Beijing is changing
Beijing is an important stop if touring China (Great Wall, TS, Forbidden City, etc). That said, do not expect a great deal of friendly co-riders on any means of transportation or in public places as many people are pursuing their own agenda and will push/shove/trample to get where they are going. Big cities are difficult to keep clean, but take no surprise at the occasional adult relieving him/herself on city sidewalks.
Insider Tip:TS and Forbidden City are closed on Mondays. Forbidden City has limited tour which is disappointing. Food in the hutongs is the best and has the friendliest service and great prices. Be prepared for polluted air (despite China's self-professed ratings)--see USA or other country's ratings of the air quality and take precautions. Don't expect to see sun light. The silk market has changed dramatically and is more like a busy mall. See Lucy for pearls at Pearl Market and stay at the Red Lantern Hostel.