After a few months of living near Hsimenting, stopping in at the corner of Kunming Street and Neijiang Street has become a habit on account of a restaurant with the best and cheapest sashimi I have yet found in Taipei. Plates of five healthy slices of sashimi cost NT$90, and five pieces of nigiri (sashimi on top of rice with wasabi) cost only NT$80. Miso soup compliments the meal, or snack, for another NT$15.
\nOne night I finally asked the food server guy, a permanent fixture between the service window and the dumb waiter, for the restaurant's name card so I could do a review. But he just looked at me for a moment, trying to figure out what purpose a name card could possibly serve, then said, "we don't have a name card."
\nSo I pulled out a notepad and, because I had never noticed a sign out front, asked, "Well, what's your restaurant's name?"
\nAgain, hesitation. "Uh, this restaurant doesn't have a name," he said, adding, as if to fill the awkward silence, "we've been here for 51 years. Maybe you should talk to the boss."
\nThe boss told me that the restaurant had started off as a street stall following the end of Japanese occupation, and now was one of Hsimenting's two remaining authentic shoku do, a type of Japanese restaurant specializing in quick meals of sushi and a few hot dishes, all of which go with beer. The other such establishment is the much more famous Mei Guan Yuan (
PHOTO: DAVID FRAZIER, TAIPEI TIMES
Sept. 28 to Oct . 4 A large number of 3000-year-old slate coffins were unearthed on a hill near Nanhe Village (南和村) in Pingtung County on Sept. 30, 1985. Unfortunately, the United Daily News (聯合報) noted that they had been seriously damaged by construction, and no artifacts or human remains were found. Although the newspaper called the find a “significant discovery,” little information can be gleaned about this specific site because it’s just one of countless locations where stone sarcophagi have been unearthed across southern and eastern Taiwan, and as north as Yilan County. These stone receptacles for the dead were
Until this summer, when the idea of hiking the length of the island first occurred to me, I didn’t even know that Cijin (旗津) had been a peninsula until 1967. That’s when diggers and dredgers severed Cijin from Taiwan’s “mainland,” because the authorities wished to create a southern entrance to Kaohsiung’s fast expanding port. The island is just under 9km long, but a bit of research quickly convinced me that a south-to-north trek wasn’t a good idea. The southern third of Cijin is dominated by container-lifting cranes, warehouses and other facilities off-limits to the public. Dunhe Street (敦和街) forms the boundary between
Sitting at the bar, martini in hand, Kristin Scott Thomas rolls her eyes briefly heavenwards. And then she declares, in one of the most memorable monologues of the cult BBC drama Fleabag, that menopause is the “most wonderful fucking thing in the world. And yes, your entire pelvic floor crumbles and you get fucking hot and no one cares. But then — you’re free! No longer a slave, no longer a machine with parts. You’re just a person, in business.” When an entranced Fleabag says she has been told the whole thing is horrendous, Scott Thomas’s character responds: “It is horrendous,
As if the climbs and views and snacks and companions of cycling in Taiwan aren’t sufficient, the GPS-generation of route-planners are now using apps such as Strava and Endomondo to create works of art as they ride. One such is nicknamed the Dove Road of Sijhih (汐鴿路), a 25km ride that follows the riverside bike path from the Nangang-Neihu Bridge (南湖橋) to New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), climbs around 400m up the Sijhih-Shiding Road (汐碇路), before dropping back down past Academia Sinica to generate a very dove-like pattern. Originally called Kippanas by indigenous Ketagalan people and transliterated into Hoklo (more commonly