I’m generally a poor photo-taker. But I’m really proud of this one. Here’s the CCTV building (our state-controlled broadcast center) at night. Pretty amazing, eh?
Its weird shape kind of reminds me of Robarts Library, the library where I spent many late nights and long days ‘studying’ during my time at U of T (Toronto). Affectionately known as the Peacock, Robarts was built in the 1970’s and was rumoured to have been designed to make people feel uncomfortable if they spent too long in it. Apparently there were studies proving the building had psychologically damaging effects.
Though not psychologically damaging, the CCTV - China Central Television network - building has received its own fair share of slack. Designed by a dutch architecture firm, the building has been nicknamed “The boxer shorts building”, “Giant Underpants” and even the “Hemorrrhoids” building.
I work directly across from it and often stare out the window trying to decide if “Giant Underpants” is indeed the best name for the building - I’m still undecided.
Lit up at night however, the building is one impressive piece of architecture. What do you think?
Lets have a toast for the Besties.
It’s been nearly two months since leaving Canada and everyday in China has been different. Some days I LOVE it, some days I wish I was in Vancouver and some days I’m just like “Okay, lets see what this place is all about.”
This past Monday, I was loving it. The sun was shining, I was in a skirt and I was riding my bike to work.
I didn’t notice an airmail package I had received until much later. But when I opened it, I found the cutest card and a bunch of photos taken with an instant camera (remember those?) during the summer.
One of my best friends had been thinking about me and let me know it with a card.
Today, I’m sniffling and drinking a huge tea. The temperature has dropped and I’m sneezing like a sick person (am I sick?). Then I remembered this package. Now I’m looking at photos from summer to keep me warm and am already feeling much better.
So today, don’t forget to call your bestie and say hi.
I desperately need two oversized (preferably Mexican) sombreros. In Beijng. Got any leads? #Busheinbeijing
Here is my favourite little mini-emperor. His brother broke down in tears while getting their photo taken together. But this guy was having none of it. While his brother was crying, he was busy plotting to take over the world (or China).
Look at that side-eye, it just says it all.
Location: Summer Palace during the national holiday week (Golden Week).
Out and About in Beijing: Part 1.5 The second stop on our sunny Saturday was in Liulichang market. This area is around 900 years old, and today it’s stuffed with little shops full of old books, trinkets and tons of Mao everything (posters, pins, hats - you name it). Liulichang is also super small (approx. 750 metres long) and after taking a few turns, it’s easy to lose yourself in a maze of Hutongs - the small alleyways where people live, eat and shop - this is where the “real” action happens. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find a woman selling tiny little freshly-baked sesame buns stuffed with scallions…totally the best way to get lost in Beijing.
Out and About in Beijing: Part 1
According to everyone I’ve met so far, autumn is the best season to be in Beijing. This is punctuated by a national holiday called Golden Week, where everyone takes a week to travel home (or to a beach) and celebrate with their families.
To kick-start this, my friend and I took advantage of the blue skies, bright sun and breeze (Vancouver weather!) by exploring Beijing’s nooks and crannies. Our first stop was Ritan Park (Ritan Gongyuan) or the Temple of the Sun Park.
Ritan Park was once the location where emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties made ritual sacrifices to the sun. It’s also a beautiful, leafy, green space to walk, run or eat dumplings by the water. Here are just a few photos of our jaunt through the park Saturday.
Within the first day of my arrival, my friend Amy brought me to Sanlitun Village, an area teeming with foreigners, designer brands, bars, clubs and (at night) delicious street food. It’s far enough from where I’m staying to not feel like I live in the middle of the nightclub district, but close enough that I can go out for a cocktail and hop into a cab on the way home.
I was recently told by an Australian expat that I was going to be surprised at how much time I’m actually going to end up spending in Sanlitun. I’m not quite sure yet, but I do like knowing that it (and a Starbucks, an Apple store, a Benefit, etc, etc) are right around the corner from me.
Above, a few pics of Sanlitun during the day. It was my first weekend and I was really gunning for street-side dumplings (I’ve since found a far superior dumpling joint).