In tune with lively places

  • Chi Hsu

Keelung Talk|基隆物語


Keelung Candy to be continued

A life privilege of mine, after my exploring of a field trip, is to be able to have Richard's intellectual feedback with regards to those places I visited, including Candy's Keelung.

Richard's Talk | An Economics Professor's Observations

Keelung seems to attract Richard's attention after he FaceTimed with Candy, listened my 'water-stuff updates' and photos bombed into his What's APP. He made few comments based on economics, about Keelung - a city with a long period of decline. (He sent me an email, very official!) Yay! Professor is talking:

  • Old cities often face a long period of decline when the industries that first propelled their growth are outmoded. As people move on, to find jobs in other places, houses fall into disrepair, and this compounds the sense of decline. Shops close as well.

  • Some cities never recover, but most do, although it can take a long time.

  • The recovery can begin for a number of reasons. The government makes a specific effort to attract new industry. A new real estate development takes place, and businesses begin to look again at the possibility of employing low cost labor.

Regeneration | Cruise Port, Keelung Maritime Plaza, E-Square

My previous blog Keelung Candy mentioned Candy's dad works with my Taipei team and he looks forward to seeing Keelung's recovery. He is a typical example of a person moved onto Taipei from Keelung to find work. He witnessed houses fall into disrepair in his neighborhood and shops close on high streets nearby Keelung port.

I first noticed Keelung experiencing a 'place-making regeneration' in August last year. My family had a cruise travel holiday, and boarded at Keelung Port. My Facebook friend, former colleague, Winnie Lu, comes from Keelung and she told me about how difference since Keelung Maritime Plaza, an open public space in font of Cruise Port, was built. My brother-in-law, Jeff Liao (a frequent visitor of Keelung fish market and night market when my niece was little.) said to me the other day, E-Square (red circle) was renovated with bright lights which made Keelung's town centre become friendly and convenient.

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu, Upper 2 images in 2019, Lower image in 2018)

Regeneration | New Attraction: Zheng Bin Fisherman Wharf

Fascinating!! Darin, our SLC friend, replied to me when I shared these images. Richard was insisting that I take him there next Taiwan trip. The image of Zheng Bin Fisherman Wharf looks so stunning and it was so relaxing to feel the ocean breeze, just standing against the railings in person.

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

Richard was super interested this authentic fisherman wharf and curious how those buildings became very colorful, unlikely elsewhere he had seen in Taiwan. I asked the same question of Candy's dad. So, I told to Richard about what I heard from Candy's dad. As I expected, Richard's comment opened my eyes. He always could tell what I feel professionally.

  • Sometimes the recovery is completely organic. Some times of activity thrive in cheap locations, often artists need cheap space, sometimes it is other types of creative activity. It can also be public sector workers such as university lecturers or media types. So, ‘pioneer’ groups move into the location, and start to renovate the housing stock. This can be called ‘gentrification’. Once the housing market picks up, others start to move in and cool new shops and restaurants emerge. The process starts to feed on itself and regeneration begins. Quite often the government then moves to reinforce the process.

Richard told me this process is being seen all over the world. The economics behind Zheng Bin Fisherman Wharf renovation, probably, is very good for Candy to study further. Technology will be playing a big part, because people can live and work remotely, so they move to low cost locations and start the renovation process.

Cruise Holiday

As mentioned earlier, I first noticed Keelung regeneration just last year. I realized Taiwan had set the year of 2019 as the year of Place-Making. I Googled more articles about how cruise tourism sector impacts to local industry in terms of all supply chain and hundreds of tourists arrival and departure from Keelung Port.

I showed my enthusiastic to blog about Keelung. Richard reminded me to keep light and interesting so here sharing 3 images for cruise holiday information.

<Image 1> very simple mapping of taken cruise holiday where people could go South Korea and Japan. My family route is shown by red circle, the destination was Okinawa. It is a very short distance from Keelung, the cruise ship provided various facilities and arranged full of activities. Beautiful oceanic scenery meant my nieces and nephew's parents couldn't stop selfieing themselves. <Image 2> I and kids were waiting for 'parents happy selfie moments'. XD <Image 3> Edi (works on cruise ship as portrait photographer) street photographs in Keelung town centre after landing. The style of his photographs made Keelung very chic.

Image 1 (Source: Google Map)

Image 2 (Photo Credit | Michelle Hsu)

Image 3 (Photo permission by Edi Go, Cruise Ship Portrait Photographer)

Sister Cities | Keelung, Taiwan & Salt Lake City, Utah

My other friend, Charles Lin, heard of my Keelung interest and shared with me his photograph of 'Elephant Trunk Rock' (Image 4), just outside of Keelung City boundary, not far from 101 Highland. I love it and it reminds me Keelung's sister city, SLC's rock formations.

There is a high degree of similarity in landscape. For instance, 'Rainbow Bridge' (Image 5), located outside of SLC, in Utah. Rainbow Bridge is often described as the world's highest natural bridge.

I am not sure how close is the sister cities relationship between Keelung and Salt Lake City so far. I hope my blogs of Keelung Candy and Keelung Talk could attract our friends in Salt Lake City to visit Keelung once they set off their Asian trip in the near future!!

Image 4 (Photo Credit | Charles Lin)

Image 5 (Photo Credit | CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63124)

#ChiHsu #Taiwan #Saloon

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