Inside the Diamond

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.

Take Five

This time of year, I usually write a post about the changes on our familiar skyline.  The beautiful diamond building showing progress year to year.  That diamond now plays host to concerts and shows, a far cry from the hole in the ground it was a few years ago.

Last May, we moved from that south & east facing apartment with the diamond view.  We got a new outlook on life and on Shenyang.  My favorite daily view is the Ke Pu Science Park.  It is a wonder, a living thing that moves and changes every hour of every day.  Tai qi, basketball, ping pong, balloons, pond life, walkers and exercisers, kite flyers, dancing clubs and walking clubs, bird statues that light up at night …  Public parks all over China are a wonder.

Here are some recent shots of our views in Shenyang, plus one more recent sunrise in the Instagram feed to the left.  Enjoy.