In its heyday, Shanghai was the place to be -- it had the best art, the greatest architecture, and the strongest business in Asia. With dance halls, brothels, glitzy restaurants, international clubs, and even a foreign-run racetrack, Shanghai was a city that catered to every whim of the rich. But poverty ran alongside opulence, and many of the lower-class Chinese provided the cheap labor that kept the city running. The Paris of the East became known as a place of vice and indulgence.
Standing at the crossroads of influences from the east and the west, Shanghai in the 1930s was best remembered because of its vibrant nightlife. In this city that never slept, there were hundreds of cabarets, nightclubs, and elite ballrooms. Perhaps the most famous of all was The Paramount, an elite nightclub that attracted Shanghai's rich and famous. Built in 1933, the Art Deco landmark was the biggest ballroom in the city situated at the iconic Bubbling Well Road. While its English name paid tribute to its colossal size, its transliterated name in Mandarin read as Bai Le Men, meaning Gateway to 100 Pleasures.
In the spirit of innovation, inclusiveness, and commercialism, being Haipai included embracing new forms of Western-style consumerism and mass entertainment. Unlike their more conservative comrades in other parts of China, Shanghailanders were known to enjoy urban life and all that it had to offer. They frequented department stores, enjoyed reading novels and magazines, and reinvented traditional opera performances. Therefore, they became the main target audience of mass advertising.
然後，中共接管上海後，奮鬥了七十餘年，如今上海的GDP Per capital已經不如以上提到的任何一個城市。在曾經引以為豪的金融領域，開創各種亞洲之先的上海更是到今天都不如已經開始衰退的香港和方興未艾的新加坡。橫向對比，真相完全與直覺相反，那就是在中共的管治下，上海不但沒有在本來的基礎上進一步發展，反而大幅後退，錯過了很多寶貴的時機。當下的香港似乎印證了這一點，民國時期平平無奇的香港因獨立於共產極權而興，鼎盛時與倫敦紐約並稱世界三大金融中心。也因為中共的重新管治而衰，江河日下，恆生腰斬，世界金融中心的地位一舉喪失。