Travels

Travel to Beijing and visit the hutongs before they disappear

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With the excuse of the Olympics, the Chinese capital, at the stroke of mascara and checkbook, is modeling a new city where the past and historical centers have no place. When I traveled to Beijing a couple of years ago one of the things I liked most about this city was without a doubt the Hutongs. These are scattered cores in the city that at first glance seem hidden among large streets. In them the narrow streets meander and are full of rhythm and color. Ravioli, beer, skewers, noodles and countless little shops that gave life and aroma to small villages hidden in the great metropolis.

Nowadays, based on new constructions they are disappearing and in a few years it seems that in Beijing only long and boring streets designed by a mad mathematician in love with quadrilateral forms will be seen.

Other Chinese cities like Kunming were razed and returned to modern life as if the 3,000 years of history that preceded it were worthless.

The huge Chinese population and its technological evolution undoubtedly calls for cities to modernize. Anyway, I can't imagine an equal thing in Rome, for example, where an efficient transport system and imperial or republican ruins will never have a joint space in the same city. Or Venice itself, where from here 20 or 30 years there will no longer be Venetians living in their own city.

Perhaps in Europe we are unable to throw away all the memories we keep in the drawer. I do not know, perhaps making a blur and a new account is the most useful and practical way of living with the future.

However, it makes me sad to see that an authentic and lively place like the Hutongs in Beijing will go down in history and instead the skyscrapers will cover the gray and polluted sky of a city that moves blindly through the city. hurry up and don't remember your past.

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