Seasons Place - New Luxury Shopping Mall in Beijing

Financial Street in the west side of Beijing witnessed the grand opening of Seasons Place in October 2007, a luxury shopping mall that’s giving Shin Kong Place on the east side of Beijing a run for its money.

Season's Place mall features over 600 brands, including high end labels from both Europe and America like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Stella McCartney, Emilio Pucci, Maison Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Marni, Miu Miu and Givenchy. The shopping Center also houses the only Lane Crawford in the city, a popular Hong Kong-based chain that sells high-end designer labels in a chic atmosphere. I.T launched Commes des Garçons' first boutique at Season's Place in April 2008. More than half of its brand portfolio in the mall will be new to the Beijing market.

The basement, 2nd and 3rd floors offer some of the more affordable shopping in stores selling Calvin Klein, Anne Klein, Ports Men, Marc by Marc Jacobs, y-3, I.T, Lilyrose, Only, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Esprit, Guess, Replay, Benetton, CK Underwear, Nine West, Swatch, Enzo, Toni & Guy, Svenson Hair Care Centre, Marie France Bodyline. You will also find Raffles International Medical Centre on the 4th floor, along with services like hom@spa, THANN, BOSE, The IQ Air Store, Euro Home/Villeroy & Boch. The basement level also features one of Beijing's most popular Ole Supermarket that stocks everything from wine to produce to chocolates.

:2 Jinchengfang Jie,(between
Westin and Ritz-Carlton Financial Street hotels), Xicheng District, Beijing

: 010-6622-0888

: Daily 10am-9pm


: www.meiguoxing.com/Shopping/Seasons_Place.html


China's Lang Ping decides not to extend US contract 郎平辞任美国女排主帅

Jenny Lang Ping, a beloved Chinese hero who helped the 1984 women's volleyball team capture Olympic gold, will not return as coach of the US women's national squad.

USA Volleyball announced Tuesday that Lang Ping has chosen not to extend her contract for the upcoming four-year run to the 2012 London Olympics after guiding the American women to a silver medal last August at the Beijing Games.

"At this moment in my life, family comes first and I wish more flexibility to spend time with them," she said. "I prefer a club volleyball season that lasts five months so I can spend the other seven months of the year with them."

Lang Ping masterminded a veteran group of with eight prior Olympians to a podium after the Americans finished fourth in 2000 and fifth in 2004.

"I want to thank USA Volleyball for allowing me this opportunity," Lang Ping said. "It was a very challenging job with the many differences in system and culture compared to the Chinese system. Yet I learned a lot and appreciate this rewarding experience."

Lang Ping guided China to the silver medal at the 1996 Olympics and last coached in China in 1998, then spent six years coaching in Italy before replacing Japan's Toshi Yoshida as the US women's coach in late 2004.

She felt the tension of coaching against her homeland in China at the Olympics.

"Although I was somewhat torn with my allegiance to China, it was very satisfying professionally to lead this team to the 2008 Olympic Games silver medal in my home country and also witness China earn the bronze," she said.

Lang Ping went 90-49 as the US coach, including a five-set victory over China in Beijing Olympic play, victories over Italy and Cuba in the Olympic playoffs and a loss to Brazil in the title game.

"USA Volleyball is very fortunate to have had Jenny leading our program," USA Volleyball executive officer Doug Beal said. "We respect her decision to devote more of her life to family while remaining in the coaching profession. She really performed magnificently under difficult situations."

Lang Ping, known as the "Iron Hammer" in her playing days, was the only woman coach among those guiding the world's 20 top-ranked national teams.

"I will have many fond memories," Lang Ping said. "I believe the US will have another great team during the next quadrennial and I wish them well in pursuit of gold in London at the 2012 Olympics."










1999年开始郎平远赴意大利执教,同样取得了辉煌的成绩。率意大利摩德纳女子排球队在2000年获意大利女排联赛冠军、2001年夺得欧洲女排冠军联赛冠军、2002年再夺得意大利联赛和杯赛双料冠军;2002-2003赛季开始郎平转执教意大利诺瓦腊俱乐部,率领诺瓦腊女排夺得意大利超级杯和2004 年意大利联赛冠军。



Juanqinzhai, the most lavish suite in the Forbidden City, will be open to the public beginning in 2009

China unveiled the retirement studio of Emperor Qianlong after five years of restoration,
showing an architectural masterpiece that sheds light on the philosophy and taste of the
Qing Dynasty's second-longest serving ruler.

The Palace Museum, the state custodian of China's 600-year- old Forbidden City, may
open Juanqinzhai (the Studio of Exhaustion From Diligent Service, Lodge of Retirement),
refurbished at $3 million by the New York- based World Monuments Fund, to the public for
the first time ``on a limited basis,'' said Director Zheng Xinmiao.

``This studio was designed for one man to enjoy his peace and solitude away from the
heavy duties of emperorship, and not for hordes of modern-day tourists,'' said Zheng,
after a Beijing press conference yesterday. ``So, we will have to be very selective in how
we open this to the world.''

Built in 1776 -- the 41st year of Qianlong's 60-year reign -- Juanqinzhai was part of a two-
acre complex of ornate gardens and pavilions the emperor designed for himself as a
retirement villa.

Restoring Juanqinzhai is part of a broader government project to refurbish Qianlong's two-
acre retirement grounds Ningshougong (the Palace of Tranquility and Longevity) by 2017,
said Nancy Berliner, curator of Chinese art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem,
Massachusetts, who contributed to the pavilion's restoration. The total cost, involving
another 26 pavilions and gardens, is estimated at between $12 million and $15 million,
said World Monuments Fund President Bonnie Burnham.

Wisteria Pattern
The ceiling of Juanqinzhai's theater room (view theater's pre-restoration panorama) was
covered in silk with an intricate wisteria pattern. In an adjoining room where Qianlong
received visitors, walls were lined with double-sided silk embroidery atop zitan wooden
panels inlaid with the inner skin of bamboo.

The emperor, who ordered a trade route built from the jade mines of modern-day
Myanmar to southern China for carrying jadeite to the imperial capital, would display his
favorite gems, ceramics and artworks in the studio.

Qianlong was deeply interested and involved in every aspect of the Juanqinzhai's design
and construction, said Berliner. The studio was the first time the technique of embroidering
on both sides of a silk screen was used in an interior decor.

The monarch commissioned an indoor theater in the studio, covering the entire room with
silk murals depicting Beijing's verdant hills, palace buildings and exotic fowls using the
perspective of trompe l'oeil, an unusual technique in 18th-century China, she said.
``He was the kind of connoisseur who probably derived as much pleasure from designing it
and conceiving it as actually using it,'' Berliner said.

Unused, Unoccupied
Qianlong never actually used Juanqinzhai. He abdicated in 1795 as a filial act to avoid
surpassing the 61-year record reign held by his grandfather, the Emperor Kangxi.
He never moved out of his formal abode at Qianqinggong even after ceding his throne to
Emperor Jiaqing, and continued to wield influence till his death in 1799.

On his death bed, Qianlong issued an edict for Juanqinzhai to be used as the retirement
house for his successors, establishing perhaps one of China's first preservation laws, said
World Monuments Fund Executive Vice President Henry Ng, after a press conference
yesterday at the former imperial palace. The studio remained mostly unused and
untouched until the last of the Manchu emperors Puyi was driven out of the palace in 1924.

``It was like a wedding day'' when the veils were lifted off the restoration for the first time,
Ng said. ``We can't believe how stunning and beautiful everything is'' once they're all put
together, he said.

Mulberry Paper
Restoration work involved the use of painting and adhesion techniques that are no longer
employed. Restorers also had to reproduce a high-cellulose paper made from the fibers of
mulberry trees -- no longer made in China when conservation began in 2003 - - for
holding up the murals.

``Based on historical records, we know the palace used paper made in Anhui, and after
some searching, we found an artisan who was able to reproduce the material using the
traditional technique,'' said T.K. McClintock, founder of Studio TKM Ltd., a Somerville,
Massachusetts-based paper specialist who advised on the restoration work.

Working according to McClintock's specification, the Anhui artisan laid stone slabs on a
riverbed where he washed his mulberry fiber, to avoid stirring up silt. The artisan, in his
30s, is now the exclusive supplier of high-grade paper to the conservation project's
remaining pavilions.

``He's young enough to last us through the project,'' McClintock said.

Nov 12, 2008