Originally, it's 36 streets were arranged by trade: silverwork, leather, textiles and the like.
Nowadays, whatever the trade of the individual shops, the main income generator surely is catering to tourists... hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, souvenirs, tour operators and massage.
Comparing the current layout of the quarter to the old maps of the place, it looks like time has stood still and little has changed. The same grid, and shophouses that, apart from the merchandise, would not have been very different from a few hundred years ago.
But of course, that is a wrong inference as the Old Quarter, too, is affected by unceasing and unrelenting change.
Very unexpectedly, I chanced upon this apartment building that has risen where once a few shophouses stood. I was struck by the easy way the old and the new blended aesthetically. I would have loved to see the interior and most likely would have come away green with jealousy. That location, and most probably combined with all conveniences of a modern residential unit, it couldn't get any better.