Went to Miramar Shopping Complex to see Spiderman III a while back, and was a bit sad to see that the Welcome grocery store in the basement has closed down. That wasn't a bad little store (in its variety of foreigner food). But with a Carrefour across the road in one direction and a Geant across the road in another, I guess it was pretty tough for them to turn a profit.
After the movie, I took a ride on the Miramar Ferris wheel for the first time. These pictures I took of Taipei are a bit grainy, but what do you expect at ISO 3200?
That tall building is Taipei 101 off in the distance:
With the wall of buildings in the foreground, this looks a bit like the planet Krypton:
A close-up of Taipei 101:
These streaks aren't reflections off the windows, I tell you! They're meteorites, containing creepy viscous alien life-forms!
The Taipei Times pointed out on Friday that Taipei 101 may not be the biggest tourist draw for Taiwan. They're probably right - I don't imagine too many people hop a plane just to see a tall building. They point out that:
...relying on this daytime eyesore to pump up tourist numbers is ill-advised.
Saw King Kong at Warner Village Theaters in Taipei a few weeks ago. Took this picture of nearby Taipei 101, decorated with lights in a Christmas tree motif:
Would have liked a few more, but they turned most of the lights off at 10 pm. After seeing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a few days ago, the same building looked like this with New Years lights:
A couple of longer shots:
A close-up of the tower:
While taking these, an elderly Taiwanese gentleman asked me what "Bravia" meant. It looked a little like "bravo", so I said that maybe it was Italian and meant "to cheer". Later that evening I read in the Taipei Times that Bravia is simply a brand name for a new LCD TV by Sony.
Anyways, there's a couple more pictures of Taipei 101 here.
UPDATE (Jan 04/06): A famous Taiwanese songstress by the name of A-Mei was late for her appearance at Taipei 101, so she apparently took an ambulance 30 km to reach the New Year's Eve celebrations. Now I'm not arguing that it was right, but you do have to admit that it IS kinda punk rock. I mean, just picture it. It's New Year's Eve. There's 400,000 people outside in the cold waiting for the countdown. The streets are clogged with cars; there's no place to park. Up pulls an ambulance. Bystanders turn their heads. But instead of white-clad EMV workers emerging, they see a hot, pixie-sized Taiwanese super-star step out and race to the stage in her black mini-skirt and heels.
(The ambulance company was later fined about $6000 US, and A-Mei was given a warning.)
(Sorry, no link available to the story in The China Post.)
UPDATE (Jan 06/06): For the sake of completeness, here's the Taipei Times' treatment of the story.