Painting in the park
A serene encounter with a delightful old painter. Beijing's parks are incredibly beautiful. Some of my best memories include afternoons like this - watching a humble painter grind his ink onto a skillet and create a masterpiece on wrinkled rice paper, or listening to improv alto sax hidden in a bamboo garden, or simply people-watching. On weekday mornings, you can join the tai chi groups, or maybe stumble upon a lively group of senior citizens practicing the waltz. The parks radiate with peace and simple joy. This was my favorite park - ZiZhuYuan (purple bamboo park) off West 3rd ring road. No charge to get in here, though some parks to charge a nominal fee.