Joel Aronson's
Taiwan Gallery
Taipei - Views from Above

(click on any photograph with a blue border to access a larger image)

For a year I lived in a rooftop apartment in the heart of downtown Taipei. An everflowing stream of activity took place as I observed and photographed from an outside patio. Stores and businesses of all kinds beckoned to be explored. At left, pedestrians take over the streets during a patriotic holiday, noisily returning to business the next day, at right. In time, Taipei would lose its quaint charm to "progress" to become a crowded, polluted and skyscrapered metropolis. 


The view from my rooftop aerie yielded a never-ending parade of cargo carriers. These people would carry anything, anywhere, no matter how long it would take to reach their destination.
Imaginary TV commercials could have declared, "When it absolutely, positively, has to get there before the next century."

Man and wheels combine primal force and energy in this powerful telephoto image of a sandal-wearing cart puller with his thousand pound load. We casually take the simple wheel for granted yet its significance in our world is so obvious in scenes like this one.

A lone pedicab darts through a downtown pedestrian plaza. The san-lun-ch'e (3 wheel chariot) was a popular form of short distance transportation, ideal for navigating Taipei's mazes of narrow alleys and lanes. Some wealthier families had their own chauffeured pedicabs. It was refreshingly exhilarating on a warm day or night, to be whisked around town noiselessly on this one-man powered vehicle. In a few years, pedicabs would entirely disappear as Japanese taxis take over the streets of Taipei.

Who's going where? A guessing game develops at a Taipei intersection, as an evolutionary variety of wheeled vehicles - cars, cart, pedicabs, bicycle - make an unpredictable traffic pattern of rolling energy.
It was addictive to spend hours watching Chinese life flow by on the street below.