The alleys and lanes of Beijing took their initial shape in the early 13th Century. From then until the early 20th century, they were home to just about every resident in the capital except the royal families. Even today, a great percentage of Beijing's residents still have their houses located in these lanes. However, as time passes and particularly as the result of urban construction, the number of lanes in Beijing are decreasing and tall buildings are springing up in their place. An examination of the alleys and lanes not only help with understanding the path of history and culture, but also allows us to feel the pulse of the people of Beijing. Life in Hutongs is beautifully presented and is full of photographs showing the life of Beijing's residents.