A few weeks ago, those of us based at UCI had the pleasure of hearing author Michael Meyer talk about his new book, The Last Days of Old Beijing. Accompanied by the evocative photos of Mark Leong, Meyer described his experience living in the ancient hutongs of central Beijing and how he tried to convey that experience--threatened by Beijing's rapid development--in his recent book. Here, Tom Mullaney, who teaches history at Stanford, chats with Meyer about his book. Scroll down to enjoy Leong's photos while you listen.
The character "chai" (to demolish) is painted on houses marked for demolition.
If you'd like to learn more, this video will give you a tour of Meyer's Beijing neighborhood.