Friday, August 28, 2020

The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Meyer

The shaky blue fence might temporarily ward off the relentless march of urban landscape change but Michael Meyer finds that precious architecture in Beijing can’t stay for long. Set in the time period right before the 2008 Olympics, Meyer, who volunteers as an English teacher at a local elementary school, chronicles how the centuries-old hutong, small communal living spaces were being systematically torn down. They made room for high-rises that seemingly reflected a more advanced society. Heartwarming stories and pictures of hutong residents sprinkled with the history of Beijing deliver an insightful and heart-wrenching narrative of the cost of globalism.

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