"No, not District 9, District... 798" - My Journey to the East
"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world" - George Washington Carver

So this was a fascinating escapade. District 798 as it's known to the locals, has to be my favorite place in Beijing by far :). During the Cold War it used to be the central factory area of Beijing. The most unique about this place is though, some 25 years later it has been converted to be the artistic heart of Beijing ever since its inception. There is just graffiti and art, by definition, littering the sidewalks and walls, but none of it... is bad. In America graffiti and tag is usually seen as a negative thing or something that people in gangs do, thus making it of a lower-class nature(so-to-speak). But the feelings I got( and hope others get too) are not those of fear or ignorance, but more so... enlightenment. During the Cultural Revolution stuff like this was forbidden and shunned, but now in the very capital can you find things like this!? To me, that is remarkable. The art galleries(although pricey) were fantastic. I recommend ANYONE who is in Beijing to tell your cab driver 七九八区, and get whisked away to an amazing piece of Beijing, that(I believe) has become the essence of what this wonderful city will become. Pictures are worth more words than this entire webpage, so I'll let them speak :) 

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    This portion of my trip is where things get better; get interesting. I'm on my second wind in Beijing( a city I definitely prefer) and I'm ready to buckle down and learn some Chinese!


    July 2011
    June 2011