I’ve always been fascinated by skyscrapers. At 7, I remember watching King Kong scale the Empire State Building onscreen and wishing I could do the same. Years later, during a trip to New York City, I took an elevator to the top of the World Trade Center and marveled at the helicopters and small planes flying below.
When I visited Shanghai last month, I had to see the city from the top of one of its landmark skyscrapers. I picked the 88-story Jin Mao Tower, home of The Grand Hyatt Shanghai hotel and one of the tallest buildings in China. A sign at the ticket window for the observation deck said “visibility poor,” but I decided to take my chances and paid 150 yuan ($24) for a ride to the top.
It turned out to be the worst 150 yuan I’ve ever spent. Clouds completely obscured the view. With nothing to see, I put down my camera and stared into the mist, wishing King Kong was around to part the clouds.