I took this photo of an Nanjing Intersection from my hotel room in the city back in 1991. I’d be very surprised if the hotel is still there, let alone the collection of trader stalls under the tarps. Like so many Chinese cities, Nanjing has undergone tremendous growth and rejuvenation in the intervening years.
I’d flown here from Xi-an and had literally just checked in. The following morning we would go to see the Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum and the first bridge over the Yangtze river completely designed and constructed by the Chinese without outside involvement. The bridge was completed in 1968 and was then and remains a symbol of pride for the Chinese.
Of course, these days, China graduates more engineers each year than the US graduates in all subjects, so I’ve been told. Even if only half true, the rise of the Chinese economy shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
But while the Chinese appear keen to preserve the more formal reminders of their past, like many other countries they tend to recycle land and re-imagine their cities and skylines. In doing so, corners such as this disappear or get moved out of sight.