Shmancy Town

Working with a view from the 20th floor of the JW Marriott in Beijing. The view is gorgeous, the service is impeccable, the coffee superb. That’s the Huamao Centre in the middle, the Ritz-Carlton to the right, and China Central Place in the middle. It is a lovely area, a living testament to how far China generally and Beijing specifically have come in their evolution, (especially as most of the patrons of all of these places are Chinese now, not foreigners.)

At the same time, I must confess that the area is a bit on the highbrow side for me. One of the great gifts of age has been that I no longer feel the need to excuse my prosaic preference for a lifestyle that is more Nissan than Ferrari, more Kirkland than Armani, more tuna melt than caviar. Blame my parentage: both mom and dad were children of the Depression, mom especially, and among their many lessons to me was the adage that having the means to make choices does not dictate what those choices should be.

So I will head to the airport today with the delightful memories of a nine-day stay in this beautiful hotel, but I’ll be back in the Courtyard on my next trip, and happier for it.