Five years ago there wasn't a single cafe in this old hutong district a mere ten minutes east of Houhai and the Drum Tower. Despite the explosion of small bars and coffee shops since, Nanluoguxiang remains one of Beijing's most pleasant areas. The neighborhood's older and more traditional architecture offers a welcome break from the oppressive vastness of other parts of Beijing, while the noise here is generally under control and aggressive peddlers have yet to descend on the area.This has made Nanluoguxiang less of a party street and more of a community for Chinese and foreign translators, writers, photographers and artists. The sense of community on the street is palpable, and it doesn't take long to learn people's names and find a favorite cafe. Whether you want some coffee or are just looking for a quiet place to grab a drink and tackle some work, Nanluoguxiang is a good choice.Join us in today's podcast as we learn a bit more about this street, see its gradual commercialization through the eyes of Echo, Apple and 9527. Although this recording is much more Chinese podcast than explicit lesson, we've highlighted some of the more difficult words and names on the vocab page. If you have trouble listening to Chinese at speed, you'll probably want to check it out before hitting the podcast. Enjoy.