Aside of course from the obvious - swanky retail enclave The Village - and the not-so-obvious (A Li'l High, anyone?), The Opposite House's neighbouring streets and alleys offer plenty of charm.
For caffeine connoisseurs, there's the newly opened Nespresso boutique. For book lovers, there's a soon-to-open mammoth Page One branch (a dependable hangout for gay men). And for fans of urban culture, there's a burgeoning hippie / graffiti / outdoor cafe scene. It's sensory overload, what with the incessant honk of vehicles, the tantalizing scent of street food and the ambitious air of construction everyhwhere.
The Opposite House is at the center of it all - an oasis of calm, but also the nucleus of action. Bejing is a Hyperactive city - but also strangely chill. There's a sense of security and maturity about its overall energy and pace.
"I would find these same boutiques in Hong Kong," I told Alex, to explain my hesitation with any further retail exploration.
And yet, whilst Hong Kong is driven by a manic and unapologetically commercial world view, Beijing seemed to me driven more by leisure and space and art and discovery. Maybe I'm just jaded; maybe I've lived in Hong Kong too long.
"You should move to Beijing," Alex suggested.
And for a hot second, I considered it.
// BEIJING ROCKS. //