Thursday, December 8, 2016

Things to Do/Sights to See: New York Hall of Science/nysci & GingerBread Lane, NYC--Queens--Corona/Flushing


New York Hall of Science/nysci  47-01 111th St., in Flushing Meadows Corona Park,  (718) 699-0005.  M-F 9:30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10-6.  $15, 62+ $12, 2-17 $12, students $12; free Sun 10-11am and F 2-5 pm; parking $10.  Restaurant.  Founded during the 1964-65 World’s Fair, this energetic science museum aimed at children has become New York’s center for hands-on, interactive science.  You’ll find more than 450 exhibits here, plus demonstrations and workshops galore.  Adults seem to really enjoy the radar gun that measures how fast you can throw a baseball, while toddlers love Preschool Place--it provides great fun for under 5s.  The innovative outdoor Science Playground (seasonal) is a don’t miss, and 3-D movies provide a nice break (both have separate admission).  When you leave, consider a stop at the park’s Rocket Park Mini Golf (seasonal), kiddie amusement park, or zoo (separate admission). 

exterior of New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
exterior of New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

Preschool Place at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
Preschool Place at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

Preschool Place at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
Preschool Place at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

The seasonal GingerBread Lane event is included with admission.  Both children and adults get excited when they see this gigantic gingerbread village.  Situated on a protected glassed-in ledge around the edge of a bright circular room, it consists of all kinds of buildings and roads.  It takes chef Jon Lovitch a year to design and build it.  He uses only edible ingredients--candy, icing, gingerbread dough--and it weighs more than 1½ tons.  All structures are dismantled and given away at the close of the exhibition.  Related workshops are scheduled.

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC
GingerBread Lane at New York Hall of Science/nysci in Corona/Flushing, Queens, NYC

(If you find yourself stuck at home one snowy winter day, make playdough and construct your own little village.) 


We like tying in a visit here with a meal at Tortilleria & Taqueria Nixtamal


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Things to Do: Kavalan Whisky tour, Yilan, Taiwan


Kavalan Whisky  326, Section 2. Yuan-Shan Rd., Yuan-Shan.  Tours daily.  Free.  Tours of this family-owned single-malt whisky distillery begin outside on the lawn of the spacious campus with a viewing of a fiery show presented by coopers refreshing oak barrels.  Inside, a variety of displays enlighten visitors, who also have a chance to view the gigantic copper stills.  The tour concludes with a tasting of several whiskeys.  My favorite was the fruity, light, and silky-smooth classic signature whiskey, which stings the tongue and then tingles all the way down.  I purchased a packable small amount in a cute lab-bottle flask to bring home.  
exterior of Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
exterior of Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


barrel refreshing at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
barrel refreshing at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


copper stills at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
copper stills at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


Christmas tree at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
Christmas tree at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


Carole Terwilliger Meyers tasting at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan
Carole Terwilliger Meyers tasting at Kavalan Whisky distillery in Yilan, Taiwan


More things to do in Taiwan.

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sights to See: National Center for Traditional Arts, Yilan, Taiwan


National Center for Traditional Arts.  Daily 9am-6pm.  This complex showcases the culture and history of Taiwan.  An open-air stage presents both puppet shows (puppet shows actually originated in  China) and Chinese opera.
Chinese opera at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
Chinese opera at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

Chinese opera at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
Chinese opera at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

The beautifully appointed Wen-Chang Temple is popular with students, who make offerings to the gods of academic success, and with others who come to approach the gods of opera and crafts.
Wen-Chang Temple at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
Wen-Chang Temple at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

dragon detail t Wen-Chang Temple at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
dragon detail t Wen-Chang Temple at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

A reconstructed old street is lined with an assortment of traditional shops.  One makes and purveys traditional wood spinning tops, another offers blue indigo-dyed fabrics, and another is filled with colorful candy treats.  Special exhibits are displayed in an expansive Exhibition Hall.
fluffy dog on old street at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
fluffy dog on old street at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

hand-painted old spinning tops on old street at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
hand-painted old spinning tops on old street at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
see spinning top competition in Taiwan

drying indigo fabric at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
drying indigo fabric at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

traditional candy shop at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
traditional candy shop at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan

recycle teapot at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan
recycle teapot at National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan, Taiwan


More things to do in Taiwan.

More things to do in Yilan.

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, November 18, 2016

Good Eats: Chun, Yilan, Taiwan


Chun  With a mish-mash decor that includes old movie posters displayed on brick walls, this cheerful place serves a variety of traditional Taiwanese dishes.
interior of Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan
interior of Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan

The most popular item is minced pork in soy sauce over rice, and it was indeed my own favorite from a parade of dishes.
minced pork over rice at Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan
minced pork over rice at Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan

array of dishes at Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan
array of dishes at Chun restaurant in Yilan, Taiwan

I also enjoyed watching the ice cream game known as “baboo”—a word brings to mind a honking horn.  Our guide, Jerry Chen, told us he played it as a child.  You put a TD10 coin (about 30 cents U.S.) in the slot, spin the wheel, and receive the number of scoops it lands on—in the  case depicted in the video--two--and so he gets one scoop of pineapple and one of sour plum.  

guide Jerry Chen explains how the Taiwanese ice cream game known as “baboo” works



More things to do in Taiwan.
 
More things to do in Yilan.

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images and video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Things to Do: Miyahara, Taichung, Taiwan


Miyahara  No.20, Zhongshan Rd., Central Dist.  Located near the train station, this magnificent little shopping complex and emporium is set within a fabulous old building that was originally an optical shop.  A popular ice cream shop that is reputed to have the best ice cream in town operates at one end and seems always to have a long line.
outside ice cream shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
outside ice cream shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

spectacular sundae at ice cream shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
spectacular sundae at ice cream shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

 Another shop offers a large selection of teas.
tea shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
tea shop at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

But Miyahara--specializing in pineapple cakes and other goodies such as seed candies and chocolate-dipped dried fruits--is the main attraction and piece de resistance.  The ceiling is high, the butterflies-and-flowers packaging is exquisite, and the prices are reasonable.  It is the perfect place to select gifts and souvenirs to take home.  
interior at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
interior at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

candy display at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
candy display at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

display with orchids at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
display with orchids at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan

pineapple cakes at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan
pineapple cakes at Miyahara in Taichung, Taiwan


More things to do in Taiwan.

More things to do in Taichung.

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images and video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers