11/19/2011

Solar Library and Energy-Optimized House, Wanhua (萬華)


With the Solar Library and Energy-Optimized House (太陽圖書館暨竭能展示館), Youth Park (青年公園) is adding to its collection. This impressive destination in southern in Wanhua (萬華), Taipei already includes a baseball stadium, swimming pool, spate of playgrounds, driving range for practicing golf, cross country jogging track, tennis courts, badminton courts, handball courts, basketball courts, amphitheater, greenhouses, KMT guardhouse replete with watch towers and statue of Chiang Kai-shek on top of a monstrous stallion. There's probably even room for more. During the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945), or so I am told, this was the city's airport. To their credit, Taiwan's new colonial masters have put the space to good use. 

The new library (pictured below) seems alright. There's a decent amount of magazines and vast selection of children's books. There's also a big toadstool for the kids to crawl on. I went over the political section and it turned up a few books on Chiang Kai-shek and son, plus one with Ma Ing-jeou hugging Vincent Siew on the cover -- nothing too risque. There's next to nothing on Taiwanese history, but if you are interested in what may have gone down in China the last 3,000 years, you're in luck. To borrow one of these publications, you must first apply for a library card. It's a pretty easy process. Fill out a half-page application form and provide a single piece of ID, give it to the overseer and Bob's your uncle. With your library card, you are entitled to take out five items. You sign them out and demagnetize them yourself via a computer near the exit.

As an interesting aside, at least to me, I will point out a Chinese tour group was headed in as I was leaving the Solar Library and Energy-Optimized House (太陽圖書館暨竭能展示館). They were posing in front of the sign indicating the new library (above), so I decided to take a shot too. I was saying in a post or two back that certain places in Taipei are targeted on the itineraries of such groups. I think I should amend that: any place in Taipei appears to be fair game. Chinese tourism in Taiwan has got to be on the upswing. I'm guessing Taipei is absorbing most of their NT (though I am lacking stats to back this up).

I'll put a link up to where the Solar Library and Energy-Optimized House (太陽圖書館暨竭能展示館) is roughly. Note: it won't show up on Google Maps because it's new: http://g.co/maps/y85wn. It's close to the corner of Qingnien (青年) Road and Gaoxing (國興) Road.

Solar Library and Energy-Optimized House (太陽圖書館暨竭能展示館), Wanhua (萬華), Taiwan

4 comments:

Guy said...

Patrick: as usual, a very nice post. But I guess you misromanized "Guoxing," right?

Guy

Patrick Cowsill said...

I probably got it wrong. I learned Chinese on the bo po mo fo system. My Roman interpretation of Chinese isn't good. If you could correct me, that would be helpful to the cause.

John Scott said...

The 1944 army map I have has that area labeled "Itahashi Airfield", with location of barracks indicated. Parts of the airstrip appear to be right at the river's edge. Bet a few bombs were dropped around there.

The map indicates little or no other development around there. I'm assuming that was one of the vast areas in and around Taipei that would flood regulary, before the system of retaining walls was set up.

Patrick Cowsill said...

The area was bombed pretty regularly from October 1944 to July 1945. My wife's grandma lost a family member during a bombing raid of Dong Yuan Market (東園), Monga in 1945. If you talk to old people, they'll tell you that Youth Park was an airport during colonial times.