ARTIST RESIDENCY CHINA — BEIJING, no. 24
Beihai North subway station entrance was the first place I stepped outside in the city the first week in Beijing on my way to art openings further down the line. Across the street an imposing antique building made me wonder what it was. Plastic wrapped young women sold tours in the rain. Identically hatted tourist teams disappeared into worryingly maze-like narrow alleys.
On the last day after a month in the city, now I understood the location as the hub between Beihai Park and the scenic lakes of Shichahai, bordered by one of the oldest remaining hutongs in Beijing. The distinctive architectural urban warrens of Houhai Hutong, densely constructed neighborhoods of courtyard residences, have been refashioned as contemporary shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. Crowds of locals and tourists visit, swim and rent boats. This place will be a lot nicer when smoking decreases and cars are banned from parking anywhere and everywhere on the formerly beautiful imperial lakeside walkways.
Yinding Qiao — Sycee Bridge or Silver Ingot Bridge, Ming Dynasty
Beijing signs, often bilingual — “fried stuff & drink”
each bar has a different style of couches on the sidewalk
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