What do you do when it's a gorgeous late summer day with blue skies? And by the way, thank you Summer Olympics for making the Chinese government shut down factories, restrict traffic and limit people's movements as needed in order to secure minimal pollution and allow blue days to happen again! Why use a bottom-up model and let people question and demonstrate against unsound ecological practices when you can use a top-down model and simply decree blue skies?
But I digress. So, gorgeous days. Well, we headed first to Qianmen (前门), the front gate guarding the southern side of the Forbidden City. I can't believe how beautiful these buildings look with blue skies! Amazing! I don't think I'd ever seen it like this!
And you know what else was great? Qianmen Avenue (前门大街)! This is a recently renovated and pedestrianized street (as many other things, done as part of the showcasing of Beijing during the Olympics), and though most of the buildings have yet to open and fill up with shops and restaurants, it's really nice to be able to walk around, look at the architecture, and enjoy the views of Qianmen in the distance.
Thank you, blue skies. Thank you, renovations. Sorry for all your trouble, citizens.