Hollywood FL: some photos and thoughts

I liked the broadwalk (not boardwalk) area in Hollywood FL, more so than the one in Fort Lauderdale:

  • It’s wide, with a marked “wheels” lane (bicycles, rollerbladers, baby carriages etc. – just not skateboards)
  • Clean; lots of garbage cans (inside large clay pots) on the broadwalk and beach
  • Happy hour on the boardwalk with a view on the sand and water (with breezes)
  • Varying landscape; besides the broadwalk, the walking/cycling trail continues through parks, behind some houses (historical and otherwise), with frequent parking and beach access
  • Unfortunately, a fair number of empty storefronts

And yes, it was hot and humid even at the end of September!

San Francisco: a “rebuttal” to some of my Taiwan comments

It turns out San Francisco has some of the things I found “advanced” in Taipei:

  • Some dedicated motorcycle parking
  • Intelligent transit video screens with arrival times (also, many bus stops have an LED screen that shows the next bus arrival time)
  • Multi-lingual announcements on some transit systems (English, Mandarin and Spanish)

San Francisco: Otis Clay performing at Ameoba Records

This was a free 1 hour concert in Haight-Ashbury area of SF (next to Golden Gate park) on Sunday.
Effectively I was in the “front row” – fun to watch his facial expressions.
The movement of the 6 piece band (+ 2 backup singers) reminded my of the Blues Brothers.

Blues legend Otis Clay in free performance at Ameoba Records

Misc Taipei notes (last ones!)

Some final misc notes on Taipei.
This should be the last Taipei note. See www.jantrabandt.com/wordpress/ if you missed the earlier posts.

  •  Some stores (like 7-11 and Family Mart) had a little machine that would heat-seal (in a few seconds) a plastic film on the top of a drink (e.g. coffee), making it spill-proof, at least until you push a straw into it when you are ready to drink it.
  • You could use your EasyCard at some retailers, like 7-11

Bicycling routes in Taipei

There are almost 100km of bicycle trails along 5 river banks in the city, including out to the coast just past Danshui/Tamshui.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to do any bicycling in my limited time; the one day I tried, I found out I couldn’t rent a bicycle at one location and return it at another (as I had been misinformed at the tourist office).

For a detailed bicyling map see www.taipeitravel.net/download.do?fileName=/d_upload_ttn/att/files/10002736.pdf. (5 MB).

There is also a free short-term bicycle hire system called U-bike. Currently it’s only in Xinyi district (i.e. between Taipei City Hall/Sun Ya-sen Memorial Hall and Taipei 101). However, you have to have a smart chip credit card.

See www.taipeitravel.net/en/ for general Taipei visitor info.

Felt up by the TSA at FLL – sort of

So I finally had to officially refuse (“opt out” is the official term) the full-body scanner and get the TSA full pat-down (usually I can pick a line where there is no such scanner, or they are picking random people instead of everyone). My pat-down wasn’t as intimate as reports suggested (though it did take more time than the scanner would have). YMMV (your mileage may vary).
Still, better than the unknown health risk of the scanner, IMHO.