Patti (whipartist) wrote,

The Tai Chi People

I can't believe I haven't written about the Tai Chi People yet.

I live in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland, which is right next to Oakland's Chinatown. Unlike the San Francisco tourist trap, our Chinatown is just a neighborhood with houses and small shops and restaurants. You can buy all kinds of groceries and gifts and jewelry and some things I can't even identify. It's a wonderful place to be able to walk to, even if I sometimes feel out of place there.

My daily commute involves walking to the Lake Merritt BART station, which takes me across the periphery of Chinatown. Most days I'm going through at about 10 a.m., but on Thursdays I have to be at the office by 9 (boss scheduled a standing meeting at that godawful hour), so I pass through around 8:30.

Every Thursday when I go by, there are people doing tai chi in the plaza between the BART administration building and the station. And not just a few people either-- at least a hundred, and sometimes twice that. They fill the center of the plaza and overflow into the walkways and sidewalks, all doing that slow swimming-through-molasses dance. Sometimes they even overflow into the park across the street. Peaceful music fils the air.

Well, except for one area. Over in one corner, a group of mostly-older Chinese ladies are always doing disco line dances, shaking their booty to upbeat foreign music. They're always performing almost perfectly in unison, and some of them are having a grand time doing it!

I will post pictures someday.
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