22 September 2009

Public Space = Outside Karaoke & Such (Naturally)

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In my nearly eight months living in Shanghai, I never fully appreciated the wonder and majesty of the parks. My gym was physically in a park, which meant I was going in and out almost daily. While I noticed the “happenings” I guess I didn’t really “see” them as when I was with both Stacey and Matt. We wandered both Zhongshan Park in Shanghai and Jingshan Park in Beijing. Within five minutes we witnessed:

A man holding himself up on a walker singing live to an audience of dozens sitting on plastic stools.

Two men in a Kung Fu battle - one gettin’ it on and one “warming up” with fantastic arm spins and a deathly stare.

A group of people ballroom dancing in no particular semblance of order. Men with women, women with women and yes, even women alone. It was brilliant.

Old men having a kite fight like in the movie “Kite Runner.”

A gaggle of both men and women standing around a small video monitor and stack of speakers, belting out some incredible notes.

Multiple accordion players, each with their own unique style and fan club.

A gospel choir (yes gospel choir) of nearly thirty women and men absolutely rocking the grounds.

Finally, men and women of all shapes and sizes using nature’s fitness center to bend, stretch and kick up against trees, shrubs and small children.

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Did I mention that all of this happened in the park? Man, our BBQs and baseball games just seem a little bit lame, no?


Kyle Taylor

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