Alice June, 2010
Anybody in Chicago who has met Alice Zhou Xiaofang remembers her. She is the number 2 government person in the urban planning department in Shaoxing, but she is a mayoral advisor and all-around whip smart, dedicated, open, public servant. Who asks questions and tells you what she thinks. Who is also an electrical engineer and knit me the blue scarf I wore all last winter. I was in Shaoxing to look at another ancient town, called An Chang, which is on both sides of a narrow waterway on the outskirts of Shaoxing. It is now surrounded by modern buildings and cars and development, but some of the old town still remains. Old, in this case, is late Ming-early Qing dynasties, which puts the buildings at about 400 years old. This is based on fading inscriptions in stone, and on what I am told by Alice and others.