A shifting storm

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 4:00 — I woke up this morning to a blue sky. Again. It’s the second day in a row.


A Touch of Class

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 3:47 p.m. — Charm. I’ve been missing it since I arrived in Beijing. This city has much to offer: first-class hotels, wondrous food, and cultural relics galore. Yet it’s no Paris, no Chicago or San Fran for that matter. It is, in nearly all respects, an industrial wonder, a labyrinth of […]


Turning the tide on a sushi lover

By Austin Shiner Beijing, China, 1:11 PM — Tropical fish nibbled at my feet. Thousands of them. The “fish cleansing pool” at the East Hawaii International Club is nearly beyond belief, and totally amazing. Complete with four über-gaudy golden pineapples on the roof, the club is, and is not, like American sports clubs. Sam and […]


Prison in Beijing?

By Jae Hyung Ryu BEIJING, China, 11:12 p.m. — I’ve been in Beijing for six weeks now, studying Chinese through the Princeton in Beijing program, perhaps better known as Prison in Beijing, a nickname bestowed upon the program because of its notorious intensity. I’m staying at Beijing Normal University, which, this particular summer at least, […]


Beijing gets floral stamp; Mao’s favorite restaurant

By Austin ShinerBEIJING, China, 12:30 a.m. — Olympic preparations and paranoia, which consume so much of Beijing in this final week before the Games, restrict fun but still fail to drain life out of this city. Many bars and clubs are shut, all parcels are x-rayed upon entrance to the subway, taxi routes are diverted […]


What a corny blog title …

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 9:11 p.m. — My flight thrilled upon descent. The turbulence was fun enough, but entering the cloud layer was captivating: Beijing, and Olympic fever, lay below. A bird’s-eye view of the city’s gleaming towers and brand-spanking-new airport would make a wonderful finale to a long globe-spanning journey. We plunged into […]


Pollan dishes out views on nutrition

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Such is the tagline of author and ecological gastronome Michael Pollan. Pollan shared his philosophy and discussed agribusiness, farm subsidies and his non-linear career with over 100 students at a Jonathan Edwards College Master’s Tea on Wednesday. His latest book, “In Defense of Food,” and previous best seller, […]