Lens-Artists Challenge #29 – Cityscapes
“The life of a city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects.”
This week Patti invites us to share some of our favorite cityscapes. For many of you, her subject is one that presents a marvelous opportunity to share your home city or that of your loved ones. Having been raised in a small town, and living now in an even smaller one, for me it’s a bit more challenging. I thought about some of the beautiful cities I’ve been fortunate to visit most recently – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and New York. Looking further back, I’ve visited and photographed some of the world’s great cities: in the U.S., places like LA, San Francisco and Chicago. Farther afield I’ve visited Sydney, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Vancouver, Toronto, Vienna, Budapest, Paris, London and Rome among others. Quite a list when I think about it!
“A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.”
Why then have I chosen to highlight just one of the many cities I’ve seen? First and perhaps most importantly I’ve loved all of the cities I’ve listed. Each is amazing in its own right with its unique sights and personality. Who could visit the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge for example, and not come away in awe? Since I cannot speak to all of the great cities I’ve seen (well I suppose I could but I’m sure I’d have lost you long before I finished), I decided to choose only one. So then the question becomes, why Shanghai?
“The one thing that all great cities have in common is that they are all different.”
First and foremost, for me Shanghai was the most surprising of any I’ve visited. I expected horrific air quality but got pristine, clear skies. I expected ancient but got an equal amount of Disney-like new (such as Pudong, the area above, built in 1990 and thereafter). I expected purely Chinese but got an internationally-mixed population such as that of the French Concession or the ex-pat communities involved in the business of the world’s busiest container port or the thriving financial industry. Last but not least, I expected city lights but was completely bedazzled by the brilliance of the cityscape at night.
“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.”
Simon Van Booy
Another reason to highlight Shanghai is because it was there for the first time that I met a friend I’d known only through blogging. She was a Canadian ex-pat who had lived in China for years. We had great fun connecting and comparing experiences. Unfortunately once she returned to Canada she discontinued her blog. However I’ve since met several others through blogging and found them all to be talented, interesting, warm and charming. I am proud to call them my friends and happy to have added a personal element to my blogging experience – proving (as usual) the benefit of stepping out of one’s comfort zone.
“A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.”
As those who follow me know, I love to travel and experience new places. While I am primarily a nature-lover, I also enjoy visiting cities and exploring their culture, their foods, their art scenes, and of course their people. I highly recommend Shanghai for all of those things, and hope your experience there is as rewarding as mine.
“Cities are like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler.”
As always, timing is everything. While during our visit the air was pristine, my friend sent a photo of the city taken a week later and you literally could not see Pudong because of the dense air pollution.
Wishing everyone a terrific week ahead. Hopefully the dire weather forecast for the U.S. will fail to appear. Remember to tune in for Ann-Christine‘s Challenge #30 next week, and many thanks to Patti for this week’s fun Cityscapes. As always, we look forward to seeing your responses.