July 4th in Shanghai by Rohan D.

Article by Rohan Doshi

Today, we enjoyed an action packed day exploring the amazing city of Shanghai. The day started with a traditional Chinese breakfast, which employs chopsticks and a revolving glass centerpiece at the center of the table to pass food. We then took an air-conditioned bus ride (thankfully considering the temperature hit 105 degrees!) to the heart of the new half of Shanghai to the Shanghai Museum, a museum of ancient Chinese art, situated on the People’s Square in the Huangpu District of Shanghai, China. On the bus ride, I witnessed the booming city of Shanghai. I saw endless rows of skyscrapers, a skyline that rivals that of even New York City in my opinion. Vehicles, a byproduct of the 23 million people in Shanghai, fill the streets. To me, Shanghai is also a city of contradictions. On one side of the main river is Puxi, the older half and historic center of Shanghai, characterized by shorter, more traditional buildings. On the other side is Pudong, the new half of the city characterized by endless high-rises and new construction.

The Shanghai Museum was amazing, filled with many interesting exhibits such as old Chinese pottery, currency, and artifacts. The architecture of the building is futuristic and unique. Next, we took a quick walk through the heart of the city to the Shanghai Urban Planning Center, where we watched a captivating 360-degree video about the layout of Shanghai. After that, we took a quick ice-cream stop at Häagen-Dazs, which was comforting in the scorching hot and humid weather of Shanghai. Then we went to the Shanghai Art Museum. Through it, I realized that beauty could come from simplicity. The simple and elegant nature of Chinese art appealed to aesthetic sense. After an amazing lunch, once again in the traditional style, we went on to The Bund, a waterfront walkway along the Huang Pu River with an excellent view of the stellar Shanghai skyline. After dinner, we came back to the East China Normal University Campus, tired, but happy after an amazing day getting to know the real Shanghai, the pulse of China.

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