Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

Travel to Shanghai–July 14

By the time we got our luggage there wasn’t enough time to get to the hotel and check in, so we went to Jinmao Tower, Adrian Smith’s masterpiece and the home of the Grand  Hyatt. Ate in the food court of the adjoining office  building and then headed for the Hyatt. Very gracious reception, including sweets and drinks. Had a tour of the property including the amazing beehive-like atrium. Students paid no attention to the instructions not to hold their cameras over the edge of the balcony. Made me cross and queasy!  Gorgeous place and an interesting lecture on the Hyatt way of doing things.

Finished up the day at the Shanghai South Bund Spinning Market, where the group that came with me ordered up suits and shirts. Then when we went to the hotel we gathered up our luggage, checked in quickly and changed for dinner at 1221. Absolutely wonderful dinner. Lots of expats in the crowd, and we had our own private room with a round table that seated 15. Margaret McFarland had to head back to Maryland for a meeting and we will see her in 4 days.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

More Business in Beijing–July 13

SoHo China has become one of the country’s major developers. We met up with their marketing person, dressed up in a mini skirted suit , 4 inch high sandals and an ankle bracelet. Wish I hadn’t paid attention to the guide books that insisted on closed toe shoes and conservative attire!

The office building finish out looks like it won’t last, and the retail is in the lower level, below the street. Go figure.

Two fascinating briefings by university faculty members. Not sure the students get it. These guys were very good!

Finished up the evening with dinner with the professionals and Lianne Li.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

Business in Beijing July 12

A full day of office visits, including a briefing by the US Commercial Service on their role in assisting US businesses do business in China.

Also a meeting withCBRE on the Beijing real estate market. Beginning to get a picture. Hard to understand the ground lease aspect. Different stories from different people, but the common thread is that everyone believes that eventually it will go away.

Beijing Victory Star Architecture has done a lot of multifamily stuff. The firm is run by two women. What a surprise. Their Palm Springs development is a bit over the top. Incredible mish mash of interior styles, sort of reminds me of the way Frank Lloyd Wright tarted up the Rookery Building in Chicago. Granite and marble and gilt and various wood types and styles. Obviously tricked out for nouveau riche who don’t have any taste of their own and want to buy it. Been watching too much bad US television.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

Great Wall vs Shopping July 11

The rest of the group headed for the Great Wall and some tombs. Given the heat, the rain, and the mud, I opted to sleep in and to venture out on some solo shopping. The hunt for the 12mm necklace is over. I found it at a shop owned by a Chinese American who has brought her aging parents home to Beijing and who runs her business out of a 5th floor shop at the Silk Street market, a multi story building housing junk on the first floor, fabrics on the second, jewelry (mostly junk) on the 4th, and finer jewelry on the 5th. I didn’t realize until too late that it also had a branch of a famous Peking Duck restaurant up on 6.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun constructing necklaces of mixed strands of keshi pearls that look like thick cornflakes and other strands of smaller round or oval beads. Also several black pearl necklaces and the long 8mm ones for the family. What a surprise to find all of this so soon on the trip.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 9, 2010

First days in Beijing

Yesterday began with the sound of a work crew outside my hotel window.The scene was just like Kuwait: a modern office building right next to a cluster of older shops and workers unloading odds and ends of building materials, some of it carried in on a bicycle . I have been trying to upload photos, but  the computer keeps freezing up. Maybe later.

Breakfast is a big buffet,  not as lavish as the one two years ago in Shanghai, but not too far off. Japanese, Chinese, ad European sections, plus an omelet station.

Did a  bit of a walk in the neighborhood before lunch with Margaret’s friend Lianne Li, who heads up a digital media firm. There is a nearby hutong, one of very few being preserved, and we are right in the midst of  shopping strip and  about a block from a multistory mall featuring Gucci, Kiton, Bottega Veneta, etc. Dinner was  on the fifth floor in a branch of the famous Da Dong restaurant, where we had Peking duck and an amazing array of other dishes, finishing up with deep fried apples and spun sugar. With any luck I can upload pictures of all of this later!

Rain moved in late in the day and I found out that my supposedly freshly waterproofed raincoat wasn’t. Ended up totally drenched through to my skin on the short walk between the restaurant and the hotel, and probably ruined my Taryn Rose pumps!

The trip to Tiananmen, Forbidden Palace and then Summer Palace is pretty overwhelming, all in one day.  The scale is far more than I imagined.

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Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 9, 2010

Yesterday began with the sound of a work crew outside my hotel window.The scene was just like Kuwait: a modern office building right nt to a cluster of older hsops, and workers uloading odds and ends of building materials, some of it carried in on a bicycle . I ahve been trying to upload photos, but  the computer keeps freezing up. Maybe later.

Breakfast is a big buffet, not as lavish as the one two years ago in Shanghai, but not far off. Japanese, Chinese, ad European sections, plus an omelet bar.

Did a  bit of a walk in the neighborhood before lunch with Margaret’s friend Lianne Li, who heads up a digital media firm. There is a nearby hutong, one of very few being preserved, and we are right in the midst of  shopping strip and  about a block from a multistory mall featuring Gucci, Kiton, Bottega Veneta, etc. Dinner was  on the fifth floor in a branch of the famous Da Dong restaurant, where we had Peking duck and an amazing array of other dishes, finishing up with deep fried apples and spun sugar. With any luck I can upload pictures of all of this later!

Posted by: Adam Simon | July 7, 2010

Packing

Dr. Cannon,

These extra books are really HEAVY.  I left plenty of room in my bags, but i did not consider how much weight i already had per bag.  I think my pops and I will have to split them up between our bags.

We are set to arrive at 555pm the 9th after a stop off in San Fran.

I hope that your flight is smooth, and I will see you in Beijing.

AJS

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 3, 2010

Hello world!

Only a week ’til we meet for dinner at Da Dong in Beijing.  There are several restaurants that compete for the reputation of best Peking Duck, and Da Dong is one of them. By the way, most people call it Peking Duck and Peking University, but everything else is Beijing. Here is a NYTimes review from their “36 Hours in Beijing” article:

http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/asia/china/beijing/65552/dadong-roast-duck-restaurant/restaurant-detail.html

We will actually be eating at a different location, very close to our hotel. Here is a review from a foodie living in Beijing:

http://appetiteforchina.com/peking-duck-da-dong-roast-duck-restaurant

Of course you may not be able to read the Times article when you are in China. I found this intriguing discussion of censorship in my husband’s alumni magazine California.

http://alumni.berkeley.edu/news/california-magazine/spring-2010-searchlight-gray-areas/behind-great-firewall

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