Something about lanterns and love

Once in a while, it’s nice to be in a crowd of people, and drown out the difficulties of day-to-day life amongst the noises of friendship. I don’t usually do so well in big crowds, but this day wound up being pretty fun, or pretty full. After a rather steamy and fairly delicious hotpot dinner, we went to Gui Jie (簋街) near Dongzhimen (东直门), a cute little street filled with restaurants, shops, and street food. The organization of this evening was a bit weird, the whole not-eating-at-Gui-Jie even though it’s essentially a food street and that’s the only thing to do there. I suppose the lanterns were pretty though, and offered up not only something to look at, but a nice backdrop for the atmosphere that was developing.

I would have to name this as the start of the weirdness that has been pervading my life for the past few days. I’ve been having equal parts epiphany, equal parts existential crises, and somewhere in there, an overwhelming sense that I’m not in control of my own life. Not to say that the night wasn’t fun, but I’m starting to doubt whether fun really equates to happiness for me.

We wound up at Sanlitun again, since it was so close, Smuggler’s, my usual hangout, one of the divy-est bars in Beijing. A few beers and a few laughs brought about the end of my week. On my way to Michael’s afterwards, I wound up in a covered bike, one of those little three-wheel deals they have for weaving through traffic. No cabbie was in the mood to pick me up and I figured I could do with some air on the one and a half block long journey. The wind was rough though, awakening, and refreshing, not what I wanted, but perhaps what I needed.


Location: Beijing, China

Building 8N

…or something like that. You’d think there would be signs visible from both sides of the road, but apparently only northbound travelers are allowed to go to the Gehry exhibition. I suppose in a way it was our fault too, Valentin and I, for spending most of that afternoon eating inferior pizza at a place called Ciro’s Pomodoro, and having only <30 minutes to traipse through an entire five floor exhibition before having to run back to the subway and head for home.

At least the building holding the exhibition was taller than it was wide, and each floor consisted of only 15x15m, a few spaced out models, and pre-, under-, and post-construction photographs of Gehry’s most brilliant works. I think the impetus of such an exhibit is the in-design-process apartment complex, dubbed 53 Stubbs Road, Frank Gehry will soon be (might already be?) building on the hills surrounding Hong Kong proper. Pretty neat, but not as transfixing as some of his other works.


Location: Sanlitun, Beijing, China