for the longest time, there was a derelict liquor factory across the street from my friend aileen's house in taichung. the facility was a ghost town all through my childhood, but was reanimated as a cultural event space and park a few years back. now they host concerts, exhibits, and other arty happenings there. it's a similar initiative to huashan 1914 in taipei, where long-abandoned spaces like tobacco and liquor factories are being converted into new creative venues. taichung cultural and creative industries park 「台中文化創意產業園區」is much quieter than huashan 1914, it seems, but it makes sense given that taichung is generally a much sleepier place than taipei. (but the weather is waaay better here.)
i went to the park around noon on a weekday, and aside from a few tour groups, it was pretty empty. the cafes open around 11am, although i think the exhibits open at 10am. mostly though, i like going there just to walk around outside. the old buildings have been restored and the landscaping is lovely, so it's a pretty relaxing environment to enjoy a walk and a cup of coffee away from the city streets.
if you get hungry, there are a few options, including the ark cafe 「方舟咖啡廚房」and sole cafe. ark has full meals but since i wasn't hungry, i went to sole for some coffee and a valrhona brownie.
check it out if you're in the area. i love seeing how abandoned spaces are being turned into useful and beautiful new parks, and it's nice to have one so close to my parents' house!
i promised more photos of the our kitchen, and here they are! although i'm really enjoying taiwan, i also can't wait to get back to cooking in that lovely space. you might notice there aren't actually that many photos here, and that's because the folks over at sweeten (where i found my contractor paul of ulaj interiors) were nice enough to feature the renovation on their site! please head over to the sweeten blog to check out more photos and my thoughts about the process.