Taipei Spot Cinema in Hua-shan Creative Park is the second one opened in Taiwan.
The very first one is not too far away from the park. Go along Zhongxiao East Road and make a right onto Zhongshan North Road.
Once you pass Nanjing East Road, there is a white mansion amidst the shadows of green trees.
This is a movie theater with an art gallery and cafe restaurant. It was the former US ambassador's residence. Former US President Richard Nixon also stayed here while he served as Vice President under the Eisenhower administration.
In 1979, US broke off official diplomatic relations with Taiwan; American institute in Taiwan(A-I-T), a non-profit private corporation, replaced the US embassy to conduct unofficial relations of commercial, cultural and other interactions with people in Taiwan.
The mansion had become obsolete until TSMC made a 60 million NTD donation to refurbish the mansion in order to allow movie director Hou Xiao-xian to operate the now Taipei Spot Cinema.
Former US embassy next to a bustling shopping district
It's generally very quiet within the Taipei Spot Cinema's immediate surroundings; continuing going on Nanjing West Road, you'll find yourself in a prosperous shopping district.
It isn't too far away from the Taipei Main Station here. The MRT Zhongshan Station nearby is the transfer station between the MRT green line and red line. There are department stores, such as Shing Kong Mitsukoshi (SKM). The area is full of people.
This small area closely epitomizes cultural characteristics of Taiwanese consumption.
For instance, there are foot massage specialty houses, and high-end Chinese restaurants, such as Celestial Restaurant. Foot massage in Taiwan is a distinctive massage technique.
We arrived at this foot massage place. There is a lady, a college graduate from Miyagi Prefecture in Japan, who came to Taiwan to learn the skills with plans to open her own foot massage specialty house back home.
She believes that there is a wide variety of foot massage techniques, and the most authentic one originated from Taiwan.
Surprisingly, the foot massage technique was founded by a Swiss catholic priest Joseph Eugster residing in Taiwan at the time. Utilizing the foot massage technique and developing it into a health practice echo with the catholic foot-washing ritual.
Father Eugster came to Taiwan to preach gospel in 1970. In 2003, Father Eugster was recommended to go to Vatican to help treat the Pope John Paul the Second's vocal cord injury with his foot massage technique.
The Pope regained his vocal ability to speak within one month after his foot massage treatment.
There are upscale department stores, papaya milk shops and Local Cuisine, such as braised dishes, near MRT Zhongshan Station. We like to bring you to Celestial Restaurant here.
This restaurant drew high praises from former business tycoon Yong-han Chiu, who frequented Japan. Mr. Chiu invited Celestial Restaurant to relocate to the current location, which was his business building.
The signature dish is Beijing Roast Duck Show. They present you with a whole roasted duck prior to bringing it back to the kitchen in preparation for the skin and meat slices. The roasted duck dish comes with onion stalks, lotus leaf pancakes and seasoned sauce.
There is an attendant assigned to the table to serve you onion stalks and lotus leaf pancakes with the duck skin before serving you the duck meat.
Celestial restaurant offers dishes originated from both the northern and southern parts of China. Their Hotpot Tofu, Green Onion Pancake and Soup of Rice Crust and Three Delicacies are very authentic.