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Gallery: China Zun

This building has become in my mind a symbol of my time in Beijing. It’s the first thing I found myself absorbed in when I first arrived. It’s across the street from where I work and was right outside the window of the first place I sat down at there, at a little hallway table meeting with an HR person. It was visible from the roof of the first apartment building I lived in, where I’d go at sunrise to stretch and drink coffee. It’s visible from my current apartment.

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Street Banner Exhortations

Throughout China’s capital are red street banners with white lettering urging people to be more civilized, root out dark forces, not smoke, and engage in better behaviors.

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Pocket Documentary: Commute to CCTV Tower

Stuck an old iPhone in my shirt pocket and hit record for my commute to and from work. That’s it. Raw, simple way to preserve a period in my life and to give the curious an idea of what it’s like to commute in Beijing by shared bike.

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Tiananmen Ride

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while: Stick my phone in my shirt pocket and let it record while I ride a bike through Beijing traffic.

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Views from My Cell

My second apartment in Beijing is, despite its sometimes prison cell-like feel, much better than my first. It’s tiny but was redone from floor to ceiling before I moved in. The floors are covered in big marble-like tiles that are so polished and new they have a mirror effect. The cupboards and sinks and windows and everything are new.

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Life in China 3

Images grabbed from day-to-day life in the capital
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Knees-Out Biking China

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Beijing Bike Rides

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Life in China 2

Images grabbed from day-to-day life in China’s capital
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Life in China 1

Images grabbed from day-to-day life in China’s capital
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Nosepicking Crossing Guard

Public servants man the corners of busy intersections, dressed in a yellow uniform. The video is 30 seconds, but note that he was already engaged in his uncivilized behavior prior to my arrival and showed no sign of letting up by the time I got tired of documenting it.

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Reality sets in the International Era

When I signed the lease for my first apartment in Beijing, I knew the place needed some cleaning up. Walls a little grimy, kitchen and washing machine area needing attention. I looked forward to it. Get in there and tear shit up. Make the place my own. Get things done and restore my confidence here in a new country where even acquiring pillows and kitchen utensils has required getting advice from people.

After I moved in, closer details of the place emerged. It would be two months before the full scope of its filth was revealed.

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Making of a Jianbing

Beijing’s only real street food worth mentioning, the jianbing is a worker’s breakfast of tasty, greasy, slightly spicy, fried batter, egg, meat, and other fixins. I got a video of it being made on my way home from visiting the Public Security Bureau in Dongzhimen to pick up my renewed work permit for my second year in China. This street vendor was right outside the entrance to the Dongzhimen subway station.

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Shidaiguoji Apartment Life

My first smoggy days of Beijing. December 2016.

My apartment is in the Shuangjing neighborhood of Beijing.

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Night Ride to the Forbidden City

It was a beautiful spring night at the neighborhood bar. The thought entered my head that I should bike to the Forbidden City and back. Just blast over there and back as fast as I could, because I could. I hit record on my phone and held it while biking with one hand. Raw recording.