…you can see forever!
Bright, sunny and…industrious!
Actually, a better title might be “Here today, gone tomorrow!” Which may or may not represent my own stint in China, though it turns out that I’ll be here for at least another eight months.
What I’m actually alluding to is the phenomenon of perceived, rapid and sudden change that is so common to the landscape of China. Something familiar may up and disappear in the space of a day or, in the case of Jinyin St. (金银街), several weeks. Since the sudden start of construction about two weeks ago, Jinyin St. has been completely ripped up and redecorated. The buildings across from the Nanjing University Xiyuan Hotel have had a literal face-lift and faux, European-esque awning is in the process of going up as I write. Then there’s the street itself. Apparently, City Planning has decided to change the area into a pedestrian street…a Little Europe/America/vaguely-Western-ish Street if you will. Good-bye, blacktop. Hello, tiny cubes of uneven granite.
The street will no doubt be gorgeous once work is complete. And while I am skeptical about the lifespan of the eye-catching brick wallpaper, I will appreciate the awning on rainy Nanjing days. I also concede that the entire project is very clever and gives the city a dressed-up, foreigner enclave with a preexisting population. A preexisting population that is more than willing to frequent a henceforth, not-dusty, not-dingy social space a stone’s throw from their dormitory.
September 15, 2009
April 28, 2011
Certainly, with the amount of work being done (which actually also includes much repaving of the area around the cluster of school buildings next to the HNC) plans must have been in the works for a lengthy period of time. We only perceive the decision to rebuild as sudden since we had absolutely no notice. The moral of the story: Don’t blink. You’ll miss a whole lot in China.
Happy last day of New Year’s!
In lieu of the actual Nanjing lantern festival, here’s my lantern!
On my way back from picking up my fully restored electronic dictionary, I happened to pass by Shizi Qiao on Hunan Lu in all its New Year’s splendor.
Shizi Qiao all decked out for Chinese New Year!
There was a stand selling really beautiful paper-cuts by Jiansu artist Chen Yao (陈耀):
Chen Yao’s （陈耀） paper-cut stand
The paper-cutting master himself! (Well a picture of him at least…)
Specially designed for Chinese New Year 2010!
The images in that last paper-cut were chosen to represent different auspicious sayings…Next up we’ve got the lantern festival to celebrate the end of two weeks of New Year’s celebration. I can’t wait to check out Fuzi Miao on Sunday!
Gearing up for Yuanshao is no problem!
During my late-evening run to McDonald’s tonight, I discovered the best way to find fireworks in an unfamiliar city. One must not have any kind of photography equipment and one must not be seeking fireworks expressly! This way, when one discovers themselves under those spectacular sparks, one can admire without any obligation to make a record!
Alas, I've succumbed to the lure of those seductive arches...let me tell you though, the U.S. totally needs Taro Pie!
It can’t be Chinese New Year without fireworks! And so I went out last night in search of some. The hunt was a little disappointing since I had the odd habit of always being in the worst place possible to see them go off.
At last! Fireworks!
The solitary photo above is the only one I took last night that was presentable. My timing and aim leave much to be desired… For a comparison of what other wonderful night vistas I’ve been taking in this CNY, I also include for you a view from Taipei and a view from my dorm room window:
[mediaplayer src=’/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/taipeicny2010-1.wmv’ ]
[mediaplayer src=’/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/nanjingcny2010-1.wmv’ ]
EDIT: You’ll need the Microsoft Silverlight plugins to view these videos!
…and all was quiet in Nanjing.
I flew to Shanghai yesterday out of Songshan Airport in Taipei. How surprising it was to find the train station packed to the brim! From what I understand, the majority of travel is done the eve of Chinese New Year, since most people must work up to the very last minute. Given the fact that so much of the labor force is from out-of-town, there’s a kind of vacuum effect that happens to the east coast cities as everyone frantically hops on some sort of transportation back to the inner provinces. It’s possible that since day two of CNY is traditionally reserved for visiting one’s niang jia (the wife’s family), day three’s traffic was thus a result of the overflow of backward returnees.
Well, at least that was the case in Taiwan. The news certainly had enough snapshots of congested north-bound highways back up to Taipei!
I didn’t manage to get back to Nanjing until almost 9pm yesterday, but the stunning lack of cars meant I could commandeer the street for the easier transportation of my luggage. I think I should learn how to travel light! After getting back to the Center this morning, I made a grocery run to Suguo and found the streets much the same in the daytime:
A street normally teeming with people and bikes...
...all is quiet for the Chinese New Year.
The bright red paper scraps left over by nocturnal fire-cracker festivities are the only pieces of evidence that Nanjing is still the throes of New Year’s celebrations. Otherwise, it would appear that the city has decided to take an extended winter nap. But, I think I’ll characterize the lack of life on the streets as being “eerie”. China is a country of 1.3 billion souls. Stillness and quiet is unheard of as part of its urban landscape!
I’m officially another year older according to Chinese tradition. Wow…time flies!
The fruits of my labor today!
Do I have a future in flower arrangement?
Bringing you all a very happy Chinese New Year!
I think I like number two better…even though the first one looks much more elegant in real life…I hope my relatives like them!
Good Afternoon Yonghe~! What a gorgeous day!
Yet another late start to the day…drat those mosquitoes! I’m being eaten alive every night! Anyhow…I made my way to the 228 Memorial Park since I’ve never actually been in it, just been driven around it by car and bus. It was quite beautiful, what with the sun shining and people strolling about.
Pavilions in the park.
I thought the 228 Monument itself was rather…strangely shaped. As I couldn’t find a plaque to explain the building’s symbolism (maybe there isn’t any particular meaning?), I was left to my own devices about how to interpret it. Unfortunately, all I could think of was the computer game “Myst” and how the monument looked like it would fit in with the game’s architecture.
The 228 Monument
You walk down the causeway...
...you come to a well-like structure with hand print indentations on it...
...you peer over the side...into the unending abyss!!!
Haha! Cheesy, I know! But I really wonder about the development of the monument. In the same chain of unfortunate events, I also made this trip on the wrong day. Both the 228 Museum and the National Taiwan Museum were closed today. Apparently they don’t operate on Mondays…who knew?
As a consolation prize, I went to MOS Burger for my afternoon snack:
The king of all burgers!!! (ok...rice patty burgers...)
Tomorrow, I think, I’ll try their Kinpira Rice Burger, which has bacon and sliced burdock on it…yum!