Coming from a not particularly rich part of Europe, I find certain aspects of life in Shanghai rather excessive. One of them is the fact that – at least in the city centre – every metro station (if not every street) is built over with a large shopping mall, often housing very luxurious brands and rising into the height of at least three or four floors (not including the basement). However, some of these have quite a specific atmosphere or style, and it is not so difficult to find one that feels pleasant if you want to spend an afternoon shopping, go for dinner or to the cinema.
My favourite is definitely one called Joy City. I actually grew very fond of it as early as last January when I came here to visit. It seems to be constantly growing and expanding, but it retains a non-mainstream, artistic atmosphere, thanks to its decor and various art installations. It is cunningly divided into two buildings and even further into various thematic segments, and there are a number of restaurants and shops, some of which I haven’t seen elsewhere, as well as hobby workshops, quiet spaces and cosy cafés.