Cover Photo: Lotus Pods and Jambalaya in Jianguomen: Memory and Change in a Beijing Neighborhood by Amy Zhang
 

Lotus Pods and Jambalaya in Jianguomen: Memory and Change in a Beijing Neighborhood

“It was like walking through a time capsule.”

I arrived in Beijing in July of 2012 with the newfound optimism of an exuberant college student still reeling after her first year of independence. The Connecticut winter had been a shock to me—in Hong Kong, we had monsoons; in Middletown, Connecticut, we watched the snow pile into three-foot-high walls. Even more perplexing were all the people on campus who’d insisted on dissecting my identity upon introduction. Some remarked innocently on how good my English was for a person who grew up in Hong Kong; some felt the need to try and tell me who I was—one even demanded, point-blank, “Why are you here?”

All photos courtesy of the author.

Born in Beijing, bred in Virginia and Hong Kong, Amy Zhang is a budding writer, journalist, and filmmaker. Follow her on Twitter: @azhang852