“We got yer pizza …” American cuisine well-represented at Expo 2010.

Another observation from my day-long visit to the Expo 2010 (World’s Fair) soft opening: if you like American fast food, you’re in luck. KFC. Papa John’s. Burger King. Mister Donut. Starbucks (let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?). They’re all there. And so are some of the usual Chinese suspects, too. Makes sense, of…

Paradise for People: Inside the North Korean Pavilion at Expo 2010

Lately I’ve been seeing advertisements promoting Expo 2010 (World’s Fair) as an opportunity “to see the world without leaving Shanghai.” To my mind, this is good marketing: after all, not everyone has the chance to travel abroad, and you might as well enjoy second-best if, for whatever reason, you’re not able to get yourself on…

Orphans and Woodcarvers: Shanghai’s Prodigal Memorial Gate Returns Home.

The upcoming Expo 2010 Shanghai (World’s Fair) is an un-apologetically forward-looking event, intended – at least in part – to solidify Shanghai’s place as the Next Great World City. This is all fine and good. But lost in all of this talk of the future is scant acknowledgment of Shanghai’s relatively brief but fascinating past.…

This time, quite literally: INSIDE the USA Pavilion at Expo 2010

After a year of kvetching and moaning about the USA pavilion for Expo 2010 (World’s Fair), this afternoon Shanghai Scrap finally had the opportunity to go inside the nearly complete pavilion, and have a look at how – precisely – the US will be representing itself to China, and the world, beginning May 1. Regular…

It ain’t no handstand: last [updated: not] thoughts on the USA pavilion at Expo 2010

Last year, Clive Grout, the Canadian architect commissioned to design the USA pavilion for Expo 2010, spoke to a US trade journal devoted to theme parks, about his design: “The building is designed here the way we’d do it if it was in downtown Philadelphia or in Los Angeles,” he explains. “It’s a model for…

Shanghai Eats Itself: Scrapping Dongjiadu

For those not familiar with it, Dongjiadu is a lower middle-class neighborhood south of the Bund, near the last remains of Shanghai’s old city. It’s old by Shanghai standards – some of the building might date back three centuries, I’m told – and poor. It’s also in the way of Shanghai’s ongoing redevelopment and bulldozers…

Italians painting Byzantine icons in Shanghai.

Yesterday afternoon I was invited to visit the almost-completed new fresco in the 150-year-old Dongjiadu Catholic Church (aka, the Jesuit-built St. Xavier Church) in Shanghai. The church is 150 years old, and it’s in the midst of what was once one of Shanghai’s most Catholic neighborhoods (now, mostly demolished – more on that in the…