This is what I was talking about

Yesterday I wrote about the lone hair salon left standing after the block opposite our bureau was torn down. Well today I thought I’d show you what it looked like. No dice. This is what I found instead. The mortar between those red bricks was still wet.
Susan Jakes

Bird flu is back

Avian influenza has returned to Hong Kong, but hardly anyone here seems panicked. In late 2005 and early 2006, when the disease killed 13 people on the mainland and more than a dozen infected birds were found in Hong Kong, people followed the news with dread. Now it barely inspires a murmur. I think I’ve heard just one concerned comment …

Blue Sky Day

To be fair to Beijing–and to disspell any notion that we live in a permanent cloud of coal dust and carbon monoxide–I am posting another view out of the Bureau window, this time on a beautiful, clear day. Although it is largely the result of a couple of gusty days that have swept the skies clear, it is worth noting that on days like …

Alternating Currents

I arrived back in New York last month for the holidays to find the diner on my corner gone. The vinyl upholstery and rotating cake stands that had been accumulating grease since long before my family moved to the block 30 years ago had vanished. So had the line of taxicabs that used the place as a pit stop, and the neon sign that …

Afternoon view from Time Beijing Bureau window

The Beijing Environmental Protection Administration recently trumpeted a major success on its website (link here; no English but you can see the Air Pollution Index Reading for the day on the right hand side: above 60 is considered unhealthy): achieving 241 “Blue Sky Days” in 2006. And yet days like this, the city enveloped in a …

Little Emperors and Icepicks

Keeping kids amused during Beijing’s harsh winters is something of a challenge and the capital’s residents have responded in novel ways. One notable invention is chair skating, a seemingly unique arrangement that involves propelling yourself around a frozen pond on a rickety chair that has a couple of metal skids welded to its legs. …

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