Photo of the day: A ’60s Beijing Bodega in Baitasi

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4:00 PM HKT, Fri October 13, 2017

Our photo theme this week: Remaking Baitasi. Baitasi is a monument in west-central Beijing, named after the Yuan Dynasty White Stupa Temple. In recent years, it’s also become a site of Beijing Design Week, an annual, city-wide program showcasing leading ideas in urban design. Some background on Baitasi and its recent evolution into a BJDW “core area” here.

This one was snapped by Liu Qilin while he was wandering the Baitasi hutongs toward the end of Beijing Design Week. This small convenience store, called the Baitasi Community Visitor Center, is stocked entirely with traditional Beijing tchotchkes, and looks much like it would have in the 1960s. It’s actually not so much a store as an installation meant to show what hutong life looked like back in the day — poignant at a moment when many of Beijing’s hutong neighborhoods are being systematically purged of their historical and cultural content.

See more photos of the Baitasi Community Visitor Center here (link in Chinese).

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