It is hard to believe that it has been fifteen years since we visited Tian'anmen Square for the very first time in 1997. It is the one place in Beijing that is still recognizeable to me. The rest of the city is still changing at a break neck pace. I was hard pressed to find anything different between the two photographs.
The walls appear to be a different color red but is that only the angle of light? The old photo has red flags on the flag poles, but other than that the only difference I could find was the white street lamps in the older photo just under the sign on the left side. Even the color of the sky is the same! This is pretty unusual these days since the pollution has gotten so bad in the past four years. Beijing is a much different city when the skies are blue!
The Forbidden City is a much different place now than it was then. There are so many more tourists these days. I remember back then most of the visitors were dressed in drab colored Mao suits comlete with matching hats. So many babies and toddlers were balanced on the marble bridges below Mao's portrait for a photo of their own with Tian'anmen gate and Mao's portrait proudly showing in the background - proof of their pilgramage from the village to the capital city. Oh, how I wish I had captured a photo of that scene! How times changes and in such a short time. Now thousands of domestic tourists pour over the marble bridges each day and the crowds are kept moving. No chance to balance a baby and pose for what used to be an obligatory photograph and keepsake of a citizen's journey to their beloved captial.
I was finally motivated to get this photo taken by the DEAR PHOTOGRAPH Challenge at Ella Publishing's blog. If you hurry, you can link up too, it ends today, May 31st.
Come back tomorrow, Friday, June 1st for the ONE LITTLE WORD monthly blog hop AND for a fantastic give away compliments of Ella Publishing. I will be giving away Ella Publishing's PHOTOGRAPHY BUNDLE (if sold separately it's over a $21 value!)