I enjoy the niche things. In Taipei, there is certainly enough to keep you busy in terms of niche everything. One such place is ‘Vinyl Decision’. It is located just south of Da’an and is a 5 minute walk away from Liuzhangli Station on the the Brown Line. It is within a comfortable distance of pretty much anywhere, or perhaps I am just saying that because it took me 20 minutes to get there by MRT. The night before I went, I had been drinking. My main concern was whether or not I would have the stomach to last long enough to get a feel for the place. Amazingly, cans of Guinness are available in every 7-Eleven for €1.80. If, like me and my friend who got me into the habit, you enjoy drinking cold cans of Guinness straight from the can. If not, I completely understand.
Like a lot of people who are out and about in a new city, you just want to get out there and see things, anything really. Despite Living in Taiwan for just over 2 weeks, I have yet to see Taipei 101, a temple, or indeed, a single night market. I know, damn shame. But, from my own experience, big touristy things tend to be the worst attractions. Maybe if I was in a group of people I might enjoy the experience more, but I’m afraid even at that I would still find myself bored. In Beijing, I never actually went fully inside the Forbidden City. Let’s face it, at this rate, there is nothing Forbidden about the place unless you don’t buy a ticket. If you like seeing courtyards that act in the same manner as a Russia doll, go ahead and see courtyard after courtyard after courtyard after courtyard.
In this spirit, I decided I wanted to see the weirdest thing Taipei could offer me. I have been off the beaten track and seen things you people wouldn’t believe. One of which is an entire bar covered wall to wall in Vinyls. It is a Hipster’s Neverland.
It’s just off the main road in an alleyway across from a small Taoist Deity. Inside, you will find everything from Alice in Chains to ZZ TOP and everything else in between. I ordered a weird ale and chatted away to the bartender who’s name unfortunately has slipped my mind. I talked about Phil Lynott, John Lydon and Nick Cave. I had a pent up mojo of music taste that needed to come out. I ultimately played Public Image Ltd and it was the first and only time I will ever heard them on vinyl. Queen and some synth 80’s rock was rocking about the place.
The ale was expensive, €6 expensive to be exact. I wouldn’t pay that in Ireland for a drink. However, I think it was a fair price for an ale in a town that prides itself on expensive-weird-hipster craft beers, and also for the fact I got to listen to PiL on Vinyl.
The only criticism I have for this place is that it isn’t opened for long enough. Their opening hours are until 11pm, which I have to say is damn too early. It was made clear to me that Vinyl Decision is a ‘record shop’ and not a bar or restaurant. That is fair enough, but still, I would probably guzzle down a few beers and ales just for the opportunity to listen to some of my favourite artists on Vinyl for an evening. The best part is that the Vinyls are all for sale. They were sourced from all over the world. One Queen album might be from Japan, while another is from the USA.
As far as places go, this is a nice place to go if you enjoy the novelty of getting to play some vinyls and having a chat. I arrived an hour after they opened and had the pleasure of having the place to myself, with the exception of one fellow who stood around looking for vinyls to buy and collect.
So, call me a hipster for drinking ale and playing vinyls, I don’t care. It is a damn fine place for an ale and a vinyl.