I just returned from a short trip to the Fragrant Hills (香山), where I tagged along with my mom on her high school reunion. The Fragrant Hills are located to the west of Beijing, and are a series of tall hills and low mountains that are popular with a lot of day hikers and tourists in the Beijing area. We stayed for a night at the Fragrant Hills Hotel, which was actually designed by I.M. Pei in what I believe (at least by the looks of the interior) was the 1960s. The place was great, actually. Pictures are forthcoming (I promise!) but you can kind of tell that Pei designed the place. In the atrium of the hotel, you can see the glass-panel pyramid design later refined in the Louvre pyramid. The furniture in the rooms are a riot — half timeless Mid-Century Modern, half The Worse Design Crimes of the 1970s. My favorite pieces are the one-piece, cantilevered nightstands. I’m not sure which came first, them or the Tivoli audio consoles, but they look awfully similar.
I’ve started my internship at Chambers Fine Art, and work there is always interesting. Right now, I’m helping them put together an exhibition catalogue for a new exhibit, opening at the end of the month. Day-to-day work can be boring sometimes, but I’m definitely starting to see the whole thing come together, which is going to be quite rewarding. I’ve also made connections with some Wellesley alums in Beijing. There was an alum event at a bar in Beijing, which was quite well put together in theory, but the weather failed to cooperate; so the get-together was perhaps slightly less successful than it could have been. I did manage to get completely soaked on the way back, which was highly unpleasant, but nothing a hot shower and early bedtime couldn’t remedy.
Tonight is the final game of the World Cup, and though my team (Germany) isn’t in it, it still could be an excellent match. Even if it is going to start at 2:30 in the morning, local time. It’ll be good to see either Spain or the Netherlands win; both play some excellent football. I took a nap this afternoon and will probably set an alarm for the game. I’ve graduated; there’s no need to pull an all-nighter.