One of the best aspects of Shanghai is that it is a huge city with a never-ending supply of places to go and things to see, so when I was feeling adventurous one afternoon, I ventured to a very popular part of Shanghai known as People's Square.
Not only is People's Square extremely close to my apartment, but that afternoon, two friends of mine and I watched the city go from day to night. We even walked down the road from the square to see the most beautiful skyline in the world..
It seems like every time my roommate and I go out, something interesting, weird, or crazy happens. That day her flip flops broke while we were walking to the metro. When she refused to go back to our apartment to get a new pair, we figured that we would find a good substitute at some point in the afternoon.
At the People's Square metro station (like many other metro stations in China), there was a fake market. We felt like we had hit the jackpot! After walking through many really random "stores", we finally found one that sold only flip flops. Unfortunately, though, no one was around. We waited a good fifteen minutes for the shopkeeper, but when no one showed up we decided to just take them. Nobody said a word as my roommate took the tag off of the new sandals and put her old ones with enough money for the purchase on a chair in the shop.
We did feel really bad, but we left the money and a pair of broken flip flops that they might be able to salvage as reparation. Below you can see a picture of my roommate and her new flip flops that she later complained "didn't match" her outfit.
Finally we were able to walk around People's Square! The square is pretty much just a plaza of hundreds of shops and malls completely surrounded by beautiful skyscrapers.
There were advertisements and people everywhere, and of course we had to take a picture of our favorite: George Clooney!
Now for a little history about People's Square (because it wasn't always like what you see below). Prior to 1949, People's Square was part of a horse race track in Shanghai. When gambling was banned by the government, People's Square became a plaza where citizens could sit on stands during parades and other entertainment on the street. The area did not become fully developed until the 1990's when other parts of Shanghai, such as Pudong, were being reconstructed.
It was really cool to look down the plaza at all of the stores, advertisements, and, of course, people!
Shanghai's weather has been slowly but surely getting warmer, so it was really nice to walk around. Even by dusk the weather was still mild, so we decided to stay and watch the city lights turn on.
As it got darker, the lights became more outstanding and beautiful. The city truly began to come alive!
If you walk down one street called Nanjing E Road, it will lead you right to a viewing deck of the beautiful skyline of Pudong.
Keep in mind that this is only one of the many different skylines of Shanghai, but I think that it is the most breathtaking.
While we were looking at the lights and taking pictures, of course we had spectators. Below is a picture of the crowd of girls who wanted to take their picture with me.
Finally we were ready to go home. The area of People's Square and the viewing platform have become one of my favorite places in Shanghai to just go to get away. The next morning I even woke up at 7AM to take the metro to the area again. Although the view is a little smoggy, it was still a relaxing place to think.