14 mm

The Village Square

Taken in The Village at noon last Friday, about an hour or so before Metal, Brick, and Glass. Again, with my D300 / 14 mm combo.

I hate this area. Abhor it. Full of tourists (foreign and otherwise) and trendy/chic people with whom I’ve got next to nothing in common. If it weren’t for the Apple store, or a Belgian beer pub called The Tree, I wouldn’t visit there at all. Okay, well, Blue Frog ain’t bad either, but that’s it.

The place is usually chockablock full of people. It was cool to take a photo of the square when it was relatively empty.

Making the Dream Come True

The dream of having a modernized Beijing, including updated water, power, and sewage infrastructure, refurbished apartment buildings, repaved roadways, and an expanded subway line is coming true. The changes I’ve seen over the last seven years have been drastic. I thought perhaps the projects might stall a bit after the milestone of the 2008 Olympic Games was met, but they haven’t.

And, a very big part of making this all happen are the millions of migrant works who have come to Beijing from other provinces to provide the necessary labor.

For longer jobs, such as the construction of buildings, they live in onsite in temporary buildings. For short and more mobile jobs, such as putting down new steam pipe, they travel along in tents.

Reminds me in some ways of how the Chinese worked on the building of America’s Pacific Railroad.


From Laolao to Laozu

Chong Chong’s first official visit after exiting his month of household quarantine, was over to Laolao’s house. Once there, Laolao gave him a gold pendant with the image of a snake on it.

With the birth of Chong Chong, Laolao has become Laozu. We’re slowly making the transition, as we are from Ma to Laolao and Ba to Laoye.


  • Ma, mother
  • Ba, father
  • Laolao, maternal grandmother
  • Laoye, maternal grandfather
  • Laozu, maternal great-grandmother
  • Gold, symbol of good luck
  • Snake, Chong Chong’s birth year