What These Old Doors Might Say

Antique doors hidden in an alleyway in central Keelung.

Keelung 基隆, the darkest city in Taiwan, continues to fascinate me. Follow any alleyway and you’re likely to find traces of past prosperity hidden away from the bustling city streets. Take a stroll along Xiàosān Road Lane 30 孝三路30巷 and you’ll find a temple hidden in the crook of the alleyway and a bar by the name of Columbus 哥倫布. Many of the stone and brick buildings lining this cramped alleyway are hollowed-out, empty shells, relics of a lost age. Some, like the one pictured here, are made more from wood than anything else, a daring choice of building materials here in the dampest part of the island. Peering into the windows you’d see stacks of boxes and other supplies—this place is only used for storage nowadays but at least the building seems more or less intact. Such scenes make me stop and wonder: what would these old doors say if they could speak?

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