Saturday, June 18, 2005

Shanghai III

Concrete palm fronds erupt from a police state hotel tower. The now-familiar cancerous polyps of the Oriental TV Tower in Pudong, joined now by an army of post-modernist, post-rational confections. A world's worth of architectural adornments have been plagiarized at random and plastered without order onto the skyline. At night it all winks and flashes like a cut-rate Vegas floor show.

And this is the future. I suppose I could get used to it, but I'd really rather not. I'd just as soon get back on the plane and find a place where trees are not yet ironic design elements.

I follow a series of imaginatively mangled signs.

"Bund Sightseeing tunnel is mysterous."

"Feost for the eyes via a single bund sightseeing tunnel."

I treat myself to a freakish run under the Huangpu River in the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel (30 yuan gets you a ride through a subway tunnel tarted up by a third-rate lightshow).

There's an almost willful tackiness to this place.

Shanghai, China

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