Going to local parks is a favorite activity of mine.Continue reading Parks
For Wordless Wednesday
Every city that I have been in in China has had spacious, well maintained parks and public square, mostly called “People’s Square” or a minor variation on it. One of my favorite things to do in China is wander around in these parks and public spaces.
Weifang has two with very similar names pretty far apart and it took me quite a while to figure out that the one near where my son lived was not the one referred to most of the time.
If I recall correctly (not a 100% sure thing) these are two view of the People’s Square in Qingdao:
Preparing Tian’anmen Square for National Day:
Many of the parks have really cool art, and artistic details. Here is a sampling:
People using parks
On weekday mornings, even nice ones you might think that these beautiful parks are like the empty high-rises, waiting for more people to come to fill them. On a sunny day, before work or in the afternoon as people start getting off work, or a nice weekend (especially one with enough wind for kite flying) you can see that this is not true.
Parks are places for exercise, to meet friends, to dance, to fish (F is for Fishing) and, of course to fly kites (K is for Kites).
Shouguang, the city where my son lives now, even though it is considered “rural” or a “fifth tier” city, has really nice parks and a lot of nice art in them. I did some posts about this: A walk along the Mihe River , Fall in Shouguang , and, par for my course, never finished my plans to show even more of the park art in Shouguang. Maybe when I get back from this coming trip I’ll finally finish.
Even more than the art in parks, I love to see people out enjoying the parks. On weekdays they are often fairly empty, peaceful places. On nicer days there are usually a few people, often children with their grandparents, but on nice days as evening approaches and on the weekends they are busy places.
I just came across these pictures from a couple of years ago. In Wiefang (Shandong Province) while visiting my son I made use of the time while he was working to wander around the city. In several spots they had parks between the streets that made a pleasant way to get around. A little longer but much quieter than walking along the busy streets.
I loved this wonderful park along the west bank of the Mihe River. It runs about 3/4 mile (1.25 km) between the two car bridges. Near each of the car bridges was a pedestrian (plus cyclists and scooters) bridge. One of them was obviously the old roadway but the other was a graceful gently arched bridge.
As I mentioned in an earlier post one the Mihe River runs through the eastern part of the city of Shouguang.
You can see a larger version of any photo by clicking on it.
Art in the park
In another park the walk ways had these lovely bas relief (I’m not sure that is quite the right term). The walk way divided to go around a water lily pond and on one side of the pond they were dragons, the other had phoenixes then when the paths joined into one they had vegetables. Each of the bas reliefs was about 2 1/2 feet square, and they were all different. Here is a gallery of samples:
In September and October I visited a “small” city (roughly the population of Seattle) considered rural in China. The city of Shouguang in the prefecture level city of Weifang in Shandong province.
Shouguang merits mention in Wikipedia! It is the vegetable capital of the world (self proclaimed). The city hosts an International High-Tech Vegetable Fair every year in April/May. I went a couple of years ago: I’ll meet you at the giant bok choi. It was a lot of fun, but we didn’t see the city itself at that time.
Fast forwarding, my son got a job teaching at a new school in Shouguang and moved there over the summer, so this fall I had a chance to explore. Shouguang is a seasonal city, they roll out the carpet and have wonderful gardens oriented to being at their peek in the spring. In the fall it has a more relaxed charm. Over the course of this month I am planning to share a little bit about Shouguang in the fall. With any luck I’ll be able to explore it again next spring.
One fun feature of Shouguang was the sculptures around town, especially in the parks. Shouguang has a large amount of land dedicated to parks. Each park seems to have its own personality. The first sculpture I noticed was a giant strawberry tucked among some trees in a park. As I wandered along more of them appeared. Then I saw the giant pumpkin patch.