taiwan series: taichung alley plants

my parents' house is behind the taichung railway station, an older part of town that's remained relatively unchanged for the past twenty years. well, that's not really true - new buildings have gone up and old ones have been torn down - but these changes haven't really altered the feel or the look of the neighborhood much. on our street, there's the elementary school my brother went to, a hot pot place, and a night market past the next intersection. it's all mom-and-pop restaurants, bakeries, and tea stands, with the odd doctors' and dentists' offices on every other block. the one major department store in the area has been renamed four times (that i can remember) but it's still the same building with a new sign. i still refer to it by a name that's three iterations back and have no idea what it's currently called.

i have my rituals when i come home: i get a danbing 「蛋餅」from my breakfast spot, and i head to the nearest chunshuitang 「春水堂」for some bubble tea and fried turnip cakes (theirs are amazing). i also always go to my dentist and optometrist, because if you know anything about the affordability and quality of taiwanese health care, you'd come to taiwan for all your medical needs too. and when i'm done with that stuff, i get back to eating... there's lots of it to be done! all that eating means that i've gotta burn it off somehow, and that's where shopping comes in. :) or if i'm taking a break from conspicuous consumption, i'll just take some walks around the alleys. this time, i noticed these magenta pink flowers everywhere. if only flowers bloomed in new york at this time of year! 


i suppose these plants have been here all along, but before my relatively newfound love of leafy things, i never really noticed them. i'm only now appreciating all the ad hoc greenery lining the streets. i'm going to have to start identifying plants through garden compass! (it's a great plant ID tool where you just take a photo of the mystery plant in question and then they reply with an identification within about 24 hours.) it's too bad i can't take some of these varieties back to brooklyn with me...

taiwan series: it's good to be back

i woke up this morning at 4am, thanks to jet lag and a strange call from delta airlines. i really need to remember to set my phone to "do not disturb" while on the opposite side of the world. by around 9:30, i was ready to get out of the house so i went for a walk in the alleyways nearby. it's muggy and warm, and feels not at all like november. this is how taiwan always feels in my memories.

whenever i come home, i make an effort to walk by this house, which is conveniently near my favorite breakfast spot. it's so simple - all straight, spare lines and monochromatic. i also love the way the flowers are weaving their way through the fence, and the pink against the charcoal, wood, and white. 


i'm due for a nap now (totally losing the battle against jet lag today...) but will be back soon with more of taiwan. we go to taipei tomorrow and ilan monday! xoxo