a trip to taiwan isn't complete without a visit to eslite. i usually manage to leave the building with all kinds of stationery and japanese magazines that i didn't know i needed. hhh can't walk away without dozens of tiny notebooks. (this is my go-to store, in taichung.) eslite was founded in 1989, and has since become one of taiwan's most recognizable brands. in the last several years, it's expanded from a bookstore to much more, including department stores, art movie houses, performance venues and even a hotel. (and a friend just told me that they also have a thriving business in high-end commercial kitchens). last year, it launched eslite spectrum at the songshan cultural park in taipei. songshan cultural park is another one of these former SOE conversions, like huashan 1914 creative park. when we visited one weekend in december, the space was packed.
eslite spectrum is a design-focused department store. there is also the requisite food court in the basement, as well as whole floors devoted to local taiwanese-made goods ranging from textiles to housewares to teas and tasty local edibles.
there is a lot to take in, including this random collection of taiwanese hipsters strumming away on one of the upper floors. i am not totally sure if this is a shop, performance art, or what.
there were a lot of japanese and european goods, including furniture, clothing, and more designed household objects.
a section called the "expo" featured loads of taiwan-made and -designed goods. there were some really nice teas and cakes here for sale too.
we wrapped up the visit with a coffee stop in the basement food court. good times.