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What to Do in Beijing-Part 1

Beads and Incense | 4 p.m.

佛珠和香火  | 下午4点


雍和宫 Yonghe Temple.jpg

In the new Beijing of star-architect towers and gleaming Porsches, the Lama Temple (also known as Yonghe Temple) stands as a reminder of a less material and more spiritual time. Built as a prince’s home in the 17th century, the complex was gradually transformed into a lamasery and is today one of the most active — and colorful — Buddhist temples in the city. Beijingers pray amid gnarled pine trees with burning joss sticks held aloft and shopping bags slung over wrists, while monks offer quiet blessings of beads brought by visitors in hidden corners. Outside the lovely gingko-lined entrance are shops crammed with Buddhist trinkets and incense, the sounds of Tibetan music floating down the street. Admission is 25 renminbi, or about $4 at the rate of 6 renminbi to the dollar.

在充满明星建筑师设计的大楼和闪亮保时捷的新北京,雍和宫让我们想起那个不那么物质、更注重精神的时代。这个建筑群建于17世纪,最初是一位皇子的宅邸,后来逐步改建成一座喇嘛庙,如今它是北京香火最旺、最华美的佛寺之一。北京人在长满节瘤的松树间祈祷,高举着点燃的香,手腕上挂着购物袋;在隐蔽的角落里,僧人们为游客带来的佛珠开光。入口两侧种着秀美的银杏树,门外有很多店铺,里面摆满佛教用品和香,藏族乐曲在街上飘荡。门票25元,按照1美元兑换6元人民币的汇率计算,约合4美元。

Beijing Brews | 6 p.m.

北京精酿啤酒 | 下午6点


北京精酿啤酒 Beijing Brews.jpg

The traditional hutongs around the Lama Temple are a fantastic place to soak up Beijing street life. Avoid overly gentrified Nanluoguxiang, a crowded strip of T-shirt and snack shops, and head instead to the maze of alleys around quieter Baochao Hutong to the west. Here, locals gather for nightly mah-jongg games and sip beer at dumpling shops beneath gray-tiled rooftops sprouting tufts of grass. Grab a pint yourself in the tree-shaded courtyard at Great Leap Brewing, a pioneer in Beijing’s craft beer scene that makes unique ales like Iron Buddha Blonde, infused with tea from the mountains of Fujian province (40 renminbi). Continue the hutong pub crawl at nearby Slow Boat Brewery Taproom, which was opened a little over two years ago by a pair of Americans and has more than a dozen unpasteurized beers on tap, such as Helmsman’s Honey Ale (40 renminbi) brewed with honey from local bee farms.

雍和宫附近的老胡同是感受北京街头生活的绝佳去处。不要去改造一新的南锣鼓巷,那条狭长的街道异常拥挤,两旁大多是T恤店和小吃店。还是去西边更安静的宝钞胡同吧,附近的胡同如迷宫一般。本地人晚上聚在一起打麻将,在饺子店里喝啤酒,屋顶的灰瓦上长着一簇簇青草。不妨在大跃啤酒屋绿树成荫的院子里喝上一杯啤酒。此处堪称北京精酿啤酒界的先锋,酿制独特的麦芽啤酒,比如加入福建武夷山铁观音的金色铁观音啤酒(40元)。继续胡同酒吧漫步,便可来到附近的悠航鲜啤屋,它是一对美国夫妇两年前开的,供应十几种未经高温消毒的桶装啤酒,比如用当地养蜂场的蜂蜜酿制的舵手悠航蜜酿(40元)。

The Spice Is Right | 8 p.m.

这里的辣味最正宗 | 晚上8点


麻婆豆腐 Mapo Doufu.jpg

It’s brightly lit and raucous and if you come too late, the indifferent servers may begin stacking chairs around you as you finish your meal. Beijing may have more refined Sichuan restaurants these days, but Chuan Ban has retained a loyal following among locals because of its authentically mouth-numbing food — to be expected of a restaurant run by the Sichuan provincial government. The novel-length menu contains some perplexing dishes like Spicy Duck Lips, but there are safer standouts like mapo doufu (cubes of tofu swimming in crimson chile oil and smothered in ground Sichuan peppercorns; 18 renminbi) and stir-fried shrimp balls heaped with ground pork, preserved vegetables and diced chiles (78 renminbi).

这里灯光明亮,人声鼎沸。如果你来得太晚,没等你吃完,冷漠的服务员可能已经开始收拾周围的桌椅。如今,北京可能有更精致的川菜馆,但是川办仍在当地人中拥有忠实拥趸,因为这里是四川省政府经营的餐馆,人们有理由期待它提供最正宗的麻辣食物 。超长的菜单上有一些令人迷惑的菜肴,比如香辣鸭唇,但也有一些更安全的美味,比如麻婆豆腐(豆腐块浸泡在深红色辣椒油和四川豆瓣酱里;18元)和芽菜炒虾球(78元)。

Gentle Gentrification | 11 a.m.

温和的改造 | 上午11点


大栅栏 The Dashilar neighborhood.jpg

While many of Beijing’s hutongs have been demolished over the years, others have been leveled and replaced with prettified versions of their former selves, turning neighborhoods into theme parks. The Dashilar neighborhood, one of the oldest in Beijing, is following a different path, with architects and designers leading a more sustainable gentrification process to try to retain the fabric of the community. One former factory in a 1950s Art Deco building has been gorgeously renovated into a cafe, Spoonful of Sugar, that serves organic coffee from Yunnan province and chocolates infused with fiery Chinese er guo tou liquor. Down the lane, check out the Ubi Gallery for handmade designer jewelry and Chinese ceramics, and the Li+U Workshop for handsome leather bags and wallets, made right there in the store.

经过这么多年,北京的很多胡同都被拆除了,还有些胡同被拆除后,在原址上盖起了新的美化版,附近区域也变成了主题公园。大栅栏是北京最古老的区域之一,它的改造模式与众不同,建筑师和设计师们主导着更具可持续性的改造过程,努力保持社区的质感。壹勺子糖咖啡馆由一座20世纪50年代装饰艺术风格的建筑改造而来,这里本来是个工厂。这家咖啡馆供应云南有机咖啡和加入浓烈二锅头的巧克力。沿着胡同,你能找到Ubi艺廊(Ubi Gallery),这里有手工制作的高档珠宝和中国瓷器,还有Li+U工坊(Li+U Workshop),这里的漂亮皮包和钱夹都是在店里制作的。

Fit for a King | 1 p.m.

炸酱面大王 | 下午1点


老北京炸酱面大王 Old Beijing Zhajiang Noodle King.jpg

As the name suggests, Old Beijing Zhajiang Noodle King does one thing really well: zha jiang mian, a hand-pulled wheat noodle dish that’s just as evocative of Beijing as roast duck or hearty dumplings. So popular is this local chain that the lunch rush can feel manic: Waiters dash up and down stairs shouting orders and numbers of guests, while diners crowd around wooden tables slurping bowls of noodles topped with shredded cucumber and radish, bean sprouts and a tangy sauce made with minced pork and fermented soybean paste. It’s not only tasty, but lunch for two will set you back only 36 renminbi.

店如其名,老北京炸酱面大王的炸酱面真的很棒。炸酱面是一种手工面条,和烤鸭、营养丰富的饺子一样,也是北京的标志性食物。这个连锁店的生意太好了,午餐时分的场面简直有点疯狂:服务员在楼梯上跑上跑下,大喊客人的订餐和编号,食客们挤在木桌子边狼吞虎咽,面条上放着黄瓜条、萝卜丝、豆芽,以及用肉丁和甜面酱做的浓香肉酱。它不仅美味,而且便宜——两个人吃一顿午餐只需36元。

2016-06-24

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