Along the pitted elegance of Pho Ngo Quyen, a bustling street in Hanoi, Vietnam, you will, predictably, find uniformed men in Soviet-style uniforms, banners with Communist Party slogans, and grandfatherly pictures of Ho Chi Minh. Yet, capitalism thrives everywhere else in this community — in the tiny food stalls, countless mobile phone stores and clothing shops offering everything from faux European fashion to reduced-price children’s wear, sandals and sneakers.
Outside a ministry office, someone is cutting hair on the street. Nearby a woman is drying squid to sell to customers. Internet cafes proliferate, filled with young people. Virtually every nook and cranny has a small shop or workplace for making consumer goods.