human behavior

Hanging around the hutong

Posted in Art, Foreign Impressions, Travel by humanb on March 15, 2012

Beyond the doorstep of the Double Happiness Courtyard Hotel is a world from another time.

The alleyway, or hutong:

Out hutong was my favourite spot in Beijing, with its restaurants, residences, and shopkeepers. There was even a police station a few doors down from our hotel – easily the most ornate police station I’ve ever seen.

You’ll find innovative vehicles along the hutong, and on Beijing’s major roads.

And you’ll find varying degrees of modernisation and decay.

So there’s hutong shabby…

And hutong sleek.

But even the shabby ones have their hidden gems. We bought the best bread I’d ever eaten from a tiny bakery along a vacant hutong. The shop was the only sign of life for multiple, winding blocks of dirt-covered path.

When I think of Beijing, my mind’s eye sees a hutong.

So I can be forgiven for wanting to make another impulse buy from the Daily Painters Gallery. Here are two little lovelies by artist Liza Hirst:

Chinese Biker, by Liza Hirst, oil on canvas, 7.9 in x 7.9 in

Beijing Hutong, by Liza Hirst, oil on canvas, 7.9 in x 7.9 in

The only thing stopping me from purchasing these paintings are their price. Were they in dollars and not pounds, I’d be tempted. Or if the paintings were twice the size, given the cost. They are lovely, though.

And they do a fine job of capturing the magic of these alleyways.

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