Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 2 - Part III Venturing out.

Step Four - ready to go our for real

Re-energized and with extra clothing on the outside and hot food inside, we hit the streets again.  Much more confident of our direction, we headed to Chaoyang Park.  It is STILL hard to fathom just how big the darn blocks are.  It didn't look that far on the map.  Was.  
So we had a great chance to learn more things about this fairly recently built/rebuilt corner of Beijing.  There is a focus of fancy cars in this section due to the high concentration of embassies and diplomatic staff.   So Tavin got his picture taken in front of a rather fantastical contraption out side a mechanic's shop & car wash.

Horns to spare
There is definitely a "new modern bunker-style" architecture that dominates the entrances and other visible parts of the embassies.  The Israeli embassy looks like the front could withstand a major storm surge.  We couldn't tell what this one was to become, but it sure looked like something.

Tavin got to demonstrate the hazards of being a pedestrian where it appears at lease 6 committees were involved in the the design, evolution and construction of a sidewalk.

Sidewalk will be the correct width, will contain the right number of trees, with correctly sized wells, the correct number of signs, light posts and etc.  At least everyone got what they wanted.
We walked past "Dining street" or "Lucky Street" (apparently answering to both names) which contained a rather impressive selection of restaurants hailing from all over the world.  Italian, South German, American South (Nashville) Thai, Japanese ("No Tavin, we are not eating Japanese food in China.) And several regional Chinese restaurants. (pix)

We got to see a river under construction,

 an "Information Island" of ironic proportions

and an intimidating poster of Chinese Youth (just what does the red minidress with white gloves, white go-go boots, white pistol holster and black sub-machine gun say to you?). 

Next - we actually make it into the park.

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