February 2015

The Beijinger – March 2015: Goal Model: How Stephon Marbury Became Beijing's Favorite Foreigner

March in the northern hemisphere can be the worst month of the year: it’s 31 days, winter hasn’t ended and spring hasn’t really begun. But in Beijing we’re lucky, as two of the best multi-day events of the year take place during the month: the annual JUE Music + Art Festival, and The Bookworm International Literary Festival, for a few doses of world-class culture.

For this issue though, we thought we’d tip off with a different kind of superstar. Thanks in part to being a basketball dynamo who has led the Beijing Ducks to two China Basketball Association (CBA) championships (as of time of writing), and in part to being an all-around nice guy who genuinely loves Beijing, Stephon Marbury may well be our city’s most famous foreigner. Our sports guy Patrick Li visited him at his home in Wangfujing to talk about life in Beijing, basketball, and what it’s like to be Stephon Marbury for a day.

Now for all that festival goodness. Wizard Tang has captured the chromium-plated, boiling soul of Beijing’s metal scene for years, and many of those images will be exhibited at Yugong Yishan during JUE Music + Art Festival. On the other side of the globe, Awesome Tapes From Africa Founder Brian Shimkovitz will be bringing many of those recordings to Beijing, also as part of JUE. When was the last time you saw somebody DJ with cassettes? Do you even know what a cassette is? Check it out, it should be … awesome.

The Bookworm International Literary Festival falls in the middle of the month, which should give you time to read books by Pulitzer Prize nominee Chang-Rae Lee, whose latest work (and next one, apparently) focuses on China. Our Kyle Mullin talked to him about the muse that is modern Chinese society. Mullin also interviewed Faramerz Dabhoiwala about his book The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, an academic look at changing views on everyone’s favorite subject. Both are coming to our fair city for the Bookworm’s event, so do your reading, and then go see them at the festival.

In the rest of the issue, we look at new places and extensions of brands in Beijing’s expanding craft beer scene. And there are the usual restaurants, bars, new venues, and even travel tips to get you through the month.

We hope you enjoy the March issue of the Beijinger, which you can now view here or via Issuu.

The Beijinger – February 2015: Home for the Holidays: Celebrate Valentine's Day and Spring Festival in Beijing

Chinese New Year, better known as Spring Festival, is like any major holiday – it can be fantastic to celebrate if you have people with whom to celebrate it, or it can be a dull time when everything’s closed. Luckily, most businesses are now only closed for about 36 hours, with many more people, especially young people, cutting their home visits short or choosing to stay in town and hang.

There’s another important holiday in February, one that may bring someone foolish enough to forget it even more grief than if they didn’t come home for Spring Festival with a handful of hong bao. That’s Valentine’s Day, which regardless of the movements of the moon falls on February 14. This year, the lunar calendar will be tearing fewer couples asunder, arriving far enough ahead of the other holiday that there’s still time for plenty of romance.

In this issue, we look at ways to make the most of both holidays. There’s a round-up of Beijing’s best staycations, romantic getaways right here in the heart of the city, and a look at how lovers can expect to fare during the Year of the Goat/Ram/Sheep. And we take a look at seven wonderful things to do during Chinese New Year: temple fairs, a winter nature walk, and more.

Elsewhere inside, along with our usual assortment of new restaurants, bars, clubs, and venues, is an interview with Michael Gira of Swans, who talks about infinity and his early prowess as a baseball player. China’s Nobel Prize for Literature winner Mo Yan is back with his latest novel, Frog, and we couldn’t wait to read it. And to while away the hours during the holiday, learn about Chinese drinking games, and how to play them, even if you don’t speak much Chinese.

From all of us here at the Beijinger, we wish you 新年快乐,万事如意! (That’s Happy New Year and all that stuff.)

Download the issue here or view this issue on Issuu.com here

Image: The Beijinger