Along the Shopping Routes

While I’ve never been much into shopping I have so much time that I can afford also checking out changes along the major tourist shopping routes, NanJing Lu and HuaiHai Lu. Only on my way back I learned from the news monitors on the metro that today there were “only” some 380.000 visitors to the Expo. So it would have been a good day for visiting the Expo, despite (or because?) it being a holiday. Now it’s too late…I will go tomorrow morning.

Left: Most Important Thing On Top in People’s Park.

Center: Love Corner – Can’t be long ago that somebody threw all these red leafs into this rocky corner in a hide away spot in People’s Park. And while I can’t read much of the painted characters their meaning is quite obvious. The area was filled with young couples looking for a quiet place just to themselves in this busy city. I find my way out quickly.

Right: Have you ever wondered what would happen if Chinese get access to an autoscooter? I, in fact, have. Today in People’s Park I got the answer: It’s not as chaotic as probably expected, but they aren’t afraid of each other and the stability of the bumpers either. And safety belts are for whimps…

Left: Nanjing Dong Lu – I never liked it. But I wanted to see if it changed and give it a chance. In vain. It’s still the same. But…I was only approached six times by strangers on the full extend of this shopping street, 4 times for DVDwatchbag and twice for practising English. Not too bad…there were worse times.

Center: We were there! Another couple having there photo taken as a souvenir. See yesterday’s one at Oriental Pearl.

Right: Oh…I simply had to do this one when passing by. So, who’s first? That golden M??? The shop on the left is another popular chain, the UBC Cafe.

Far Left: Every once in a while there are still some left-overs of old Shanghai popping up behind a corner. But they are slowly disappearing.

Left Center: A rare sight these days, when everybody keeps playing on their mobile phones. But they still do exist: Community phones at the entrance to residential side streets.

Right Center: GuangXi Bei Lu – The low residential buildings aren’t exactly old, but still they contrast nicely with the glass’n’steel high rise in the background.

Far Right: I was a Starbucks – One of the more prominent changes dominate HuaiHai Zhong Lu: Hong Kong Plaza amongst others were completely renovated, which means: All the smaller shops and restaurants got thrown out, including one of my favorite Starbucks cafes in this corner. And in came top brands. They are always the same and nowadays available in way to many places… The effect is that Hong Kong Plaza, 3 years ago a lively place, is now vastly empty. The same goes for this building next to HK Plaza. There isn’t enough money for so many Louis Vuitton, Yves Laurent, Tiffany, and Cartier flagship stores.

Today’s Lesson: Too many brand flagship stores.