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Picture Show: Modernity Meets Antiquity in Beijing's Hutong Neighborhoods

There are few places on the planet as inviting and abuzz as Beijing's Hutong neighborhoods, where crowds of residents move...

There are few places on the planet as inviting and abuzz as Beijing's Hutong neighborhoods, where crowds of residents move through clustered, narrow alleyways against a backdrop of diminutive courtyard homes. But during the massive effort to modernize Beijing for the 2008 Olympic games, many of these neighborhoods were razed and replaced. "For some residents this provides a chance for a better standard of living," writes the photographer Dan Eckstein. "For others it means the end of a way of life."

Eckstein's multimedia series "Beijing Huton" (some of which originally ran for PBS) offers a glimpse at these neighborhoods before, during, and after their transformations. What follows is a selection of Eckstein's work on these vanishing cultural spaces.






































































For more views of China through Eckstein's lens, head here.