The New York Times gets a lot of flack for its multitude of articles profiling various trendy neighborhoods of Brooklyn years after they’ve turned cool, but its search of the next hipster paradise has now officially gone global with a focus on Beijing’s Gulou area.
While Chaoyang is known more for wealthier areas and expat enclaves, Gulou is home to many stylish young Chinese residents. The newspaper originally referred to the the hutong-heavy part of the capital city as “A Streak of Brooklyn in Beijing” in a February article discussing the hip crowd inhabiting the area, and this week followed up with a video interviewing various Chinese trendsetters. The February article stated:
The hutongs between the Lama Temple and the Drum and Bell Towers have largely escaped the wrecking ball but have undergone a dramatic shift nonetheless. Old-timers have been joined by a new breed of Chinese and expatriate residents clad in skinny jeans riding fixed-gear bikes, a loyal customer base for restaurants that offer locavore menu options and bars that serve drinks like Pabst Blue Ribbon. In this corner of Beijing, the traditional hutong has been overrun not by a large-scale development but by a very Brooklyn sensibility.
In classic New York Times trend piece style, they’re a few years behind, but the video’s interviews with Gulou locals is interesting to check out for their diverse array of style philosophies. While student Ha Lin favors limited-edition street style brands, bike store owner Li Xuan shows off his Prada bag matched with a pair of vintage glasses from 1940’s Germany. “The way we dress ourselves is related to architecture and culture,” he says.
Watch the rest of the video below: