The only lion dances that I've seen in New York City prior to this past weekend have been on the grimy, colorful streets of Chinatown. But last Sunday, we were treated to one right on East 65th Street in front of the China Institute. The strip between Lexington and Park Avenues was blocked off for the occasion. It was a refreshing sight to see Chinese culture creep its way that far uptown. The China Institute - along with the Japan Society, Korea Society, and Asia Society - organized the lunar year event, which included martial arts and kung fun demos. The China Institute was the place where I took Mandarin lessons. I thought the class was great, but unfortunately I didn't keep practicing speech and writing. For anyone looking to take elementary Mandarin classes, I definitely recommend it.


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