Been here a few times, last at the annual Shanghai Literary Festival in March. Surprisingly cheap – I got a student discount on the entrance ticket so got in for 10 kuai (about 1 EUR). Orange juice and lectures included. Well, I guess I can´t help getting cheap, too; this studentship´s stripped my budget big time.
So, Glamour. Has one of the best views of the Pudong side of the city. You know, the Blade Runner feeling, ye? Oops, again so first-month lithe tongue, apologies. Still, allowing oneself a bit of jaw-dropping at the river-lights and concrete/crystal/plastic/laser fireflies fits smoothly to this context since they mostly target tourists and expats. Posh or not, the venue does prove to be handy at times, you know-we know, when one needs their regular Europe-fix at those miserable misshomewannagohome moments. They have stray cats balancing on the window sills, nice red wine (58 Kuai per glass), books and jazz and Hong Ying, occasionally. (yeah, loved it; Daughter of the River was mysterious and genuine but slightly too casual and too ready to tease her fellow wordbender husband sitting next to her, plus a wee bit brief on writing techniques. So, while listening eagerly of course, I also opted for the outside view and watched the dirty little cat balancing on the bricks. And got, totally, carried away by this Huangpi landscape, see above.
To my surprise, little info about the edificio can be found on the Internet (apart from party photos and lengthy discussions on the changing of the menu). Shame, Nissin Shipping Building, (built in 1921) seems like the wardrobe door to Narnia. Claro, might just depend on the wicked cocktails one picks. Problem solved.
In fact, there are many bars like this all around the city. (Maybe at slightly less thumbs-up locations, though). But still, really, many. Glamorous, luxurious (and maffiozorous), decadent, up and running. So when people say Shanghai is not the real China, I can´t but disagree, you know. It is the Chinesest. Shanghai, with places like these, tucked in between the most spectacular skyscrapers I´ve ever seen, is China´s attempt to make a statement. It´s Narcissus, clamouring to attract attention to a reflection of a current ambition. And yep, Barney got it wrong – ambition is so not the enemy of success.