For the first time ever, New York City set off fireworks to commemorate Chinese New Year. It happened over the Hudson and was synchronized and jubilant. At one moment it looked like skyscrapers were melting out of the night. Colorful. Impressive. Yet it was still mere facsimile for the real thing. You see, for my money, the most noteworthy -- if not outright best -- New Year’s celebration happens in Beijing. Read more »
Well, you run an open comments system, someone always has to come along and crap in the salad. We present to you: the Beijing Cream Troll, who was sober enough to post under multiple identities, but not to switch up his IP address: Read more »
I knelt at the top of the hospital escalator, partly from exhaustion, mostly out of surrender. My moans and cries recalled childhood Halloween nights spent puking up entire plastic jack-o-lanterns of candy. My tears blurred reality. Loud, distracted, exotic shapes and figures brushed past me, unimpressed by my misery, misery unlike any I'd felt before.
This wasn't how I imagined my first week in China would go. Read more »
There are those moments when you feel the weight of history pressing on you -- that awestruck realization that a great moment happened here, and now you're bearing witness. Maybe you've ducked into a tower while on the Great Wall. Or you're standing just inside the Lincoln Memorial. The thing is, I never expected to have that feeling while standing in my basement, squinting up at an unidentified roll of film. But that's what happened to me last Sunday, as I was searching through an old shoebox from my parents labeled "photos." Read more »
There was a time, years ago, when Chinese New Year's Eve in Beijing was the world's most bombastic celebration of existence, a collective yell held for three straight hours amid concussions of light and racket. Because here we were, we declared, right here. Earth shook heaven. I remember forked lightning, fractals of red, blue, and orange, air rent with the shape of sound. It felt surreal to be centered in this steady beat of a burgeoning and explosive declaration, ours, that we had survived and would survive yet (Do your worst!), and yet it felt right. Read more »
"The environment seemed to make everyone adopt this crazed animalistic nature" --Tianjin Electric Castle Party attendee
Did hundreds, possibly thousands of expats — including promoters Street Hustle Promotions, ticketing agency Send Me Tickets, and local magazines — get swindled by organizers of the worst China party of the year? Read more »
A big thank you to everyone who attended Chug-Off for Charity at Great Leap Brewing on Saturday. We raised 5,000 RMB for Magic Hospital, which will continue its excellent work providing happiness to sick, orphaned, and neglected children in Beijing.
The tournament featured 16 teams, but unfortunately we could only have one winner. Congratulations to Go on the Pikies, consisting of Colin (a Dubliner visiting from London) and Tiggi (from Leeds, the manager of Paddy O’Shea’s). Read more »
What you are looking at is Beijing Subway's Line 13 on the morning of Thursday, July 18, around 7:30. It's likely the Xierqi station -- a picture of which, tweeted out by Joe Xu, we linked to on Friday -- which is a transfer station and one of the cleaner, better-looking ones in the system. It has, like other stations in Beijing's vast underground transportation network, built-in artificial bottlenecks intended to relieve congestion in the form of gates and narrow staircases. On some occasions, however, those fail. For you see, in China, sometimes there are simply too many goddamn people. Read more »
Beijing expats may as well have been brought up in a magnificent castle, driven thence into this wonderland of partying and booze. Like all who emerge from relative privilege into physical decadence and spiritual morass, we are a self-centered lot, and so it is that we need a bar and club awards to tell us what we really want to know: where can we hang out with the kind who share our patois? what should we avoid due to the old sots and risk of disfigurement? where to get laid?
Yes, it's awards season time, when the city's very best are honored via reader vote, alongside the pretty good and the somewhat bad and all the rest. In that spirit, the 2nd annual Beijing Cream Bar and Club Awards honors 108 bar/club nominees (we've combined Punk/Mesh, Mix/Vics, and GT/Coco Banana) across 20 categories split into four groups. Read more »
It’s 8:40 pm on a Friday. We’re lined up at the China Eastern Airlines counter a full ninety minutes before takeoff, and I have everything I need for a great, just-quit-work weekend: passport, check; cleats, check; Frisbee, check; baijiu-Fanta mix, check. But just then, China decides to remind me where I am. Ahead of us in line, an argument begins to stew, froth, and bubble. The verbal combatants are an elderly couple, possibly from the countryside, and two overdressed, overly made-up, and apparently overconfident young women.
The initial dispute is over whether a luggage cart bumped into an ankle, but it gets ugly fast: one of the girls taunts the old man's ability to speak standard Mandarin Chinese. Airline employees break up the verbal sparring as quickly as they can, but the tone for the evening has been set. At the counter, a friendly but frazzled attendant tells me my flight doesn't yet have a gate, and I already have an idea of what I'm in for. Read more »
Three Shots With Beijing Cream is weekly series in which local personalities are interviewed over shots. New episodes are posted every Sunday; if you would like to nominate a future guest, please get in touch. Produced and directed by Gabriel Clermont and Anthony Tao.
We caught wind of Morgan Short's imminent arrival to Beijing last summer, with our informant adding without equivocation that Smart Shanghai, of which Morgan is the chief editor, was the best expat website of its kind. Read more »
The Internet is for porn, but until I came across this Shanghaiist post, I hadn’t realized there’s a search engine that cuts out the chaff and takes you straight to what you’re after. Check it out: PornMD, which is safe for work until you write anything in the search bar, after which you should lower... Read more »Read more »
At the end of every year, the meejah publish lists: what's what, what's hot, what's not, what's frot -- y'know, "Top 10 Worst Celebrity Red Carpet Frock Horrors!" and other such high-water marks for journalism.
But being lazy and living in China, we thought we'd wait until the end of the Dragon Year to do something similar. And seeing as we're cheeky and crass, we thought we'd take a slightly different approach. Read more »
Maya Moore scored 53 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Game 1 of the WBCA finals yesterday. Whatever superlatives you want to append to that statement, feel free to do so, but I'll just write this again: 53 points, 13 rebounds. This is where the focus should be: a remarkable individual effort from the world's best female basketball player on Chinese professional basketball's biggest stage. Imagine if LeBron James went for 53 in the NBA finals (or CBA finals, to complete the analogy). You'd want 800 words about that, right? Moore's Shanxi beat Zhejiang 96-92 to grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Read more »
No one loves a polluted Beijing quite like foreign editors. The first time the smog swept through, two and a half weeks ago, lots of overseas publications were caught off guard and slept on the story, which is why we saw articles about China’s “Airpocalypse” up to five days after the skies had cleared up. Determined to... Read more »Read more »
Our analysis of this tenement precinct found in Lingshui county, Hainan province begins with the seminal modernist architect Louis Sullivan's famous phrase "form follows function." Buildings should be designed with their purpose in mind, and so it is philosophically laid out here, in this neighborhood, that the purpose of all human life is to sprout like a blade of grass out of red dirt, sway in the wind, and die. All joy is subsumed by the reality of existing. Not one wasted word is spent. You are because you are. Accept it, for residents of Dadun Village are all engaged in the process of death or already dead. Read more »
His name is Liu Yunshan, and here’s why you should care: this will be (has been) the guy blocking your Twitter and New York Times, slowing down your Internet speed, ramping up diplomatic bile, telling Hu Xijin what to write in his god-awful columns and basically making China a worse place for everyone. He has had experience, but now, he has a seat at the big table. Read more »
By Justin Mitchell Here we are daily witnesses, viral voyeurs and readers to how cheap, meaningless and callous life can often be. Drivers willfully plowing over pedestrians, sometimes two or three times to ensure the dirty work is done; infants and children abandoned or even worse; beggars, protestors, petitioners and migrant workers treated like so... Read more »Read more »
Continuing our Olympics Countdown series in which we post about anything borderline related to London or the Olympics, here’s an oldie but goodie, from 2010, featuring a 110-meter hurdler who will simply let nothing, including hurdles, get between him and the finish line. This happened at a University Games in China, exact location unknown. No other... Read more »Read more »
Shanghaiist has the story, as does the Beijinger. But damn it all if we’re letting a sex mushroom get through the day without ribbing it here. On June 17, Xi’an Up Close《西安零距离》aired a story about a “mushroom” that was found in Liucunbu village in Shaanxi province. The reporter, Ye Yunfeng, says at one point: “We can see here... Read more »Read more »
I first encountered the following diagram — origins unknown* — two or three years ago, but considering it was revived as recently as a month ago — I noticed a bunch of friends passing it around on Facebook — it’s possible it’s been around even longer. And why not? Everything depicted is true, more or less:... Read more »Read more »
A confluence of factors led to what appears to be at least a two-mile traffic jam in northwest Beijing on Saturday night. (Prepare to gape in horror around the 30-second mark as the camera pans out.) It was raining. It was a long block. It was in Zhongguancun, an incredibly busy part of town known for its electronics stores and colleges. And, most crucially, a traffic light had broken. This is my every nightmare about the city, frightening precisely because I -- and any Beijinger, really -- could easily find myself stuck in that paralyzing morass of postmodernity, equipped with no salve for a spiking blood pressure except heinous imaginings of unspeakable acts to perform on sentient, suffering beings. The abyss gazes back indeed. Read more »
At first, the kids at this daycare/kindergarten seem excited about the idea of Purple Panda from PBS Kids' Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. (Purple panda, you should know, is just a purple version of the national symbol of China.) And then, something goes terribly, terribly wrong -- Purple Panda actually shows up. Much crying ensues, because we're dealing with kids, and kids are stupid. Read more »
They kept trying to jinx it, I swear to God they did. Before tonight's game, the club gave away t-shirts (white, per Stephon Marbury's suggestion) that read, "March 30, 2012: Beijing Ducks are champions."
With 21.9 seconds left, Beijing up two and Guangdong set to inbound, the crowd chanted, "Championship! Championship!" Read more »
To the proprietor(s) of @China_Daily: if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not asking for much. Feel free to keep following porn stars and backwoods neocons and horsey lovers and this guy here, Mr. Loverboy, all the while pumping out tweets such as “DPRK’s satellite launch plan ‘provocative’: US http://bit.ly/zRPhpv” and “Matchmaking pet owners... Read more »Read more »
If you transcribed every twisted, bitter, sick thought you ever had about China, tied it to a brick, then repeatedly smashed it into someone’s skull, you might give them an experience akin to reading Arthur Meursault’s debut novel Party Members (Camphor Press). There is no more unrelentingly savage satire of modern China ever written, and perhaps deserves more attention than it... Read more »Read more »
The current president of China is Xi Jinping. “Uncle Xi” is most-known for his nationwide crackdown on corruption. Who was president before that? If you said Hu Jintao, you’d be right. Hu is remembered mostly for how unremarkable he was – he oversaw a ten-year period of consistent, if unexciting, growth for China, making little... Read more »Read more »
Ever the Quiet Burier of Ledes, Global Times published a news item Monday that surely qualifies for Hideous China Story of the Year (Relationships Edition)... although GT went for the more casual "Mom jailed for covert contraceptive." It's a Turducken of a tale... Read more »
SHUO says he’s one of only two people in all of China making this kind of stencil art. “First, [people] just don’t have the awareness. Second, they don’t know what this is” This piece originally appeared on the China digital media platform Radii, and this edited version is republished here with permission. It’s the kind of... Read more »Read more »
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) was founded 90 years ago on August 1, and to commemorate this round-number anniversary, there was a massive military parade at the Zhurihe Combined Tactics Training Base in Inner Mongolia on Sunday, featuring 12,000 troops and a special message from president Xi Jinping about readiness and party loyalty and winning battles.
You don't care about any of that, though. You want to know about this: Read more »
Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Prize laureate and one of China's finest, died tonight in a hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning province, having never been officially released from his 11-year sentence for state subversion. He served more than seven of those years behind bars. Read more »
The first authorized English production of Yasmina Reza’s Art begins its four-day Beijing run from tonight, May 11. Since the London premiere of Christopher Hampton’s translation, with Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott as the three principals, Marc, Serge and Yvan, Art has raked in over $250 million worldwide, showcased innumerable all-star lineups, stunt... Read more »Read more »