Sunday, April 15, 2007

Beijing:: (De)construction and Preservation

People go about their everyday lives stepping over piles of bricks on dirt roads and sidewalks.

The simultaneous existence of what seems like a poor village without running water on a side street of a modern bustling avenue was surreal.

Some buildings stood proudly with their shiny glazed roof tiles protecting their inhabitants while others were crumbling away over sagging doorways.

The different eras and styles of Chinese architecture are spread throughout the city, from the massive, bleak, Socialist buildings standing in the huge plazas to the rich, colorful temples to the intricate windows framing peaceful landscapes.

I especially loved the romantic covered walkways (arcade, loggia, veranda, almost every culture has their own version of this) which were perfectly built for sitting and people- watching! The ledges were low, wide, and comfortable for a rest after all the sightseeing.

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