By mrbill on Apr 29, 2009
I have discovered something interesting (to me anyway). The biggest industry in Shanghai appears to be building Shanghai. I have to dust my shoes every day after work. In the 3km of sidewalk between my hotel and the Shanghai Sun office, there are 8 places where the sidewalk is blocked off because someone is digging, laying pipe, or pouring concrete. Everywhere you look, there is construction. Outside the Sun office, they have been doing pipe repairs in one direction this week, while they are laying new cables and conduit in the other direction. This makes for one giant ditch and many interesting smells in the morning.
In this picture, you can see the backhoe digging (again) more stuff out of the ditch in front of the office, while in the background, you can see construction cranes putting up new buildings. I don't know what the average lifespan of a building here is, but they are definitely not in a "slow down" due to any economic crisis! Also note the "interesting" methods of cabling and wiring for electricity and cable TV. If you have some spare length leftover, just coil it up and hang it from the pole. I have been bumped on the head several times this trip with low hanging wires while walking down the sidewalk. I am a bit tall for China at 192+ cm, but it does scare the snot out of you on a dark street at night!
They do have some amazing buildings here though, especially in the new northern section of Pudong, across from the old Bund river side district. I didn't get pictures of the new Grand Hyatt or Park Hyatt, or the building that looks like a giant neon sail. Perhaps tonight. They are much more interesting with the lights on. For some reason, Shanghai folks love to put fancy crowns and funky accessories lit up with bright lights and neon on their buildings. Definitely makes it easier to navigate. "Go down Hengshan until you get to the big crown, make a left and continue until you get to the 4 teddy bears hanging from a blue neon beach ball, then go right towards the big neon domino tile with the sparkly lights on top. If you get to the KTV with all the skimpy dressed girls bugging you to come inside for lady-bar or good messadjeh, you went too far."