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Weekend Flea Market Opens

<p>By Doremi Wang<br /> Campus Reporter</p> <p>The National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) decided to make the best use of the pedestrian&rsquo;s underpass that goes through Hoping East Rd. in front of the front gate of the main campus before it is closed for renovation in January by launching a weekend flea market this afternoon.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is our hope that we would make a twist of the image of the underpass for most people &ndash; that it used to be a dark corner with high crime rates,&rdquo; said Jerry Hsia (夏學理), an associate professor for the Graduate Institute of Performing Arts and the project manager of the flea market.</p> <p>The Taipei City Government is planning to temporarily close the underpass for a renovation project in January.&nbsp; Prior to the construction, the Taipei City Government coordinated with NTNU for the flea market activity, which will end on Dec. 30.</p> <p>Applications to own a booth of the market were opened to students as well as the public.&nbsp; Whoever was interested in the business in the market must subscribe to NTNU with a security deposit of NT$1,500.&nbsp; Prior to the grand opening ceremony this afternoon, a total of 72 booths were approved.</p> <p>Graduate Institute of Performing Arts designated and named these 72 booths by the names of Confucius&rsquo; 72 pupils.&nbsp; Due to the lack of limited room in the underpass, these 72 booths were divided into three groups, which will take turns for running business in the underpass during the activity period.</p> <p>Hours for the first 24 booths are 6pm to 10pm every Friday, 2pm to 10pm every Saturday and 2pm to 9pm every Sunday from Nov. 16 to Nov. 30.&nbsp; The same hours apply to the second group from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15 and the third group from Dec. 16 to Dec. 30.</p> <p>Various of homemade-and-arts-related items, from T-shirt to watches, key chains, hats, handmade soups, birthday cards and puppets are on sale in the weekend flea market.&nbsp; During the grand opening ceremony this afternoon, two music major students also played cello at the scene.</p> <p>In addition to organizing the weekend flea market, NTNU Department of Arts graduate student Lin Cheng-wei (林正緯) helped decorate the entrance of the underpass at both ends as two dragons with open mouths.</p> <p>&ldquo;The dragon was designated to symbolize the pulse of NTNU,&rdquo; Hsia said.&nbsp; &ldquo;It is our hope that the underpass will become channel of creativity for the community instead of a dark and dirty corner.&rdquo;</p>