The New Year's Eve party sponsored by Taitung County government, CTV (華視) and the Taipei Times got off to a cold, wet start on Friday evening, but warmed up toward the witching hour with the arrival of an estimated 35,000 people. \nThe event was scheduled to start at 7pm, with Aboriginal singer and human rights activist Kimbo Hu (胡德夫) taking the stage ahead of a roster of Taiwan's top Aboriginal acts. \nBut the start of the concert gave way to more urgent needs: the building of bonfires to warm the few fans who'd braved temperatures in the low-teens. Kimbo took the stage to perform for a few thousand folks and by the time the evening's star Aboriginal act, the Betelnut Brothers (檳榔兄弟) went on, the crowd was filling the courtyard square of the National Museum of Prehistory (國立台灣 史前文化博物館), near the Taitung City airport. \nIt was an appropriate spot to have a concert whose first half was given over exclusively to Aboriginal acts. Following Kimbo and before the Betelnut Brothers was Chen Yung-lung (陳永龍), Hu Hao-en (吳昊恩), Cheng Chieh-jen (鄭捷任), the Malan Chanters (馬蘭吟唱隊) and the AM Band (AM樂團). \nAlso known as A-Minor, the AM Band comprises several Aboriginal tribe members whose success has been propelled, in large part, by the popularity of the group's lead singer, Samingad (紀曉君). Samingad won a Golden Melody award in 2002 and will soon be traveling to France for another award honoring the world's best Aboriginal musical acts. \nFollowing the Aboriginal acts were speakers from Taitung County government. They wished everyone a happy new year and encouraged them to sample some of the food and snacks set up in a row of tents just outside the concert area. Their advice came a bit late, however, because by the time they'd finished speaking the crowd has already found the food areas and was tucking in. Gathering the longest lines were an Aboriginal stone-grill stir-fry and, not surprisingly, the several stands offering hot drinks. \nThe concert regained its pace around 9:30pm when several top pop acts began taking the stage, including Luo Mei-ling (羅美玲), Sticky Rice (糯米團), Chiang Mei-qi (江美琪), Huang Xiao-hu (黃小琥) and Wu Si-kai (伍思凱). \nCTV aired the festivities live, cutting during the news hour between the station anchor -- who was at the Pre-History Museum -- and the hosts of the evening's festivities, Tai Chih-yuan (邰智源) and Lang Zhu-yun (郎祖筠). The mercury had dipped to around 8oC, but the stiff winds whipping through the grounds of the Pre-History Museum made it feel much colder. \nMost of the crowd seemed more interested in the food than the concerts, but Sticky Rice managed to bring everyone running back to the stage and the concert motored on at full throttle up to the midnight hour, in spite of a few technical difficulties. Wu Si-kai was the last to perform and was then joined on stage by the rest of the pop performers in a countdown to 2005 that was punctuated with a barrage of fireworks. \nTaitung County government had procured a train to take everyone from the Pre-History Musem's Kangle train station to Taimali after a few hours of hip-hop dance music. The idea was to greet the sunrise of the new year on the scenic east-coast beach. \nBut with the temperature continuing to drop, there were few people who seemed interested in going. Everyone's first resolution of the year seemed to be: Get warm.
PHOTO: DAVID MOMPHARD, TAIPEI TIMES
African-American entertainer Dooley appeared on local television show Super Entourage (小明星大跟班) a few weeks ago and was told by the crew that they wanted to do a skit in blackface. Dooley, whose real name is Matthew Candler, tells the Taipei Times that Super Entourage wanted to perform a rendition of the wildly popular “Ghana Coffin Dance,” a meme that has taken the world by storm. Instead, he showed them videos about the racist origins of blackface and slavery in America, and they agreed to drop the makeup. “[I told them] about the history [behind blackface] and [said] you decide
June 1 to June 7 In February 1988, Robert Wu (吳清友) set aside NT$17.5 million to purchase two Henry Moore sculptures from London’s Marlborough Gallery. He never bought the pieces. Feeling slighted that the gallery manager initially looked down on him as a Taiwanese, he decided that night to use the money to open his own art space back home. “Without selling any art, that money could support the gallery for four years. If I feature one artist per month, that provides a stage for at least 100 artists,” Wu said in the book Eslite Time (誠品時光) by Lin Ching-yi (林靜宜).
With listicles of local attractions including Costco and numerous children’s playgrounds, I was not expecting much. Opened on Jan. 31, the Taipei MRT’s Circular Line, or Yellow Line, made life in the nation’s capital even more convenient. But judging from Internet search results, it hasn’t opened up many new tourism opportunities, unsurprising as the route mostly crosses densely populated areas and industrial parks. Places like a sports stadium with rainbow colored bleachers perfect for Instagram selfies wouldn’t do it for me either, and it’s pointless to list attractions at the connecting stops that have existed for years. As a history nerd, there
The morning after the ride, my hands ached in a way I’d never before experienced, and my palms looked slightly bruised. Flexing my fingers as I waited for my coffee to cool down, I knew exactly which part of the previous day’s excursion had done this to me. As the go-to-work rush hour ebbed, I’d set off inland on my 125cc scooter. I took Provincial Highway 20 as far as Tainan City’s Yujing District (玉井). From there, I took Provincial Highway 3 into Nansi District (楠西). The route I’d planned would take me past the eastern side of Zengwen Reservoir (曾文水庫)