Tag Archives: RiseSun Manhattan Plaza

Xinbei’s Never-Ending Kiss

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

It was first published in Life Magazine in 1945, and it has gone on to become an iconic image of victory at the end of World War Two. In a picture, a sailor holds a nurse in his hands, dips her, and gives her a deep, long kiss. It must have been a good one, too. The woman looks like she’s practically melting in his arms. This took place in Times Square in New York City, right after announcements that Japan had officially surrendered, the and bloodiest war in human history was now something for the history books.

For a long time, the identities of the two smoochers remained unknown. The sailor was a guy named George Mendonsa. He was on a first date with his future wife-to-be. Only, his girlfriend isn’t the one he kissed in the picture. She actually watched. Her date, George, after hearing the news, rush up the first nurse he saw and planted the now iconic kiss. Was his date angry? Oddly enough, no. George was swept with the memory of nurses and acted impulsively. The woman in the picture actually didn’t want to be kissed in the first place. However, the real story doesn’t live up to people’s imaginations.

This photo has lived on as part of “Americana.” Just like Marilyn Monroe’s fluttering skirt, it has turned up in Changzhou. Xinbei’s new Risesun Manhattan Plaza has a statue of the sailor and the nurse. Marilyn is clearly visible from the street, but the kissing couple takes a bit of walking to find. It’s located on the side of shopping center where storefronts still remain empty. There is also still a construction barricade on the other side. IMG_20160511_132108


Looking Up Marilyn Monroe’s Skirt

IMG_20160511_132818Certain moments in film are iconic enough to become ingrained into culture. These moments tend to outlive the media that spawned them, and people become aware of them without even knowing where they originated. The shower murder scene in Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” for example.  Adolf Hitler, in the German picture Der Untergang, having a meltdown is another.  That became a viral meme on the Internet; people removed the subtitles, added their own, and then uploaded it to YouTube.  So, you can now see the worst megalomaniac in history become unhinged regarding everything from the iPad to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Another example would be Marilyn Monroe wearing a white dress.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The scene goes like this: Marilyn Monroe steps on a sewer grate in New York City. A gush of air blows upward, and the iconic diva fights to hold the dress drown.  Originally, the scene came from 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. Now, however, it’s gone on to become a cultural reference that pops up everywhere. Most recently, Daniel Defoe crossdressed as Monroe in a Snickers Superbowl ad. He scowled as he held down the white dress. He did not want to be indecently exposed.

These references can even show up in places like China. Two years ago, when I first moved to Wujin, I once saw a Chinese college student wearing a jean jacket; Monroe was airbrushed on the back throwing up gang signs. The word gangsta! was written out below. Sadly, I never took a picture.  Yet, I saw something even more absurd than that, recently.

It was at the RiseSun Manhattan plaza. It’s a relatively new shopping center in Xinbei. It’s not exactly filled with shops, and the last two times I went there, construction workers were still at work. Plus, new and different things were erected. One of them was a large statue of Marilyn Monroe in her iconic white dress.
This scene from the seven year itch has lived on because it’s tantalizing. It teases men with prospect a more private aspect of

Monroe, but the original film clip denies this at the same time. That makes the imagery all the more erotic — after all, it leaves men to their lewd imaginations. Only, this version of the white dress gets a little more raunchy. It leaves little to the imagination.  Yes, you can see Marilyn Monroe’s white panties.

I can imagine some potential critics right now, screaming, “Pervert! Why were you intentionally trying to look up Marilyn Monroe’s skirt?” That’s the thing, I wasn’t. This statue is makes the undergarments extremely visible. If you are standing behind this statue, you have no choice but to see them.IMG_20160511_132851