Chinese new year crowds ( Dihua Street ) / Cantonese lunch in Ximending / The Conspiracy Club

We went to Dihua Street . Jody wanted some Chinese new year snacks. Man what a crowded mess. I nearly gouged a few old peoples eyeballs before I managed to get out of there :

Dihua Street

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Modern day Dihua Street on a calm day

Dihua Street (Chinese: 迪化街; literally “Urumqi Street”) is a street located in the Datong District (大同區) of Taipei winding from the south of the district to close to the north in the old village of Dalongdong (大龍峒). The street, then known as Centre Street (中街), was constructed during the 1850s, when many commercial entities belonging to Quanzhou-originating owners moved in from the nearby village of Bangka (艋舺). Since then and throughout the rest of the 19th century, Dihua Street has been an important centre for commerce in Taiwanese products and produce such as Chinese medicinal herbs, fabrics, incense materials, and for the post-processing of Taiwanese tea.[1]

The name “Dihua” was given in 1947 by the Republic of China government, in reference to Urumqi, Xinjiang, and effectively joins a string of older streets in this area of Taipei existing prior to the Chinese Civil War. Locals living in the district refer to the portion of the street north of the Minsheng West Road (民生西路) as Dihua North (北街), and the portion south as Dihua south (南街). Being the oldest street Taipei (with sections in existence since the rule of Dutch Formosa from 1624–1661), its architecture has been under preservation and conservation efforts by the city. Modern Dihua Street along with its surrounding neighborhood and streets, known as the Dihua Street commercial loop (迪化街商圈), remain one of the most commercially active in Taipei with transactions in excess of 3 billion US dollars.[2]

New Year’s Market

Although a relatively calm street during most times of the year Dihua street street bustles with people during the two weeks before Chinese New Year.[1] The residents of Taipei flock to the street during these times to buy necessities for the festivities, while the tourist visit for the tradition Fujian decorations, atmosphere, and architecture.[1] The street continues to be a major destination during Chinese New Year festivities, with 750,000 people visiting the street in the two weeks leading up to the holiday.[3]

The hiring of clean-up crews and rental of store-fronts to seasonal merchants during the two weeks is an important source of revenue for many residents.[1]

Suffice to say it was busy as CNY is soon.

We also had dinner at the Golden lion Cantonese restaurant in Ximending. I wanted to find a link but It doesn’t seem to have a presence on the internet. I don’t even think Hungry in Taipei has been there. I had Char Sui buns and a range of meatballs and Cantonese delicacies with Jody. We then walked around a lot and went shopping in RT Mart near home. Not a bad old Sunday.

I am currently reading : The Conspiracy Club. By Jonathan Kellerman.

When his passionate romance with nurse Jocelyn Banks is cut short by her kidnapping and brutal murder, young psychologist Jeremy Carrier is left emotionally devastated, haunted by his lover’s grisly demise–and eyed warily by police still seeking a prime suspect in the slaying. To escape the pain, he buries himself in his work at City Central Hospital–only to be drawn deeper into a walking nightmare when more women are murdered in the same gruesome fashion as Jocelyn. As the suspicion surrounding Jeremy intensifies, the only way for him to prove his innocence and put his torment to rest is to follow the deadly trail of a modern-day Jack the Ripper.

It’s not a bad book so far but I am am waiting for something to happen. You know those books that slowly build to something, by raising a million questions and making you acutely aware via sub characters responses or indeed lack of responses. Anyway I will get back to you on how it turns out.

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~ by richardpmurfin on February 3, 2013.

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