Monday, June 06, 2011

In the Neighborhood: Oncheoncheon Citizen's Park

I'm unsure of the actual length of the Oncheon-cheon Citizen's Park in Busan, South Korea. The stream runs through Dongnae-gu, Yeonje-gu, and Busanjin-gu, and just footsteps outside our apartment building near the Pusan National University of Education.

The sign posted near where I enter says the park's 2,062 km long. Even with my lack of metric system comprehension, I know that cannot be right. What I do know is that I love this park, and I'm really grateful for its presence.

I'm usually down at the stream at least twice a day, enjoying the green-space that the good people of Busan have provided. Here's a list of the features I think are most awesome:

13. Hand-weeded grass, bushes that spell neighborhood names, and other immaculate landscaping

12. Contests, games, & entertainment that the district frequently sponsors like the ones where we've seen traditional games, k-pop dance demonstrations, corn-flavored treats shaped like parasols, and opera

11. Large birds. There's a pair of grey herons that have been hanging around a lot since the spring, and a very nice mallard family lives up near Dongnae station. 

10. Grass that has now grown taller than me and listening to the wind blow through it. 

9. Flowers planted in uniform lines, bulls-eyes, and other entertaining shapes 

8. The near-constant stream of upgrades that make the park better every week 

7. Acupressure foot massages that soothe your weary feet

6. Visual trickery that hides away 
those ugly path blemishes from view

=5. The Q-bert-like steps, great for doggie obstacles and for sitting and enjoying a cold bottle of Cass or makkeoli on a summer night

4. Stepping stones across the stream that make your walk feel like an adventure

3. Feeling like a very minor celebri-tay because people always stop us to pet Diga (though sometimes this borders on weird, like the time Shane was asked his opinion on segregation)

2. Very well attended community aerobics and jazzercise classes

1. Side by side pedestrian and biking paths, on both sides of the stream and loads of public fitness equipment

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