Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nanjing Road East at Night

Nanjing Road East is the bustling shopping heart of Shanghai; running from People's Square to the Bund waterfront, Nanjing Road East today is entirely pedestrianized and is home to some of the largest, oldest, most expensive stores in China. Think 5th Avenue in Manhattan meets Times Square meets the Champs-Élysées in Paris with a dash of Blade Runner.

31°14'19" N 121°28'41" E
Left: 31°14'23" N 121°28'46" E. Right: 31°14'17" N 121°28'38" E
Left: 31°14'23" N 121°28'46" E. Right: 31°14'17" N 121°28'38" E
31°14'12" N 121°28'18" E (Note: this photo is from a previous visit to Shanghai in 2010)
Left: 31°14'12" N 121°28'18" E. Right: 31°14'14" N 121°28'21" E (Note: these two photos are from a previous visit to Shanghai in 2010)

Fifteen years ago, Nanjing Road East was home mostly to only Chinese establishments, but today the stores here are a mix of western and Chinese. Alongside Chinese department stores are everything from Pizza Hut to James Bond. High end wristwatch makers like Rolex and Omega are so popular that Omega has two separate stores on opposite ends of the street:

Left: 31°14'18" N 121°28'38" E. Right: 31°14'28" N 121°29'7" E

The biggest western brand here is, of course, Apple. The Nanjing Road Apple Store is one of the largest Apple Stores in the world, and is packed pretty much 24/7.

31°14'21" N 121°28'47" E
Left: 31°14'23" N 121°28'46" E. Right: 31°14'37" N 121°29'13" E
31°14'40" N 121°29'12" E
31°14'40" N 121°29'13" E

Nanjing Road is always under construction too, it seems, as old stores are ripped out and new ones put in. Almost always, the construction work is being done by the Shanghai Construction Group. Everywhere you look in Shanghai, you can see SCG logos stamped on construction sites; SCG more or less built the entirety of Shanghai. Most of the supertall skyscrapers in the skyline, the entire metro system, apartment complexes, bridges, government buildings, shopping malls, stadiums... you name it, SCG probably built it.

Left: 31°14'25" N 121°28'51" E. Right: 31°14'25" N 121°28'51" E
 
When rich folks visit Nanjing Road aren't buying Apple products, they're usually buying designer clothes, expensive cameras, or expensive watches.

Left: 31°14'24" N 121°28'50" E. Right: 31°14'28" N 121°29'5" E

Next post: photos from the Bund!

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