Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ritan Park

Men playing cards in Ritan Park in Beijing.

This past weekend Margot and I took a walk in Ritan Park on Sunday afternoon.

These men were playing cards in front of a mural in the center of the park.
Pavilion and lake in Ritan Park in Beijing

You can see that the trees are getting the first hint of green. Spring will be arriving in earnest soon.

I'm not sure what brought these photographers and their subjects to the park. I was thinking maybe engangement photos? On the other hand, who brings 3 photographers and an assistant for an engagement picture. The more I think about it maybe it is a camera club or something.
Young women in Ritan Park

These 5 young women were walking ahead of us. About the time I commented to Margot about how skinny they were they stopped in front of us to take a picture. I volunteered to use their camera to get all five of them then asked them to let me take their picture. Given how comfortable they were in front of the camera I'm thinking they were models. Margot detected a Eastern European accent of some sort.

These kids were singing Happy Birthday to one of their friends in English. They weren't shy about it, either. They were really belting it out.

Another group on girls were on an Easter egg hunt this Palm Sunday - no pictures.

There was a group of men flying kites in the park. It really isn't conducive to that because of all the trees but there is a small hill that they were using as a launching spot.

In China, flying kites isn't just for kids. These guys come well equipped with special reels and tools for extracting their kites if they become stuck in a tree.
Kite flying in Ritan Park.

Here you can get a little sense of the small hill that they were standing on.

He is reeling this one end.
Reel for kite string

They don't use a ball of string wrapped around a stick. Their reels are pretty high-tech.

The string looks special, too.

Click to enlarge.

These women were doing taichi. They had set up a little portable sound system to provide some music.

Here is another group of men playing cards.

The Temple of the Sun or Ritan was built in 1530. The area around the alter is now an eponymous public park. The emperors came here to pray and offer sacrifices to the sun. There is a complementary park on the west side of Beijing called Yuetan or Temple of the Moon.
Climbing wall in Ritan Park in Beijing

I'm pretty sure this wasn't around when the emperors came to pray. This is a climbing wall.

We didn't try it.

This little kid was working his way up.

I'm guessing he was 9 or 10.

Not sure who chose the brand name for this Chinese outdoor gear company. I guess Rocky Mountain, Sierra, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Alps, etc. were all taken. For some reason, the name Ozark doesn't conjure up an image to match the mountains on their logo. Maybe they figure most of their customers will never visit the real Ozarks.  http://www.ozarkgear.com/

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