HUASHAN 1914 CREATIVE PARK
No. 1, BaDe Road, Sec. 1
MRT: Shandao Temple or ZhongXiao/Xinsheng station
hours: most shops/cafes don't open until 11AM but open until late
Free to explore/ $-$$ for eats and exhibits
kid friendliness: yes
visit reviewed: 12/28/2014
In 1997, a Taiwanese theater company discovered an abandoned wine & sake factory and was drawn to staging plays there. It grew into a cultural art center as local artists and the creative community used it over the years as a work space, and it became official in 2005-2007 when they restored it and it became Huashan 1914 Creative Park. The collective of buildings provides space for rotating exhibits and events, restaurants/cafes, as well as concert/music venue Legacy and SPOT Theater which shows many independent films and hosts various local film festivals.
The Beatles exhibition and other ones are running from December to March 2015 so if you want to have a leisurely gander then I recommend going on a weekday morning, when it will be least crowded.
We came for the Sony 20th Anniversary exhibit and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was freeee.
Who remembers playing all of these? Man, has gaming and consoles come a long way.
A little walk down memory lane and the history of Sony Playstation products.
Ahead of its time? Could have been the iPod? Haha.
1994 was a good year!
If it's your first time, you can find a red kiosk and take a look at the restaurants guide for the thirteen or so cafes and restaurants, including Alleycats, Trio Cafe, Deja Vu, Casa Della Pasta, VVG Thinking, and Fab Cafe which I posted about recently. There are two sections to the Huashan, divided by a parking lot, so don't forget to explore both sides if you have enough time.
The first time I went to Huashan, I was looking for VVG Thinking, which is on the other side of the parking lot which is mostly art galleries, cafes and restaurants in towering red brick buildings. The towering chimney is part of the boiler room for the old plum wine/rice wine/red wine factories and distillery.
Repurposed areas like Huashan and the Songshan Cultural Park in the Xinyi District remind me a bit of 798 Art Zone in Beijing, both taking previously industrial spaces and transforming them into cultural hubs and creative spaces for the community. Restaurant and cafe owners like VVG's Grace Wang play a role in that as well, as the Wall Street Journal noted in their article about how Taipei is "Asia's Answer to Portland, Oregon."
And if you're in the Huashan area and you are a gadgets person, just across the street from Huashan is Guanghua Digital Plaza, as well as the new electronics mall and surrounding streets of gadgets, electronics and accessories. When I left my camera battery charging cord in LA, my dad guided me through a few random shops where I picked a replacement AV cord for a few US dollars. Not the easiest areas to explore if you don't speak Chinese or know what you want, but good if you're looking for something like Fry's Electronics in Taipei.