I am in my apartment–my Taipei home for six months! The Wenzhou Street neighborhood snuggles up to Taipei University. Huge busy thoroughfares with swarms of scooters and buses are interspersed by winding alleys and lanes originally designed for Qing dynasty living: they are barely wide enough for a car, and it’s easy to visualize horse drawn carts. They are a delight to wander through.

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A pass-through just wide enough for two people in Taipei’s Da’an district.

I’m reminded of the hutong alleyways, beloved of Beijing, that were decimated to create the Olympic Village in the mid-2000s. Like many things in Taiwan, Taipei’s lanes (xiang, 4th tone) are Chinese heritage preserved yet living and vibrant.

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This young man was singing beautifully, his head thrown back, as he walked along Wenzhou Lane today.

Amid old and new buildings you can smell jasmine and frying dumplings; and see street life unfold, from mothers walking children to students hurrying along with backpacks to elderly shoppers trundling along with loads of fresh vegetables.

Up next: Taipei Coffee Culture!

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Fu dogs are everywhere–this nice example is front of a student eatery near Taiwan National University.

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