The City's recovery

20110818-093141.jpg Courtesy of the new high-pressure weather that so mercifully started hovering above Beijing a few days ago, I am finally seeing, actually seeing, my surroundings for the first time since the summer started 2-3 months ago.

And the other day, when reflecting over the fact that being swept into a haze is, also historically, the default condition for most of China, I could see why it made so much more senseto build around a courtyard rather than isolated elements on a surface. You are not trying to grasp an ungraspable landscape far away, but having full control over your nearest surroundings, your family and your own belongings. Considering the cultural AND climatic aspects, this must be the underlying logic why Chinese (traditional) architecture works the way it does.

This brings me to the next question: What is its current logic? It seems to often come down to one word: Speculation.

Springy feel

There is an air of spring in Beijing. The wind washing against my Northern skin as I rumble down the streets on my old noname bike has been reasonably temperate so far this week. Today, stopping at a red light by the northeast third ring road I saw the sun reflected in the green-tinted window of a large 90's midrise and thought: Ah! There's nothing like getting uplifted by a imposing piece of infrastructure like this. In a few months, I will join the crowds of men with exposed bellies and women with ditto heals. Ah! Spring will soon be here and I'll be able to wear my active-carbon-nano-particle-filter mask without my face getting all wet and gooey inside from the condensation. I so wished I had brought a camera to capture that moment. Instead I'll share a photo from the summer of 2008. Like most Beijing summers, it was a painstakingly sticky and humid one.