A New Yorker in China
We met outside the Forbidden City, under the large portrait of Mao. I was en route to see the great leader’s embalmed body, which lies in a mausoleum across the street in Tiananmen Square. She was heading that way too.
“Travel alone?” she asked, after bumping into me by accident.
“Yes,” I replied.
It was mid-April, a couple weeks ago. The sun shined brightly. Not the polluted Beijing air you read so much about. It was a good day to be a tourist.
She told me her name was Xin and that she hailed from Shaanxi, near Xi’an, home of the terracotta warriors. She’d flown into town that week for a wedding and had the day to herself.
“De mortuis nihil nisi bonum …” “Of the dead speak aught but good.”
The ancient admonition seems the only way to hedge the reflection that as bad as Citi’s problems are, how much worse might they have been had Walter Wriston still been running the bank. It was the late Citibank CEO Read More
BEIJING—There was nothing on TV about the election when I got up on Nov. 5, just about the time that the polls were closing in Indiana. I had been looking forward to following the results of an election from the other side of the world–as with the NBA’s West Coast games, the important part would Read More
Daniel Boulud expounds upon his new Maison Boulud in Beijing in the August/September issue of Haute Living (a magazine that managed to turn four under our radar–happy birthday!). The site of the eatery, Mr. Boulud’s first overseas restaurant, has an interesting pedigree:
Set just minutes from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, the Read More
Watching the wonderful spectacle of the Olympics this year, one finds the world outside the sports arenas constantly intruding. Russia manages to invade Georgia, human rights activists try to communicate their message to the world and oh yeah, breathing in Beijing remains a challenge. All of these issues are important, but as you might expect, Read More
"Visitors to the Olympics," Charles McGrath writes in today’s New York Times, "…can be forgiven for thinking that China is a land of unnatural youthfulness where nobody is older than 30…..Older Chinese, and there are plenty in Beijing, are mostly out of sight."
Are they? As of today, the old people seemed Read More
BEIJING—“Of course, nobody wants to be Samantha,” Eva Shen said. It was a warm Saturday night on Houhai, the lakeside bar strip, and Ms. Shen, 40, had stepped outside the club she co-owns. Over the door, in glowing characters, was the Chinese name of the club, Yuwang Chengshi; above that, in larger letters, was its Read More
BEIJING—Before I became a mascot for China's new spirit of cooperation with journalists, I first had to get the People's Republic of China to certify that I was legally a journalist.
Resolving that issue in China requires wrestling with questions of being and reality—including, in my case, an argument with a uniformed officer of the Read More
BEIJING—I had just begun haggling for a silk comforter at the Yuexiu Market on Chaoyangmen Street when I got a phone call saying that New York Times Op-Ed columnist Thomas L. Friedman was on his way to a bookstore nearby. I wrapped up the deal, disadvantageously, and grabbed a cab.
You can learn a lot Read More
BEIJING — Oggi, a Japanese fashion magazine with a Chinese edition, held a fifth anniversary celebration the night of Nov. 10, at the Rui Fu nightclub. At first glance, it appeared that Rui Fu had closed and been replaced by another nightclub–a routine thing to happen in Beijing, with or without bulldozers involved–and that the Read More