Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Daan Forest Park Amphitheater

February 12, 2007 - Shot from the top of the hill. There's a nice sunset glow on the stage, pleasant in the Winter, but explains why there are so few performances here in the Summer. That stage must get awfully hot! It's a nice design with the bleacher area and then the lawn area.

Empty stage from the stage left "wings".

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Ant's Dance (Mary Timony)
2. Tenchi no Love Song (Nokko)
3. The Best of Times ("La Cage Aux Folles")
4. Torokel Lady (The Bubble Gum Brothers)
5. People Are Expensive (Echobelly)
6. Hinomoto no Uta (The Boom)
7. Flowers for the Dead (National Joy Band)
8. Anesthesia (Deadweight)
9. All the Love (Kate Bush)
10. Who Will Buy? ("Oliver!")

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tu Zi Ting Yin Yue

February 12, 2007 - Daan District, Taipei, Taiwan. Not far from Yongkang Street is my favorite name for a restaurant. 兔子(Rabbit)廳(Listens)音樂(Music), or Bunny Listens to the Music. I've never been inside, though. I hear it's a little weird, that it looks like it's trying to be a child-friendly place, but is totally not, and so it doesn't know what it's trying to be.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. The Pinocchio Theory (Bootsy Collins)
2. Ghost World (acoustic) (Aimee Mann)
3. Evacuation (Pearl Jam)
4. You're My Drug (Dukes of Stratosphear)
5. Grandfather and Tonka Talks (Travis Terry)
6. One Lick Less (Unwound)
7. All Blues (Rebirth Marching Jazz Band)
8. Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats ("Cats")
9. Melody for Mahakala (Monks of the Gyuto Monastery)
10. Funk Pop a Roll (XTC)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

in with the new...

February 12, 2007 - My new apartment, not too much of a departure from my old apartment. I guess I've gotten as much used to it as I will at this point. Which is to say I have a comfortable existence, but wouldn't stay if an opportunity to leave came up. Still, I wouldn't go back to my old apartment, either. The improvements in this apartment clearly outweigh misgivings about moving.

February 13, 2007 - Xindian Riverside bikeway. I take this to school everyday. I get on the bikeway system on the Jingmei River, but it meets the Xindian River pretty soon. I ride no more than 3 km before I get off at the Gongguan entry way, then it's probably another kilometer to get to campus, and then maybe another kilometer to get to the language building. Big campus.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Pictures at an Exhibition, Promenade-Il Vecchio Castello (Mussorgsky)
2. Ain't Gwine Whistle Dixie (Any Mo') (Taj Mahal)
3. Black Mountain Side (Led Zeppelin)
4. Neighborhood (Space)
5. Lyrics To Go (A Tribe Called Quest)
6. Horses (Tori Amos)
7. 5:15 The Angels Have Gone (David Bowie)
8. Icarus (Borne on Wings of Steel) (live) (Kansas)
9. Willing to Fight (live) (Ani DiFranco)
10. It Don't Matter to Me (Phil Collins)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


February 3, 2007 - Daan Park footbridge. I always liked that building on the southwest corner at the Heping East Road-Xinsheng South Road intersection. The windows are a colorful patchwork of, I dunno . . . different shit - hey, I never said I was a poet!

This was in the last days before I moved. I miss that neighborhood. I'm sure my new neighborhood has hidden appreciations that would come out if I suddenly moved again.

February 5, 2007 - Taipei 101 at night. I think I held the 2 on my lap and opened up the shutter for a really long time, and it looks like I did a half decent job of holding it really, really still. I was probably holding my breath. Fortunately I can hold my breath longer than it took to get this exposure.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Quiet (Smashing Pumpkins)
2. Motorway (The Kinks)
3. Leaving Here (Eddie Holland - Motown)
4. Sale of the Century (Sleeper)
5. Natural Disasters (Enon)
6. Punk (Gorillaz)
7. Knives Out (Radiohead)
8. Invisible Sun (The Police)
9. Gettin' Jiggy Wit It (Will Smith)
10. Jigsaw Youth (Bikini Kill)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

low light flash shots

January 28, 2007 - Across the street from the northeast corner of Daan Forest Park on weekends are the Jianguo Holiday (Weekend) Jade Market and Flower Market. During the weekdays they're all car parks underneath the Jianguo Expressway. They run for several very long blocks, maybe about half a kilometer total. They're great for people watching if you can stand the crowds constantly nudging, rubbernecking, and bumping into you. Which I often can't.

Irises at the flower market.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Sexy S (Belly)
2. Giant Steps (Gary Willis)
3. I'm Still Here ("Follies" - Sondheim)
4. Grendel (Marillion)
5. Mother (Pink Floyd)
6. The Professional (Sleater-Kinney)
7. Tea in the Sahara (live) (The Police)
8. Talby (more or less live) (Pinback)
9. Pueblo Nuevo (Ruben Gonzalez - "Buena Vista Social Club")
10. Ice (Sarah McLachlan)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Still in Daan Forest Park

January 28, 2007 - This is the northeast corner entrance of Daan Forest Park, where Jian Guo South Road and Xinyi East Road intersect. It is apparently the spiritual nexus of Taipei, where religious groups gather and meditate and hand out propaganda. Lot of Buddhist monks of various sects and schools, and Falun Gong.

As far as accepting alms, I think this monk has the concept right. At least I like his MO. Stay out of peoples' way and continue practicing.

The version of the vibraphone ensemble without showing my shadow doing the Power Rangers pose.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Powerhouse at the Foot of the Mountain (Peter Gabriel - "Birdy")
2. Charity's Theme ("Sweet Charity")
3. Starcrazy (Suede)
4. Uwaki-Bush (Shoukichi Kina & Champloose)
5. You've Got a Friend (Carole King)
6. Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee ("Grease")
7. Save Me (Queen)
8. Electioneering (Radiohead)
9. No Backrub (Bikini Kill)
10. Counting Backwards (Throwing Muses)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Daan Park playground

January 28, 2007 - I guess these pretty much speak for themselves. It was a crowded pre-New Years Sunday in the park, and by the way I bitch about the weather here, it was probably the rare sunny day that drove people out with their kids in, um, droves.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Hot Type (Michael Hedges)
2. Bliss (Tori Amos)
3. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) (Marvin Gaye)
4. Hyoutan Karakoma (Southern All-Stars)
5. Capacity (Deadweight)
6. Sexy Sadie (The Beatles - Anthology)
7. Kimi wo Omou (Chitose Hajime)
8. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (live) (The Police)
9. Nobody's Home (Kansas)
10. Only You (J-Walk)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Walk in the Park


January 28, 2007 - I wonder what allows me to be so jaded to say that I never want to be in a wheelchair, with something stuck up my nose attached to a tank, being pushed around a park by a caretaker from another country or a child, grandchild, or other relative, trying to get as comfortable as my ailing physical manifestation will let me. Not to say anything about people who do, as far as I know, it's part of the life choice they made.

I'm not sure why, but I get a lot more blurry shots from the 2 than I did with Bebe. It's the same shutter mechanism, and I'm shooting the same way.


The northeast corner of Daan Forest Park. There's a playground, a sandbox and nice outdoor kiddie stage, so this section of park was obviously meant for families with children.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Flavor of the Month (Black Sheep)
2. It Couldn't Please Me More ("Cabaret")
3. I Won (The Sundays)
4. Excerpt from 'Lamplight Symphony' (live) (Kansas)
5. Rain Dogs (Tom Waits)
6. Celebration (Matsuri) (Shoukichi Kina & Champloose)
7. My I.Q. (live) (Ani DiFranco)
8. She's the One (Bruce Springsteen)
9. I Cannot Believe It's True (Phil Collins)
10. Kohaku no Tsuki (Dreams Come True)

Monday, March 12, 2007

winding down last semester

January 25, 2007 - The Taida campus has balls.

Etsuko, my classmate last semester. She was my only classmate last semester. It was weird having such a small class. It was even weirder that we had such a small class, yet didn't have much conversation practice. Fortunately, my current teacher is good about having us/making us speak.

Etsuko doesn't like having her picture taken. I snuck this shot. Afterwards I asked her if it was alright, and she said, "as long as you don't show it to anyone". I didn't respond, making no promise. We're not staying in touch now, so I figure all's fair.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) (Junior Walker & the All Stars)
2. Shangri-La (Nomad)
3. Apache Moon (Nokko)
4. Hachimitsu (Spitz)
5. What's Going On? (Marvin Gaye)
6. Cello Concerto No. 1, IV. Allegro con Moto (Shostakovich - Yo-Yo Ma)
7. secret song (Nirvana)
8. Hole in the Sky (Black Sabbath)
9. The Way You Do the Things You Do (The Temptation)
10. Mama Help Me (Edie Brickell & New Bohemians)

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Sailor Moon pose

January 25, 2007 - Taida campus outside one of the commissaries. That building was about to be demolished, and it is currently a diminishing pile of rubble.

January 28, 2007 - Daan Forest Park Amphitheater with a vibraphone ensemble onstage. I hate getting my shadow in shots and try not to shoot with the sun anywhere behind me. It's like, you know, breaking down the third wall or something.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. We Will Rock You (Queen)
2. Fallow (Versus)
3. Excuse Me (Peter Gabriel)
4. Diamond Dogs (live) (David Bowie)
5. Echo (Sweet Honey in the Rock)
6. Pass the 40 (Black Sheep)
7. Jailbreak (AC/DC)
8. Mother (Puffy)
9. Providence (Sonic Youth)
10. Rain (Princess Princess)

Thursday, March 08, 2007


January 16, 2007 - And yet another night lomo in Ximending (there were, like, 3 earlier!), and now I'm confused. I think this, and not the earlier night, was the night I met someone for a language exchange, and the other time was when my uncle got me drunk at dinner and I went to Starbucks to sober up before riding home. My notes are detailed, but not that detailed.

Anyway, if I haven't mentioned it before, Ximending is kind of a hip happening place where young people go to hang out and be hip. I think it tries to be Shibuya, but. . . no. No.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. The Rhythm of Life (Sammy Davis, Jr.)
2. Sway (Shriekback)
3. Somebody (Amoco Renegades Steel Orchestra)
4. A Love Song (Travis Terry - Native American flute)
5. Wild Wild Life (Talking Heads)
6. Let's Go Crazy (Prince)
7. Love Secrets (Steve Vai)
8. Ba-ba (Princess Princess)
9. In My Life (The Beatles)
10. Wrapped Around Your Finger (The Police)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Taida Pot Farm

January 3, 2007 - This is on the Taida campus. They're growing stuff in a field on the Taida campus. That's pretty impressive. I wonder what department it's associated with. Botany? Agriculture? Genetics? Food Service? Pot?

When it rains and I can't ride my bike, the way it has been raining for the last three days straight since the semester began, one of my options to get to school is taking a bus that drops me off on Keelung Road, and then I walk along the road at the left. It's a shorter walk than from the MRT station, which is about a mile! Big campus.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Robbery, Assault & Battery (Genesis)
2. New Disco (live) (Mission of Burma)
3. Flight of the Cosmic Hippo (live) (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones)
4. Teen Age Riot (Sonic Youth)
5. Credit In the Straight World (Hole)
6. Ozone Baby (Led Zeppelin)
7. Temptation of Egg (Giant Sand)
8. Big Wave (Southern All-Stars)
9. My Name is Mud (Primus)
10. The Spring of Next Year ("Dear World")

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

bike related shots

January 15, 2007 - Sitting outside the Taida library with my bike, probably before class.

About to ride through one of two tunnels on Hsinhai Road after class. Oh, I was looking for a new apartment because of allergies in my old apartment, and I was lucky to get a sunny day to ride through my new potential neighborhoods. One of the apartments would have taken me through this tunnel everyday to go to school, and quite honestly, I do think increased frequency with which one travels through these tunnels on bikes, increases the likelihood of getting hit, more so than riding just on ordinary streets, which is pretty dangerous in itself. Riding through the tunnels, you're a sitting duck, with no leeway to do anything to prevent getting hit. You ride, you pray.

The apartment I chose, although not as nice and with paper thin walls, allows me to get to school using mostly the safe, flat, and getting boring riverside bikeways.

iTunes soundtrack:

1. Tribute to Johnny (Smashing Pumpkins)
2. Ravine (Genesis)
3. Bush Killa (Paris)
4. Nisei Fight Song (Seam)
5. Rock in This Pocket (Song of David) (Suzanne Vega)
6. Canary in a Coalmine (The Police)
7. What You Want (My Bloody Valentine)
8. Demure (Engine Down)
9. Gone Daddy Gone (Violent Femmes)
10. Sorry-Grateful ("Company" - Sondheim)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

New Years Day

January 1, 2007 - For New Years Day, Solar New Years Day, I took the MRT all the way north to Danshuei Station, and then a bus to the mouth of the Danshuei River where there's a "Fisherman's Wharf" and a beach on the Taiwan Straits. They built a bridge to the Fisherman's Wharf area, but if you consider the topography, this bridge is totally superfluous, as Fisherman's Wharf is connected to land just a short ways away. They built a bridge just for the sake of building a bridge.

I wonder where the name "Fisherman's Wharf" came from. I thought it was a San Francisco thing, but there's also a "Fisherman's Wharf" in Kaohsiung, a newly refurbished, hip, waterfront area. At least they're trying to make it hip.

I had a t-shirt idea for Fisherman's Wharf with Worf from "Star Trek" sitting in a tiny rowboat dressed in fishing gear with a fishing line in the water. I thought it'd be cute.

On the beach.

The mouth of the Danshuei River from Fisherman's Wharf. I think the Fisheye 2 has a higher occurrence of blurry lomos than Bebe did, but OK. It's annoying but I kinda like it, too.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. It's Enough (Sleater-Kinney)
2. Help! (The Beatles)
3. I Never (Rilo Kiley)
4. Love (John Lennon)
5. Black Dove (January) (Tori Amos)
6. Stir It Up (live) (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
7. Hanadairou (Chitose Hajime)
8. The Kill (Fugazi)
9. Driving the Last Spike (live) (Genesis)
10. Give It Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

New Years street shooting

January 1, 2007 - I think these were shot in the same spirit that I mentioned earlier - riding around with the 2 out and shooting while riding. This is at an intersection on Roosevelt Road, a major north-south thoroughfare, but the green light suggests that this was shot while moving.

Why this street is named "Roosevelt" is beyond me. I think it's the only road in Taipei with a Western name, and even that is butchered when transcribed into Chinese. They pronounce it "Luo Su Fu". Does that resemble "Roosevelt" in any way? OK, in any way, maybe. But in any reasonable way? No.

In Japanese when Western words are transcribed, as funny sounding as they may be at the beginning, at least you can make sense of it. Whoops, I'm ranting.

Also at an intersection on Roosevelt Road, but obviously stopped.

The intersection of Roosevelt Road and Ai Guo Road, as evidenced by the National Concert Hall there. There was very little traffic that morning, it being Solar New Years Day and in rare deference to Western mores, it was a holiday. It was great riding around Taipei on a rare sunny day with so little traffic.

The Presidential Palace. There was so little traffic that I rode a big circle in the middle of this thoroughfare to get this straight-on shot of the Presidential Palace. There's always military stationed in front to protect it, but I guess that's the same in the U.S., isn't it?

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Contact (The Police)
2. 16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six (Tom Waits)
3. Undertow (remixed) (Genesis)
4. The Moth (Aimee Mann)
5. Mind Terrorist (Public Enemy)
6. Tea For One (Led Zeppelin)
7. Slow Dog (Belly)
8. Sunny Afternoon (live) (The Kinks)
9. Tame (The Pixies)
10. Trouble (Kristin Hersh)

Friday, March 02, 2007

juxtaposing starbucks

December 26, 2006 - Ximending Starbucks. I think this is after I met someone for language exchange, which turned out less to be an exchange, since as soon as we quickly switched to English, it was all English.

My running joke about studying Mandarin is that everyone around me's English is getting a lot better. OK, it's not a funny joke, but it definitely is a joke.

February 8, 2007 - Gongguan Starbucks, studying before the final exam. It was really hard to study in the final weeks because the rest of Taida University completed their semester and were on break. The campus feel was too relaxed to study. It was great.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Radio I (King Crimson)
2. Run Like Hell (Pink Floyd)
3. Symphony No. 40, II. Andante (Mozart)
4. Take the Long Way Home (Supertramp)
5. I Need You (The Beatles)
6. Black and Grey (Deadweight)
7. Hikui Isu (Low Chair) (Saboten)
8. Pink India (Stephen Malkmus)
9. Scream Like a Baby (David Bowie)
10. Pablo Picasso (The Modern Lovers)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

National Palace Museum, pt. 2

December 30, 2006 - Yea, so remember the lomo in my last post depicting a wonderfully partly cloudy day with sun shining bright and plenty of blue peeking through white fluffy clouds? This is the same day a few hours later. Will somebody just shoot me already?

This is at the National Palace Museum, and I was afraid of a repeat of the last time I went to that museum, when it started raining and I had to abandon my bike at the Shilin MRT station to be retrieved several days later. I hate riding in the rain (think wet cat). If it had happened again on this day, I would've taken it as a sign from GOD to get out of Taipei and head back to the U.S.

National Palace Museum main gate. Another visit is in the cards as I hear it has recently been re-opened after an expansion.

Interior long exposure of the museum.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Stop (Pink Floyd)
2. The Crunge (Led Zeppelin)
3. Confusion (Electric Light Orchestra)
4. Animals (Talking Heads)
5. Symphony No. 5, II. Andante Con Moto (Beethoven)
6. Two Ladies ("Cabaret")
7. You're the Wish You Are I Had (XTC)
8. John, I'm Only Dancing (David Bowie)
9. Kali Kali Zulfon Ke Phande Nah Dalo (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)
10. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)