Saturday, May 26, 2007
Leviathans of the sky
Financial district at dusk
Shanghai, China, May 2007 [Click all images to enlarge]
The skyline is this massive city is almost overwhelming when you first see it. Unlike a typical North American metropolis, whose downtown area is is typified by a dense core of larger buildings that rise out of the less-dense neighborhoods that surround them, Shanghai seems to have endless vistas of tall buildings. But the tallest of the tall can be found here, in the financial district, also known as Lujiazui.
The tall building on the right that is nearing completion is the Shanghai World Financial Center. It will eclipse the nearby Jin Mao Building when it opens in 2008. The Oriental Pearl Tower, not visible in this image, lies to the left of the frame. Interestingly, if you look closely at the Aurora building, you'll notice the Kyocera logo on its gold glass facade. Virtually the entire surface of the building is a video screen, and each night, it runs multimedia ads that reflect across the water and are clearly visible from kilometers away.
Here's another view of the area, shifted slightly to the left and taken well after the sun had gone down. Notice the HP advertising on the nighttime shot. Its campaign, The Computer Is Personal Again, was apparent in much of the messaging at the Mobility Summit that we were attending. Pretty cool stuff.
All told, these leviathans of the sky paint a picture of this country decidedly different from the stereotypes of old. The China I had heard about as a child is worlds apart from the China that presents itself to me as I stand in awe across the river.
Your turn: You're visiting a place that you had only previously heard of or read about. Does your impression of it now change? How? Why? Feel free to share a personal travel experience.