Anyone who visits Taipei notices pretty quickly the sidewalks. They are different than those of America. First off, I’m not talking about the one you find in neighborhoods. Those don’t exist here (neighborhoods – as you know them – OR sidewalks).
The sidewalks we have here are (mostly) covered and run along in front of shops. The covering is actually the 2nd floor and up just jutting out over the 1st floor. Almost all of the 1st floor street facing “apartments” are retail.
Each building along the block is completely independent of the others and can basically do whatever they want – especially as it relates to the sidewalk out front. Some are marble and very nice (but very slippery in the very wet climate here) and some are, well, not so nice. But NONE of them are the same height as the next one down the block. It makes for many stumbles. If this situation existed in America there would be a constant stream of lawsuits against shop owners for allowing such an unsafe condition to exist. Here, it is “watch what you’re doing!”
Suddenly, many of the sidewalks in the downtown area where I go to work each day are being dug up. Wendy, our receptionist, says that they are trying to get them more even. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Here you can see the work in progress and some of the workers taking a rest (siesta). This is in front of the building where I work on the 3rd floor.