36 Hours in: Beijing

Justin Bergman explores Beijing, a few years past its 2008 Olympics and a few years before its next bid for the Winter Olympics in 2022. The article highlights the confluence of the modern and the traditional in a city of migrants. The writer explores the how the luxurious architecture and sports cars coexist with ancient Buddhist temples. He notes the street life, from clothes shacks to dumpling carts and game huts that serve local liquors. On the other hand gentrification has taken hold of the city, turning old factories into trendy cafes, ensuring neighborhoods are revamped for wealthier clients. Local shacks are eviscerated by new breweries developing craft beers. Yet, the claims are that developers are trying to retain the flavor of the neighborhoods, marrying the old to the new. One way or another, Beijing begs to be remembered.

Read an excerpt of the article written by Justin Bergman:

It seems like only yesterday that Beijing had its much-ballyhooed ‘‘coming out’’ party — the 2008 Summer Olympics — but things don’t slow down much in China’s frenetic capital. Already, the city is eyeing another Olympics bid (it is one of two finalists for the 2022 Winter Games) and planning a $13 billion airport that is expected to be among the busiest in the world when it opens in 2019. And yet compared with China’s other vertical megacities, Beijing is still a traditionalist at heart. The city may have fantastic new sculptural monuments designed by Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas, but to truly understand Beijing, one has to delve into the remaining hutong neighborhoods — traditional alleyways lined with courtyard homes — and smell the sweet potatoes roasting on coal fires in the winter. ...read more