Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Luodong Sports Park

I live in 觀天下,a large concrete and tile structure (the tallest in Loudong) with an exterior off the set from a 1980's sci-fi flick (think Blade Runner era, where visions of future buildings look waaay to set in the past for us today), water running in through all the seams (try it in a typhoon - black water sputtering out of the window creases), and an echo throughout the living room and bedrooms (our fault that we've yet to find enough furniture to make white tiles, white plaster over concrete, and white sofas feel warm).
****The glowing tiles of a once-future scene****

****The Barren Room (Spare Room in the Land of Wardrobe in the cabinet on the right)****

Plus side, there's a great view from the rooftop, an overly-friendly guard named 林/Lin (who asks me in the elevator every morning "麥兜, 你上班馬?” or "Mai Dou, You going to work?" He knows quite well where I'm going. I don't mind the through-the-elevator conversations; little unsettling to see him ringing the doorbell of our 7th floor apartment at 7:30am or 10:00pm), and a beautiful sports park across the way.
****Crosswalk in front of the building, park across the way****
***Old and Young Enjoy Walk to the Park****

The Luodong Sports park really is a nice piece of public space. There is a large pond, with wooden bridges connecting the sides to an island in the middle, a boardwalk style area with music in the evenings, open grassy areas for tossing a frisbee, and a strange "bowl".
****A typical Saturday late afternoon crowd****
****Feed What You Eat: Fish and Duck****

****Fish Meet Duck in the Pond****
****Don't Drop the Baby or we'll have a role reversal****

****The Love to Talk about Being Persecuted by China Falun Dafuers****
The Strange Bowl:

To get to the bowl, you walk up what one would assume is a typical hill. Lots of people are at the top, but aren't there a lot of people all over the park? Nothing atypical looking from down below.
****Nothing to See Hear, Just a Hilltop****

Surprise! Reach the peak and it's a round basin, like a wide and shallow volcano, with a tiny pit/hole lined with rocks at the bottom. Kids run down, sideways, then back up. Dogs run down, sideways, then back up. The already out of place foreigners run down, sideways, and back up. It's kind of exhilarating, the momentum pushing you down and forward, then back up at an angle. Park like this makes you feel 5 again.
****Fun Run for Kids****
****Popular for a Ditch****

I asked a Taiwanese friend the significance of the area. Is there a common cultural practice requiring hilltop basins? Not that they knew of. Anyone else have any insights?

Next sunny and windy day, I'm renting a kite. I'll be damned if I'm gonna grow up soon.


Yu-Tzu said...

Here comes the Ms. I-have-to-answer-Dale's-Blog-Entries again...

The design of the LuoDong Sports Park intended to combine the Taiwanese landscpe with the local cultures as to provide a sports/ leisure park for the locals. That's why they "created" some hills, pebble paveway and the small pier and so forth in the park. In addition, it also adds to the variety of the Sports Park and distinguished it from being a "standard park" park.

Hope you find the answer satisfying...

Dalbanese said...

Yu-tzu - I promise I'm ever so grateful to have your comments clarifying things for my own good, as well as for the good of anyone else who might read my filtered interpretations of some of the culture here. You do us all a service. Thanks.

The created environment I get; we have plenty of artificial landscapes in US parks. My question is not about the hill itself, but the dug out bowl at the top. and the pit. don't forget the pit. Crazy.

beer+"never have i ever" champ said...

They still resemble partial Taiwanese landscape. For instance, the dug out bowl is supposed to resemble places like Taipei Basin and the pit (if i got what you meant right) could be found in Northern Taiwan as well, since we used to have a small goldmine near Jioufen about 60 years's out of production already but still have some close linkages to people's memories....