Staggering, Swaggering Shanghai.

The three big ones: Shanghai World Financial Center (Bottle Opener), Jinmao Tower, and the world’s soon-to-be-tallest building (Wedding Cake) going up one floor every 5 days.

Shanghai is the largest city in China at 23 million people, and ergo, the largest city in the world. Believe me when I tell you that it looks and feels like no place else I’ve ever been.  In short, this city is a trip. It’s simultaneously insanely ambitious in its building…

Now that’s tall…

…and quietly beautiful.

The moon gate at Yuyuan Gardens.

But make no mistake, this city is moving every minute of the day and night.

This largest port in the world, rocking on the banks of the Yangtze River, never sleeps. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around all the different things I was seeing. Cranes and more cranes, and then, simple birds.A lotus building…And a 450-year old ginko tree.

Bright lights..

Big city.

And even while the people we see in the hotel and across the street at the stunningly expensive shops in the IFC mall are far more glamorous and well-dressed than I’ve ever dreamed of being, the Chinese I love to see are just plain folks.

But there’s nothing plain about Shanghai.

That’s for sure. Now I’m home, just in time for Thanksgiving. And I’m giving thanks for being home sweet home. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

16 thoughts on “Staggering, Swaggering Shanghai.

  1. I didn’t even know you were in China. Great photographs, as always, Betty. I love seeing the world through your lens — and through your mind.

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • Had a great Thanksgiving up in NYC with Larry’s family and my Lulu — then visited with friends in Swarthmore, where we used to live & that I miss so much. BUT .. i will never again have Thanksgiving dinner without thinking of your “bulldozing food into my mouth” remark. Seriously — that was awe-inspiring writing! China was amazing (as I know YOU know) especially being in Shanghai and Nanjing, which I’m pretty sure are the two most beautiful cities in the country. We were there for a CIEE board meeting that Larry sits on — pretty sweet gig! Now I’m off to Ecuador for my last Heifer trip … sob! What’s next?????

    • Prosperous doesn’t’ even begin to describe it .. I now totally can see why Thomas Friedman said that coming back to America from China was like traveling from the developed world to a developing country. Their infrastructure and building rates positively dwarf ours … Happy T-day to YOU, too, Rosie!!! (a bit late….)

    • Happy Thanksgiving to YOU, Ivette — hope you’ll be with your darling granddaughter (and super darling daughter) on Thanksgiving (and your son, too, of course) …. can’t wait to hang with you in ’13!!! xooxxo b

  2. Wow it has changed in the last 20 years. We loved walking in the old town through the gardens and strolling on the Bund. I hope it has kept some of it’s charm on the old side and let the growth happen across the river.

    • Wow, Louise, you are an early bird! In the last 20 years, Pudong (East River) was built from scratch and includes all the high rises you see .. but the Bund is on Xidong (West River) and does maintain its beautiful low profile of neighborhoods like the French Concession and is totally walkable. It is amazing the contrast between the two — and even harder to believe that 23 million people live here! Happy Thanksgiving, honey!

  3. Thanks for another eye opener!! Love the funky doorways and the peaceful gardens and sculptures over the big city bldgs [even though they were very impressive].You have a great Thanksgiving!! You are someone I am thankful for. Thanks for opening my eyes to so many special people and places this year. May you have the love of your family around you this week since you put so much love out there for everyone!!

    • Thanks, Deb! I can’t believe I’m getting on another airplane tomorrow (gulp) but it will be great to see Lulu and be with Larry’s family … Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family!! We are so lucky and have been so blessed, right??! xoxoox B

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