Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Monday, April 25, 2011

HSA East and West Compounds - Closing Again!

I believe it was sometime in the early spring of 2009 when I first heard of the Taipei Floral Exposition. I was scratching my head, I understood the words, but a FLORAL Exposition?

It took a few months for the public relations folks to get their first videos up on You Tube to show us what was planned. It was an enormous undertaking.

The heavy 8 foot high steel fencing quickly went up along Chung Shan North Road, stretching from just south of the Keelung River Bridge down the hill on both sides of the street, until they touched Minzu Road.  The construction was beginning in the old HSA Compounds.

I know most of you folks who read my blog are aware of what happened to the HSA compounds after we departed.  They sat idle for a few years.  What should have happened, what you and I hoped for, didn't.  (Here's my loose explanation of what then occurred.)

The government, I assume Taipei City, cleared both sides of the street.  In the East Compound, they opened a large park and a museum.  In the West Compound a football (Soccer) stadium was constructed.  Just north of the West Compound, the whole area was cleared (including the old MAAG O'Club) all the way north to the Police Station. A park area was also planted on that large acreage.

I visited the east side park many times.  It stretched from just north of the old hotel on the corner of Minzu Road all the way up the hill until it ran into the new Museum.  The parks were nice. The stadium was used, but seemed in need of repair.

Through the past 2 years or so, I have walked the sidewalks on both sides of Chung Shan North Road many, many times. What do they call guys like me, sidewalk supertendants? Heck, I have never seen a Floral Expo, I was interested in watching it come up, unfortunately, the 8 foot fence was too high to see over. I would stick my camera over look around and snap a picture now and then, but it was a mess until a week or so before the opening.

One day last fall, the fencing began to come down and before we knew it, the Expo opened.

I guess the biggest surprise was seeing the US Flag posted on one of the Expo buildings prior to the opening.  It sat right along the south side of the East Compound, fronting Chun Shan North Road. I had a couple of Blog posts on our US Expo building. The flag was displayed on the sides of our Expo building at the very top, easy for all to see. Many a heart has felt a tingle seeing our beautiful flag standing tall once again in Taiwan.   

I've said all this to tell you that the time has come, to once again close down the old HSA Compounds.  It's kind of like our lives, we flower, show and  pass.

But soon, new life will appear on our old stomping grounds, on Ilha Formosa.

Long live this wonderful country..... TAIWAN........

Please take a few minutes to read the above article from the China Post HERE

Take a peek at the photo in today's Taipei Times showing the crowd at the  Floral Expo yesterday.

ADDED:  The local newscast this evening showed some of the 140 plus Food Carts serving food to visitors at the Floral Expo today.  

No food vendor carts had been allowed inside the Floral Expo areas until today.

This old fellow is preparing a nice looking wrap sandwich.  That stove is mounted on a wheeled cart.


And here's dish of greens, beans and probably some type of fish.  

Are you hungry for one of these.. or maybe a hot bowl of noodles in a wonderful soup base.

Ahhhhh, things are good in Taiwan...

Both Taiwan food photos from the Internet, not the Floral Expo.


titojohn said...

Kent, Great posting! THANKS!
John Quinn

Don said...

Thanks, Kent. You've always done a good job of keeping our good memories alive.