While we were “researching” information for this post, we came across an Answers.com entry about the Yangpu district which says that Wujiaochang was constructed in 1929, and the English name of it is “Pentagon Plaza.” Maybe it’s just because we’re Americans, but we think that of all the English names we’ve heard for places, that’s about the snazziest one. Well, not quite as snazzy as “Email Plaza” by Jing’an Park, but a close second.
A reader had this to say:
The Wu Jiao Chang area where our school is located is fast becoming the next Xu Jia Hui with a new Mall, Wanda Plaza which is HUGE. Wal-mart, Burger King, Starbucks, Coffeebean and Tea Leaf, Hot Wind, Bi Feng Tang, Gino Cafe, Papa Johns, Watsons are a few retailers and brands that are here as well. CNA, fashion-retailer is also set to open soon (which of course, is great news for students at Fudan University and TongJi University). There is also a cinema. Coincidentally, a new subway station is also under construction near us.
It seems that Wujiaochang has really changed, as we’ve heard from various people and blogs.
Most, but not everyone, seemed completely happy with the development. The one “dissenting” voice we heard was from a blogger who complained about the Wal-Mart out there. No clear signs, no escalator for the shopping carts (like the slanted magnetic kind at Carrefour), a huge store, bad arrangement of sections and not-so-competitive prices compared to other Chinese stores of a similar kind.
We like an Oreo Blizzard after some intense shopping, but nothing we’ve heard so far distinguishes Wujiaochang from any other place. Another another cookie-cutter shopping center, mostly serving those who live and work around there.
Sometimes we think that the evolution of streets such as Xinle Lu or Taikang Lu is a bit more interesting to talk about. At least to us, they exude more personality. The big places offer all the brand names and benefits that come with economies of scale, but after nearly six years of Shanghai, we still find Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous saying—”hell is all the other people in a Shanghai department store at the same time you are”—still rings as true as it ever did.
Thanks for the tip, Lyn!
Photo of Wujiaochang from EVA’S WORLD.