Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hutong Visit

Most of Beijing has a buzzing modern city feel to it, akin to any large US city.  Most tradotional "old Beijing" style neighborhoods have been demolished to make way for the growing demand for housing and constant growing population and subsequent lack of space.  In recent years, China has made an effort to preserve the few remaining small, one story, courtyard style neighborhoods.  These are called hutongs.  I don't know if all the remaining hutongs are this way, but the community we visited has been transformed into a quaint and trendy hangout spot fit with cafés, bars with local musical acts, and shops galore.  Many of these venues arrived as a response to the ex-pat community.

We were treated to an amazing dinner (most delicious yet) in the home of a local chef, "Martin." His grandfather was the imperial chef for the last emperor and created the secret recipe for the delicious carrot balls we devoured.

The area backs up to the river and no cars are allowed.  So, there are lots of bicycles and rickshaws constantly zooming past.

Evidence of construction is a constant in rapidly expanding Beijing; even in the hutongs. 

A table outside of a restaurant in the hutong is strewn with lotto scratch offs and yogurt drinks...

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