I'm not at all complaining about the suburban venues, like Dajia, Longjing, Shalu, Wuri, etc. Rather I very much enjoyed visiting those areas, all bordering Greater Taichung Megalopolis. I remember I visited Dajia twice. I never would've had a chance otherwise without the great selections by the Taiwan Toastmasters. Each had a unique landscape and culture of its own. At Tunghai University, the palm-folding style Luce Chapel was beautiful, as was the pious campus and the library. Dajia Jennlann Temple and its Cultural Center Palace taught me about the elegance of centuries-old Mazu pilgrimage and festivals. The rented Education and Training Center Facilities in Wuri and Shalu were first class and promoted convention venues away from the hustle and bustle of Taichung. Free bus transportation, exclusive for Toastmasters, was offered from the new HSR Taichung station to the respective venues.
This April, Paul Lee, a retired business executive turned scholar in Japanese literature (his favorite author is Soseki Natsume), took me to this new POI green belt zone, immediately after the Spring Toastmasters Conference near Taichung Airport before inviting me to his apartment.
Paul informed me that Taichung City named it "Calligraphy Greenway" in English. The designated zone starts at Taichung North District, home of the Natural Science Museum and the Civic Square, and ends at Taichung West District, home to the National Museum of Fine Arts, Culture Affairs Bureau, and Taichung City Hall. It is about 3.6 kilometers in length (almost comparable to New York Central Park of 4 kilometers) and a dozen of street blocks in width, it incorporates the Jingguo Parkway green belt zones which had existed before.
Paul told me when the road was officially opened in the spring of 2012, a scroll of paper was spread out on the road for more than one kilometer for many famous calligraphers' competition for their cursive script (草書）writing demonstration with brushes, attracting the admiration of on-lookers. ”草” in ”草悟道” therefore, is used to symbolize the calligraphy, brushes and Indian ink splashing free and easy like a river flow meandering and purifying the urban streets, plus the artistic inspirations, sculptures and objects, arranged throughout Calligraphy Greenway. Street names, like Mofan (model), Yingcai (genius), Gongyi (public interests) all help to enhance the spirit of visitors.
Taichung City Government admitted that Calligraphy Greenway was modeled after Tokyo's Omote Sando renovation, designed by Architect Tadao Ando, with a basic concept of integrating living environment with nature, bringing sites together of home, work, exercise, socialization, enrichment, and entertainment, aiming for a well balanced, sustainable ecosystem neighborhood. Playful, exhilarating and colorful life style is sought in the concept with the use of water motif of rivulets, cascades, fountains, water curtains for the greenway. In addition, it incorporates enforced no-smoking zones, expanded clean-air cyclist and pedestrian lanes, and park stages for live jazz music concerts. With the eco-friendly green walled CMP Parklane Department as the anchor landmark, hotels, bakeries, cafes, restaurants and fashion stores surround the area to attract people for shopping, dating and partying.
I am expecting the Taiwan Toastmasters to hold its semi-annual convention in this Calligrapher Greenway very soon.