Liping and I went to Nan Jie last week. We were to go to YPHH, but there was a bed available at Alfa when we passed by, so we had to patronise it first.
When we got to Nan Jie there were only 7 or 8 people. Nan Jie is pretty nice. In fact, it's way too nice, compared to the old real nanjie and Huxley's 1. The chairs are big. There are even leather (perhaps fake) sofa's. It's spacious and has a themed decor. No outdoor seating. I totally missed Black Sun in nanjie where it's always too hot and crowded inside, and we'd sit on the hard and tiny stools outside. Last time I was there was after Bruce Lee film screening. Russell was even sitting on the window sill.
Then it almost felt like the 'chai' hutong and old courtyard house thing. We like the old hutongs and the courtyard houses. But we don't have better alternatives to provide people living there with housing in decent condition. And we whine.
As we walked out of Nan Jie heading home, Liping murmured, "it's too new, it's not shabby at all... what on earth are we complaining about..."
I think we are still in denial. :-)