Olympic livery for Beijing

In the week we were out of town, street signs acquired a new "Beijing 2008" logo

and red and white banners went up on light posts all over town.

In the space of hours, an instant-reforestation project installed thousands of little bushes and dozens of tree in front of an almost-finished luxury complex. Since we moved to this neighborhood last fall, all view of the project was blocked by an 8-foot-high blue metal wall, which squeezed hordes on a packed sidewalk into a path three feet wide. Now we see what was going on behind the walls, including a huge new Giorgio Armani store. Armani store on the left, with the big black circle. Former tiny sidewalk was part of the zone to the right.


Around Beijing, some tall blue walls are being torn down, to unveil projects that are ready for the Olympics, and others are being erected quickly, to shield construction sites that won't be done when the visitors arrive.