Music / Travel

The Essence of a City

New York may be known for its skyscrapers, but what makes other cities great? This past Tuesday 黃介文 interviewed a pop singer/composer who grew up in Taiwan but now lives in mainland China.

What, 介文, asked him, has changed about Taiwan since your last visit?

Actually, he said, nothing much. Cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and New York have more in terms of new structures. Aside from Taipei 101, Taiwan has few substantial skyscrapers.

Instead, he said, most people are attracted to Taiwan (Taipei) to buy a book at eslite (誠品) and get a drink there. They do not come to Taiwan for the splendors of the big city but for the tasty Taiwanese delicacies (小吃).

Yes, agreed 介文. She recently interviewed a singer from Shanghai, and all this singer wanted to do was shop at eslite – she left with a tall pile of books!

What draws people to a place is not the facades of outward magnificence but the people and their ideas – culture.

In the same way we can sense that someone is beautiful because of a pure heart, not because of outward appearance.

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