complaining, and rightfully so. But I don’t think it’s too crazy. This is a city of 23 million people. It’s bound to get stanky at times. You know, it’s hard for the brain to wrap itself around a number like that. 23 million might as well be 2 million or 200 million. I’d like to see what 23 million people looks like in a photo. It probably looks like a big cloud of smog. Anyhow, I’m sure it will clear up soon, the air and my brain.