The downtown view on May 5, 2013, at 5pm China time:
This item's headline is of course an homage to the official slogan of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games: Beijing huanying ni, 北京欢迎你. Beijing Welcomes You is also the title of Tom Scocca's very good book about the Beijing of the Olympic era. For me it's now time for another brief immersion.
For those who are wondering: this is a view to the northwest from the Beijing Hotel, just west of Wangfujing. The famous tiled roofs of the Forbidden City are about 1 mile away from where I'm standing. If you could see them, you would see them over to the left in this shot.
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James Fallows is a staff writer at The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the 2018 book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, which was a national best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.