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 emanating from 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. There's no charge to get in here, though some parks to charge a nominal fee.