30.06.08. When I went over to school this morning, I found that there was another copy of the banner hanging on the side of the school lecture theatre. I really did underestimate just how swollen their Lordships’ heads have become.
That ol’ Cathay chic.
I took a trip over to 宽巷子 (Kuān Xiàngzi) and 井巷子 (Jǐng Xiàngzi) to take some pictures of the current state of the place. There’s still quite a bit of work to be done before it’s really complete, but it’s in a much more advanced state than it was nearly two months ago.
The first shot is the square at the eastern entrance to the area, and the second shot 宽巷子 itself. Last night, there was a group of people dancing in the square. At the near end, there’s a sequence of columns with outline maps of old Chengdu from different dynasties on them.
These are pictures of 德门仁里 (Démén Rénlǐ), which is a reconstructed 四合院 (sìhéyuán). There’s a museum-style display in the left-hand wing as you go in, which includes the statistic that back in the days when the city had a population of 600,000, it had 120,000 teashops.
Some instances of original architecture survive. The place on the left is called 恺庐 (Kǎi Lú; Happy House); the sign above the gate on the right says 养云 (Yǎng Yún), though I’m not sure what it’s meant to mean.
On the left, representing European architecture, is this former French church dating from 1938, which was established to do charity work in the district. And not far away is, yes, Starbucks, a common sight in 古蓉城. There was the Governor often to be seen ordering a mocha latte and waiting for financial encouragement from well-known local businessmen.
The area is more extensive than Jinli, and probably about the same size as Wenshu. The old Cathay chic of the area is, like the latter, artificial, dotted with modern embellishments such as back-lit silvery signs and fonts which would make the ancient calligraphers mistime their strokes.