Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Eastbound Train

August 5, 2006 - East side of Taipei, I think it might be called the Nangang (南港) area. It's by the Songshan Rail Station. That area is still a bit of a mystery to me. I ride out there and think "what do these people do?", "where do these people go?", "why do they need their own rail station (aside from Taipei Main Station)?".

People in guard boxes in Taiwan are very suspicious people and like to think they are important and wield some sort of power. There was one off to the left of this shot that I hadn't noticed and was eyeing me suspiciously. Who knows for what evil agenda I might be using these toy camera shots?

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Next to You ("Bounce" - Sondheim)
2. Leave This Off Your Fuckin' Charts (Public Enemy)
3. All I Want (Skunk Anansie)
4. Better Things (The Kinks)
5. What Do You Think? (The Sundays)
6. Bop Gun (Endangered Species) (Parliament)
7. Radio Gra (Unwound)
8. I Sleep Forever (+/-)
9. Aneurysm (Nirvana)
10. Superstarr (MC Solaar)

Sunday, October 29, 2006


August 5, 2006 - This is the aforementioned Nanjing East Road (南京東路), strangely empty, strangely quiet. Makes me want to ride in the middle of the road. It does look like Chinatown, just with wider roads. Can't believe how sunny and clear it is. In my time here, it's rare. Sucky Taipei weather.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. In the Cage Medley (Genesis live)
2. Manatsu no Kajitsu (Southern All Stars)
3. Making Plans for Nigel (XTC)
4. Skateaway (Dire Straits)
5. Abdulmajid (David Bowie)
6. Boogie Stop Shuffle (Charles Mingus)
7. Maori Chant (The Neville Brothers)
8. G-Song (Supergrass)
9. Diary of a Madman (Ozzy Osbourne)
10. Dirty Fascade (Shannon Wright)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Living Mall

August 5, 2006 - Believe it or not, this is a department store, I think between Nanjing East Road (南京東路) and Bade Road (八德路) in the Songshan District (松山區). The Living Mall, I think it's called, some architecturally high concept...department store. It is, indeed, a complete sphere with the other side inside a more conventional box structure. It's pretty neat, the inside is neat, too, but in the end, it's a ...department store. I dunno, I guess I'm just prejudiced about this sort of high concept architecture should be for something more high concept. Like SFMoma. I love SFMoma as a modern art museum, but if it were a...department store, I don't think I'd ever go there. Especially to shop.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Plateau (Nirvana - live unplugged)
2. Flight of the Cosmic Hippo (reprise) (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones)
3. 4:50 A.M. (Go Fishing) (Roger Waters)
4. With Yours (Tara Jane O'Neil)
5. Alone Tonight (Genesis)
6. Overkill (Men at Work)
7. Number 7 (100 Watt Smile)
8. Sleep to Dream Her (Dave Matthews Band)
9. Beatown (XTC)
10. Walter Bishop Jr. (The Williams/Maupin Project)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Taipei Pot Plant Auction

August 4, 2006 - I love this place. It's my favorite place to buy pot plants. Even though, as everyone knows, upkeep for pot plants is expensive. But if you're not interested in "upkeep", if you know what I mean, you can always come back to this place and try to get a good price on a new pot plant in auction. The penalty for drug trafficking in Taiwan is death, but apparently auctions don't qualify as "trafficking". "We're not trafficking, it's just a friendly neighborhood pot plant auction".

iTunes soundtrack:
1. D.J. (David Bowie)
2. Kayleigh (live) (Marillion)
3. Mad Dog God Dam (Elastica)
4. Les and Ray (Le Tigre)
5. Shotover Hill (Supergrass)
6. Stella Was a Diver (Interpol)
7. Lyrics to Go (A Tribe Called Quest)
8. Not for the Life of Me (reprise) ("Thoroughly Modern Millie")
9. Where Am I Going? ("Sweet Charity")
10. Four Letter Word (Echobelly)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jingmei Evacuation Gate bus terminus

August 4, 2006 - Riding out of Jingmei No. 2 Evacuation Gate. Whatever that means. Not sure what they evacuate. Maybe Taipei's bowels. Anyway, it's one of the elusive entryways to the riverside bikeway system. If you look for one, you'll never find it. You just have to wander around looking for something else and accidentally come across one.

Fortunately, coming out of the system is a little easier than finding one's way into it. Unfortunately, once you find your way out, you have to figure out where you are. Fortunately, I have a decent sense of direction, and I like the challenge of getting lost and finding my way home. There must be some deep meaning to that, yo.

That word on the ground is 慢, meaning "slow". It's on small streets everywhere, and it really sucks to get stuck on that word on a test when you know it's written on every small street.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Blue Chair (single) (Elvis Costello & the Attractions)
2. Tabako ga Suitai (Sekiri)
3. Quicksand (David Bowie)
4. Who Stole the Soul? (Public Enemy)
5. The One Who Has Disappeared (The Black Heart Procession)
6. Yes, My Heart ("Carnival")
7. No Language in Our Lungs (XTC)
8. Spain (Kristin Hersh)
9. I Don't Blame You (Cat Power)
10. Holloway Jail (The Kinks)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

two from the riverside bikeways

August 4, 2006

Xindian River. Having a bike is great for a Friday afternoon getaway down the riverside. Especially when relationships are cooling down with classmates, and you need to get away from them.

There's my $10 second bike under that tree. I haven't found anywhere indoors where I can practice shakuhachi, so I usually end up in the park across the street from my apartment to practice. I often take my shakuhachi when I head to the riverside bikeways, but when I ride, I tend to just ride. But sometimes I find a nice place to stop to blow a few notes.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Crime of the Century (Supertramp)
2. Vocal Shrapnel (Archers of Loaf)
3. Torokel Lady (Bubble Gum Brothers)
4. Break It Up (Rocket From the Crypt)
5. One Million (Versus)
6. Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer (Nat King Cole)
7. The Game (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)
8. Perfect Sunset (Vytas Nagisetty)
9. Something Just Broke ("Assassins" - Sondheim)
10. A Cure (Blonde Redhead)

Monday, October 23, 2006

what a lomo recalls

August 2, 2006 - Starbucks, Ximending section of Taipei. Summer memory from this last frame on this roll. My hanging out with a certain Korean classmate has had many inexplicable, probably manipulated, crests and troughs. It's a manic relationship. This was the end of a crest if I remember correctly, ending one of the periods where we hung out too much - almost all of our spare time. We were in Ximending because she had just gotten her Alien Residency Card (ARC) from the main police station there. I bought a new backpack there.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Daughter's Down (20 Minute Loop)
2. Bitter Suite (Marillion)
3. Who Can I Be Now? (David Bowie)
4. Jump for Joy (Duke Ellington)
5. The Bell (Mary Timony)
6. Thinka 'Bout It (Paris)
7. Piano Concerto No. 2, I. Maestoso (Chopin)
8. Robbery, Assault & Battery (Genesis)
9. The Prince of Humbug ("Barnum")
10. Union Square (Tom Waits)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

3 Cats on a Pile of Rubble

July 31, 2006 - Um, yea, that's all there is to it. Fuxing South Road, I think. For some reason, this roll has taken forever to post. There's only one more worthy shot left and I can get to a roll that has been sitting around for a while now.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Shakin' All Over (live) (The Who)
2. Don't Pass Me By (The Beatles)
3. Hear My Heart (Edith Frost)
4. We Do Not Belong Together ("Sunday in the Park with George" - Sondheim)
5. Cakewalk Into Town (Taj Mahal)
6. Moonchild (Cibo Matto)
7. Cello Suite No. 1, V. Menuett (J.S. Bach)
8. San Francisco (Kristin Hersh)
9. Snail (Smashing Pumpkins)
10. If I Had a Fine White Horse ("Secret Garden")

Thursday, October 19, 2006

ride-by shooting

July 30, 2006 - Danshuei Riverside Bikeway. At the end of the second day of extended riding (for Taipei, at least), my knee was killing and I needed to rest. At least I was in familiar territory, near Taipei Main Station, and not god who knows where on the bikeway system. Taipei Main Station isn't a stone's throw from where I live, but it was manageable at a limping pace. If one could limp on a bicycle, I was doing it.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Believo! (Enon)
2. The Plan (live) (Built to Spill)
3. There Is a Sucker Born Ev'ry Minute ("Barnum")
4. Matchmaker, Matchmaker ("Fiddler on the Roof")
5. You Must Meet My Wife ("A Little Night Music")
6. What You Don't Know About Women ("City of Angels")
7. All That Jazz ("Chicago")
8. Nothing ("A Chorus Line")
9. How the Other Half Lives ("Thoroughly Modern Millie")
10. If My Friends Could See Me Now ("Sweet Charity")

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

industrial Taipei

July 30, 2006 - I rather like this shot. I was out on a ride along the Key Lime River on my second bike when I saw this and fancied it for a fisheye. I even went out a ledge to get it. The ledge of the riverside levee, that is. If I remember correctly, this was close to where the Key Lime River meets the Danshuei River, when the wind picks up as you turn south and wreaks havoc on a chronic knee problem when you unwisely go for an extended ride for a second day in a row on a bike way too small for extended rides. If I remember correctly.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Hairless Heart (Genesis)
2. Aladdin Sane (live) (David Bowie)
3. Itsuka Mata (Kodo Drummers)
4. Mystic Rhythms (live) (Rush)
5. Hammer Horror (Kate Bush)
6. Re Ya Dumedisa (Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens)
7. Kanashimi wa Namida ni Tokete (J-Walk)
8. Mechanical Angels (20 Minute Loop)
9. Ant's Dance (Mary Timony)
10. Among the Americans (10,000 Maniacs)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

global warming

July 29, 2006 - Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world, with sun flares in the fisheye lens around noon. That was a great week. Sunny, blue skies for a week. And as people have been saying the constant rain in Taipei hasn't been normal, they also said that week was far from normal. The Taiwanese are good at pointing out what's not normal, but they're not so keen at pointing out the cause. You and I, we know better. *wink*

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Ue o Muite Arukou (Kyu Sakamoto)
2. Bernadette (The Kinks)
3. Revenge (Archers of Loaf)
4. Our Time ("Merrily We Roll Along")
5. Once Upon a Daydream (The Police)
6. Koufukuron (Shiina Ringo)
7. Indigo Chiheisen (Spitz)
8. Before You Cry (Camera Obscura)
9. M1A1 (Gorillaz)
10. Stop the Show (live) (Built to Spill)

Monday, October 16, 2006

classmate flashback

July 28, 2006 - Ah, Summer term. I hated that term. Why I continued hanging out with those people, I don't know. Well, yea, I do, and she's in this lomo. Fortunately, she's the only person I'm hanging out with this Fall term, but I'm thinking that's gotta end, too. Don't want the attachment, don't like the emotional pull and push.

This is at a Japanese restaurant on Yangkong Street, a quick shot that took Hyun Ae by surprise, as she didn't have time to put her fingers up in a V. I guess Naoya, across from her, was pretty cool, too. Just no connection.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Father Ruler King Computer (Echobelly)
2. It's Too Late (Carole King)
3. Helden (David Bowie)
4. Holiday (Madonna)
5. Heroes (live) (David Bowie)
6. Disarm (Smashing Pumpkins)
7. Happy Together (The Turtles)
8. Can't Get It Out of My Head (Electric Light Orchestra)
9. High Society (Enon)
10. Los Endos (live) (Genesis)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I See Dead People...

July 21, 2006 - Shida Mandarin Training Center, sixth sense floor. Rounding out school shots, here's a shot of what should be referred to as the "place of great evil". Students armor up to go in here to battle the school registration/administration bureaucracy which makes the New Jersey DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) look like a cafeteria lunch line.

Everyone who works there needs to be fired, shot, or sent to multi-cultural sensitivity training classes. They're rude to you even when taking your money. And when you give them money, don't entertain any idea of ever getting it back for any reason. Sucky tutor? Too bad. Useless "cultural" class? You're stuck.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Pneuma (50 Foot Wave)
2. Going to California (Led Zeppelin)
3. Chelsea Bridge (Duke Ellington)
4. Getting Closer (Wings)
5. You and Whose Army? (Radiohead)
6. String Quartet No. 8, V. Largo (Shostakovich)
7. Nirujarini (Shoukichi Kina & Champloose)
8. Da Da Da (Elastica)
9. Funkytown (Lipps, Inc.)
10. A Place to Call My Own (Genesis)

Friday, October 13, 2006

3 Inside

June 23, 2006 - Shida Mandarin Training Center. Hanging out after class on the 7th floor, waiting to go to lunch. Left to right is Pierre, Naoya, Takako, JC, and EMma.

June 2006 - The 7th floor atrium from the 8th floor. Not bad architecture, not a very good language school. It's not just me being negative, I hear from various English-speaking people how frustrated they are with the administration, policies, teaching quality, and the elevators at this school. I even got a tutor this term, hoping that one-to-one attention will improve my listening ability and sentence generation. Nope. If you have bad teachers, and you make them into tutors, it just means you get a bad tutor.

June 9, 2006 - Same place on the 7th floor as the first lomo. From left to right, Naoya, Takako, and Matsubara-san.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
2. Innocent When You Dream (78) (Tom Waits)
3. Bitter Suite (live) (Marillion)
4. Abacab (remixed) (Genesis)
5. Tales of a Scorched Earth (Smashing Pumpkins)
6. Bee-Beep (Puri Puri Summit) (Princess Princess)
7. Candle (Sonic Youth)
8. My Mummy's Dead (John Lennon)
9. You Started Laughing (live) (Supertramp)
10. The Voyeur (I Like to Watch) (Fish)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

good morning

July 10, 2006 - This is the morning after the World Cup, when for some stupid reason, my ex-classmates thought it would be a good idea to watch the game which aired at 2 in the morning. The things we end up doing when we don't think things through. Oh, my life. At least I got this shot on the Daan Park footbridge after taking a taxi home. I don't think I've been out this early since the few days after I arrived and was jetlagged. Taipei is nice in the morning, before the people come out.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. In the Light (Led Zeppelin)
2. Bee (The Sugarcubes)
3. Hazy Shade of Winter (The Bangles)
4. Aorta (100 Watt Smile)
5. Maximum Consumption (The Kinks)
6. Air (live) (Talking Heads)
7. You Like Me Too Much (The Beatles)
8. Ocean of Wine (Helium)
9. Melt the Guns (XTC)
10. Oddfellows Local 151 (R.E.M.)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The View from Starbucks

July 21, 2006 - the corner of Heping East Road (和平東路) and Jian Guo South Road (建國南路). Daan Park (大安公園) is on the upper left corner, and my apartment is down Heping East Road on this block. When it rains, I can get to Starbucks with barely getting wet. Great.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Dear Prudence (The Beatles)
2. You Can't Hurry Love (The Supremes)
3. Symphony No. 21, II. Andante (Mozart)
4. Childhood's End (live) (Marillion)
5. What How When Where? (Why Who?) (Ani DiFranco)
6. Rubber Bisquit (The Blues Brothers)
7. D-Natural Blues (Wes Montgomery)
8. Sysyphus, part II (Pink Floyd)
9. MIB (Will Smith)
10. Ripchord (Rilo Kiley)

Friday, October 06, 2006


July 21, 2006 - Corner of Heping East Road (和平東路) and Jian Guo South Road (建國南路). In San Francisco (舊金山), I never went to Starbucks because there were always alternative coffee places, but in New Jersey and in Taipei there isn't much choice. Starbucks is the place to go for a reliable cup of coffee. It doesn't help (or hurt, depending on how you see it) that this Starbucks is on the same block as where I live, and has a nice upstairs area that only gets crowded on weekend noontimes.

I think this was the only time I went there to study before my 10:20 class. Maybe I had a test, maybe I just wanted to break my usual morning routine.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Perfect Disguise (Modest Mouse)
2. Sleepwalking (Ben Lee)
3. The Emperor's New Clothes (Sinead O'Connor)
4. The Hardest Part (Blondie)
5. Re-Enact the Crime (Unwound)
6. Flores De Los Muertos (National Joy Band)
7. What? (A Tribe Called Quest)
8. Sweet Black Angel (The Rolling Stones)
9. Private Sunday (Casiopea)
10. Kuda Lumping (Javanese street musicians)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


In July, in the month between my first and second bikes, I got the idea to explore more of Taipei by hopping on a random bus and seeing where it went. I got on the 284 bus in front of my building at Daan Park, and took it over an hour to the Neihu district, on the eastern side of Taipei. I found this lake, Dahu, which was pleasant enough.

July 9, 2006 - pavillion on Dahu Lake. "Hu" is lake, so calling it "Dahu Lake" is really saying Big Lake Lake. Like calling the Yodogawa River in Osaka is saying Yodo River River. Or the Gobi Desert, Desert Desert.

This excursion to Dahu was particularly useful because my second bike was out in Neihu, and because of this excursion, I knew exactly how to get there and where to go stress-free. Can't say the same thing about my third bike, which was out in a place called XinZhuang, but that's another story altogether.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Sons of the Silent Age (David Bowie)
2. Annie (Elastica)
3. Poison (David Byrne)
4. Take Five (George Benson)
5. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) (The Four Tops)
6. Watashi wa Piano (Southern All-Stars)
7. She's So Cold (The Rolling Stones)
8. Deathly (Aimee Mann)
9. Dodo/Lurker (Genesis)
10. The Evening Bell (Tu Tai Hang)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Seconds and Steps Apart

June 22, 2006 - What I see everyday walking out the front door of my building. That bike belongs to someone in my building. Since then I've started parking my bike right out there, too, especially since I never know when it's going to rain in this town.

By the columns are bins where you can put your store receipts. I'm not sure how it all works, but every store receipt has a number on top, which is apparently a lottery number. The general populace can't be bothered with the hassle of holding onto receipts, which really would be a hassle, and checking numbers to see if there's a hit. So I gather charities put out these bins where you can "donate" your receipts. Clever. I have once seen a homeless person collecting receipts, ostensibly for the reason of hoping for a lottery hit.

Downstairs from me is a 全家 Family Mart Convenience Store, you can just see the sign on the right in the bottom lomo, but I opt to go to the 7-11 a few doors down the other way, because if you buy NT$77 of crap at 7-11, they give you a cute, collectible Doraemon fridge magnet. The current promotion is magnets of Doraemon in different countries, portrayed with hilarious cultural stereotypes. Like the Korea Doraemon has him in front of some cultural landmark, wearing a hat not seen in Korea for several hundred years, and barbecuing meat! I tell ya, hilarious.

Oh, and my internet is down again, which is why it's been so long since posting.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. In the Rapids (Genesis)
2. Freak Fest (Charlie Hunter Quintet)
3. It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It) (The Rolling Stones)
4. Abdulmajid (David Bowie)
5. Moby Dick (live) (Led Zeppelin)
6. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) (John Lennon)
7. Slow Worm (Archers of Loaf)
8. Untouchable Face (Ani DiFranco)
9. Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac)
10. Maori Chant (The Neville Brothers)