Views of Shanghai
Looking up the Huangpu River at the hazy /smoggy Shanghai skyline. We waited a few days for the "fog" to clear and then realized that it was there to stay. Conditions improve briefly after the squalls that pass near the East coast of China.
The Peace Hotel as seen from the river. This building was part of the "Bund" a series of turn-of-the-century edifices that still line the West bank of the Huangpu.
Although this Signal Tower is now dwarfed by the surrounding skyline, when it was built in 1908 it was used to transmit typhoon warnings (telephoned in by Jesuits from a remote observatory no less). It is supposedly the only surviving art nouveau building in Shanghai.
Recent capital investment in Shanghai yields lots of contrasts between the new (ca. 1920s) and the newer (ca. 1990s). Here the Customs House (right) and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (formerly the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, left) which were both built in the 1920s are overshadowed by one of Shanghai's newer skyscrapers (nice hat!).
The skyscrapers of the Pudong financial district lie across the Huangpu River from Shanghai proper and have all been built since 1990 on former farmland.
The Oriental Pearl Tower rises above Pudong and has 360 degree viewing platforms at 263 and 356 meters. Because of its appearance James, Sophie and Valerie agreed to rename it the "Ruby Laser" and discussed various scenarios straight out of a James Bond film where it would be used (wait a minute...didn't it already appear in a James Bond film?)
The view downriver of the Huangpu from inside the top level of the Ruby Laser (through one of the pink glass panels). Pudong is on the right bank. The pink actually cuts down on the glare from the smog so you can see out toward the confluence with the Yangtze.
A view of the Jin Mao Tower from a non-ruby panel of the Pearl Tower. We were told that in Mandarin "Jin" means gold and "Mao" means luxury. Next door to the Jin Mao tower the foundation is going in for the what is planned to be the tallest building in the world.
Gang of four on a Huangpu River boat plotting the overthrow of their parents.
The Yangpu Bridge. It is a cable supported bridge but you can't see the lines because of the haze.
Ship construction at the Shanghai Boatyards. This appeared to be a new hull in the foreground while the ship in the background was an old one undergoing repairs.
On our first full day in Shanghai we dragged the kids 3 miles down the Nanjing Road from our apartment (view of Nanjing road from our apartment is on the left) to the Bund. Six donuts, five scoops of ice cream and a cup of coffee later we finally made it. On the right Sophie and James pose along a typical stretch of sidewalk.
Recent Shanghai skyscrapers have several distinctive features. For one, they all have hats. A good example is the building with the flying saucer shaped hat in the picture on the right (next to the historic Park Hotel in the foreground). They also have operable windows even though air conditioning is fairly common. Even the tallest buildings have many windows open on sunny days. Our apartment on the sixteenth floor has windows large enough to throw a piano out of (a source of much anxiety to nervous parents). This is great for ventilation and energy savings but possibly a disaster in the making in a possible future bear market.
Alex wanted to take this photo of the everpresent dragons...especially attracted to jewelry stores (the dragons not Alex).
Our obligatory trip to the local aquarium included conversations with fish. The aquarium, located in Pudong was very impressive and populated with large and exotic fish.
Alex poses with a group of hefty Koi.