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by Irène Schrader

TV

Here is What Happened When I Spent A Day at the Chinese Central TV Headquarters

Being the granddaughter of a famous Chinese intellectual and historian has its perks! This week, I had the opportunity to visit the CCTV (Chinese Central Television) headquarters and a journalist who works as a documentalist there.

The skyscraper is 51 stories high and well-known for its architecture. Unlike many skyscrapers, it doesn’t aim to reach an ultimate height but instead offers a distinct style: it consists of two L-shaped towers that join at the top and bottom, forming a loop.

After getting picked up by an assistant, I entered the building where a security check was waiting for me. There are more than a hundred elevators in the buildings that reach different ranges of floors. Right away, we entered one that led us up to the 38th floor, which offers food.

The large glass windows gave me impressive views of the city. The assistant said that on clear days when the city isn’t polluted, the Great Wall of China can be seen on the horizon. I perceived the Beijing Television Cultural Center that is currently still recovering from the notorious fire of 2009.

We were then headed up to the 42nd floor, where offices dedicated to documentarists are. I met my grandmother’s journalist friend there and was given a CCTV USB key that contains a documentary narrated by a famous voice-actor… Sort of. The man actually passed away, but his voice was technologically regenerated by workers at CCTV for their projects — a great way to carry on someone’s legacy!

Lunch was next. The food was very appealing and cheaper than my high school’s (no shade, just facts). I met one of the journalist’s former colleagues and we spent the meal chatting away.

Our full and well-rested selves went on with our walk and took the elevators up to the 48th and 49th floors where plane stations can be seen as well as a skyscraper that is still being built and competing to become the tallest one in the world.

Having admired enough views, we sat down on the 38th floor with our lattes that made for a great Instagram picture of mine.

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I leech off of my grandma’s fame ?

A post shared by Irène 依岚???? (@ireneschrader) on

I had a sneak peek of a set in construction before visiting CCTV’s garden while waiting for my ride home.

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Irène was born and raised in Paris, France to an Eurasian family. She spends most of her time making music, writing essays, and teaching children English. She enjoys traveling, reading books, and going to museums.

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