At both places, I was overwhelmed with the sense of being part of something much larger than me– the hundreds of years of spiritual history at Longshan Temple permeated the air as powerfully as the incense, and the vistas at Yangming Shan reminded me that Taiwan is also a country of diverse landscapes and breathtaking beauty, not just the backdrop for Taipei’s bustling cosmopolitan center.
I also went to the historic Bo-Pi-Liao Street neighborhood, a western corner of the city that has been recently renovated to restore its rich history as a Qing Dynasty neighborhood of trade and commerce. Bo-Pi-Liao neighborhood is amazing in that it looks unlike any other part of Taipei: the brick buildings are small, haphazard, and cozy in a way that for me channels the West Village of New York City.
Inside, most of the buildings have been converted into museum-like exhibits of historic photographs, art, and artifacts from the past. This space devoted to the preservation of history, like the existence of the 2-28 Peace Park and the Museum of Taiwan History, are all signs of an increasing awareness and desire of Taiwanese people to understand and share the history of this tremendously unique place.
Of course, daily living in the city requires a healthy appreciation of (and fascination with) the profane, so I have included photo finds from signs, beauty parlors, and even the bus. Even the smallest moment can sometimes transcend its circumstances and sum up my emotional state with surprising insight, like the sign on my street that reads, “Fully Chicken.” It always speaks to me, no matter how I am feeling!
Any similar occurrences of an aspect of your daily life speaking volumes to you? Or vice versa? Hope you’ve all had a great weekend and enjoy your week!