I’ve decided the best Christmases are spent in a casual, warm climate.
I’m in Taiwan for a little bit/during the holidays. A 5 day trip to Tokyo to deliver me into 2017; I’ll be flying back to Chengdu, China from here a week after 2016 finally surrenders to time’s inevitable flow, and dies.
I cruised the streets of Dunhua today on one of those old bikes that work perfectly, the kind that is stuck on a low gear which isn’t so bad because it reminds you that you’re on vacation. No need to race traffic; just coast and feel the warm fingers of sunlight reach your neck between the cool, breezy shade of trees…
Visited VVG Bookstore, and next to it, VVG Pride– these stores are so well curated, it feels more like a museum when you’ve slid the red door closed behind you and face the shelves of strange, infinitely detailed memorabilia… books you’ve never heard of, you can imagine the shy, eccentric, talent behind the thoughtful vignettes (Invisible Cities), photography series (Cocks), spotting the odd elitist fashion/art mags (Kinfolk) that fit in with the intensely catalogued ambience.
VVG Pride boasts a window display of a “grocery” area. There are two extremely perfect zucchinis for sale, 100NT each; but the Francophile atmosphere justifies the cost of the poor squash no one will buy. Pride is a curation of lifestyle/home items with a focus on clothes, handmade patches, adorably vintage packaged needle sets, and soap from France. I like their awning outside the most: a classy navy with sculpturally broken white wicker chairs.
As I continue the cruise, I luxuriate in all the plant and foliage overcoming street corners, balconies, and barren walls.
Exhausted by inspiration and delight, I found myself at Homeys Cafe, a coffee shop on the second floor of the bustling streets of Dunhua neighborhood. Without friends, I am ushered into the Library room– a smaller, quieter area lined with books and wall side one-top seats, to sip tea in silence, murmur to myself quietly over my Chinese workbook, and think of the next phase of YAYCAKE : 2017.