If you've lived long enough in Beijing, there's one season that we all look forward to and that is Spring. Beijing in my opinion only has two seasons: Summer and Winter. Spring and fall add up to a minimal 2-3 weeks out of the year. So when Spring arrives this city becomes much more active and people enjoy this season as much as they can. This photo essay was my attempt to capture as much as the city as I could during different times of the day. From the central business district to the hutongs in Gulou: I hope that you can feel the energy level of this city in one of the best times of the year.
1. A group of men pass by a public art at the Art District in Pinguo near Shuangjing. You can see Guomao, the central business district of Beijing, in the back ground to the north-west.
2. Heading north towards Guomao is Jianwai SOHO. The white buildings are noticeable from the south end of Guomao. Jianwai SOHO has commercial, residential, and office spaces along its 18 towers and is a popular destination for workers in the area for lunch and dinner.
3. Going west from Guomao is Qianmen, one of the major shopping areas in Beijing. This photo was taken at Qianmen Street: one of Beijing's oldest commercial area that has recently been renovated.
4. A woman walks by a group of pots at one of the side streets from Qianmen Shopping Street. QIanmen is home to some of the oldest restaurants in Beijing and serves a collection of famous Chinese dishes from all over China.
5. Families enjoy a nice weekend on Qianmen shopping street.
6. The National Museum. Photo taken from the Tiananmen Square. The museum was recently re-opened after its long renovation was completed.
7. Visitors exit the forbidden city and head south towards Tiananmen Square.
8. This Underground pass connects the Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City entrance.
9. Chinese tourists take a rest together besides the Forbidden City.
10. Chinese tourists are easy to spot with their identical caps.
11. Visitors enjoy the nice weather at the Forbidden City.
12. At the north end of the Forbidden City is the flower garden blooming with colorful flowers as you exit out.
13. Visitors glance over the Forbidden City from the top of Jingshan Park, located directly north of the Forbidden City. You can overlook most of the city of Beijing from this park.
14. Crowds gather at a local music performance at Tiantan Park, near the Temple of Heaven.
15. An Old man teaches how to dance with sticks to anyone who is interested at Tiantan Park.
16. As the weather gets warmer, more and more people can be seen at the park dancing and singing. I met people who were over ninety years old who wanted to exercise and keep healthy.
17. At Beihai Park, one of the largest imperial gardens in China on a sunny afternoon.
18. Taijiquan sessions take place daily from early morning to dawn at Beihai Park.
19. Students are walking home at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
20. A group of local high school students eat Stinky tofu together near the Drum Tower in Dongcheng District.
21. A vendor prepares pineapples to be sold by Drum Tower. You can find all sorts of fruits and small snacks in this area around the Drum Tower.
22. A hot pot restaurant attempts to attract customers as they sing songs and welcome people walking by.
23. A vendor takes a break from work. Photo taken near Nanluoguxiang.
24. Workers along Gulou Da Jie.
25. A family takes a rest in front of the Bell Tower.
26. Pedestrians make room for a car driving through the narrow commercial hutong of Nanluoguxiang.
27. Bikers and pedestrians await the green light at an intersection in Wangjing, the Korean Town of Beijing.
28. Residents of Dongcheng district enjoy a game of ping-pong. They are always looking for new contenders and they practice every day.
29. A mountain besides the Jingshanling Great Wall(located in the outskirts of Beijing) reads "Praise Chairman Mao" in white characters.
30. People rush out of Beijing heading east at Sihui during sunset. Guomao is in the background.
31. People crossing the overpass bridge at Shuangjing during sunset.
32. The dancing continues at night-time at Shuangjing bridge.
One of my favorite locations in Beijing is Gulou in Dongcheng District. I enjoy walking along the hutong’s observing the interaction of local people and the close community that they live in. I really don’t mind getting lost at all but this past weekend, I was heading for the Drum Tower and got lost in the hutong’s around Gulou. You’d think that it’s a straight road leading to this tower from the photo below but I ran into constant dead ends and had to rely on local people to tell me which way to go.
I should have looked at the street signs that clearly says "Dead-end ahead"
Most Dogs in Beijing are usually unleashed.
As the title suggests, I spent some time walking around Gulou this weekend and was able to come away with this one photo. I think this is one of my favorite photos so far in the year 2011. This was taken right at dusk with the Beijing winter sky and moon light shining the Drum Tower.
Gulou is the area surrounding Drum and Bell towers mainly with Hutong style housing which is currently under the threat of redevelopment programs which are mainly the construction of transportation centers in the area. This photo essay is my walk through of Beijing's beloved old city.
Rickshaw drivers rest as they await for customers. Drum tower in the background.
Rickshaw drivers ride back to the Drum towers. Most of their income comes from tourists. This day it was mainly French tourists who didn't feel like walking around the Hutongs.
Girls hanging out on the swings?at the park on a Saturday afternoon. Drum tower in the background
Elders meet on a daily basis to play mahjong. They didn't seem to mind the cold wind that day.
Rickshaw drivers were everywhere in Gulou that day. Weekends are busy days for these drivers.
Girls busy on their phones, on the way home from school.
Students heading home from school.
Rickshaw drivers taking French Tourists around for a ride.
A dog walks by. Dogs tend to be unleashed in China. Chinese people love their dogs here.
Looks like someone had a party last night. The local beer Yanjing Beer seems to be the popular choice around here.
Biker cycles past a green sign that asks for citizens to cooperate in the Census program that is taking place right now in China.
A worker is seen through the walls. The north side of Gulou is already destroyed and a transport station is supposed to be built to compliment the ever growing population and transportation efficiency.
On Gulou Da Jie. Construction can be seen at every corner of Gulou.
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.