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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wide Alley, Narrow Alley

China is going through rapid changes... in the 90s and 2000s, they were all into building western style shiny skyscrapers, but in the past five years or so, there has been a clear trend to reach back to China's roots, and re-develop Chinese style entertainment quarters... In Chengdu, there is a new "old" entertainment quarter called Wide Alley, Narrow Alley ((寬巷子, 窄巷子). Each alley is lined with high end restaurants and bars...and the developers clearly spared no expenses, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of detail they put into the construction... Here is one of the restaurants...

You knock on the gate, and the server opens, the idea is that it's like going home...

Here the headwaitress is giving patrons a tour of the facility, indeed, these are not mere restaurants, they are like museums... just beautifully constructed.

Here is the hot pot place we went to... I love the names of the places, this one is called 養雲 (Young Yun) or Cultivate Cloud... sounds much more poetic in Chinese.

天趣 (Tian Chiu) or Heavenly Pleasure (gee, it's impossible to translate properly... Tian Chiu sounds so much better)

And... Starbucks... Yep, mystery has been solved, Starbucks actually originated in Ming Dynasty China. Ok, really, my reaction when I saw this was WTH, I mean, there is an occasion for everything, Starbucks, why do you have to throw yourself in this mix? Come on.

地潤 (Di Ren) or Land of Plenty... I am particularly impressed by this entry gate, very majestic and mysterious, like it came out of a period movie or something...

典味 (Dian Wei) or Special Flavor (hmmm, not sure what a better translation for Dian should be, my English translation sounds rather un-special), Look at the young waitstaff waiting in front... it was a rainy night, so business was rather brisk. On a regular night, the place is packed.

Locals passing a rainy night playing Mah-joong. Chengdu-nese are very laid back people, they love entertaining, playing cards, mah-joong, eating out...


Pei said...

Fun! Now if only they'd work on the uniforms, it'd be even better.

Where are the food photos? Hungry...haven't eaten breakfast. Need vicarious thrills...

Cat said...

Food pics will come tonight... need to set up the mood with this post...

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