A New-look for the Old Hu­tong in Caochang

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Wang Wei Edited by David Ball Photos by Chang Xu, Zhou Shi­jie

Caochang, in the south of Bei­jing, con­tains 10 north­south hu­tong with a long his­tory and tra­di­tional Bei­jing cul­ture. Ren­o­va­tions in the area are im­prov­ing the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment, as well as the lives of its residents.

Most hu­tong (tra­di­tional al­leys) in Bei­jing run eastwest, but a rect­an­gu­lar­shaped area near Qian­men Av­enue, called Caochang (“Grass Fac­tory”), con­tains 10 north-south hu­tong with a long his­tory and tra­di­tional Bei­jing cul­ture. After vis­it­ing Qian­men Gate south of Tian’an­men Square, one can walk south­east to Xianyukou Street (a tra­di­tional Bei­jing busi­ness street) then con­tinue east to West Xin­g­long Street. On the south side of West Xin­g­long Street is Caochang Com­mu­nity.

Tra­di­tional Bei­jing-style

Ac­cord­ing to Jing­shi fangx­i­ang zhi­gao

(a book about the lay­out of Bei­jing) writ­ten by Zhu Yixin (1846–1894), “There is an an­cient wa­ter­way called San­lihe to the east of Qian­men.”

The hu­tong run­ning north-south in Caochang are re­lated to San­lihe. In 1437, the San­lihe wa­ter­way around Qian­men was ex­ca­vated to serve as a spill­way for a moat. In the late Qing Dy­nasty (1644–1911) pe­riod, as the city’s pop­u­la­tion be­gan to grow, San­lihe was filled in to al­low the con­struc­tion of dwellings, and so a clus­ter of north­south hu­tong grad­u­ally formed.

The names of old Bei­jing’s hu­tong are all unique, and on hear­ing these names, it is pos­si­ble to judge their ori­gins. Most of the city’s hu­tong were named after their orig­i­nal role, a lo­cal land­mark or a fa­mous res­i­dent, and Caochang is no ex­cep­tion. Dur­ing the Yuan Dy­nasty (1271–1368), Dadu (Bei­jing) City was sur­rounded by mud walls that needed to be cov­ered with reed mats dur­ing the flood­ing sea­son. South of Caochang, a hu­tong called Lu­caoyuan (“Reed Grass Gar­den”) was where reeds would be piled up. Dur­ing the Ming Dy­nasty (1368–1644), Lu­caoyuan was home to wild reeds as well as many work­shops spe­cial­is­ing in weav­ing reed mats and shoes. There­fore, grad­u­ally hu­tong to the north of Lu­caoyuan ac­quired the name Caochang (“Grass Fac­tory”).

Ac­cord­ing to Jing­shi fangx­i­ang zhi­gao, “Many guild halls, in­clud­ing Gui’de, Guangzhou, Xing­guo, Macheng and Jinbo were gath­ered in Caochang Toutiao (Al­ley No. 1).” Sev­eral other hu­tong in Caochang also con­tained guild halls and home­town as­so­ci­a­tions dur­ing the Qing Dy­nasty.

Dur­ing the early-qing Dy­nasty, only Manchu, nobles and high of­fi­cials were autho­rised to live in­side Bei­jing’s in­ner city (roughly equal to the area within the Sec­ond Ring Road to­day). The gov­ern­ment’s of­fices, as well as six min­istries, were lo­cated in­side Qian­men Gate and many guild halls de­vel­oped out­side be­cause of the large num­ber of busi­nesses and peo­ple from other prov­inces who gath­ered there in search of op­por­tu­ni­ties. How­ever, Em­peror Kangxi (reign: 1661–1722) is­sued an im­pe­rial edict for­bid­ding the open­ing of theatres, restau­rants and tea­houses within the in­ner city dur­ing his reign. As a re­sult, these busi­nesses also be­gan to gather out­side the Qian­men area, where a com­bi­na­tion of busi­ness and civil cul­tures sprung up.

Caochang, with its long his­tory, is a mi­cro­cosm of Bei­jing’s hu­tong and tra­di­tional cul­ture. In 2009, a clus­ter of tra­di­tional res­i­den­tial ar­eas from Caochang San­tiao (Al­ley No. 3) in the west to Caochang Shi­tiao (Al­ley No. 10) in the east and from West Xin­g­long Street in the north to Xue­ji­awan Hu­tong in the south be­came one of Bei­jing’s 25 his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural pro­tected ar­eas due to its ex­ist­ing north-south hu­tong. Nowa­days, the Caochang area con­tains 17 hu­tong, with a to­tal length of 3,500 me­tres (m), all of which are well-worth ex­plor­ing.

New Ap­pear­ances for Old Hu­tong

Since March 2017, Bei­jing has ren­o­vated 17 hu­tong, cov­er­ing an area of 14 hectares in Caochang, ac­cord­ing to the ar­chi­tec­tural style from the late-qing to the 1940s, fea­tur­ing grey bricks and tiles. At present, ren­o­va­tion of the north side of Caochang has been com­pleted and its south side is near­ing com­ple­tion. The new ap­pear­ance of Caochang is one of the ac­com­plish­ments of Dongcheng District in its plan to re­store old ur­ban ar­eas.

Up­grad­ing In­fras­truc­ture “Restor­ing the city’s his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural pro­tected ar­eas is a sys­tem­atic en­deav­our,” men­tioned Li Jun, gen­eral man­ager of Bei­jing Tian­jie Group Co., Ltd., the main con­trac­tor re­spon­si­ble for restor­ing the old ur­ban ar­eas east of Qian­men. Ac­cord­ing to Li, the first step is up­grad­ing the in­fras­truc­ture, in­clud­ing: over­head power and

telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion lines that need to be buried un­der­ground, rais­ingthe ca­pac­ity of res­i­den­tial elec­tric­ity, rain­wa­ter and sewage that needs to be dis­charged sep­a­rately and the paving of roads.

One res­i­dent ex­plained: “The roads in Caochang Qi­tiao, Ba­tiao and Jiu­tiao (Al­ley Nos. 7, 8 and 9) are paved with old style stone bricks, in the tra­di­tional Bei­jing style, but the roads in Caochang Si­tiao, Wu­tiao and Liu­tiao (Al­ley Nos.

4, 5 and 6) are paved with mod­ern stone bricks, which are bet­ter suited for the el­derly.” After can­vass­ing the residents for their opin­ions, the roads in Caochang’s hu­tong were paved with dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als, in keep­ing with the sur­round­ing land­scapes and build­ings.

Ac­cord­ing to residents in Caochang, their for­mer kitchens, which used nat­u­ral gas, have been up­graded to al­l­elec­tric kitchens. They said: “Our new kitchens are cleaner, safer and more en­ergy ef­fi­cient.” The av­er­age width of the hu­tong in Caochang is be­tween 1.5 and 4.5 m. Zhuang Quan­fang, an of­fi­cial from the Qian­men Sub- District Of­fice ex­plained: “Ten years ago, more than 500 house­holds be­gan to re­place their coal-pow­ered heaters with elec­tric heat­ing and the re­main­ing 500 house­holds com­pleted the switch to elec­tric­ity by 2015 be­cause of the nar­row hu­tong.”

Hid­den dan­gers re­lated to nat­u­ral gas pipe­lines ap­peared many years ago in Caochang be­cause of prob­lems such as cor­ro­sion caused by acid-al­ka­line soils and ground sub­si­dence. In or­der to en­sure the residents’ safety and pro­mote his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural pro­tec­tion in Caochang, the Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment of Dongcheng District be­gan a “nat­u­ral gas-to-elec­tric­ity” con­ver­sion project, in­clud­ing sup­ply­ing residents with fully elec­tric-pow­ered kitchen equip­ment, mak­ing it the city’s first res­i­den­tial area with all-elec­tric kitchens. In Caochang, after a house­hold ap­plies, pro­fes­sional per­son­nel will in­stall the elec­tric pow­ered equip­ment and also pro­vide main­te­nance—residents will re­ceive sub­si­dies cov­er­ing the con­ver­sion project and do not need to bear the cost of ren­o­vat­ing kitchens. Apart from all-elec­tric kitchens, Caochang will ful­fill smart elec­tric­ity man­age­ment and de­velop the city’s first demon­stra­tion zone for re­plac­ing coal, nat­u­ral gas and gaso­line with elec­tric­ity.

Many residents were con­cerned that their kitchen uten­sils could no longer be used after the con­ver­sion. How­ever, ac­cord­ing to pro­fes­sion­als, the all-elec­tric kitchens use an elec­tro­mag­netic stove and so pots con­tain­ing iron el­e­ments such as iron woks, cast iron pots and stain­less steel pots, can con­tinue to be used, but cop­per and alu­minum pots can­not. In ad­di­tion, after com­par­a­tive tests, the cost of us­ing elec­tric­ity was found to be half that of us­ing nat­u­ral gas, thereby sav­ing the residents money.

Beau­ti­fy­ing the En­vi­ron­ment

The en­vi­ron­men­tal im­prove­ments in Caochang are no­tice­able, with clean­li­ness and tidi­ness be­ing the first thing any­one no­tices when they visit the com­mu­nity. Pub­lic spaces have been decked out with wooden benches al­low­ing residents to sit by the main

gates of their court­yards to chat with each other, get some sun­shine in win­ter and en­joy the cool shade be­neath the trel­lises in sum­mer. A woman point­ing at a lamp­post be­side her gate says with a smile, “Have a look at this lamp­post. Isn’t it in­ter­est­ing?” Dur­ing the ren­o­va­tion, the con­trac­tor used old tim­ber to pro­duce lamp­posts in a tra­di­tional style, which have be­come a sym­bol of the restora­tion of Caochang.

Im­prov­ing and restor­ing Caochang in­cludes de­vel­op­ing more than 100 green spaces and gar­den land­scapes, en­abling the area to re­main green all through­out the year. Bam­boos and box­woods are planted in sunny spots: pomegranates; cloves and mag­no­lias have been planted to meet the residents’ needs; and trel­lises have been erected to help en­cour­age grape vines.

The re­stored Huizhou, Xiao­gan and Nan’an guild halls and An­ces­tral Tem­ple of the Qian Fam­ily add more his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural el­e­ments to Caochang. On closer in­spec­tion, it’s pos­si­ble to no­tice de­tailed de­signs spread across the hu­tong. Air con­di­tion­ers once at­tached to the walls have now been re­moved and in­stalled low down by the ground, with grey cov­ers over them and potted plants on top.

Houses with long stair­cases have had handrails fit­ted to help el­derly residents; and win­dows have had bur­glar-proof frames with tra­di­tional lat­tices in­stalled. Plant “pots” have also been placed at in­ter­vals along the base of the walls. These “pots” are spe­cial be­cause in­side the light-yel­low door on their green bases are dis­pos­able gloves and tis­sue pa­per pro­vided by the prop­erty man­age­ment com­pany for residents to use in clean­ing up after their pets.

“Ding…dong…” Here comes a blue garbage truck from the en­trance of a hu­tong. Zhuang Quan­fang ex­plained: “This is a ded­i­cated truck for col­lect­ing sep­a­rated garbage that comes at fixed times ev­ery day in Caochang.” Ac­cord­ing to Zhuang, Caochang’s prop­erty man­age­ment services, in­clud­ing clean­ing pub­lic ar­eas, se­cu­rity pa­trol and gar­den­ing, are also paid for by the gov­ern­ment. In­tro­duc­ing New Busi­nesses Ren­o­vat­ing court­yards and in­tro­duc­ing busi­ness are ma­jor works in the restora­tion and up­grad­ing of Caochang. A newly-opened kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., pro­vid­ing a va­ri­ety of tra­di­tional Chi­nese pas­tries, noo­dles, steamed bread and pan­cakes. It also pro­vides break­fast, in­clud­ing steamed buns with meat or veg­etable stuff­ing, tofu and soy milk. In the cen­tre of Caochang is a newly ren­o­vated branch of Sil­ian Hair­dress­ing, a China TimeHonoured Brand, whose head­quar­ters is lo­cated on Wang­fu­jing Street, the most fa­mous busi­ness street in Bei­jing. Nowa­days, residents in Caochang can en­joy high- qual­ity cus­tomer-friendly services at a low cost pro­vided by Sil­ian Hair­dress­ing. Wet cut and blow-dry­ing only cost 15 yuan, and the branch also pro­vides perming and hot oil treat­ments. Such con­ve­nient fa­cil­i­ties abound in Caochang, ben­e­fit­ing the daily lives of its residents. Green gro­cers pro­vide a wide va­ri­ety of fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles, and el­derly residents can en­joy leisure and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties and com­mu­ni­cate with each other at el­derly care cen­tres. The prop­erty man­age­ment com­pany also pro­vides shut­tle services for the el­derly and dis­abled from their homes to the fa­cil­i­ties. In ad­di­tion, the com­mu­nity has set up a small fire sta­tion to pro­vide 24/7 services.

In Caochang, the residents of 83 court­yards have been re­lo­cated and pro­vided with com­pen­sa­tion. Tian­jie Group has co­op­er­ated with the Man­darin Ori­en­tal Ho­tel Group to de­velop a ho­tel in the area, with

39 of the court­yards be­ing used as gue­strooms and the oth­ers serv­ing as con­fer­ence rooms and restau­rants. Walk­ing into one of demon­stra­tion court­yards, one’s eyes are drawn to the com­fort­able liv­ing space with sim­ple and mod­ern de­sign. The busi­ness will at­tract in­creas­ing peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence old Bei­jing hu­tong cul­ture.

Adding Fa­cil­i­ties

Dur­ing the restora­tion and im­prove­ment of Caochang, one ma­jor work that is of vi­tal in­ter­est to its residents is the up­grad­ing of the area’s pub­lic toi­lets. Caochang’s pub­lic toi­lets have long been a source of crit­i­cism from the pub­lic. The com­mu­nity has a to­tal of 29 pub­lic toi­lets cov­er­ing an area of about 620 square me­tres ( sq. m). Apart from 12 com­bined male and fe­male pub­lic toi­lets, the rest are ei­ther in­di­vid­ual male or fe­male toi­lets, each of which cov­ers less than 20 sq. m due to lim­ited space in the hu­tong. The

Tian­jie Group be­gan a pilot project ren­o­vat­ing eight toi­lets with dif­fer­ent con­di­tions in West Damochang Hu­tong and Caochang Qi­tiao, Ba­tiao and Jiu­tiao (Al­ley Nos. 7, 8 and 9), re­spec­tively. The toi­lets have been up­graded, pro­vid­ing a new look and com­fort­able fa­cil­i­ties. Each has been equipped with par­ti­tions to pro­vide pri­vacy. In ad­di­tion, other fa­cil­i­ties such as a pri­mary air sys­tem, odour­re­moval sys­tem, in­sect- con­trol de­vice, sinks and a heat­ing sys­tem have been in­stalled in each toi­let. The en­vi­ron­ment of the toi­lets in Caochang is there­fore much cleaner more com­fort­able than be­fore.

When vis­it­ing Caochang, one may won­der why there doesn’t seem to be any bi­cy­cles or e-bikes. The rea­son is that Caochang has banned them from the hu­tong to im­prove traf­fic safety. Residents’ non-mo­torised ve­hi­cles can how­ever be placed in nearby park­ing lots. Zhuang Quan­fang ex­plained: “In Qian­men, there are one large and three small park­ing lots, which are now open to Caochang’s residents for park­ing their non-mo­torised ve­hi­cles.” In one lot in the south of Caochang, you’ll find charg­ing posts, each of which can si­mul­ta­ne­ously recharge six e-bikes. Es­tab­lish­ing Re­la­tions with Residents

Ren­o­vat­ing Caochang has not been smooth sail­ing. “Dur­ing the ren­o­va­tion, there have been a va­ri­ety of prob­lems and dif­fi­cul­ties. Residents have their own needs. So, what we want to do is solve the prac­ti­cal prob­lems for them,” Zhuang Quan­fang ex­plained. “The ren­o­va­tions in­evitably cause in­con­ve­niences to the residents’ daily lives and im­pact some peo­ple. We hope we can work to­gether with them to build a bet­ter home. The com­mu­nity’s liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment and residents’ qual­ity of life have been im­proved through the ren­o­va­tion. We’ll con­tinue to im­ple­ment the ren­o­va­tion. For ex­am­ple, Qian­men Kinder­garten, de­vel­oped along the ba­sis of Jiu­tiao Pri­mary School, has still not met the needs of the com­mu­nity, so we’ll de­velop more ed­u­ca­tional re­sources. More­over, ren­o­va­tion in­side the residents’ court­yards will also be car­ried out.” As Zhuang was talk­ing about the ren­o­va­tions with a jour­nal­ist in a hu­tong, a nearby res­i­dent greeted him: “How are you? You’re back again? Ev­ery­thing is do­ing good.” Zhuang smiled and be­gan to chat with the res­i­dent.

After his chat, Zhuang Quan­fang con­tin­ued: “If the residents are not sat­is­fied with the gov­ern­ment’s new poli­cies, we’ll not be anx­ious for suc­cess and will need to dis­cuss their opin­ions with them. It is a dif­fi­cult process for us. We need to un­der­stand the residents’ needs and in­ter­pret the poli­cies based on the ac­tual sit­u­a­tion.” Zhuang has worked in Qian­men Sub-district Of­fice since 2000. He has not only wit­nessed the ren­o­va­tions and im­prove­ments to Caochang over the years but also es­tab­lished good re­la­tions with the residents. “We need to con­sider a va­ri­ety of is­sues from the stand­points of the residents, help­ing them un­der­stand the ben­e­fits. That way they can grad­u­ally un­der­stand and ac­cept our ideas.” Zhuang’s re­marks un­der­lined the cease­less ef­forts made by him and his team mem­bers.

Pub­lic Par­tic­i­pa­tion

The his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural el­e­ments in Caochang have been re­stored and the well- be­ing of its residents have also been im­proved. Caochang show­cases a new vi­tal­ity as more than 960 house­holds in 497 court­yards have been en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in the ren­o­va­tion, al­low­ing them to be­gin to con­sider them­selves own­ers of the com­mu­nity.

There is an ac­tiv­ity cen­tre sit­u­ated in the south of Caochang Shi­tiao (Al­ley No. 10). In­side one of the cen­tre’s rooms, some el­derly residents are sit­ting at a long ta­ble dis­cussing an is­sue oc­ca­sion­ally tak­ing notes. The ac­tiv­ity cen­tre also serves as the Coun­cil Room of the Caochang Com­mu­nity. Ac­cord­ing to Jiao, a 66-year-old woman who lives in Caochang Jiu­tiao (Al­ley No. 9), they talked about the dry­ing of quilts and wet clothes. She proudly said: “I’m a head of Caochang Jiu­tiao and par­tic­i­pate in the meet­ing on be­half of its residents. We’re very happy be­cause we’ve ob­tained fund­ing for that is­sue and are dis­cussing how to di­vide the work.”

Ac­cord­ing to Feng Jie, sec­re­tary of the Caochang Com­mu­nity Com­mit­tee

of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, the Coun­cil Room of Caochang was es­tab­lished in 2014 with the aim of ad­vo­cat­ing the idea of “Caochang Com­mu­nity is Our Home and its De­vel­op­ment De­pends on Ev­ery Res­i­dent,” en­cour­ag­ing pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion, giv­ing its residents guid­ance and sup­port, mo­bil­is­ing en­ti­ties in the com­mu­nity to cre­ate a favourable at­mos­phere of con­sul­ta­tion and co­op­er­a­tion for the com­mu­nity gov­er­nance, and pro­mot­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a har­mo­nious and civilised com­mu­nity.

Feng ex­plained: “There are 29 heads of the hu­tong in Caochang and each hu­tong has one or two team lead­ers. We or­gan­ise a reg­u­lar meet­ing twice a month usu­ally held on a Thurs­day af­ter­noon. We also hold un­sched­uled meet­ings if there are ma­jor events. Ev­ery mat­ter, big or small, needs to be dis­cussed and de­ter­mined by the mem­bers of the com­mu­nity. If a project ob­tains fi­nan­cial sup­port, we also need to col­lect the opin­ions of the residents by brain­storm­ing and hold­ing meet­ings to dis­cuss how ex­actly to im­ple­ment them.”

With a de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tion, there are now fewer than 10,000 residents from 3,000 fam­i­lies in an area cov­er­ing 1.09 sq.m. The for­mer west and east Caochang com­mu­ni­ties were merged into a united com­mu­nity and the mem­bers of the two com­mu­nity stand­ing com­mit­tees still serve the new one. The new com­mu­nity ad­vo­cates pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion and en­cour­ages residents to work to­gether to build a bet­ter home.

Sun Zhenxi, who has lived in Caochang for 78 years, is a mem­ber of the Coun­cil Room. “Many good ideas such as which type of stone should be used in the pave­ment or how to im­prove the pub­lic toi­lets in the hu­tong grew out of dis­cus­sions be­tween mem­bers of the Coun­cil Room,” Sun said. “De­cid­ing how to ren­o­vate the hu­tong should be de­cided by the residents and many de­signs were dis­cussed and ap­proved by the Coun­cil Room.”

The no­tion of “one fam­ily” is rooted in Caochang and a new life has be­gun in its hu­tong. The com­mu­nity also es­tab­lished a con­ven­tion of residents and de­vel­oped self-dis­ci­plin­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing as­so­ci­a­tions for pi­geon, grape vines and dog own­ers, to en­cour­age pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in com­mu­nity man­age­ment. The As­so­ci­a­tion for Grape Vine Own­ers serves as an or­gan­iser or man­ager to reg­u­late grape vine and wis­taria grow­ers from 17 fam­i­lies by mak­ing uni­fied trel­lises to beau­tify the hu­tong en­vi­ron­ment. Dog own­ers from 144 fam­i­lies set up the Self-discipline As­so­ci­a­tion for Dog Own­ers in Caochang which has played a ma­jor role in manag­ing dogs since the ren­o­va­tions be­gan. The own­ers now keep their ca­nines leashed and clean up after them when they take them for a walk.

In re­cent years, many cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing “Shows for El­derly Residents,” “Shows for Sum­mer,” “Ma­ter­nal Love Like Wa­ter— Cel­e­brat­ing Mother’s Day,” “Pa­ter­nal Love Like a Mountain—cel­e­brat­ing Fa­ther’s Day,” “Hand in Hand, Heart to Heart—diy—mak­ing Cakes,” “Keep­ing Fit by Brisk Walk­ing in the Hu­tong” and “Safety Is­land—build­ing a Peace­ful Com­mu­nity,” have been held to en­hance the hap­pi­ness of the residents, en­cour­age pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion and strengthen their sense of own­er­ship of the com­mu­nity. “We held a neigh­bour­hood fes­ti­val to cel­e­brate xi­ao­nian (the 23rd day of the 12th lu­nar month, con­sid­ered a day for clean­ing be­fore the Spring Fes­ti­val week), which was de­light­ful. We ap­pre­ci­ate the huge sup­port from the sub- district of­fice,” Jiao re­lated with a smile. “When I see green plants along the hu­tong, my mood is good and I feel like I live in a gar­den. I’m very sat­is­fied with the en­vi­ron­ment after the ren­o­va­tion and I think I have a happy life here.” Feng Jie said: “After the gov­ern­ment in­vested to up­grade Caochang’s in­fras­truc­ture, residents should also im­ple­ment civic en­hance­ment to pro­mote pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in gov­er­nance of the com­mu­nity.” Ra­tio­nal and healthy de­vel­op­ment in Caochang im­proves the co­he­sive­ness of the residents and en­cour­ages them to build a har­mo­nious and civilised com­mu­nity.

A cou­plet writ­ten on the red gate of a court­yard in Caochang Qi­tiao (Al­ley No. 7) reads: “Guo'en ji­aqing, Ren­rou ni­an­feng,” which means “cheer­ing for benev­o­lence from our coun­try and en­joy­ing longevity and har­vest.” The ren­o­va­tions have not only en­abled Caochang Com­mu­nity to be­come more har­mo­nious and live­able, they have also high­lighted the tra­di­tional Bei­jing cul­ture around Qian­men.

A green land­scape in San­lihe, Xicheng District

The air con­di­tioner units have been in­stalled out­doors and dec­o­rated with potted flow­ers in Caochang Hu­tong.

A book­store on Changx­i­ang Toutiao Hu­tong

A tea bar among hu­tong

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