A walk in the park helps me to ease stress, relieve tension, and reset my eye sight from the desk monitor. I’m thankful that I’m able to breath in the ocean breeze with a mere 3 minute walk from office. I flipped through a book recently with a dissected look on the Central Park, New York. I heard about how big it is, I’ve seen movie footages at the park. But to look at it from the aerial view, it’s just one of the few times. It’s covered with lots of vegetations. It’s an urban jungle.
A park is a gathering spot. I’ve met my colleague walking her dog after work, I’ve met an ex-colleague looking after her granddaughter, I’ve met a martial artist. Sure, it can be boring if you look at it as an ordinary public space like how you feel about your neighborhood. There’s always a reason.
While Hong Kong does not have that world class Central Park like in New York. The closest thing would be the Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and the Hong Kong Park in Admiralty. I believe in terms of facilities, the Hong Kong park is far more superior than the Victoria Park. There’s the botanical garden nearby which’s rather close to each other. There’s the aging zoo (better than none, but if it’s there why not upgrade it?), greenhouses, giant bird cage, waterfall, pond, watch tower, Olympian square, museums. I’m completely biased as I live quite near the two mentioned. You get the idea. It’s usually my lazy sunday walkabout.
When i think of a park, it reminds me of two places that I’d been to while I was in the US – the St. Louis Zoo and the Naperville City Park. The Naperville City Park left me the most impression. I’ve visited twice – both when I arrived the US and when I was about to leave the US, 7 years apart. I’m still amazed by how I survived during those 3 years in town. I remember precisely why I bought a cheap digital camera in BestBuy. I wanted to remember the last stretch of my stay. I visited the park, snapped pictures of just anything. That day was really beautiful by the river. Glittering reflections of water, dogs shaking off after a swim, teenagers playing at the lawn… These images had gone through my head vividly whenever I imagined a beautiful day in park. Perhaps that was quite a memory.
Strangely enough I’ve met quite some action guys in parks. And if they’re foreigner, they are usually the down on earth the friendliest person. They’re willing to talk and listen. Like Chris I’ve met before, he’s calm and gentle. And recently another martial art stuntman/body trainer – Alex from Romania. He had a role in the movie From Vegas to Macau (賭城風雲). He could be spotted in town with his superhero fitness tees. With his friendly personality, he’s willing to meet curious people like me. He spoke about responsibility at different stage of life. I thought I should bump into more guys like him. The greeting and meeting process stopped long ago after college. It’s why I’m open-minded when i get to speak with people, hearing their stories do make my day better. I know there’s always stories that’s more interesting than mine or at least how they describe theirs.
Maybe I’ll not meet them again, or maybe i’ll. But I’m used to these kind of come and go, one-time conversation. There’s nothing wrong with it. I enjoy it and remember the brief moment we shared our philosophy that probably lasts a lifetime. It ties back to why I like photographing interesting people in first place. If I never talk to them, we’d not ever meet in this life.