南锣鼓巷, or Nanluoguxiang (South Luguo Alley) is the representative tourist hutong, a large city block long (800m) stretch of lane filled with small shops, snack places, Beijing memorabilia, hotels, coffee shops and bars, and tons and tons of people: both Chinese and foreign. Sometimes you have to fight your way through and every few minutes an annoying car will attempt to drive down the lane, pushing the crowds aside. It is one of the key sites that any visitor to Beijing should go, and now graced with its own subway station. Recently President Xi came and ate some snacks. It was one of my favorite places to come, in many different seasons from vibrant autumn to cold winter to sweltering summer, just watching the crowds pass, consuming Beijing culture.
The following are two particular shops that represent the global aspects of this lane. The first is a hip t-shirt shop that finds classic/nostalgic images of Beijing, or perhaps ironic and slightly politically charged cultural images. The second is one of China's first microbrewery's. . . both were started by foreigners but embrace Beijing culture and hutong life, representing a mixing of the local and global.
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