Thursday, 31 January 2008

Breeze Center (Mall), Taipei 微風廣場


(View from Zhongxiao Fuxing station)










24 January

I went to Breeze Mall in Taipei. I had to go to this place because I am still suffering from Japan-withdrawal symptoms and I could get my fix by going there because they have: Kinokuniya (bookstore), Hands (lifestyle/homewares store) and Muji (clothing and general goods). As well as that they have other cool shops and a great food court. I lost count of how many hours I spent browsing in here! About 3 or 4 I think. I think it is my favourite mall in Taipei so far...

The lower floors feature all the impossibly gorgeous and impossibly expensive goods from brands such as LV, Gucci, Prada, Cartier etc.. but I was after something a little more affordable, and a little more interesting.






First stop: (Sony) Plaza store
They sell lots of cute licensed character goods and homewares. At the entrance there were Barbapapa character seats. I have an affinity with these characters because my sister and I owned books featuring these in our childhood, and we discovered through our baby photos that we also had a purple Barbapapa plastic doll too. Then, a few years ago we discovered what they actually were and both fell in love with them again.

From Wikipedia:

Barbapapa is both the title character, and name of the "species" of said character, of a series of children's books written in the 1970s by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor, who resided in Paris, France. The books were originally written in French, and were later translated into many languages.

Barbapapa himself is a generally pear-shaped, pink shapeshifting blob-like creature who stumbles upon the human world and tries to fit in. The shapeshifting is usually accompanied by the saying "Clickety Click—Barba Trick". After various amusing adventures, he comes across a female of his species (more shapely, and black-coloured), named Barbamama. They produce seven children, known as the Barbababies, each a different colour.


Obviously the Japanese loved the darling characters too, and made lots of merchandise featuring these 'blobs'.





Second stop: Hands Tailung
Known as Tokyu Hands (that's not Tokyo) in Japan, Hands features the most amazing stuff that is mostly Japanese-designed but also some cool American or European things for your home. They are all beautiful, cute, useful and practical. I could go on and on about how great this store is! Check out the photo - unbelievable how many types of food package clips they can design and sell!




Third stop: Kinokuniya
A Japanese bookstore I am familiar with having visited their large Galleries Victoria/Sydney store many times (I also visited their tiny Neutral Bay store way before they became so widely known). I also visited a Kinokuniya store in Osaka JR station. The bookstore here (just like the Sydney store) sells books in three languages: Chinese, Japanese, and English. I browsed through all three languages to find books on my topics of interest. I can't read the Chinese or Japanese ones much of course but for design/art/craft books it doesn't really matter - all you want to see are the pictures anyway and most of it is pretty self explanatory. Their English section is fairly decent but there are no computer/software/internet/web related books in English (in fact NO bookstore in Taipei sells computer books in English. ARGH! :( ). Also like the other bookstores in Taipei/Taiwan, if the books are shrink wrapped you can ask them to unwrap them for you so you can look at them. Not sure if this applies to magazines though - probably not!









Fourth Stop: The Basement (B1 and B2) floors
Featuring the food court and supermarket known as Breeze Super. I particularly wanted to check out "Dean and Deluca", a NYC deli which was featured widely on one of my fave tv series "Felicity" starring Keri Russell. (See what I mean about Australia never getting anything cool like this?)

(order of photos) 1: Lamingtons from Australia... really? I found the koala motif rather amusing.

2,3: Maison Kayser - Amazing French bakery selling DELICIOUS bread. I bought some to take home to have for breakfast the next morning (ditto above comment about Australia getting cool stores...)

4,5,6,7: Dean & Deluca - Everything looked so delicious. Look at those cakes! I ended up having dinner there (vegetarian quiche) - 170 or 180 NT I think it was. It was nice but not as nice as it looked!

(sorry for the crappy layout of the photos. I still have no idea how Blogger lays out photos. Ugh. Also the photos are pretty crap because they were all taken without a flash and are unedited).


Breeze Center, Taipei, Taiwan
39, Fu Hsing (Fuxing) South Rd, Sec. 2
(about a 5-10min walk north from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station along Zhongxiao Fuxing Road)
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7 comments:

Danie said...

Hi! I just came across your blog and that look like my kind of shopping mall! There is nothing like that here in India. Taipei, huh :)

Amyee said...

I think I may have missed it! Or that I wasn't concentrating.

ShanghaiExpatLife said...

Taipei is great for shopping.

It's a good mall because it's actually quite small so you don't need to walk heaps or don't get lost easily but big enough to have a good variety of stores too...

Joshua said...

You can in fact find computer books in English at Page One (101).

C said...

Thanks for that Joshua. I couldn't find any there in January, or maybe I wasn't looking in the right place! :)

Ken said...

Page One is okay, but the real mother lode of English computer books can be had here at Ten Long (in fact, they only sell computer books, in English and in Chinese):

http://www.tenlong.com.tw/en

I usually find the ISBN on amazon and type it in here to see if they have it in stock before heading down to their shop:

Tenlong Computer Book Co, Ltd. No. 107 Chong Ching S. Road Sec. 1, Taipei, Taiwan TEL: (02)2371-7725. FAX : (02)2331-1905

It's not a big store, but they have a surprisingly good stock of popular computer books.

Ken said...

Page One is okay, but the real mother lode of English computer books can be had here at Ten Long (in fact, they only sell computer books, in English and in Chinese):

http://www.tenlong.com.tw/en

I usually find the ISBN on amazon and type it in here to see if they have it in stock before heading down to their shop:

Tenlong Computer Book Co, Ltd. No. 107 Chong Ching S. Road Sec. 1, Taipei, Taiwan TEL: (02)2371-7725. FAX : (02)2331-1905

It's not a big store, but they have a surprisingly good stock of popular computer books.