Things we would do together:

* 清华美术学院 (Tsinghua Art school) I just saw this place yesterday yet it's a 10 minute walk from my house. It's tremendous, housed in a very attractive, very new building with giant wooden panels and red ropes running across the center of the atrium. You can see Chinese students studying surprisingly Soviet-realist oil painting, or mixtures of saluting Mao statues, dragons, and giant red fiberglass contemporary-ness all mixed together in the sculpture garden. Very pleasant with a cheap cafe on site.

* 胡同 (hutong neighborhoods) Crumbling ancient buildings with slope-eaved roofs together with cheap construction efforts and white titled supply stores, noodle carts selling jiangbing pancakes, old men walking their cages birds, questionable massage parlors, Xinjiang men with wool caps grilling skewered mutton while shirtless construction workers drink qingdao beer and smoke strong cigarettes. The soul of north China.

* 草场地 (Caochangdi) This really goes along with 七九八 (798 Art district) and is the darling of the contemporary art scene in China. 草场地 is the more serious of the two, with a recently moved in Dutch gallery with fortress like walls right inside a rather serious hutong. 798 is more drama and cafes, lots more tourists and 10x the size.

* 饭! (food!) This is countless and beyond description, and the food scene here is incomparable and very cheap, even for high-end restaurants.

* 七彩大世界 (Embassy market) Not sure of the English name of this place, but it's near 女人街 (Women's street) This market has an impossibly random assortment of revolutionary grenade launchers and espresso machines, cell phones and counterfeit dresses, used furniture and old records. The whole area around it is terribly strange with a kosher and African themed restaurant on the same street.

* 钟鼓楼 (Drum and Bell tower area) A solid strip of nice restaurants, DVD and anime shops, traditional candy and toy stores, Yunnan bars, mellow music coming from cafes, incredibly real hutong, etc. surrounded by the most beautiful setting in the entire city, with the ancient bell towers visible from everywhere in the area, trained pigeons with whistles attached buzzing overhead and enough places to see and walk around to occupy the whole night.

* Besides this, there are more obvious tourist sites in and around Beijing (great wall, ming tombs, Tiananmen, Forbidden City...) plus dozens of smaller or unnoted places. I'll keep up with the posting, and everything is fine with me here! A little homesick still, but managing to do well here.


Anonymous said...

My wonderful Chinese Son,
You are such an expressively, concise writer-I feel like I can understand what China is like!
I think of you alot and when you add something new to the blog, my small world is complete for a few days and the feeling renews with each entry. Just knowing you are okay in the world is all I need.
There are many people on this side of the planet that feel the same, missing you but at the same time knowing this is your dream and the interenet helps you to share it with us all!
Thank You, yours sappily!
I Love you -write more and often !

about us said...

sounds like a plaN (and what a PLAN!)
yesterday, ariel, suzy, oly, and i went to the 2nd saturday gallery walk in wynwood...nothing at all memorable in regards to the art...except the art we made that is (much anticipated video to come!)! to start, at ariel's, we drank a bottle of sake, making all the social interactions that much easier. then we went for the gold and power walked most galleries dismissing everything as garbage (that it rightly so was!) and to end, went to a local-super-hipster's house (connected -of course- to oly) and while we were completely anti-social and smoked cigarrettes and drank beer in the back yard, they all played the Wii...so it was a video game party...wow...i'd never really been to one of those...

ross said...

I love you mom! Thanks for the sweetness. I'll post more, and if someone takes a damn picture of me at some point, I'll slap that on this site as well.

Isa - wow... Miami artness. Actually, I miss the gossip and the bullshit most of all. That's always been the point, actually. Here people kinda look at art! (very kinda)