The parks are alive with people especially when the weather is nice and on the weekends. Yesterday, we walked through Fuxing Park in Shanghai. Tucked away inside a forest of greenery, we walked in and then were stunned by how many people were enjoying themselves at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Reminding me of Central Park but with more socializing, families were playing games in the large open field, fishing in the pond, flying kites and settling in a for a long day of outside enjoyment. Further in, there were all kinds of group activities–dancing, Tai Chi, singing, and playing cards. Groups of men huddled together in a circle and we couldn’t figure out what was going on so I sidled up to one of them, you know being the inconspicuous Westerner that I am, and saw that they were drawing calligraphy with a stick and wet tennis ball on the end on the pavement and telling stories.
There’s just this whole heightened level of community and engagement in the parks here that you never see in the US. Here, the apartments are very modest in the city so you can imagine that the beautiful parks are a wonderful escape to gather and spend time for the Shanghai residents.