The Back Streets of Beijing

I tried to get into Tiananmen Square in the middle of the big pre-Olympic celebration. The military not only had the whole square shut down, but they also had all the surrounding blocks at a standstill.

A taxi dropped me off where the police told him to drop me off – and my taxi driver did not ask questions. It was impossible for me to get over to the square. All of my cajoling and joking with the Chinese government police was absolutely not working. They neither found me charming nor amusing. It was about as useful as when I was stuck in immigration in Canada and trying to get back across the border using only my Blockbuster card as identification.

This left me in an older part of Beijing for about 5 hours trying to find my way back to my hotel or something I could recognize, since most of the car activity was shut down in the central part of the city. I went through a ton of back streets and captured many interesting things with my camera. I’ll post them in coming weeks!

The Backstreets of Beijing

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Across the Chinese Countryside

The green valleys of remote China on a summer day…
Across the Chinese Countryside

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The Ferry Port of Hong Kong

This was taken around 11 PM after I took the ferry back from Kowloon to the island of Hong Kong. The big building there is the controversial IFC2 building that went against the city building codes by exceeding the visible height of the nearby mountains.
The Ferry Port of Hong Kong

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Create

I just got to Leipzig, Germany and I am looking forward to exploring. I hope I get some more time!

Create

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The Great Wall of China on a Summer Day

The immensity of the Great Wall is something that has to be seen to be believed. I don’t know if this shot can do it justice, but if you zoom in, you can see how this goes off into the infinite mountains of China.
The Great Wall of China on a Summer Day

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Moon over Hong Kong

The full moon was over Hong Kong and it was burning through the clouds just after sunset. I shot this from the Kowloon side before I took the ferry back over to the island for the night.
Moon Over Hong Kong

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Glass and Metal and Steel and China

This was shot at the base of the IFC2 building in Hong Kong. They have an open air area full of bars and little cafes where you can hang out.
Glass and Metal and Steel and China

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A Filipino in Hong Kong

One thing I have noticed from staying in hotels in Asia is that the lounges at night are always full of spunky Filipino singers. I do not know why all the singers are always from the Philippines or why they are always spunky.

Hilton, Marriott, Shangri La, Mandarin Oriental, and all the others must flood the Filipino Craigslist with adverts asking for good singers that can do dance routines, sing, and never get tired of entertaining expatriots.

Below is one of the singers from the Marriott, who I met one night between sets. One of the owners of the Hong Kong Marriott was in the lounge and he saw me in the corner drinking coffee and working on a few photos. He was a big fan of my work and soon started calling all the staff, bartenders, his friends, and eventually the singers over to my laptop. I was surrounded and they were all looking at my photos and asking all kinds of questions. Joy, in the picture here, asked me if I would meet her in Kowloon on the weekend to take a picture of her for her portfolio.
A Filipino in Hong Kong

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IFC 2, The Tallest Skyscraper in Hong Kong

Here is IFC (International Financial Center) 2 in Hong Kong. It’s the tallest building there and you can get some sense of its size from the jumbo jet I captured in the frame which is actually very close to the top of the skyscraper!

The following is from Wikipedia:

Two International Finance Centre, completed in 2003, is attached to the second phase of the ifc mall. This 415 m tall building is currently Hong Kong’s tallest, is quoted as having 88 storeys to qualify as being extremely auspicious in Chinese culture, and 22 high-ceiling trading floors. In actual fact, however, it is short of the magic number, due to the fact that the “taboo floors” like 14th and 24th etc., are omitted as being inauspicious – 14 sounds like definitely fatal and 24 like “Easily fatal” in Cantonese.

The highrise is designed to accommodate financial firms. For example, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is located at the 55th floor. It is equipped with advanced telecommunications, raised floors for flexible cabling management, and nearly column-free floor plans. The building expects to accommodate up to 15,000 people. It is one of relatively few buildings in the world equipped with double-deck elevators.

The 55th, 56th and the 77th to 88th floors were bought by the HKMA for US$ 480 million in 2001[6]. An exhibition area, currently containing an exhibit of Hong Kong’s monetary history, and a library of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Information Centre occupy the 55th floor, and are open to the public during office hours[10]. The 88th floor of the tower contains the office of the Chief Executive of the HK Monetary Authority, and is served by an individual lift.

IFC 2, the Tallest Building in Hong Kong

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One China Policy

Here is a shot from the Bund of Shanghai. It shows the new area of Pudong surrounding the river. I usually don’t do creative re-imagining of these places, but I had some extra time and was really bored last night in the hotel!
One China Policy

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