Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Outdoor space is prized in Beijing. Our apartment looks out onto a pretty amphitheater, which seems to be used nearly every moment of the day. At dawn, there's the group of three or four older folks doing tai chi with a leader, looking ghostly and mysterious in the fog of morning. As the day begins, the dog walkers, strollers, and even the occasional jogger circle on the sidewalk outside the amphitheater. Right after school, children gather there for an ongoing game of soccer which lasts just until they're called inside for dinner. On weekends, you'll see men batting tennis balls against the wall, toddlers riding tiny push cars, a man jumping rope, and children learning how to ride a bike or use roller blades. On the one Sunday it snowed, a father and his two children were able to scoop up enough snow to pummel each other with snowballs. In other words, there's always entertainment for me and for Smudge.

We have what we call our "patio," a glassed-in alcove where we've put two chairs and our tile table from Italy. In the morning as the sun streams in, I call my mother from my iPad and drink coffee. Later I have breakfast on this patio. It's not the same as a front porch, but it's pretty pleasant.

And the other good news is that it’s starting to feel like a neighborhood. I’ve run into friends more than once just out and about on the street, and that helps make everything feel a little bit friendlier. Five months and counting!

1 comment:

  1. ...but can you see the Hudson River from the backyard..?? Don't get too comfortable, we miss you back home XXOO