Me and Chairman Mao
  Sky high.
Hong Kong has the world's greatest skyline. Some of you in cities with famous skylines that might dispute that, but the simple fact is that you would be wrong. Sorry, happens to the best of us. (I myself have been wrong before--back in the late mid-Nineties when I should have had the chicken.) And it's not just me that says so, either: this guy (who I found via Shanghaiist) says so as well. Who is he to rank skylines, you ask? Apparently he has a degree in Urban Planning or something, which makes him more qualified than me, although just barely--I think maybe he got bad grades or something because his list is a little odd, to say the least.

Why odd? Because he seems to judge a skyline based primarily on how many big buildings it has, as if that's what makes a skyline great. (You might also wonder he seems to be so obsessed with size. I don't, but you might, depending on just how far down in the gutter your mind rests. I'm guessing it's so far down that you can't see the stars at all, even if you ARE looking at them, but you know more about than I do, since your mind is the one in the aforementioned gutter.) Because to me, while tall buildings are all well and good, I think you also need memorable buildings. After all, all the tall buildings in the world don't make an impressive skyline if none of them stand out.

Which is why, for example, I question having New York way down at #4, behind Hong Kong, Chicago, and Shanghai. Since I'm in a forgiving mood, having had my morning coffee, I'll give him Hong Kong and Shanghai (insert obligatory Blade Runner reference here), but Chicago? Really? What does Chicago have? Sure, the Sears Tower is a really tall, but isn't it basically just a really tall rectangle? I mean, could you recognize the silhouette of the Chicago skyline based on that, a rectangular building that's basically like most of the other high-rise buildings in the world, except slightly taller? I don't think I could. And I know Chicago has this whole "Second City" chip on its shoulder (to which I say "Second? Really?"), but how does Chicago rate above New York which has--between the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty--the most recognizable skyline in the world?

Anyway, all of this is basically a very convoluted way--who me, convoluted?--of leading into the following picture of the Hong Kong skyline, which is pretty amazing. More amazing than my picture makes it out to be, since this is (obviously) three different pictures, none of which are very good, that have been stitched together:

(Side note: I had to shrink the picture down to fit on the front page of the blog, but here's a link to a bigger version.)

And here, just for fun, is a slightly better shot of just part of the skyline. The building with the white neon trim is the Bank of China building by I.M. Pei, which is apparently famous among those who are into such things:

If you're interested, you can find more pictures of the Hong Kong skyline in my Hong Kong phog. And, if you want to compare skylines, you can some pictures I've taken of Shanghai's skyline here and here.

So that's that. I have still more pictures of Hong Kong to post at some point (I feel a "Hong Kong: The Return of the Phog!" post coming on soon), and we are going to Macau this weekend, so I suppose a Macau phog will also be in order. I'm sure you can't wait ...
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