(2) worthwhile eats ($$+) / (3) expensive eats ($$$) / cafe crawl

A Good (Scavenger Hunt) Day during Taipei Design Week

I woke up this morning, looked out the window, and oh, oh, oh, what a good day. A sunny day. A perhaps a bit-too-hot for fall day, but I know I’ll be retracting my opinion on that when the imminent rain rolls in.

Grabbed my bike, grabbed my sister, and biked over to Zhongxiao Dunhua to go on an adventure I’ve been eyeing for some time, but unable to embark on due to the ever-present school, school, school and lack of a free afternoon. (You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, is that what they say?)

Taiwan Designer’s Week (website here) is, by my hypothesis, some kind of grouping of design-related events that I honestly still have no idea about. The event described on the website ran it’s course during the month of September (read Catherine’s Taipei Times article here), but I saw the logo of TWDW on my scavenger hunt map, so I assume that they’re somehow connected.

See?It’s the sun. It makes me assume.

And so the sun was calling, and a scavenger hunt was waiting, a scavenger hunt that involved picking up a map and visiting all 40 places listed on the map given, covering a range of eateries, cafes, clothing stores and design shops all over the 東區 and 大安 districts. The…awesome month of good design in Taipei and also scavenger hunts began on October 4th and will run only until October 30th, so what are you waiting for? Get yourself by train, plane or boat to the alleys behind Zhongxiao Dunhua.

Although at first glance, all the shops in the shopping district behind 忠孝敦化 (Dunhua) seem well-designed and cutesy and artsy, etc etc, it takes a closer look and a practiced eye (subtle brag, there) to reveal that there are really only a select few actually well-designed stores that are actually committed to stocking well-desgined products, not some frilly shirts imported from Korea hung from a faux branch in a window. end rant. 

The 40 pieces, when put together, reveal a specially designed image, as well as a little prize at VVG Something.

Due to time and limited shop open hours, I knew that we probably wouldn’t get through the list in one afternoon, but honestly, we’re not overachievers here: a spot of sun, a stroll around the alleys of 東區and a frozen yogurt (more on that later) are good enough rewards for me.

Our first stop? As always, the ever-delightful VVG Something to pick up our maps and our first three puzzle pieces.

Free posters at VVG Something, which are now hanging prettily now on my wall. These people are design fairies, infusing everything they touch with magical good-design-yness. However, good design wasn’t the reason I went into raptures over the pumpkins. Rather, it’s because pumpkins mean fall and I love fall but Taiwan doesn’t really love pumpkins or fall but here are pumpkins!

Picked up our next pieces at an extremely busy VVG Bistro; the crowds of people killed the atmosphere, really. Will make note to never return on a weekend. If I’m going to drink a latte for 230NT, then I better be able to do it in peace.

Or maybe, especially on a crisp fall day like today,  next time I’ll move it outside like this duo on the patio.

Next on the list, VVG Table, which you can read about in my Taipei543 article on the VVG family here. Again. That patio. As my best friend Sandra would say, I die. 

Do you see those pillows? Thieves doesn’t receive so large of a sentence in Taiwan, do they? Because then I’m considering…

Right next door is an old flower shop that’s always teeming with seas of plants. Since the shop was under construction, they put this little spread out for the eager puzzle-gatherer to gather from. Love the use of the flowerpot to hold the puzzle pieces.

Had to resist the temptations of shopping along the way…

….to our next destination. VVG Bonbon, VVG’s magical sweets emporium that would have even pleased Marie Antoinette. One strawberry whipped cupcake with fresh fruit jam, please. Oh, and make that extra strawberries on top.

(On the left door hangs the event poster that VVG was giving away; which hung somewhere on every shop that was participating; and currently stares at me from the wall. It is adorable).

Goodbye, VVG Bonbon.

And as if we didn’t get enough sweets already, our next stop was a rather sugary affair as well: we stepped into Yofroyo, Taipei’s answer to Pinkberry; and our only source of frozen yogurt, really, since the pay-by-the-ounce ones are unreasonably expensive. (A little squeeze of plain and a spoonful of kiwi, and it’s 60NT. Don’t they know I could get an entire lunchbox for that much?!)

We got acai berry yogurt, yum, with kiwi, banana and pomegranate mochi, and we enjoyed it very much. Will we coming back soon (but er, perhaps not too soon) to check out their seasonally rotating flavors: want to try Oolong Tea yogurt!

Alas, it wasn’t time that proved to be our waterloo; rather, it was my sister’s (too) limited attention span and tolerance for all things involving walking. After we passed by this store on the 6th try to find a clothing store listed on the map (we had already done about 1/3 of the map by this point; I was just too intimidated in front of all the toocoolforschool salespeople at the clothing stores to get any pictures)—we decided to call it a day and head home, puzzle pieces in hand; ready to be completed–another day.

Won’t you join us when we go next?

What a good (sunny, sunny, sunny) day xx Stephanie

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