Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Drum Tower - Beijing

Drum player at the Drum Tower in Beijing

We returned to the Drum Tower and Nanluoguxiang weekend before last. The Drum Tower was closed the last time we were there. On this day we arrived in time for a drum demonstration. More on that later.

First a few pictures from Nanluoguxiang.

I've got to check this out with someone who can read Chinese. From my limited ability to input Chinese into my translator I see a reference to Lei Feng who is held up as a model citizen. Anyway some sort of community activity.

Octopus on a stick street food in Beijing

This was outside a food shop specializing in octopus. It looks like the whole thing on a stick.

This woman is demonstrating the proper way to eat chicken or pork on a stick.
Paper artist Zhang Yonghong in his shop in Nanluoguxiang

The reason we went to Nanluoguxiang was to visit the shop of Zhang Yonghong, a paper artist Margot met at a International Newcomers meeting.
10 meter long paper cut by Zhang Yonghong

As we were leaving he offered to show us one of his masterpieces. This is 10 meters (33 ft) long. It took 6 months to make back when he was 25. He made 10 copies at the time and 2 are left.

It's for sale. Let me know if you are interested because he offered me a commission. He is asking 500,000 RMB - but, of course, that is negotiable.

This shot is a little confusing. That is the top of the Bell Tower in the background and the gate to the Drum Tower in the foreground.

You can see more pictures of the Drum Tower here.

Drum Tower

Stairway at the Drum Tower in Beijing

This is the stairway up into the Drum Tower. It is long and steep.

Drums at the Drum Tower in Beijing

This is the drum gallery at the end of the stairwell. The drums were used to announce the time in the olden days. Today they are only to entertain the tourists.

Here is a link to a video of part of the performance.

Four copper clepsydras at the Drum Tower in Beijing

There is a display of old time measuring devices. This one (a replica) used water flowing through an orifice. Such a device is known as a clepsydra. This device consisted of 4 clepsydras in series. I think the guy with the cymbals made noise every quarter hour. The entire device is known as Kelou.

Apparently the burn rate of incense is consistent enough to be used to measure time.

This is a view looking southeast from the drum tower.

This is a miscellaneous shot from the walk back to the subway station. These guys are remodeling this shop.

It's nice they have the construction site barricaded off with their bike and cart.
Boats at Qianhai in Beijing

It looked like chaos on the lake now that the weather has warmed up.

There is a shot of it from 6 weeks ago with ice on the lake at this older posting.


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