Free at last

It’s so good to see my dashboard again.  I’m back in Seoul, where the water is safe, food isn’t suspicious, and I can roam the interwebs freely.  It feels good to be back.

The National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing (aka "The Egg")

That said, Beijing has some amazing things.  This morning (which feels like two days ago, at least) I saw the new Grand Theater.  Photographs cannot capture the scale and magnificence of the building.  It’s beautiful.  Even though the building is modern (construction finished in December), its elements echo Chinese landscapes and traditions: railings and accents inspired by the shapes of growing bamboo, walls of colored silk, screens evoking bamboo curtains, ceilings with the texture of water or the color of sky.  The floors use five kinds of marble, each from a different Chinese province. The water surrounding the structure is soft, balancing the hardness of the titanium and glass.

The water not only surrounds the building.  The entrance leads gently down to a glass-ceilinged hallway beneath the water.  This morning, sunlight streamed through to make water-filtered patterns on the floor and walls.  If you look up, you can see the water directly; look around, and the movement of light and water is reflected everywhere.

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