June 16th, Day at the Park

Sunday was a free day and probably the first that I didn’t wake up at 5 in the morning.  I actually slept till 6:30 and was able to go back to sleep till 8am. My day started with a breakfast slice of bread covered with peanut butter and jelly.  Simple, quick and easy, no cooking required and no need to go out.  While I was waiting for my husband Larry to leisurely ready himself for the day, I went on the internet to check out exploration possibilities close by our apartments.  I was looking for a morning activity that might present us with good photographic possibilities.  There it was – a good size park within 20 minutes walk for me (I walk a strolling pace using a cane). It also happened to be right near to a building I was wanting to photograph.

This park, on a gentle hillside, was built on property where a factory once stood.  Its only remaining structure is a huge chimney that towers above the park like the many adjacent skyscrapers. As with the other Shanghai parks I have seen, it is a serene oasis for quiet meditation and relaxation in the midst of this metropolitan maelstrom.  The climate seems to offer a perfect opportunity to produce lush greenery. Several gardeners in orange attire attend to its appearance.  Tree-lined brick walkways network their way past manicured formal gardens.

One of its nicest features takes advantage of the sloping land.  One can enter the park at street level and actually walk across it diagonally on a walkway that gradually becomes an overpass.  Those who want to hurriedly pass through the park can enjoy its shade while not disturbing the serenity below. At the other end, people can descend via staircase or the wide spiraling down ramp depending on how rushed they are.

The park has several areas, each with some special feature.  There is a very large pond fed from little streams that originate from a spring in the park.  It is the home for fish, black swans and turtles and also serves as an excellent site for remote controlled miniature speedboats.

Several pavilions provide a shady tranquil spot in which to relax.  The park accommodates several hundred folks without losing its sense of quietude. Families come with little children to play with water toys, ride bikes and feed the fish and swans.  Individuals play music, games, and exercise through walking, stretching, jogging, and doing tai chi. Although all of this provided excellent photographic opportunities, it was difficult to focus on taking pictures. The persuasive peacefulness makes you content to just sit and watch the exotic world go by.

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