December 12, 2008

5. Get cultured with dance performances, lectures, art openings and live music.
There is so much happening in Beijing on any given day that it’s hard to choose what it is that you want to do. There is everything from hand pulled noodle-making classes, book clubs, and punk shows to talks on meditation, qigong workshops and art openings.
While I never did make it to that noodle class, I did get to see a Martha Graham dance performance at the new Center for the Performing Arts, which is an egg shaped landmark building designed by a French architect who succeeded in making an rather unusual exterior structure surrounded by water which houses an interior design catastrophe. I also attended a Jane Goodall lecture, which along with learning that people really can make a difference, I also learned from Fang that the ancient Chinese translator had weaved his own conflicting viewpoints into her perfectly written speech and that poor Jane was duped into actually thinking her words were making it to the audience untainted. These were welcomed breaks from the normal tourist sight-seeing schedule and were mixed in with fun dinners, spa time with the girls, live music shows and gallery hopping which made me feel like I was back in New York, running around the city with old friends.

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