We are lucky enough to live next door to one of the biggest parks in Jerusalem. San Simon park isn’t on any tourist agenda. It’s just a regular place where local Israelis unwind, recreate and do all kinds of bizarre stuff.
These kids are on a homemade ropes course. Other activities we have seen in the park include:
– Tai chi classes
– High school physical education class
– Birthday, anniversary, graduation, and just-for-the-heck-of it parties
– IDF soldier training sessions
– Pet dogs and stray cats by the dozens
– People setting up barbeques and digging fire pits
– People walking to shul on Saturday mornings
– A ping pong table that I’ve only ever seen used by male Haredi teenagers
– A buff 20-something who sets up is iPod speakers and uses the kids’ playground as his personal gym
– Nationalist political tours, focusing on the Israeli Army’s 1948 victory over the Iraqis in the battle of San Simon
– Greek Orthodox nuns locking and unlocking the monastery gates
– Parents and families of all nationalities and styles, including a sensitive new-age daddy whom we see walking his baby for hours every day
There is even, once in a blue moon, a Palestinian family in the park…
Having this festival of humanity and all this green space just outside our front door has been a major blessing.