I've decided to write a little something about the last week and the pictures I put up. If for no other reason than I owe it to my family. First of all- the Forbidden City. Obviously a spectacular place, but to me what was even more striking than it's grandiose interior structure was its existence in the heart of one of China's largest and most modernized cities. Living in America, I feel like the trend for metropolises is for the hub of the modernization and urbanization to be in the middle, with residential and more suburban areas diffusing outwardly. Beijing from this perspective seems to be just the opposite with its conscious choice to preserve its traditional roots. Nonetheless, the place is truly amazing on the inside and is not overrated as must see for people visiting Beijing, however the food within the walls are expectedly pricy for tourist and comparative to typical chinese restaurants it isn't that good.
Then there was Tiananmen Square. It's spacious, and a central tourist attraction as well as local gathering spot with much political significance. If you know the stories of what's occurred there, it can be a very meaningful visit.
The art district we went to is called the 798 Art District. It's home to many high profile artist's work, some of it surprisingly untraditional Chinese. Unfortunately, there were many great galleries I went into that didn't allow photography of the work, but there was one exhibition in particular that housed huge sculptures of very surreal figures made by Chen Wenling. This work stood out as very bizarre, expressionist, and political. Which are all things that, at least in my mind, go against the stereotypes of a Chinese resident and high profile artist. But I'm learning more and more that the characteristics that once merited these predispositions are dying, especially amongst the younger generation of Chinese.
I will have more to come of the Forbidden City, as there wasn't enough to time to see all of the inner halls that I wanted to see. Until then--