My friend, Iris, has given me three incredibly memorable Shenyang experiences. First and foremost, in 2010, she introduced me to a new school full of amazing Chinese people. Five years later, I am still volunteering there. Second, she invited me to visit her friend’s tea shop where I learned more about tea in two hours than at any other point in my life. Most recently, Iris told me about a photo contest going on at what is affectionately called the Diamond building. For one afternoon, they opened up the Shengjing Grand Theatre for photos inside. The promotion for the contest was exclusively in Chinese. Being an educated illiterate in this country, I would have never known about it if Iris didn’t encourage me to go.
Many times, I’d seen the sun and skyline reflected in the mirrored facade. I had never thought about what it would be like, feel like, inside. It took my breath away how the light and shadow came alive, like we were breathing them in. Oh, and the design, the architecture, the consistency of it all … there were facets and angles everywhere.
Yes, it had some odd design elements, as one might expect in China, but many diamonds have flaws. They remain beautiful and unique. Shenyang’s diamond is just that. Enjoy.