A to Z Abroad: Nanjing Road

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Lighting up one corridor of Shanghai is Nanjing Road. Largely a pedestrian street, it is filled with retail shops, restaurants, theaters, and, kiosks. When the sun sets, throngs of people show up to take a walk down one of the most lively streets in the city.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

Nanjing Road has roots all the way back to 1845, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that it became a focal point of the retail industry. Starting with department stores and hotels, the thoroughfare grew rapidly as a popular place for both business and social events.

At night, Nanjing is incredibly crowded. There was always someone within two inches of me at any given moment, but strangely it didn’t bother me. The sights and sounds are so distracting, my Western need for personal space went largely ignored. I watched kiosk attendants make rice and fry unidentified objects, while stores selling everything from silk to shoes begged to be entered. And the lights seemed to stimulate every part of my brain.

I’m not usually mesmerized by city lights, but the color and design of the neon lights on Nanjing Road were quite the spectacle.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

My favorite light show came courtesy of a theater (I think). The lotus flower changed color along with the background several times. It was really beautiful!

Lotus Light on Nanjing Road
c.b.w. 2005

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On a sad note, my thoughts are with those who are in so much pain in Boston. A tragedy such as this makes no sense and no one should ever have to suffer this kind of horror.

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Part of the A to Z Challenge!

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c.b.w. 2013