• NEW IMAGE: Upon his arrival in Taiwan, the Monitor's Robert Marquand found himself dining at the US ambassador's residence - or what used to be home to US diplomats before the US restored full diplomatic relations with China in 1979 and withdrew its ambassador from Taiwan. The newly renovated neocolonial structure in downtown Taipei is now home to a new arts and film center - and a cafe.
Bob says Taiwan House - which just opened last week, and shows avant garde and multinational independent films - is welcomed by his dinner partners, who live in the neighborhood. "The residence had been in ramshackle shape, completely overgrown due to neglect. Now it's brightly painted and beautifully landscaped."
Bob says the center includes lots of photos showing various US officials - including a large one of President Eisenhower on a visit to the island. Beyond that, he adds, the food is good. "The frappe apparently has become something of a fixture in the Taipei culinary scene. They have flavors like apricot and blueberry, which are very tasty." Bob's pick? The blueberry - a perfect choice, he notes, on a night with 95-degree temps and full-blown humidity.
Deputy world editor
Ogova Ondego of Kenya publishes a newsletter every two weeks called ArtMatters, as Mike Crawley noted in his August 4 story, "New Freedoms Awaken Kenyan Culture." Mr. Ondego notes that ArtMatters is not only a newsletter but a web portal as well. www.artmatters.info, he adds, covers arts and lifestyle issues in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia.