I don’t make a habit of calling out other journalists. We’re all just trying to get by. But the more stories I saw about Yujiapu Financial District (Tianjin’s vast empty ‘replica’ of Manhattan), the more I suspected that reporters’ description of an abandoned ‘ghost city’ was unduly sensational.
We paid a couple of visits last month and found far more than I’d been led to believe. The area isn’t exactly bustling yet, but for this month’s cover story (page 42) I make the case that this isn’t particularly surprising given that it’s not finished yet. Even if the city hasn’t come alive yet, the story is brought to life through stunning images from our staff photographer Holly Li.
It is fitting (though entirely coincidental) that this month also sees the launch of our all-new pullout Tianjin supplement. Yujiapu may not have many great places to eat just yet, but Tianjin proper does. We profile the best of them as we announce the winners of from our latest Food and Drink Awards in the city.
Elsewhere in the magazine:
Dominique Wong gathers some opinions on the Beijing legacy of the late Zaha Hadid in our new regular architecture feature (page 9).
Andrew Chin shines a light on the Chinese finalists at this year’s Sony World Photography Awards (page 10).
Lastly, Noelle Mateer meets the food importers trying to break the Chinese market, before bringing you her characteristically sardonic take on the month’s restaurant and bar openings (from page 52).
I end with a fond farewell to our national Life & Style Editor (and the Editor-in-Chief of our sister publication That’s Shanghai), Marianna Cerini, who departs after more than four years’ service. Having joined as contributor to the Beijing magazine in July 2012, she is one of our longest-serving staff members. During this time she has produced some fantastic features, looking at topics from Chinese makerspaces to the absurd luxury pet market. She’s debunked plenty of fads along the way, and this month she takes on juicing and the market for ‘health’ foods (page 20).
While I trust that we’ll see Marianna’s byline in the magazine again in the near future, I shall take this opportunity to wish her all the best on behalf of everyone at That’s.