Something unexpected: A Chihuly-reminiscent work of art by the Grand Canal in the West Lake Culture Center. Real? According to Chihuly’s website, not so much since the only public installation they have in China is in Macau. But sometimes, it seems as if Chihuly’s work follows me; I always seem to stumble onto his exhibitions without even trying, from Rhode Island to Nevada to Massachusetts.
A gorgeous day along the Grand Canal (it runs from Hangzhou all the way up to Beijing and Xi’an!) complete with a trip to the Hangzhou museum, reading one of West Lake’s folktales by the water, and biking to one of the historical streets up in northern Hangzhou 小河街. And this beautiful mural on the side of a building.
The weekend before? Shanghai to collect business cards and drink wine, the Shanghai Museum + Yuyuan Gardens (beautiful but confusing without a map) + French Concession + the Bund, playing with a kitten at my hostel, and meeting up with B. for Chicago-style pizza hidden in a Chinese food restaurant (crazy! It was quite a search to find it too.) And massages that made my upper back sore the next day.
Must admit that I am loving these West Lake folktales more than the Beijing ones. More magic! More dragons and phoenixes (?) and golden cows with powers! ❤
Also, have I told you that in my neighborhood, meat grows on trees?