Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beijing 2005

During my 2005 trip to Beijing, we were able to peer over a wall near Tienanmen Square to catch a glimpse at the construction of buildings for the 2008 Olympics. It's difficult to imagine that part of the city being the focus of positive international attention, particularly since not even 20 years have passed since the massacre that took place there. (For some context, a member of the Chinese military tried to knock the camera from my hand after I took the photo below.) Perhaps in 2021, New York will have healed enough to host the Olympic games in lower Manhattan. Of course, they, too, would have to oust a couple million people from their urban dwellings to make room for gigantic complexes that will too soon be empty.

I had the opportunity to visit the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona in 1996 — only 4 years after they hosted the games — and it was a ghost town. Quiet, creepy and sunny. My only hope for the 2008 Olympics is that the future utilization of these buildings was decided upon and considered throughout their design and construction.

That's right, I don't give a crap about Michael Phelps. I didn't know who he was a week ago (I don't think I'm alone here), and although I am in awe of his ability, NBC has done too fantastic a job of overpromoting the image of him...and his mother. I watched (part of) the opening ceremonies. There are approximately 10,500 athletes competing in these games. Why do I keep seeing the same 5? I find NBC's coverage to feel constantly contrived and difficult to watch.

Um, anyway... Traveling to Japan and China was a lifelong goal for me. As I have not previously posted the photos from my trip on my blog, I thought that this was an appropriate time. Please click here to see select photos from my trip.

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