what an adventure.....
the day started with a trip to visit the Forbidden City. i caught myself many times this morning thinking, "holy moley, I'm standing in the freaking Forbidden City!". The scale of the place is simply awesome...it's incredibly large but, honestly, I wasn't all that taken with the overall architecture. Sounds a little judgy, sure....but as I walked around taking photos, I fell in love with the little details. The glazed terra-cotta tiles, the marble moldings, the ornately painted ceilings...all the way down to the little ceramic figurines on the roof line. To say it was "impressive" just doesn't do it justice.
we stopped for lunch at a dumpling place....fared better than I expected....until I bit into one with a little shrimp in it....those of you that know me well know that that was a game changer.
post lunch we stopped in at an art supply store. that was crazy fun...and somehow very comforting as I found myself amongst things that I could instantly recognize, no matter how different they looked. with any luck, we'll get back there again. meanwhile, it seems as though our hunt for "real" foam core will have to continue.
we wrapped up the evening in a little hutong...and it was AWESOME. when I thought about this trip in Beijing all I had thought about was big skyscrapers and smog. this was simply a night and day difference. it was if I had stepped into a darker more secret world....loads of little side streets and alley ways....little shops and food stands and restaurants along the way. bicycles and scooters zipping about....little kids and dogs running through....random piles of abandoned furniture that looked as though it had been placed there by a set decorator. as I sat there during dinner, I thought that in my wildest imagination, I'm not sure that I would ever be able to layer a set as nicely as this hutong was layered. my only regret is that I let my cellphone battery die...or I'd have taken more photos.