Earlier this year while we were still in New York, I had already picked out a number of specific places to visit for our Taiwan trip.
Huashan 1914 Creative Park was on the top of my list of must go. So on the first non-rainy day since we’ve arrived in Taipei, I brought Milk to the infamous Guang Hua Digital Plaza first then headed towards Huashan.
這個座落在城市大樓中位於高架橋旁的舊酒廠, 有著悠久的歷史, 從1914年代代轉變至現在的文創中心。有著販賣台灣獨立設計師作品的店家, 頗具風味的餐廳, 而我最喜歡的就是有著幽幽藤蔓綠葉覆蓋的舊酒廠建築物。
Nestled in central Taipei hidden next to the high rises and under the highway exit, this cultural center/ex sake brewery has had a long history since 1914. Generations of ownership changes as a sake brewery and finally it became the quiet corner in Taipei city today. There are shops that sell creations from local Taiwanese artists, unique restaurants and my favorite, the green vine-covered old architecture throughout the ground.
No matter where we walked, there are lovely details from the past.
Seeing the green in the midst of urban settings made me forget that I was still in the busy central Taipei.
A small corner showcasing the Taiwanese brick/tile culture.
At Huashan, I jump in excitement when I saw the Lil’ Taiwan from Taiwan Hearts, an independent label by Mai, my friend from school, and her fiancé Wayne. I also discovered two other very interesting independent labels, San He Tile Kiln and Monga Soap. Not only did I bring some stuff back to New York, I also bought some souvenir for friends and family. What’s more, I got in touch with the designer at San He Tile Kiln and did a short interview, this will be a separate post that I’m going to release very soon.
As we continue our walk, we came across this tiny tea house, which also serves as a bookstore and a photography exhibition venue. The name of the place is simply called “A Tea house.”
As we tour the grounds and snap photos, it was time to make a pit stop in the afternoon. There are many unique restaurants in Huashan, such as Alley Cat’s Pizza, AL CICCHETTO, Aoba, TRIO Cafe and the one we picked as an afternoon tea spot, 1914 Furnifood.
因為整個餐廳以非常隨性的感覺呈現, 裡面的椅子桌子每一桌都不同, 加上下午茶是台式風格我們才走進去的。關廟土鳳梨酥果然名不虛傳, 加上溫暖的紅棗茶, 在台北陰冷的冬天裡我倆非常滿足。一邊翻著店家提供的台北藝文活動簡介一邊閒聊, 時間也一下子就過了。這真的是一個園區內安靜又放鬆的角落, 你知道為什麼嗎？來這家店的另外兩桌客人也都是來聊天的, 一桌聊心事, 一桌聊電影製作, 兩桌都是以悠閒沒有趕時間的態度輕聲細談。
We picked this particular spot because the whole place looks casual and comfortable. The interior decoration is unpretentious with mis-matched furniture. Also, they serve a Taiwanese style afternoon tea. The organic pineapple cakes and the warm jujube tea in a chilling winter day made both of us very happy. We sat, ate and chatted while flipping through a store-provide newsletter on all the cultural activities in Taiwan. It was a great place to just relax and hangout, how could we tell? While we were there, there were two other tables of customers. Customers from table one were spilling their hearts out to each other and customers from table two were finessing the details of their film production, but none of them looked like they were in a rush to get anywhere.
而朋友們, 為什麼我在紐約就這麼想來探勘華山文創呢? 因為一年前在拍婚紗照的時候, 華山是我鎖定的外拍地點。但因為拍照當天是一年來台北最冷的一天(6ºC), 飄著陰雨, 加上我倆重感冒, 攝影小組為了我們的安全勸我們作罷。所以, 我一直對這個場所有點憧憬。
And my friends, why did I insist on visiting Huashan 1914? Because a year ago when we were about to get married, I requested to have our wedding photos taken here. I absolutely fell in love with the backdrop and the architecture. But the day we met with the photographer was also the coldest winter day in Taiwan (42ºF) that winter. Not only that, the both of us were having the worst flu ever, the photography team persuaded us to stay indoors so we wouldn’t get more sick from the weather. And this is why this place has always been a little dreamy for me.
我這天逛的很開心, 拍的很開心，也吃的很開心, 我大樂。華山, 這也不會是我最後一次來看你的!
I had a great day with the shopping, the shooting, the eating, I was happy. And Huashan, this is not going to be the last time I see you!