March 10, 2015
Janice Morton

Fuxing Park is right in the middle of the French Concession area (locally known as Luwan).  It is 10 hectares in size and was originally a private garden during the Ming Dynasty.  After the Opium War, the French took it over and provided the typically French garden style with a lake and fountains and opened it to the French public on July 14, 1909.  After the French, the Japanese renamed it Daxing Park, but in the middle of the 20th century the Chinese renamed it Fuxing Park.

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Typical to the other parks we've been visiting, Fuxing Park is separated into many parts, allowing you to sit and enjoy one section without ever realizing the other sections are just beyond the hedges.

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 This park has a lot of trees.  Over 100 species have been planted in recent years, making it a shady reprieve for Shanghai locals in the hot summers. 

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On either side of the fountain in the first picture, are some mattress flower beds.  Though the grass is a bit barren looking here in the winter, the flowers still put on a show.

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We also have a statue of Marx and Engels, authors of The Communist Manifesto.  At 6.4 meters high (that's 21 feet to us Americans) and 70 tons, its stands near the north entrance of the park.  It was unveiled on August 5, 1985 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Engel's death.

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Now hold on to your hats readers.  There is an area in this park where you can go on the grass.  The kite flying field.  It's a site to behold and young and old are out taking advantage of this large open space in this busy city.  In fact, there's folks hovering about that will sell you a kite should you want to get in on the action.

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And, of course, with any kite flying area, there are bound to be some kite eating trees.  There are 2 culprits at the south end, so beware.

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At the south end of the kite field is a gazebo where you may find a band entertaining the locals.  Just west is a lovely pond where men surround tables playing lively games of cards and mahjong.

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At the northwest corner of the park you can find a variety of flower gardens: rose garden, camellia flowerbed, and azalea flowerbed.  All quietly slumbering through the winter at this point, but I'm sure they are a sight to behold come spring and summer.  In the rose garden I found this man quietly painting water calligraphy on the sidewalk.  Using water as ink and the sidewalk as their canvas, these artists create this beautiful but fleeting art work all over the city.  The art of Chinese calligraphy goes back over 4,000 years to the Shang Dynasty.  Some accounts report that the artists find solace in the calm repetition of the exercises.  I think it's a lovely reminder of the transience embodied by the aphorism, carpe diem. 

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These parks just keep getting better and better.

Next stop, Jing'an Sculpture Park!

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