Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Great Sleeps: Parkview Hotel, Hualien, Taiwan


Parkview Hotel  Built in 1993, this was the area’s first 5-star hotel.  Rooms are comfortable but beds are hard, with little give and no pillow top—nevertheless I slept very well.  Extensive recreation facilities include an indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, indoor climbing wall, table tennis, squash, and more. In an exceptionally large open dining room in The Garden Court Western Restaurant, guests enjoy a breakfast buffet that includes everything from western-style omelettes to green matcha cakes.  High ceilings, tall windows, and a view of the mountains make it memorable.  


sunflowers in lobby of Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
sunflowers in lobby of Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


view from guest room at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
view from guest room at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


green matcha cakes at The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
green matcha cakes at The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


breakfast with view at The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
breakfast with view at The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Good Eats: Koneko, NYC


Koneko  26 Clinton St./Houston St., Lower East Side, (646) 370-5699.  This cat cafe is a branch of one in Japan.  It is appropriate that it is named “Koneko,” which means “kitten” in Japanese.  The coffee is Stumptown, and the pastries, which include many Japanese izakaya classics, come from Patisserie Tomoko in Williamsburg (the seafood and pork belly okonomiyaki sell out every day).  You can sit in the cafe and observe the kitties through a large window, or you can take your order into the cattery room and visit with them for an hour (the fee is $15, and a reservation is required at busy times).  An upstairs room with an outside “catio” is also available.  You will need to take your shoes off when you enter the cattery and will be provided with slippers to use.  All cats are available for adoption, and all proceeds benefit the cats.  


exterior of Koneko cat cafe in NYC
exterior of Koneko cat cafe in NYC


interior of Koneko cat cafe in NYC
interior of Koneko cat cafe in NYC


menu board at Koneko cat cafe in NYC
menu board at Koneko cat cafe in NYC


cattery room at Koneko cat cafe in NYC
cattery room at Koneko cat cafe in NYC

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Good Eats: Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant, Hualien, Taiwan


Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant  03-862-1033.  That the owner of this restaurant featuring creative traditional Truku cuisine is an artist is apparent.  His art work is displayed throughout and for sale.  Also, his rustic wood pieces are used for tables and benches in the restaurant, where the expansive dining room opens to a view of the not-too-distant ocean.  Special aboriginal foods on the menu include wild vegetables, bracken, cinnamon pig, and bamboo rice that is cooked in a covered tube of bamboo that is popped opened by noisily whacking it against a post.  Pieces of delicious roasted chicken with skin is memorable.  Cats have free roam, and are quick to dispense with leftovers on abandoned plates.  Several gift shops sell works by the artist owner as well as by a weaver who demonstrates her skills on the spot.

entrance to Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
entrance to Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

gift shop at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
gift shop at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

kitchen at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
kitchen at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

appetizer at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
appetizer at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

leaf-covered rice at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
leaf-covered rice at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

bamboo rice at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
bamboo rice at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

cat at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
cat at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

weaver at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
weaver at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan


In this video, restaurant personnel lead a song about appreciating the beauty of nature that everyone in Taiwan learns in elementary school.




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images and video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sights to See: Taroko Gorge National Park, Hualien, Taiwan


The seaside town of Hualien on Taiwan’s East Coast is backed by mountains and known for producing mochi.  One of Taiwan’s most scenic spots is Taroko Gorge National Park.  This beautiful park is famous for its abundant supply of marble (it is nicknamed "The Marble Gorge").  A serene river runs through it, and spectacular scenery and trails abound, including the Eternal Spring Shrine/Changchun Shrine. This memorial temple is located just above Changchun Falls, which is reputed never to dry up. 

entrance stone at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
entrance stone at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

visitor center aboriginal house exhibit at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
visitor center aboriginal house exhibit at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

scenery outside visitor center at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
scenery outside visitor center at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

nature trail near visitor center at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
nature trail near visitor center at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Eternal Spring Shrine/Changchun Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Eternal Spring Shrine/Changchun Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan





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images and video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Great Sleeps + Good Eats: Hotel Wales + Sarabeth's Upper East Side, NYC


Hotel Wales  1295 Madison Ave./E. 92nd St., Upper East Side, (866) 925-3746, (212) 876-6000; .  90 rooms.  Room service from Sarabeth’s.  Fitness room.  Pet- and family-friendly.  Valet parking/$52 per day.  Situated in Manhattan’s Carnegie Hill area and surrounded by historic mansions, this small European-style hotel is as removed from Manhattan’s pulse as the country Wales is from frenetic London’s.  It is as quiet a neighborhood as you’ll find in NYC.  At 10 p.m. the streets are almost car-less, and only a few pedestrians are out.  Still, you don’t need an alarm clock to wake up at around 7 a.m. because that’s when the honking, garbage trucks, and jackhammers start, making it very clear that you’re in the Big Apple.  Noise aside (it is inescapable in NYC), this small hotel built in 1902 is one of the city’s oldest and has original oak-wood molding, high ceilings, and decorative fireplaces.  Complimentary cookies and hot drinks, including cappuccino, are available around the clock in the large Pied Piper Room named for the classic fairy tale, and an adjacent reading room features framed vintage illustrations from children’s books on its walls.

exterior of Hotel Wales in NYC
exterior of Hotel Wales in NYC

lobby of Hotel Wales in NYC
lobby of Hotel Wales in NYC

Sarabeth’s Upper East Side ((212) 410-7335.  B-L-D daily, SunBr; $$.  is downstairs off the hotel lobby.  The kitchen serves up fabulous breakfasts, including eggs Benedict and a cheese omelette with gruyere that are especially delicious, and lunches are good, too.  Pastries are scrumptious—I love the light but tall English muffin, though most recently it was disappointing.  This place is famous even on the West Coast for their delicious jams (don’t miss the peach-apricot and plum-cherry).  The upstairs loft area has appeared in TV’s “Housewives of New York City,” but I prefer sitting in the airy main dining room downstairs.  Most recently, the whole experience here has been a little rough around the gilded edges in the form of boring presentations and slow service.  Still, it is worth a meal here, even if you don’t stay in the hotel, or at one of the other locations around town.  Another Sarabeth’s is in Tribeca.  

Sarabeth's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

dining room at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC
dining room at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC

scone at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC
scone at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC

vegetarian eggs Benedict at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC
vegetarian eggs Benedict at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC

cheese omelette at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC
cheese omelette at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC

jams to go at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC
jams to go at Sarabeth's Upper East Side in NYC


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers