You might have been away on holiday, but the news never stopped in Beijing. In fact, it was a gangbusters summer rife with one eye-popping headline after the next. Those of us who remained behind were doused by one of the city's worst ever torrential downpours, and endured the announcement that our favorite local wholesale markets would be gone in the near future, while those of us dwelling the hutongs were left rattled (some of us even homeless) by a strict new crackdown. 

But the season by no means left us solely with summertime blues. Our favorite childhood video game characters saw a resurgence (albeit more in Bejingers' imaginations than our consoles), an innovative new cocktail bar took the hutongs by storm, and we learned about 10 new apps that make life in this bustling town feel far more easy. Get caught up quick by reading our top blog posts from the past few months below.

Beijing Issues Blue Warning Signal Rainstorm
The rain seemed to hit Beijingers in every direction this past July – falling in huge torrents, pooling and flooding up well past our ankles, and even splashing us sideways as the wind began to howl. Fifty flights were delayed and another 100 were delayed at our city's airports. Our blog detailing all that sogginess went viral, shooting straight to the top of our most read list, and netting 12,025 reads and counting since then.

Tigers Maul One Woman Fatally, Injure Another at Badaling Wildlife Park
What was meant to be a day of fun at the Badaling safari park this past July took a tragic turn. A tiger killed one woman and injured another, after one of them left the safety of the car that they were driving in throughout the park. Details about which of the two women died varied depending on the news outlet, but one thing remained very clear: just how crucial it is to follow the park's rules, especially the one that dictates visitors stay in their vehicles.

Modernista and Mado Bar Raided for Drugs
A police raid at two popular hutong bars in late June resulted in four Americans (one white, one African American, two Chinese American) along with four Chinese being taken in and tested for drugs. The authorities were able to detain them because they were not carrying their ID's (something most, if not all of us have been guilty of during a night on the town). In lieu of that incident, TBJ advised Beijingers to carry their ID's on the at all times, or at least a high resolution copy, to avoid falling into such a harrowing incident themselves.

Intoxicating Remedies: New Cocktail Venue Bar 4 Nine Brilliantly Mixes TCM with Booze
Ever since its opening in July, this new hutong bar has been tempting Beijing scenesters with its innovative mix of Chinese medicinal herbs and hard liquor. Our blog about its opening immediately went to the top of our most read list, indicating just how in demand creative cocktails are in our fair city.

10 Apps to Make Your Life Easier
From ordering food to getting accurate directions, this blog about handy apps was a huge hit with readers that are longing to make their lives more convenient in tech-savvy fashion.

The Truth About China's Fake Food
Yuck! Our readers were horrified – but also morbidly curious enough to read on-- about the alarming fake food statistics outlined in this blog. Everything from the estimate that about 60-70 percent of honey is fake, to evidence that even vegetables as wholesome as peas could be deviously duplicated, kept readers enraptured and disgusted, helping this blog nab 2,419 reads and counting.  

Beijing Born Beauty Queen to Compete in Miss America, But Not Beautiful Enough According to Chinese Netizens
Twenty three year old Arianna Quan grew up in Michigan after her family moved to the United States from China. In late July she was selected over 33 other contestants to represent Michigan in the Miss America Pageant. However, many onlookers in her parents' homeland scoffed at her success, because of China's very different beauty benchmarks, before sparking a broader debate about beauty and identity for Chinese people living abroad. That discussion will no doubt ramp up again when Quan attends the pageant on September 11, 2016.

Girls Ordered Food Delivery in Tuanjiehu, Are Taken Hostage Instead
And you thought a 20 minute wait time for delivery was a hassle. This unfortunate trio of customers ordered takeout to their Tuanjiehu Lu abode on June 26, 2016, but when they opened the door the delivery man held one of them at knifepoint. The other two women, thankfully, were able to call the police promptly, and when those authorities arrived 20 minutes later they successfully disarmed the assailant. The Beijing Youth Daily reported that the suspect was motivated to rob the girls after being footed with a hefty bill from a fender bender with a Mercedes-Benz. TBJ's blog about this story resonated with many of our readers, netting 3466 reads and counting, no doubt in part because of the number of foodies in our audience who order delivery on a regular basis, and are left to shudder at hte thought of being caught in similar circumstances. 

Say Goodbye Your Favorite Wholesale Market
Thrifty Beijingers despaired at the news that wholesale markets within the Fourth Ring Road are to be shunted off to Hebei by 2020. Our blog about this announcement explained that the municipal government hopes to curb the capital's population by 15 percent in the next four years, adding: "Already over 150 markets have been shut down since the effort started in earnest last year. The hope is that by shutting down businesses, the people will follow."

Subletters Beware: A New Crackdown Kicks Tenants Curb
Markets aren't the only things being affected by Beijing's rigid population reduction strategy. Hutong subletters also felt the pinch in early July. TBJ's blog about the issue explained that "Two foreigners and one Chinese have recently been given eviction notices after learning that their landlord was not actually the property owner, but a middleman subletting the apartment. All lived close to the Dongsi Shitiao area." This subletting crackdown is meant to reduce population density in Beijing's core neighborhoods, though that seems like paltry justification for those left without a roof over their heads by the policy.

7 Types Pokemon You'll Find Beijing
Local gamers were distraught, to say the least, when they learned that the wildly popular Pokémon Go game was not available to play in the Middle Kingdom. Fortunately, TBJ was there to create several clever analogies between Beijing's key characteristics and your favorite digitized fictional Japanese creature. Koffing was compared to AQI greater than 200, Krabby was found (where else?) behind the wheel of a taxi, and more. But here's hoping that the next video game craze will be more readily accessible in the capital, so that we won't have to strain our imaginations quite so far (fun as it was).

Photos: Mgturismo.com, Diepresse.comGlobal Times, Bar 4 Nine, Apptentive.com, Wikimedia Commons, itsariannaquan.com, ifeng, the Beijinger


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