Thursday, March 28, 2013

Taipei streets.

I went today for a 15 minutes walk in our heighborhood.
Here is what I saw:

 This one I was itching to show a long time ago. Sewage system. While we live in a modern building, there are houses like that all around. I am not sure where the other stuff go, but water from sinks goes here. It stinks a bit now, but it's not hot yet. I can imagine how it smells in summer.
Government started to work on that problem a few years ago. But as I can see there is a lot of creeks like this one in our part of the town, Xindian.
They carry a lot of pollution straight to the rivers and sea.

Street vendor finished his work for today and ready to head home.

Fresh-markets like this one at every step. Prices are comparable with supermarket prices in US.

Scooters, very popular transportation here, are another pollution source in Taipei. Taipei has an amazing public transportation system: best metro (subway) I've ever seen, which is a subject for another post, and comfortable buses. You will find an electronic tableau at many stops showing when all the buses are coming.
I saw only a few electric scooters so far.
Yesterday we went to play badminton to the nearby park. The park is surrounded by hills, so even if it's windy, we can play there. In a few minutes came a man with a blowing machine to blow away a few (really, very few) leaves. He was doing his job for about 15 minutes, since he was old and slow, after which the air in the park was ruined by the gas exhaust and we had to leave. Can they replace those with some electric engine version? I hated them in US.
Another thing that makes me sad is plastic bags usage here. They use bags so thick they can last forever, but they go to the trash right away, it's just doesn't make any sense. You buy 1 apple, they try to put it in a bag which can stand a few kilograms. Whenever I buy something they try to put it in a few plastic bags, different sizes. :(

Just a window. Air conditioner, stove...all you need.

I think this car is about to get a ticket.

Trash trucks play endless music like ice-cream trucks in US, put it's primarily classic.

Food is cooked on the streets everywhere. Dumplings!

Slow day.

 Many people sell their own crop.

Cleaning after the market day is over (around 3 p.m.)

Until tomorrow.

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 (Chinese: ε°εŒ—101 / θ‡ΊεŒ—101), formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan.

The building ranked officially as the world's tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010.

That's  how Taipei 101 looks on New Year celebration.

In July 2011, the building was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest award in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and became the tallest and largest green building in the world.

view from Taipei 101

The tower is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes.
The stability of the design became evident during construction when, on March 31, 2002, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Taipei. The tremor was strong enough to topple two construction cranes from the 56th floor, then the highest. Five people died in the accident, but an inspection showed no structural damage to the building, and construction soon resumed.

You go through this coral museum/store on your way out from Taipei 101. Those carving are amazing.

Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers along with Evergreen Consulting Engineering designed a 660 tonnes (728 short tons)[13] steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper, at a cost of NT$132 million (US$4 million).[14] Suspended from the 92nd to the 87th floor, the pendulum sways to offset movements in the building caused by strong gusts. Its sphere, the largest damper sphere in the world, consists of 41 circular steel plates, each with a height of 125 mm (4.92 in) being welded together to form a 5.5 m (18 ft) diameter sphere.[15] Another two tuned mass dampers, each weighing 6 tonnes (7 short tons),[14] sit at the tip of the spire. These prevent damage to the structure due to strong wind loads.

The yellow sphere is the damper. The only open to the public damper, as they claim.

Bye, 101, we'll be back to look at you from the Elephant Mountain nearby. Our plan to hike there soon.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

More of Taipei. Qingshan Temple. Qingshui Temple.

Our favorite Temple so far - Qingshan Temple.

The roof of Quingshan against modern background.

Inside the Temple.

Part of ceiling decoration.

Beautifully decorated ceiling and a drum.

Small fresh-market nearby.

Another Temple, Qingshui.

The most beautiful ceiling decoration. I love that color burst!

At Bopiliao Historic Block, made in imperial Chinese style.

Some old man, enjoying the middle of the day in the shade.

Timur hits a Rambler at the local park.

love this lilies against a rusty wall.

I want to finish with that card I made to cheer up my friends for whom winter is not finished yet. It's around a corner!