China’s Stressed-Out Workers Are Rediscovering the Art of Meditation


SHANGHAI — In a downtown shopping mall, a crowd of office workers are spending their lunch breaks searching for spiritual harmony. Pulling back a heavy curtain, the group step into a meditation room and lie down on a row of cushions on the floor. Above them, stripes of indigo cloth ripple down from the ceiling... Continue Reading →

In Cliffside Village, Hipster Bookshop Spurs Rural Revival


ZHEJIANG, East China — With the twisted mountain road blocked by yesterday’s snow, Zhao Weiren and his friends have no choice but to park their car and climb the last leg of their trip. They’ve come to visit Chenjiapu, a somewhat picturesque but otherwise ordinary village of 100 or so houses with beige plaster and... Continue Reading →

The New Breed of Handlers Preening China’s Prize


HUBEI, Central China — With her bushy beard, expressive eyes, and wavy coat, Feifei enters the ring and walks a lap. Set up outside a shopping mall in downtown Wuhan, the show makes some shoppers stop in their tracks to snap photos of Feifei. “What’s going on here?” one asks. “It’s a dog beauty pageant,”... Continue Reading →

The Tiger Art Village That Won’t Change its Stripes


HENAN, Central China — The sweltering July heat, the passing trucks, and the loitering pigs cannot distract the dozen painting students from the task at hand. The villagers, young and old, are sitting around a table in their teacher’s studio, putting the finishing touches on their tigers’ whiskers and fur with the utmost concentration. The... Continue Reading →

The Shanghai Sex Shop Selling More Than Just Toys


SHANGHAI — With thousands of sex shops sprinkled throughout the city, another store opening its doors isn’t usually cause for queues. But on Pepper Love Store’s first day, word spread quickly via social media. Soon, a line snaked through the former French Concession, putting a smile on the face of Mao Yongyi, one of the... Continue Reading →

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