shu and joe

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PKBJ 3

June 24, 2007

Despite some A/V difficulties, Pecha Kucha’s 3 went off from the top floor of the new CEC Tower near the north east 3rd ring road. Interesting location with a nice wall of windows and multi-colored lighting scheme provided by the giant sign attached to the building.

Shu and I said a few words about our Dead Animals project, then grabbed a few beers and took in the rest of the presentations. Highlights included a look at the structural planning of the CCTV tower given by Chas Pope of ARUP, and the surprise addition of Casey Mack to the lineup. Casey – so good to have you in Beijing!

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Pecha Kucha 3

June 18, 2007

Beijing’s 3rd installment of Pecha Kucha rolls into town Saturday, June 23 at 8pm. Shu and I will be speaking at the event and showing some images from our new book, Dead Animals (we’ll have some pics of the book up soon!).

LOCATION: CEC building, No. 9 Xiaguangli, Chaoyang District
DATE: Saturday, June 23rd
TIME: 8pm.

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Clothing for All

June 9, 2007

An interesting translation, but one I couldn’t resist. I’m sure the Chinese is much more flattering and inoffensive, but the delicate English script at the top left reads “Fat Wife Dress.”

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More Xian

June 8, 2007

Why Xian isn’t known more for its nightlife, I have no idea.

The first stop on our party tour was a place called “One Plus One,” fondly described by the guidebook as a place with “hot music” and “cheap drinks.” The better part of me wanted to turn back after I was confronted with a metal detector and a pre-pubscent guard holding a night stick at the door. I pressed on, however, and was rewarded, well, handsomely.

Fantastic light-up platform covered with still-sober punters.

Fantastic light-up platform covered with now drunk punters.

After the waiter informed us that we could only sit at a table if we ordered 300 RMB worth of beers (that’s about 18 bottles), we headed to Xian’s very own bar street. Settling into an American-themed bar called Danny’s with walls plastered with Harley Davidson posters and pictures of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, we realized that the real draw of the place was a fantastic keyboardist and vocalist. The latter was a local celebrity while the former, I was told, was one of the top 10 finalists for China’s Super Boy contest. What luck!? The keyboardist offered to play a song out of his notebook for us to sing along to, but we declined when we realized they were all Chinese songs and Michael Jackson was nowhere to be found.

Salsa turned out to be a megaclub that would rival anything, anywhere, completely packed for a Monday night and offering lethal mixes of Sprite and whiskey from giant carafes. I was told by a seasoned dancer that Salsa was the best place to go to in Xian, not just for music but for inspiration.

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Xi’an

June 5, 2007

Xi’an is known as a good place to spend a weekend – and that’s about it. Most people I ‘ve taked to suggest one day to visit the Terracotta Warriors and one to sample some of the local cuisine. This, I think, is a pretty uncharitable assessment – after all, Xi’an was once the capital of China and is a city of a nearly 6 million people. It’s also a fine example of a Chinese city that’s not Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou.

On the other hand, it’s close enough to Beijing to make it a convenient weekend trip, which is what we made of it.

Perhaps more fascinating than the Warriors themselves is the spectacle of tourism and the armature that supports it. Like the pose-with-a-warrior photobooth.

Street food in Xi’an is highly recommended, as is the local orange soda.

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Hao Pengyou

At the edge of Beijing’s old driven-in theater is a little club called 2 Kolegas. Nothing fancy, but they regularly book some of the best local musicians – like PK 14. Always a welcome sound in the Gray City.

Finished the night off at the unfortunately named China Doll. Yeah, they have lights. Yeah, they have techno. What?

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Dead Animals Press Check

June 1, 2007

Took a drive out to the suburbs of north-west Beijing this afternoon to checkout the press sheets for a new book Shu and I are publishing. It’s called Dead Animals and is the culmination of a photo project that’s been on going for nearly 4 years. More info soon!

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