Monday, November 10, 2008


Now that the Olympics dog and pony show is over, the cameras are gone, and the commies got their phony message out, the Olympic park is opened to riff-raff like me. My buddy Yang Jun showed me around the other day. I admired the tower, but he poo-poo'ed my accolades on based on the price of the damn thing. While I do agree that the money could have been spent better elsewhere (like providing heat or fresh drinking water to Chinese people), what's wrong with a nice tower? As I pointed out, how many nice towers could we have gotten for all the money that got spent in Iraq? Probably one in every US city, was Jun's estimate. Another interesting thing we noticed was that the signs have three languages, Chinese, English, and French. French? I said. Why? (Sorry, Mom, but really...) Could it be that IOC president Jacques Rogge is Belgian? Can there be any more shameless example of blatant ass kissing? You can almost smell the shit on the collective nose of BOCOG. Anyhooo, I diverge.

The park itself is very striking. (Jun claims it was designed by American landscape architects. Why don't we get nice parks?) Here are some photos.

The main promenade by day. I just love those lights.

The promenade by night.

The tower. I don't care how much it cost, it looks fucking cool!

Rubberneckers at the Bird's Nest.

I love this statue. I'm not sure what it means to balance a sailboat on the leg of a humanoid with no arms, but I generated some amusement of the onlookers by mimicking this bizarre pose. And it makes for a great photo!

Friday, November 7, 2008


The Olympic park, for all its stark beauty, dramatic shapes, and post-modern contours, is basically deserted. I'm told that the bird's nest will become a mall, and eventually shops will move into the buildings along the promenade, but for now, it is eerily empty. There is a subway stop quite close to my place (奥林皮克公园) so I decided to investigate the convenience of taking the subway home. I was greeted with a big surprise: an empty train! For anyone who has never taken the subway in Beijing, you get used to squeezing in with a shitload of people, at virtually ever hour of the day. So it was quite odd to switch to the Olympic park line and find myself sharing an entire train with two other dudes. Shortly before I took this shot, one of the other guys was also getting a photo, in appreciation of the weirdness of it:

A random building outside Bei's house. A street scene in Beijing. Note the cluster of guys playing Chinese checkers:

I love this one. We were in a really cool little bar in the Hutong, the old part of Beijing. Really good German beer on tap. Cute couple, eh?