This was my first trip back to the World Expo site after its closure back in October 2010. For quite some time I had been meaning to go check it out at night, and also properly see the Shanghai Arena up close for the very first time. Of course I waited until the thick of winter to venture out to Pudong and take a look.
That evening hovered around 1°C, so I packed on a couple jackets, a hat, gloves, and thick scarf… setting up shop in Yaohua Line 8 metro station before venturing out into the cold for 2½ hours.
I did my best to capture these impressive structures, but did feel something was lacking in the lighting department… especially when you consider how other things are lit in Shanghai. Or even when you look across Shang Nan Road (map) where both the China Pavilion and Shanghai Arena (aka Mercedes Benz Arena) are located, to see how impressively the Expo Axis is lit. However, all three of these structures are immense and still very much breathtaking.
EXPOdition Pt. II
August 8, 2010 – 390,700 visitors
Thanks to the Israeli Pavilion, we got VIP tickets to the pavilions of Israel, Japan, France, and Spain. I also dropped by Finland and Belgium, and take it from me, you can skip the French one, unless you really need to see more pictures of Paris and have never seen a Citroën. Japan was interesting, you certainly don’t see a robot playing a violin every day. The Spain pavilion is a definite success, the wicker building, great cave-like entrance and then the infamous gigantic moving baby, something I will not forget any time soon.
Also pictured are the pavilions of Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and of course China. In my Danish Pavilion image, if you squint, you can see the Little Mermaid statue which was taken outside of Denmark for the very first time (unless you count all the times it has been stolen and vandalized; of which including 4 decapitations, an amputated arm, numerous paintings, and the addition of a dildo).
Those final images are from inside the Smurftastic Belgium Pavilion, another one worth visiting (without my bias). The Expo Axis (the massive tent construction in the images before the Smurf invasion) is the largest membrane construction in the world, whatever that means.
You will also notice all the water being sprayed in the air… temperatures hit 40C that day.
So I finally got my first taste of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, which opened back on May 1, and runs until the end of October. Took a weekday night ticket, in the rain, and there were still massive crowds (June 24th: 447,100 visitors)… I can only imagine what it’s like on a sunny weekend.
“Better City, Better Life” is the motto, and the site itself is MASSIVE (interactive map). This first trip was only through [part of] Zone C which houses most of the European Pavilions as well as Canada, US, and Africa. And to say the Expo has transformed Shanghai city life is quite the understatement:
- 41 billion US dollars were spent on preparations (more than the 2008 Beijing Olympics);
- 18,000 families & 270 factories were relocated;
- 190+ nations and 50+ world organizations taking part (largest ever);
- Expo site covers 5.28 km², also the largest in Expo history (which equals about 987 football fields including endzones);
- 10,000+ new Shanghai taxis;
- 6 new metro lines;
- 1.7 million volunteers were trained specifically for Expo help;
- 70-100 million visitors are expected to pass through the gates;
- metal detectors (nuisance!) in every subway station throughout Shanghai;
The image above (UK Pavilion) is just a taste of the CRAZYNESS that is to come, I took 397 images and am still working through them, so check back soon as I will be updating them below!
Since 1998, Goldman Sachs has been putting out quite an interesting (and nerdy) report on the World Cup… economics-style. If you enjoy football and are suffering severly from World Cup fever as I am, download and check it out now!
Chinese New Year – Shanghai Warfare:
I was almost part of the image above… standing where that guy is standing (just to the right) about 40 seconds prior to this shot. There was also a group of roughly a dozen people behind that parked car (to the left), luckily no one was seriously injured.
Well anyway, I will keep this short, as you’re eyes have probably already wondered to the thumbnails below.
The Chinese know how to celebrate New Years… one week of intensely beautiful and brutal warfare. Also probably explains why I haven’t seen a pigeon in months.
Video I took around the time I captured images #20-21 above
And here is a video of Shanghai at midnight on Day 1 (not by me, as I left my point-n-shoot in the back of a taxi that night, RIP) that shows the scope of the mayhem that is Chinese New Year, (check it out!).
Oh, and by the way, all these photos (+ my video) were taken a block away from each other and on night 5!
2009 was a fine year, but 2010 will be the shiznit.
Now I bring you my highlights of a year in Facebook status updates:
is actually REALLY gonna miss that retarded ape we have grown to love… ah yes, Mr. Bush
is getting fitted & suited for his gig as best man this summer
is runnin around robbing banks all wacked off of scooby snacks
just got his foot into the door of a gallery, now if only he can get his work in there too
is Brooklyn’s answer to Travis Bickle
is preparing for tomorrows dystopian onslaught
c’mon people… stop dying
is having issues on finding a suitable way of transporting his beast of a CPU
is worried about tonight… between my friends’ threats of “kill[ing] me with alcohol” and finalizing my move, is a large fuzzy area
Peace out America!!
has eaten more Chinese food than you have in the past week
SavageHenry 3.0 is online!
just realized that “1,2,3″ in Mandarin sounds like a homie tryin to get to the hospital… “E.R., son!”
So apparently in China I might be one in a million, but that still means there are over a thousand others just like me