|Subject: Re: Beijing|
I haven't seen the article, but you can find the hutongs through Beijing (and Shanghai) though they are being torn down and high rises erected in their stead. There are organized tours to take you around; you can wander about on your own. Just be sure you know how to get out! One of the areas being "saved" is near the Drum Tower - it also the area shown by tour guides. For a price, you get to talk with a family living there and look inside. Some are basic poor hovels and some have been modernized. Another area is just below Tiananman, off of Quienman. I stayed down that way this time and wandered in and out - as there was some commercial activity and food stalls, didn't feel like I was prying. Though I was about the only round eyed one around. We ate at a apparently well known restaurant , hidden in the midst of hutongs - I would never be able to find it again but think it might be near the Forbidden City.
In Lonely Planet's China edition, there is a good discussion of hutongs; they suggest Hutong Tours (6615 9097, 6400 2787) can be contacted for trips. Apparently you can also arrange to stay in hutong located hotels.
Hope this answers you question.
Cheers! Jo, in sunny Sunnyvale but soon off to Ashland and Kent in July!