Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Back when we used to hang our hats near Xiao Tong Xiang, it was a sleepy residential alley with the occasional tea house and small restaurant. The only places where we could get by with English were the Loft Hostel and Dodo's Cafe. In the couple of years since Kuanzhaixiangzi has become a visitors' destination, this small alley has slowly been transformed into a café and bar street.
We recently took an afternoon to rediscover Xiao Tong Xiang and found that several newcomers had set up shop. There were a couple of new bars and Tibetan-themed small coffee and snack restaurants. There was a tiny Russian-themed cafe, opened by a local who had studied in St. Petersburg, whose menu had the usual list of blended drinks and snacks but also had kvass and Russian style mashed potatoes. It was not far down from a combination coffee/clothing shop.
We ended up walking into a small cafe with an inviting sign that read, Green Day. It’s one of those places where you might stop in for coffee and Wi-Fi in the afternoon, or music and drinks in the evening. They were barely open and the proprietors were still hanging pictures, mostly of their own photography. There were coffee and desserts and cocktails available, so we sampled their tiramisu. It lived up to its name as a pick me up, and proved a good accompaniment to the coffee. Green Day has a stage with room for maybe half a person, tops, and a mic for performances. We think it would have a great atmosphere in the evening. The next time we are doing the tourist thing in the area and feel like a break, we're going to pass on the theme-park bars and restaurants along Kuanzhaixiangzi and walk the couple of blocks up to Xiao Tong Xiang.