Walk in the alley

  In 1908, the Japanese writer Hefeng Nagai returned from a study tour in France and settled in his hometown of Tokyo. At that time, he held a negative attitude towards life, holding a parasol, wearing wooden sandals, and walking around with a map of the Edo period.
  He Feng said that he didn’t want to show his face, he didn’t want to spend money, and he didn’t need a companion. What kind of pastime satisfies these conditions? Only take a walk. In his view, Tokyo, although a giant international megacity, is very suitable for walking. There are many lonely and clean small streets and alleys under the towers and the elevated towers. Every household has exquisite details such as potted plants, house numbers, and small sculptures. You can turn into a small street at random. Alley, you can enjoy the fun of leisurely pacing.
  Today, walking the streets like Nagai Hefeng has become a fashionable way to travel the city. In China, the most popular thing is to go to Beijing Hutongs to experience the Beijing accent, and to go to Shanghai alleys to experience the down-to-earth “Shanghai style”.
  What about Hangzhou? Sometimes small bridges flow, sometimes big rivers, the city is still trying to retain its own style despite thousands of years of human polishing. In the streets and alleys of Qianmo, you can still find the surviving Jiangnan style, which inadvertently attracts distant tourists from thousands of miles away.
  Speaking of the street culture of Hangzhou, it is very interesting. Since the Song Dynasty, “big ones are streets and small ones are alleys”, and streets and alleys have been used as the main road system at the two levels of the city to this day. There was once a 38-generation descendant of Qian Liu, the king of Wuyue, who spent a lot of time walking the streets and alleys, combing the streets and alleys of Hangzhou for several years. In his eyes, Hangzhou is a beautiful city near the water and surrounded by mountains. The most notable feature is that the city, mountains, rivers, lakes and other landscapes are integrated into one, so there are also many street names with Hangzhou characteristics: city Touxiang, Shanzixiang, Hefang Street, Hubin Road…
  There were many bridges and rivers in Hangzhou in ancient times, Caishi Bridge, Longxiang Bridge, Zhong’an Bridge, Gongchen Bridge… Some place names still play the role of the center point of the lot. . These bridges are often connected to streets and lanes at both ends, so many streets and lanes named after bridges were born, such as Xinqiao Lane, Wanwanqiao Lane, Xinqiaozhi Street, etc.
  Compared with other cities, Hangzhou City has an incomparable advantage that is more water. If there is a lot of water, it is natural to dig a well to get water. During the Tang Dynasty, Li Mi, the provincial governor, dug six wells to divert fresh water from the West Lake for civilian use. Later, local officials in all dynasties also paid attention to drilling wells. As a result, there were many wells, and some streets and alleys named after wells appeared. The most famous is Longjing Road, in addition to the distinctive Dajing Lane, Xiaojing Lane, Liucuijing Lane, Zhiyin Majing Lane, and Siyanjing Lane, all of which are named after wells.
  Of course, the most interesting thing is that those who have good deeds string together the temple pavilions and streets in Hangzhou with numerals, so there are Yiyi Temple, Ersi Hall, Sanyuanfang, Siyi Pavilion, Wuliu Lane, and Liuliu Lane. Shengtang, Qixian Lane, Bazi Bridge, Jiuqu Lane, Shijianwu, Baijingfang, Qianxiantang, Wansongling… It is quite wonderful to ponder among them.
  Ancient and modern literati praised Hangzhou for the West Lake in the majority of the poems, as evidenced by Bai Juyi’s poem: “If you can’t leave Hangzhou, half of it is this lake.” What about the other half? Some people have said that besides the West Lake, the most memorable places in Hangzhou are probably these streets and alleys that contain folk wisdom. When Nagai Hefeng strolled around the alleys in Tokyo, many literati of the Republic of China also “pressed the road” in the alleys of Hangzhou.
  Yu Pingbo, a poet and essayist in the Republic of China who wrote “The Qinhuai River in the Sound of Paddles and Lights”, said when talking about Hangzhou: “Although landscapes are wonderful couples, the most cordial are the streets.” “Although the streets are harmonious We are always familiar with each other, but after we parted, we did not hesitate, and suddenly broke into the realm of memory.”
  In Yu Pingbo’s mind, Qinghefang is the one that best represents the spirit of Hangzhou’s streets and alleys. He feels that although Qinghefang is cramped and narrow, it still retains the stone road, and a kind of “leisure and leisure” comes out. A group of friends were walking in Qinghefang, and the slate clacked strangely, and the foreign cars shouting “Ow! Ow!” rushed forward or backward, and people had to quickly retreat in awe. Yu Pingbo said: “There is a lovely air in the hustle and bustle of Qinghefang.”
  In the same street, in the eyes of another great figure in the Republic of China, Feng Zikai, it is a different realization. Feng Zikai is a native of Tongxiang, Jiaxing. When he was studying in a private school in his early years, he read the old saying of Yan Hui “living in a poor alley, eating and drinking with one bucket of food”. At that time, he was quite concerned about the word “lane”. In his imagination, the alley should be the kind of dirty and narrow alley. Later, when he was admitted to Zhejiang Provincial No. 1 Normal School and came to Hangzhou to study, he saw the real streets for the first time. “There are no streets and alleys in my hometown. When I first arrived in Hangzhou and walked through this kind of alley, I decided to identify the scene of the ugly alley in my mind. Whenever I walked through this kind of street, I often doubted the broken walls and the ruins. , maybe Yan Hui lives in seclusion in this world.”
  Whether Yu Pingbo’s busy streets or Feng Zikai’s mean alleys, all have the romantic imagination of the literati mixed into them. In Yu Dafu’s generation, the feeling of Hangzhou streets and alleys has become a “local residents” perspective. In 1933, Yu Dafu came to Hangzhou from Fuyang, settled his home near the Zhejiang Library, and read and wrote day and night. The ordinary alleys in his eyes were like this: At the third watch, people were quiet, and there was the sound of knocking on a small bamboo bang from the alley outside the door. Ask what? It is said to be a hawker who sells wonton rounds to make a living. When the night rain stopped, I wandered out of the narrow alley. The shops on both sides were only half open, and farmers who picked vegetables were rushing to the morning market along the street… In
  any era, intellectuals harbor a kind of dissatisfaction and helplessness towards their surroundings. With regret, this is its cute and nasty side. The literati are keen to go deep into the alleys and listen to their parents, which often reflects their attitude and thinking about the current life.
  Hefeng Nagai feels that he lives in an era when everyone pursues success. What he sees in Tokyo, Japan is a stage of great efforts and renovations. The old buildings and the old streets disappear in front of him, and the sight around them is blocked by high-rise buildings. And he hopes that he can escape from it, turning his back on the so-called success, like a hermit, passing the day by day, living alone and casually. And this kind of “feeling” can be found in the lives of ordinary people in the streets.
  About the alley, He Feng wrote: “There are hidden all kinds of life that cannot be known from the sun-drenched street; it contains the seclusion of seclusion life that is far away from the world; it is precipitated by failures, setbacks, and embarrassment. Lazy; showing the extraordinary courage to bet his life to stay with his beloved.”
  In his eyes, the beautiful streets, the numerous shops, and the imitations of Western architecture have no artistic beauty at all. But when I turned around and walked into the alley, I saw a rare ukiyo-e being played, which contained the impermanence of idleness, deep interest, and unspeakable sadness. “When I escaped from the avenue into the alley where there was no sunshine, followed people, staggered, and walked alone, I tasted first-class happiness and pain, but also saw pride and sorrow.” Lane is the world of a novel, an integrated art world.
  Everyone yearns for a life of “hidden in the city”, but it is extremely difficult to achieve. For example, Feng Zikai, although he likes to wander in the alleys, can’t stand the dullness, oldness, and bitterness of this place. In this respect, he admires his teacher, Mr. Ma Yifu. One day in July 1917, Feng Zikai and his mentor Li Shu went to Baojiguan Lane in Hangzhou to visit Yifu, a great Confucian scholar who had a good reputation in the Chinese academic circle at that time. Ma Yifu studied both Chinese and Western, and was proficient in English, Japanese, German, French, Russian and Sanskrit. Such a master has been living alone in the alley for decades, living a simple life, laughing at the ups and downs of the world.
  In the following ten years, Feng Zikai visited him several times. Every time I see Ma Yifu, he always looks like a child with a crane and hair, but he often loses his way in the rolling red dust. Ask sir, what’s the solution? Mr. said: Laugh right impermanence. One sentence woke Feng Zikai up. He later wrote: “When I walked out of the alley, it was already evening, and the sight of the twilight and the rain and snow filled the road, as if I was in a dream.”