An Alley in Sanlitun

I was down in the Sanlitun area today, enjoying yet another beautiful summer day.

Truth be told, it is an area that I typically avoid, and probably wouldn’t goto at all except for an Apple store and two out-of-the-way restaurants.

The reason has to do with this paragraph  from the wiki article linked above:

The area has been under almost constant regeneration since the late 20th century as part of a city-wide project of economic regrowth. It currently houses many bars and clubs popular with both expatriates and locals as well as international brand-name stores such as American Apparel, Apple Inc. and Adidas.

Just not my thing. (Also, I’d qualify the use of “locals” a bit… that is, more young Chinese with money than typical Beijingren.)

In any event, as I was walking down one of those regenerated streets mentioned above, I looked down an alley and into this community of people that make the regrown parts of Beijing actually function.

Please do click-on the image and spend a bit of time exploring the larger version on flickr.



Beijing Youjian – Pork Chops and Cake

My birthday was yesterday. Turned 47. Yep, a snake. My wife’s parents are also snakes. If things go well, and we end-up having a child next year, our kid will also be a snake. My wife is concerned about this. She’s a dog. A dragon probably would’ve been better, because it could fend us off. Unfortunately, it looks like there’d be one of us for each of her four legs. Not a pretty prospect for a canine. Anyway, I’m thinking of signing-up the family for some snake-dog togetherness and harmony training classes if this does indeed happen. So it goes…

Anyway, we got together with a few friends last night and went to the Blue Frog bar & grill. Here are pictures of the two dishes I ate:

Now, if you’ve never been to Beijing before, and happened to read this rant by David Sedaris, I gotta say the above food just ain’t that atypical for Beijing. In fact, I’d be willing to bet someone from the West could come move here and never touch a piece of traditional Chinese cooking if they don’t want to do so (which,¬† btw, would be an absolute waste in my opinion).

I’ve never been impressed by Sedaris, and this piece kinda put the nail in the coffin. Definitely moved the guardian, which I used to goto a fair amount, down to the bottom of my reading list. Anyway, enough about this and the article for now… perhaps I’ll spend more time looking into it in another post.

Oh, one picture that is missing is the horribly overflowing frozen mango margarita that I had after my customary Rum and Cokes… was told by a friend that the drink didn’t fit my manly image. It was damn good, however.