The city is looking amazingly fabulous right now. I love it! The dreariness of winter has vanished and in its place, an explosive riot of rainbow neon and LEDs has transformed Shanghai into a city of lights. Before Expo began, the lights of the buildings along the river were turned off at a sensible and practical 9pm, even though the city itself never sleeps. Now the Bund has taken a leap into hyperspace with every conceivable surface covered in pink, red, blue and green fluorescent neon lights; the Pearl Tower looks like it’s ready to rocket off into the stratosphere at any second; and all the high-rises have been transformed into giant TV screens. Guess the Party will be footing the electricity bill for all this then…
The Aurora building in Pudong has the best display – 50 storeys of animated Coke advertisements, electronic fireworks, Expo ads and my own personal favourite – I♥SH with a big pulsating red heart. Say it loud and proud – I Love Shanghai!
Have you been to Shanghai? Then you know the Oriental Pearl Tower, that sparkling pink and concrete sputnik that sits on the Pudong side of the river in Lujiazui. It is fairly heavily pink on a sunny day, and you could easily imagine it as the dream rocket of someone like, say, Cosmonaut Barbie.
But today Shanghai is struggling to be warm and the whole city is shrouded in a quiet grey mist. The Bund is almost deserted, and over the river, the silhouette of the Pearl Tower is just visible. I think it looks hauntingly lovely.