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Beijing, China
A landscape architect from Brooklyn via Miami adjusting to life in Beijing
Interests: Disco dancing, making things, gossip
Recent Activity
Thanks to everyone who's followed my somewhat sporadic blog over the last two years. Today I leave China for Singapore, and new adventures. I'm happy to have had the chance to experience life in a culture so completely opposite to the one I grew up in. I'm also excited to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2012 at Ali in China
Ali is now following Sarah
May 20, 2012
This is a walk for one of my favorite areas in Bei... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2012 at Ali in China
My dad and stepmom are coming to visit soon and I have been worrying about what they will do while I am at work. I feel a little guilty that I didn't prepare more when my mom and my other stepmom came to visit a year ago. They want to... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2012 at Ali in China
Ali is now following corine
Apr 29, 2012
Ali is now following Heather Spriggs Thompson
Apr 23, 2012
I attended two events this weekend. One was a wedding for a couple that my boyfriend knows and the other was promotional event for a housing development my company did the landscape design for. They were both full of extra performances, but only in one case did it make sense.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2012 at Ali in China
I went to Prince Gong's Mansion, 恭王府(Gōng Wáng Fǔ)... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2012 at Ali in China
The ritzy neighborhood where I live knows it's Easter but there is no sign of it most places in Beijing - of course this is Easter Bunny Easter, just like Christmas is Santa Clause Christmas. Guess the Jewish holidays aren't commercial enough to catch on. Hannukah Harry, where are you? Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2012 at Ali in China
Actually, I don't know how to do it. I've missed m... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2012 at Ali in China
It's spring. How do I know? Because they're cutting the pretty winter lights off the trees in my neighborhood and because my heat was turned off. Sure, China is home to an increasingly large group of bilionaire's happy to pay inflated prices for 'luxury goods' (LVMH anyone?), but the majority... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2012 at Ali in China
I came across a great article today in the New York Times about homesickness. You can find it here. (I grew up in New York and wherever I live I still consider it the only paper worth reading.) The article discusses how common it was for early settlers of America... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2012 at Ali in China
I was in a hotel elevator today and witnessed someone trying to get to their floor. He pressed the right button, 11, and it didn't light up. He took out his key card and swiped it over several key-card-shaped areas, and 11 still didn't light up. He noticed a slot,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2012 at Ali in China
Today I would like to share some good news for design in China. The Pritzker Prize was awarded to Wang Shu. You can see more of his impressive work here. Of course, one reason that this is a big deal is that China is often accused of copying everything and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2012 at Ali in China
Beijing can be a confusing city. One of the first things that struck me when I moved here were the white metal barricades in most of the streets herding people and traffic. Along with the omnipresent construction on what seems like every street, they create a totally chaotic visual scene.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2012 at Ali in China
I tried to go skiing this weekend. Things didn't g... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2012 at Ali in China
Today is International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This abhorrent practice has no medical benefits (completely unlike male circumcision) but many risks, including pain, recurrent infections, bleeding which may be fatal, cysts, infertility, complications in childbirth, and sexual dysfunction. It is common in parts of Africa,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2012 at Ali in China
This is a smoggy day in Beijing. It looks bad - bu... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2012 at Ali in China
I love this place. Every time I pass it I start si... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2012 at Ali in China
I'm a bit late late for 元旦, Yuándàn, the Gregorian... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2012 at Ali in China
The bus can be a great way to get around Beijing. ... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2011 at Ali in China
Ali is now following Victoria
Aug 13, 2011
Yes, Beijing has terrible pollution, dirty streets choked by too many cars and peppered with men spitting up what sounds like half their lungs onto the sidewalks, restaurants that still count ashtrays as an essential part of the table setting, and a drainage system that stops working ten minutes after a heavy rain starts. But it also has some of the most amazing architecture being built today. Some old buildings are torn down that might better be preserved (you can help by supporting theBeijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center). Some new buildings are built that perhaps never should have made it past the concept stage. At least the Mongols are no longer invading. It's all just part of the chaos. Roll with it. Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2011 at Ali in China
To ask for a knife and fork in a restaurant you can say 刀叉 (dāo chā), literally "knife fork". Unfortunately, if you say it wrong, it sounds like 倒茶 (dào chá), pour tea. Not great for a coffee addict like me. If your tones aren't up to the challenge you can also ask for 餐具 (cānjù), which figuratively means "silverware" and literally means "meal tool". Furniture is 家具 (jiājù), "house tool". There is a logic here. It's just that this particular logic does not match anything that my brain would come up with. Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2011 at Ali in China
This is what I have learned in the last two weeks: 1) HOW TO BUY GROCERIES I had always wondered where local people shop, since the Olé Supermarket in my neighborhood is full of imported food and matching imported prices. But I like knowing I will never be without real maple syrup and xtra cheddar goldfish. It's located near this swanky fountain that kids use as a sprinkler. Turns out it's simple. You buy groceries downstairs. Downstairs from my last apartment was a landscaped courtyard with pavilions to sit in while you contemplated the beauty of the changing seasons. My new apartment has a courtyard full of Chinese exercise equipment, bicycle parking, and - a bodega! It's full of cheap fresh veggies and fruits. It's great. I never thought to look for a grocery store inside a housing complex, but I never thought to look in the basement of a shopping center for one either - and that's where all the fancy groceries are. Guaranteed. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2011 at Ali in China