Paradise Beijing

By James Fallows

I have a slight modification to propose to the International Olympic Charter. I suggest that the Olympics, and the Paralympics, be run back-to-back, nonstop, month after month and year after year -- and always in Beijing. It could be tough on the athletes, but think of the golds they could win! And with this system, the city might continue to enjoy the phenomenal blue skies and beautiful weather that have prevailed for most of the last four weeks. This morning, Sept 12:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5220.jpg

Yesterday afternoon, Sept. 11:
http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5222.jpg

The traffic and factory shut-down rules that started on July 20 will still be in effect for eight more days, thanks to the Paralympics. The Paralympics have been moving and impressive in ways I'll describe later. For now, we're enjoying these moments while we have them; assuming nothing about the future; but hoping that the Chinese citizenry and leadership have noticed how transformed the city is when it looks like these pictures -- and not the one from two months ago, mercifully after the jump.

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5233.jpg


http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5234.jpg

 On July 20:
http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_3834.jpg

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2008/09/paradise-beijing/8812/