Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Love City Parks

Living in a megacity of a population of more than 20 million, very bad air and horrible traffic, I am always longing for an Arcadian life. I do not enjoy being jammed in the traffic, either underground or in the sun.

City parks are refuges for me. There are no crowds which you almost always see elsewhere. I can refrain from computers and Internet temporarily, though I confess I still occasionally tap on my smartphone for no particular reason. City parks are easily accessible. I do not have to travel much to enjoy some outer peace.

It was a bit astonishing when someone said to me, “Are you an old man? Parks are for them.” The other time when I suggest go to the nearby forest park for a stroll, I was asked “Are you a 50’s?”

They were not totally wrong when they said that. Where do people of my age like to go to? Maybe KTV’s, movies, bars, shopping malls, etc. You will surely see more senior citizens in parks than elsewhere, but there are also more children, young people especially young couples are also frequent visitors. Parks are neutral. They don’t prefer any age groups, nor they exclude any. They are microcosms of the city.

Even though I have lived in Beijing for more than ten years, I have only been to a few parks in the city. Today I went to Yuan Dynasty City Wall Relics Park. I will visit more Beijing city parks.