Taiwan Says…

by Mark Forman on November 28, 2018

First let me say that the local polling place is downstairs from where I'm sitting right outside my elevator door. Our complex is the largest in the area many area voters already live here is how the logic goes. In fact the District Warden-the most local of local government officials also lives here. I know my wife voted for him because he seems to actually make an effort to help and serve his electorate-sounds good to me. I saw him on Sunday out with his core support team parading around the neighborhood thanking those that voted for him. I congratulated him in Mandarin as I drove by on my scooter-all very Taiwanese style behavior. This was a fairly complicated ballot since there were numerous local elections: mayor, councilman, wardens, etc. There were also 10 referendums on the ballot including nuclear power issues, the name for Taiwan's national team, gay marriage, sex education, etc. The complexity and number of people and issues to vote on produced really long lines and voting times. I could see from my balcony that there was a line all the way down from the poling station out of the complex and around the corner at it's longest.

I don't vote since I'm not able as a non-citizen. Therefore I don't have any dog in the race. My impressions of the results: the DPP government is good at talking/thought breeding but bad at executing. People here are tired of significantly increased air pollution, less liberal-minded than it appeared, and even though the probably hold their nose over Chinese Taipei national team name are willing to put up with it rather than have Beijing pressure the rest of the world teams to exclude a Taiwan named team.


…and Where it Stops Nobody Knows…

by Mark Forman on November 5, 2018

I just saw a Tweet reminding me that Daylight savings time is upon us. It also mentioned how many feel some sadness at the change of the season. Maybe that was the reason or part of why I had a couple of days of heavy blue funk going on. A couple of days of rain and missed exercise least week didn't help either. It's amazing how much regular exercise increases serotonin levels and lifts your mood. This photo was taken on the first day after the 2 rainy days I mentioned. I made myself go out and take my camera with me. I decided that the walking and the street photography were just the medicine that Dr. Forman ordered. He was right!

I shoot much less these days. It seems when I do I am much more focused and predisposed to get a grouping of good shots. I still prefer to shoot with the DSLR and leave the phone in my pocket. I'm sure in my eclectic fashion that at some point I'll have the itch to shoot nothing but phone shots for a period but it hasn't happened recently so... This area flea market was quite bustling. The other day I told some local friends one of the things I like most about Asia are it's markets. So alive and chaotic very much like life itself. It is the wildly beating heart of the town or the city it is in.


Celluloid Hero

by Mark Forman on October 1, 2018

The last few days have been culturally rich with music-listening to more Spotify during my morning exercise. Recent listens: Miles Davis' Agharta, Jimi Hendrix, some classic old school NYC Hiphop. So yesterday I was sitting around deciding what to watch-had watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 the night before. It dawned on me it had been quite some time since I had watched Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition. I mistakenly though that Roger Deakins had done the cinematography for that. Upon checking it was Conrad Hall. i did some research on Conrad Hall and was totally blown away with his credentials. After watching the Road to Perdition and the flawless cinematography I was motivated to watch more of his work and did so with Marathon Man which reminded me of the intense and gritty NYC of my childhood.

Tom Hanks was the star of Road to Perdition but the screen time that Paul Newman had the spotlight shone the brightest for me. I think this was one of Paul's last roles as it was Conrad Hall's last film which is recognized in the closing credits. Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier were both great in Marathon Man and Hall's presentation of the gritty nerve-wracking tenor of NY in the 70's was spot on. Clearly I didn't have enough Paul Newman to satisfy my craving so I opted for The Hustler over the Conrad Hall shot: Cool Hand Luke.

Newman was fantastic as was Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie. The overall all tone of The Hustler was a bit depressing but the story, dialogue and performances were of excellent quality and life of course has it's depressing moments-no point in trying to evade them. It's interesting where technology has brought us-to achieve this day full of movie viewing I just sat at my internet connected desktop computer and streamed them. Not a bad way to pass a Sunday.


Stranger in a Strange Land

09.25.2018 by Mark Forman

Was semi-binging Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown episodes over the Moon Festival Holiday weekend here. The one with Marcus Samuelsson and his wife returning to Ethiopia with Bourdain and crew along was particularly poignant. Marcus admitted how he has several homes and maybe no home. I can identify with that kind of at home where you […]


Village Voice Where Art Thou?

09.01.2018 by Mark Forman

Wow-how the mighty have fallen! The Voice was a big tree to the internet's small axe... When i was a kid in Brooklyn one of the high points of each week was Wed. morning when the new Village Voice came out, NYC's best entertainment/culture/lifestyle publication-all for the great price of $FREE. It was my window […]