The talk of the day has been Mark Griffith and Andrew Dougherty's brilliant music video Beijing State of Mind, a tribute to this city of ours, set to the beat of Jay-Z's famous homage to New York. The Brooklyn native's Empire State of Mind has, of course, inspired countless spin-offs, about Chinese cities other than Beijing, too.
Drop what you're doing and watch this, Beijingers. Mark Griffith, a photographer and videographer who used to live in Beijing, has just released the fruit of 15 months of work, "Beijing State of Mind," set to Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind. The project was the brainchild of Andrew Dougherty, an expat who'd lived off and on here for five years. Rapping alongside Princess Fortier (in the role of Alicia Keys), the duo take us on a trip from the Forbidden City to the hutongs to the Great Wall to The Place, and so many other places in between that make our Beijing experience what it is.
China watchers already know this, but longtime China correspondent Evan Osnos, who has written for the New Yorker since 2008, has moved back to the United States. "A Billion Stories," published Friday in the best China blog in the business, amounts to his farewell, and it's a typical Osnos piece: descriptive and instructive, poetically constructed from graf to graf, perfectly allusive in the way that the world sometimes is, and keenly humanizing.
Longtime China resident Cam MacMurchy, who ran the well-respected Zhongnanhai blog for several years before co-founding The Nanfang earlier this year, is nothing if not a reasonable and fair writer. We’ve watched from afar as The Nanfang, a community-driven website covering the Pearl River Delta, has steadily grown, expanding its listings every week while continuing to produce interesting... Read more »
On Sunday in Yantai, Shandong province's Golden Sands beach, a young man surnamed Ji swam a bit too far into the sea and went under. As Tencent Online tells it via 365jia (pictures from there), an Australian named Jason relaxing a few hundred meters away saw this and sprung to action.
The heavy rains found their way inside Fourth Ring Round around 1 pm today, and it's been sporadically pouring ever since: some deity simply dumping bucket after bucket of water over the city. I was outside around 1:30 pm to witness the sky and everything underneath it go eerily dark; 10 minutes later, a dazzling white mist rose out of nowhere, like the ash of a mythical sky creature. It was unbelievable. I put out both arms and said "What the fuck?" several times.
Tuesday in Chengdu. At first, we have no idea what's happening in the above video. Why is a foreigner pushing cars backwards? Is he angry? Why is he darting around with crazy hands, seemingly directing traffic? Why are so many people just watching him? We're momentarily reminded of the Chengdu laowai who spit on a Chinese person last month.
Holding the party in the open air of Sanlitun Soho and suggesting “beachwear” as a dress code was clearly pivotal: the signal for Beijing’s really quite impressively large douchebag population to give full vent to their oeuvre of tics and mores. “Dress code? Dude… I was wearing this Hawaiian shirt with oversized aviators, four days’ beard growth and a jaunty pork-pie hat when I woke up!”
We arrive just after four. Upon entering the “gate,” there was a kind, red reminder for all foreigners that there is a crackdown going on for the next 100 years, that undercover police would be among the crowd and that the magazine would not be held responsible for any problems that ensued. Always the best way to get the party started.