In our four days in Beijing, one of the things i noticed every day was the attention spent on the landscaping and scenery around town. You can hardly travel two blocks without seeing someone working on planting flowers, watering the grass or trimming bushes. The collective efforts of these laborers has truly made Beijing a beautiful city and I am continually impressed by the importance the Chinese place on aesthetics. There appears to be a distinct contrast here from the states, where our cities are ordained with a few meager parks rather than a continuum of trees, flowers and bushes that wind through the streets of Beijing. I have wondered whether this is due to contrasts in social perceptions of aesthetic beauty or rather simply due to the cost of labor. The amount of man hours that are spent keeping the city beautiful would be quite costly in the US. However, one could hardly disagree that the efforts are worth it here, when the positive externalities from such ventures reach millions of individuals each day. Beijing was definitely a uniquely beautiful city from this landscaping to the creative architecture and eclectic blend of old and new cultures.