Nice park, nice music, and martial arts..
I went here with some fellow yelpers after some Vietnamese food in Chinatown. I believe I have driven and walked by here in the past, but I have never been at the park. It's a shame that I have lived in NYC for so many years and I've yet to discover beautiful simple gems such as this one.
This park was full of people practicing martial arts, singing, and playing instruments. There were some people playing soccer, basketball, and so on. We spent sometime watching the different musical displays. I found it quite beautiful and relaxing. I'm a huge fan of chinese folk music, and I thoroughly enjoy the instruments and vocals.
Take a look at an Erhu is an amazing instrument.
At one point a gentlemen randomly came up to the group and engaged us in conversation. He basically said that since he lost his teeth, he can no longer sing with them. He had a look of longing and pain in his face. He stated that the chinese doctors are working on growing back his teeth.
This made me feel sad, the guy really wanted to participate and you could see it. I also felt bad that he has fallen prey to the greedy doctors that sold him these fantasies of growing back his teeth. I expected him to ask us for money, because it was quite a random thing. He was sitting down, then got up, walked over, and explained what he felt. I felt a tinge of guilt when he sat back down and hadn't asked for anything. NYC, it makes us this way.
So here among the beauty of nature and sound, you will find despair. The balance of life, this was a perfect example of it. As we sat and watched the chinese musicians play, while we enjoyed the music, this man sat and watched, suffering because he could not be a part of it.
The world is a strange place. But the park was a nice addition to our afternoon stroll through the city. I definitely plan to return and sit here from time to time. Hell, maybe I'll go tonight if I don't leave work too late, I need to find some inner peace.
Chinatown's premier gathering spot for gossip, games and tai chi..
Once a recreational hub for Italian immigrant workers, Columbus Park is now a meeting place for local Chinese residents. At the north end of the park stands an abandoned pavilion, built in 1897, painted bright red and adorned with gold dragons. A statue of Columbus that once stood among the trees now sits atop a pillar overlooking Central Park on 59th Street.
Not long after sun-up, neighbors gather for tai chi practice on the weather-beaten concrete courts. But the park really livens up by afternoon: Men betting on dominoes, women playing mah jongg, fortune tellers offering palm readings to passersby. Preteens rule the basketball courts; while they may not have as much game as the North American Chinese Basketball Association players who shoot hoops here, the kids talk just as much trash as their older, more experienced counterparts.