Showing posts with label yuanshan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yuanshan. Show all posts

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Baosheng Cultural Festival 2011: First Pics

So today was Baosheng Dadi's birthday (Baosheng Dadi is the god of medicine). Anyone who's lived in Taiwan for any length of time knows that god birthdays are generally celebrated with a lot of firecrackers and a parade in which that god - and some other ones who are along to pay respects - goes around town in a palanquin to the accompaniment of great cacaphony. Generally he's followed by dragon dancers, lion dancers, tall gods and sundry other awesome stuff that makes for great photo fodder.

Baosheng Dadi's temple, Bao'an Gong, is a UNESCO world heritage site in Dalongdong, and his birthday parade is one of the biggest - if not the biggest - in northern Taiwan. It was today (but there's firewalking tomorrow afternoon, and Shennong Dadi's birthday is coming up as well so you can still get in on the fun if you want).

Here are a few photos from our day of watching the festival go by (more to come later):

The Messenger - this comical guy walks in front of Baosheng Dadi's palanquin, giving out Ritz crackers and letting people know he's coming.

This is some sort of costume group - 11 of them look fairly similar, then there's a grandma (above) and one that looks like a young girl. I think the ones who look alike are meant to be sisters.

A martial artist in a troupe prepares for a match.

One of the "sisters".

A bajiajiang (array of eight generals) mid-performance

Dragon dancing was big this year.

I like how he looks like he's comin' to get me.

I try to show up early for these parades if I know they're happening so I can get good close-ups of the tall gods and other folks.

Like these women, who are in some sort of Yunlin-based dance-and-cymbal troupe.

The martial arts troupe was really spectacular. They were so fast that I didn't get a lot of non-blurry pictures.

Another close-up god.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Seafood on Big Dragon Street

After our Confucian Birthday Extravaganza we puttered around Bao'an Temple and found some Taiwanese opera nearby. Afterwards we decided to seek out food on Dalong Street (Big Dragon Street), which starts across the street from the square with the temple entrances. It has a very small night market that the city is obviously trying to develop.

We started with what appears to be the local specialty - stir-fried mutton with noodles. It was good but needed some spice.

Then we moved on to what I can only say was some of the best seafood I've had in a long time - Shengmeng Haixian (生猛海鮮) at #251.

We had deep fried spicy octopus, which marks one of the very few times that I have truly enjoyed deep fried seafood...I generally prefer it to be cooked more gently to let the lighter flavors come through. This frying, though, brought out a savoriness that I didn't know octopus could possess, and got rid of the rubber-chicken feel that many octopus dishes possess.

We also had a Taipei seafood restaurant stalwart - basil clams. Clams cooked in a basil-heavy broth. Always delicious.

Just a few of the things on offer at Shengmeng Seafood (seriously, this is only a tiny portion of the entire menu)

Finally, we got shrimp seared in a sweet black pepper concoction that was positively delicious. I didn't realize that caramelized something and black pepper could go so well together.

The restaurant itself is unassuming but a bit more upscale than the other joints on the block. It has a Japanese-style seafood restaurant feel to it, with fish on ice, tanks of shellfish outside, dark lacquer wood tables and little stools, the blue and white "curtains" the back and lots of beer and noise.

It seemed to be a restaurant for everyone - there was a group of 20-somethings celebrating an unknown event loudly and in Taiwanese. There were three middle aged drinking mates smoking and getting plastered together, and next to them was a family including a 3-year old and a grandmother who looked as though she remembered a time before the Japanese arrived in Taiwan.

My lovely boyfriend with his new short hair blocks the view at Shengmeng Seafood.

Definitely delicious, and definitely a place to return to.

I was also curious about the much smaller, homier A-Qiu Seafood closer to the beginning of the night market and will return at a later date.

Shengmeng Seafood - #251 Dalong Street, near Bao'an Temple (head to Bao'an but before entering the area with entrances to the temple annexes, turn left at "Milk Houses"bakery), MRT Yuanshan.