Obama in China: 6 things the president should do
We know, Mr. Obama, you're officially visiting China for a tete-a-tete with Hu Jintao on topics ranging from combating global warming to regional security. But, Mr. Obama, in China we also know you've got to have time for recreation built into your itinerary.
SoPhoto ops at the Great Wall and Summer Palace are for the tourist masses. Barry, if you're reading this, give us a call, we'll gladly escort you to some activities your conventional schedule planner has conveniently missed, and maybe even pick you up your own ObaMao T-shirt along the way.
1. Chow down on hairy crabs
Commander in Chief, we've got good news: your visit coincides with Shanghai's hairy crab season. Best to go straight to the source for these succulent suckers -- Yangcheng Lake, just outside of Suzhou in Jiangsu province. By November, the crowds at Yangcheng will have thinned out and you can gorge on this local delicacy in peace, with a waterfront view. (Xingchen Xiezhuang Restaurant 星辰蟹庄 Yingbin Rd. West, At the Crab Waterfront Pavilion, Yangcheng Lake 阳澄湖, 迎宾西路，上蟹航苑新区 Tel. +13706264210)
2. Visit Shenzhen, city of brotherly love
A longtime resident of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, entrepreneur Mark Ndesandjo is the founder of Cabin BBQ, a chain that now has seven branches around China. Oh, yeah, Ndesandjo is also your half-brother! Isn't the opportunity to break bread -- or pulled pork -- with family reason enough to venture down to Shenzhen?
Cabin BBQ (开心烧烤): Tel. +0755-8325-8640 Address: Sungang Rd., Lotus Village（Main Entrance,) 1st Floor Address (笋岗路莲花一村(正门)楼), Shenzhen
3. Shoot hoops in Yao Ming’s backyard
We know you've been an avid basketball player since your days on your high school varsity team. That's why we're sure you'll enjoy a pickup game with the neighborhood ballers who can be found perfecting their lay-ups in Shanghai’s Xujiahui park seven days a week.
Xujiahui Park (徐家汇公园): Between Hengshan Lu and Zhaojiabang Lu, Xuhui, Shanghai 衡山路和肇嘉浜路之间
4. Pay a visit to the Blockberry Factory
You've admitted that you suffer from a BlackBerry addiction, but we bet you never imagined you'd become the unwitting spokesman for the “Blockberry,” a Blackberry knockoff from Chinese brand HAFF-COMM. Last summer, ads began cropping up showing a dignified-looking you standing alongside the “Blockberry Hurricane 9500.” (Slogan: "Obama has BlackBerry, I have Blockberry.”) Naturally, you'll want to visit the HAFF-COMM headquarters to get a firsthand look at the product you're endorsing. This might require some sleuthing: HAFF-COMM appears to be a ficticious brand, and the actual Blockberry factory is rumored to be located in Shenzhen, Shanghai or Nantong. Or somewhere. Just text us Mr. Obama -- we'll help you look!
5. Bring home gifts for the wife
What do you get for the woman who has it all? Well, when that woman is style icon Michelle Obama, a k a, your one and only, the chic boutiques of Beijing and Shanghai are great places to find unique additions to her wardrobe. Since no man knows how to shop for his wife, here are a few hints: Michelle favors sophisticated, bold designs from the likes of Jason Wu, Thakoon and Narciso Rodriguez. She'd look glam in Hong Kong designer Joyce Ma’s cutting-edge pieces. We can also see her rocking the clean, mature designs found in Beijing-based Jen Qin’s Kyoozi collection.
Find Kyoozi in Beijing at: Room 2063, 3.3 Fashion Mall, 33 Bei San Li Tun Rd., Chaoyang District Tel. +13263403701 Chinese address: 朝阳区，北三里屯路33号，2063 室
JOYCE Boutique Shanghai: 2/F, Shop 225, 1266 Nanjing Xi Lu, Plaza 66, Nanjing Xi Lu near Tongren Lu 南京西路1266号2楼恒隆广场225商铺 近铜仁路 Tel. + 021-62888383
6. Visit the Faux-val Office
When culture shock starts to take its toll on you Mr. President, there’s nothing like a little reminder of home. Or, in this case, a gargantuan reminder of home: a $10 million replica of the White House in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Zhejiang native Huang Qiaoling built the ersatz 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in 1999 after making a fortune in the tourism industry. Oh, and there’s a miniature Washington Monument just a stone’s throw away. Why go back to Capitol Hill when Capitol Hill can come to you?
Inside Song Dynasty City: 148 Zhijiang Rd., Xihu Disctrict, Hangzhou Tel. +0571 8709 6861 Chinese Address: 杭州市，西湖区，宋城， 之江路148号
So there you have it Mr. President. Give us a ring if you get lost, Mr Obama, in China. We're only too happy to help.