This is the first advertisement I’ve seen for the Beijing Olympics, spotted as I walked up Lexington Avenue. You’ll see the Chrysler Building in the background. I wish I had a photo of the first Beijing Olympics gear I saw in the United States. I remember it vividly because the location was so startling: I was in a coffee shop in Charleston, South Carolina, over a year ago and there was a big man in a red t-shirt eating pancakes at the counter. A Beijing 2008 t-shirt.

And I’ve seen an advertisement in New York for the 2010 World’s Fair, which will be held in Shanghai. We don’t pay a lot of attention to World’s Fairs here in the U.S.A. (though we love the World Series, of course), but they matter a good deal to many other people. Back in July I saw New York bus emblazoned with the slogan, “Better city, better life,” and here’s an article about Shanghai’s preparations for 2010. “Beijing may be getting today’s headlines, but China’s other major city is setting up some major infrastructure changes of its own,” writes Andrew Yang, “While Beijing’s urban reinvention for the 2008 Summer Olympics is attracting plenty of attention now, similarly large-scale preparations are under way in Shanghai, China’s largest city, for the 2010 World Expo. Compared to the Olympics, which lasts just a fortnight, this event will extend six months and is expected to attract 70 million visitors, according to the city’s projections.”

Advertising Beijing in New York, originally uploaded by KarenChristensen.