Besides the city glass walls and carpark gates, bridges andtemples are the most ‘eye-catching’ structures. Streams run through and around this’little Chengdu’, making bridges both important traffic bearers and prominent landmarks.
Bridge access points become regular gathering places for peddlers, merchants,seasonal workers, and folk performers. Some bridges boast a long history ofmatch-making as identified by the red ribbons. The temple fronts are popular spotsfor itinerant peddlers and folk performers, who attracted many customers andspectators. The street is the most basic public shared space, but itsappearance and functions varied. This ‘Little Chengdu’ has more than 10 streetsand alleys that are laid in grid form, with streets running north-south andeast-west.
The narrow streets typically are cluttered with pedestrians andpeddlers, and are usually shaded by awnings or mattings. On the main street,the Chenduese adapt the street as their regular markets. Merchants and pettypeddlers sold their goods on the street. Most vendors peddle their goods out ofstalls, either mobile, with-seating or grounded stalls.
The streets becomeworkshops as well. At street corners and on sidewalks, artisan made products tobe sold on the spot. Residential streets behind the busy commercial areasbecome places for production due to easy access.
If one felt bored, one couldsimply go outdoors to have a conversation with their neighbors. Privacy is non-existent.Doors that faced the street were always kept open to allow sunlight and freshair into the simple rooms, as well as the glances of curious passersby. Children’splaygrounds are just at their door step. Boys will gather at the parade ground tocompete with their kites, dancing gracefully for the adults viewing from balconiesof tea houses.
As soon as night begin to fall and traffic became lighter, somestreets become locations for bustling ‘night markets’. Children flock to showswith leather puppets that are as tall as them, depicting themes of love,adventure, supernatural, and mythical heroes.