Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Reactions from China to Donald Trump

How the news President Trump won't label China a currency manipulator plays in China:

  • "Eating his words!"
  • "Trump slaps self in face, again"

Friday, January 09, 2015

Countries I've visited via MapLoco

By Jack Brummet, Travel Ed.

China, Mexico, Canada, Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, England, India, Colombia, Russia, Turkey

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Smokey the Clown on Chinese Fire Fighting

By Jack Brummet, Ephemera Ed.

This is a fascinating article, not so much because of Smokey the Clown, but because of the discussion of Chinese Fire Departments halfway through the article.  From the Owosso, Michigan Argus-Press, September 15, 1932:


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Before/After: air quality in Beijing in May 2012, and January 2013

By Jack Brummet, Travel Editor

On top is a photo I shot in Beijing in May, 2012. On bottom is a photo by Feng Li/Getty Images taken a couple weeks ago, when the off-the-scale pollution was at its peak (so far).

Copyright (C) 2013 by All This Is That. All This Is That contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make these materials available to advance the understanding of political, economic, literary, artistic, and social issues. In some cases we satirize, parody, or lampoon materials from other sources. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of copyrighted material as provided for by section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit for research, educational, and entertainment purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', please read and follow our Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license and attribute the work to All This Is That, along with our URL ( 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Soup dumplings, a/k/a Xiaolongbao, in Beijing last week

By Jack Brummet, China travel and restaurant editor

After our trip to Beijing's Forbidden City last Friday, my friend Liang took me out for soup dumplings in Beijing.  The restaurant was glitzy, on the top floor of a fashionable atrium style mall that sold very high end consumer goods like Coach handbags, diamonds, Brooks Brothers, perfume stores, and all sorts of gear for the disposable income set. 

A bamboo steamer with Shanghai hairy crab soup dumplings (Xiaolongbao)

The dumplings, or, Xiaolongbao, are traditionally filled with pork, but variations include other meats, seafood and vegetarian fillings. The soup-filled kind are created by wrapping solid meat aspic inside the skin alongside the meat filling. Heat from steaming then melts the gelatin-gelled aspic into soup. They are just amazing.  We had a great lunch of a little bit of grilled pork, a plate of sauteed spinach, some soup, and three varieties of Xiaolongbao: vegetable, pork, and Shanghai Hairy Crab a/k/a mittens crab.  They're not actually hairy, but like our local Dungeness crabs, their claws look hairy.  The hairy crab is actually a freshwater crab that only goes into saltwater to breed and later to fetch their young uns.  Soup dumplings have recently become a very hot item in the Seattle area, with a couple of restaurants serving them and people waiting on line for two hours to get in. . .


I think I can reverse engineer these fairly easily.  I think the main trick will be in sealing the dumplings, which are not dropped into boiling water, but steamed in bamboo steamers.  Making the aspic will probably be the only big P.I.T.A.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Photos and notes from Beijing's Forbidden City

By Jack Brummet, China Travel Editor 

The Forbidden City紫禁城, literally translated by most as The Purple Forbidden City,  was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located smack dab in the middle of Beijing, and now houses the Palace Museum, who run the place. For almost 500 years, it was the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of China's government. Mao Zedong later lived just on the edge of the city.  The site includes an amazing 780 buildings on about eight million square feet (or, 178 acres!).  According to The Wikipedia, in the fifteen years in the Ming period when then city was under construction, it employed one million workers.  I saw a fraction of it in three hours.  I look forward to going back later this year to explore it further. 

Roof guardians - many of the buildings have these wonderful gargoyle sentries

This painting, from the Ming Dynasty period (mid-1400's) depicts the completed Forbidden City looking just about like it does today.

At the gate to the forbidden city.  In this photo, I am facing Tiananmen Square, just across the way.  Next to the Great Wall, I think this entrance, with the picture of Mao Zedong (who in my youth was still known as Mao Tse Tung), is probably the most photographed image in all of China.

a plan of the Forbidden City from Airphoto International - it only shows the largest structures

There are wonderful images of dragons all around the Forbidden City.

A lion that was carved almost six hundred years ago guards the entrance.  I wonder if these have been restored?  You would think the air pollution in Beijing would make short work of them, but they look like they could have been carved this year.  In Seattle, we have two ancient Egyptian sculptures of camels outside our Asian art museum on Capitol Hill.  About 20 years ago, they brought them inside and put copies outside.  They did the same thing in Florence with massive statue of David.  These lions are tough!

Yeah, I was bad about writing down the names of buildings.  I can only name a few of them.

It's virtually impossible to take a photo without someone (or hundreds) of tourists in it

Most of the interiors are closed off, but you can see in to the throne and sitting rooms

Many of the buildings have these vast bronze cauldrons (some covered in gold leaf) out front.  They were the Ming equivalent of fire hydrants.  They were always kept filled with water in case of fire; in the winter, they would keep fires lit beneath them to keep the water from freezing.  When a fire broke out, presumably some sort of bucket brigade sprung into action.  I'm not sure how effective these were--many  buildings, mostly built in the early 15th century eventually burned down and were reconstructed.

Just when you think you are at the end of the city, you stumble upon a new row of buildings.

This is a 200 ton sculpture that was quarried and carved far away from Beijing.  It was brought to the Forbidden City (presumably by slaves).  We know it was transported on the road in the winter.  They would pour water on the road, and drag the sculpture fifty feet and begin the water/freeze/drag procedure once again.  I wonder how many slaves it took to push 200 tons of rock across the iced roads?

This was just amazing.  It is not sculpted or carved.  It is a pile of gigantic, fantastically shaped rocks that they built a hill from and then topped it with a pagoda.  The Emperor would come here with his wife on special occasions and climb up the hill into the pagoda.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fun With Dick Nixon's Ghost

If you're a friend, or a blog follower, you probably know that LBJ and Nixon are the presidents I've studied most. With Nixon, it has been a life-long fascination. When I lived in NYC, I often brought friends over to pay homage at his townhouse on the Upper East Side--and where the Secret Service never hassled us, although we rarely arrived there before 2 AM, or even closing time (which in NYC then was 4 AM). I wrote a while ago about visiting him here. Or check here.

Anyhow, yesterday, I spent a half hour at his grave site, communing with the shade of Richard Nixon, who has fascinated me for forty-some years, and a couple more hours at his library, and birthplace. Despite being a Gorbachev Democrat, I still like the guy, and despise about 90% of his politics. He was a treacherous sneak, but managed to pull off some pretty stunning accomplishments before he was driven to the sea.