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June 28, 2007

Photo of the Day: Through the Drinking Glass


IMG_4805, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tagger Bag


IMG_4769, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

For my birthday, Tammi got me this this totally kick-ass bag we found at Tokyu Hands on our last day in Japan.

Tagger Bags are sold in pieces, with the straps, the bags and the flaps completely interchangeable.

Besides the preset designs, like the stylized Imperial flag design, they also have plain flaps open to be tagged up as much as you want.

A few years ago Tammi managed to get one of my graffiti pics put on a messenger bag she gave me for Christmas. It was brilliant and I'm psyched that someone else had a similar idea. I may have to order some more flaps at some point.

June 27, 2007

Photo of the Day: Dragon Handle


IMG_3444, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Ceremonial bell, Nijo-jo, Kyoto, Japan. 2007.

Apologies for the lack of posts lately. I've been busy drinking beer and enjoying the sun.

All for research purposes, I assure you.
::c::

June 23, 2007

Japanese Ear Cleaner


Japanese Ear Cleaner, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Did you know there are two types of earwax?

From Wikipedia:
"There are two distinct genetically determined types of earwax: the wet type, which is dominant, and the dry type, which is recessive. Asians and Native Americans are more likely to have the dry type of cerumen (grey and flaky), whereas Caucasians and Africans are more likely to have the wet type (honey-brown to dark-brown and moist). Cerumen type has been used by anthropologists to track human migratory patterns, such as those of the Inuit."

I heard about this onThe World a while back and was fascinated by the concept.

I had no idea that there was more than one type of earwax before hearing that story. It's one of those things I think most people presume is the same in everyone else.

The reporter talks about a childhood ritual common in Chinese families at least, where her mother scraped the hard, crunchy earwax out of her ear with a tiny spoon.

I decided I had to track down one of these ear cleaners myself. I got this from a rather large selection in the hygiene section at Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku. I didn't see any shaped like a spoon, but there was a pretty large variety, many much more ornate than this little one.
::c::

Japanese Toilets


IMG_3613, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I've been trying to figure out how to describe the toilets since we got there and found one of these hi-tech potties in our room.

The most basic ones 'only' have bidet features, controlled by the console on the side. Using the buttons, you can have it spray the front or the back and determine the water pressure. More advanced toilets have heated seats, deodorizers and running water sounds to mask any offending noises.

It was incredibly weird at first, now I wonder how I can get one at home...
::c::

Ramen Shop Vending Machines


IMG_3630, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Another rather cool thing we happened upon were these vending machines in front of a number of small ramen shops in Tokyo. Before you walk into the shop, you decide which dish you want, buy a ticket from this machine and hand it to the person behind the counter.

Again, brilliant!

This was incredibly helpful to us, since it meant avoiding most of the language difficulty involved with ordering food. All we had to do was look at the pictures and press a button.

Besides being a convenience for tourists, it's a great business idea. It frees up space inside the tiny shops and time for the workers. They don't have to waste half the staff taking orders because it's dealt with already. Every place we went to with this system had only two people running the show.

The corollary, of course, is that it's just replacing workers with machines, passing the work on to the customers, something I'm usually firmly against. In this case though, the places are so small that I can't imagine where a cashier would even go.

June 22, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Sert


IMG_4129, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. 2007.
::c::

Photo of the Day: Tokyo Taxi


IMG_4393, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tokyo, Japan. 2007.
::c::

June 21, 2007

Photo of the Day: Tokyo Firefighters


IMG_1992, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Access Cover. Tokyo, Japan. 2007.
::c::

Graffiti of the Day: Obey HiFi


IMG_4364, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Omonte Sando, Tokyo, Japan. 2007.

Artist: Shepard Fairey.


The man behind "Obey Giant", Shepard Fairey is having a gallery show at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea and DUMBO. The show opens tonight in DUMBO and Saturday in Chelsea. It's too late to RSVP for the opening, but I definitely want to check it out before it closes.

::c::

Settling Back into the Routine


IMG_0205, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Things are starting to get back to normal, more or less. We're both having some trouble sleeping through the night, but that's getting better.

Otherwise, it's back to the routine: commuting, working, yadda yadda.

As usual, I'm already thinking about my next trip. Well, trips. I'm off to LA in a month for work and I just booked a Thanksgiving trip to Barcelona. I'm pretty excited about that. It'll give me an excuse to try to keep my Spanish from getting too rusty.

Of course I'll have to do as much research as I can at various tapas bars around the city. . .

June 20, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Pez


IMG_4128, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Pez, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. 2007.
::c::

Shibuya

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Going to Shibuya after a few days in Kyoto was a shock.

The only way I can think of to describe the area would be to combine the lights and crowds of Times Square, the stores (and crowds) of Herald Square and the bars and vibe of the East Village. Except more so. More lights, more people, more stores, more noise, more everything. It was the most overwhelming experience we had in Japan.

The plan was to walk around and get an idea of the area, find a bar, have a couple drinks and take in everything. That's not quite how it happened...
As soon as we hit Shibuya crossing, the famous intersection where hundreds cross every few minutes, we were swept away.

We got caught up with no bearings of where anything was or where we were going. There was no slowing down to look around and of course, there were no street signs to refer to.

Eventually we found ourselves in a small alley with a little breathing room. I started noticing all the graffiti up on the walls from artists I've only read about in books, some I still can't name them all. I shot pieces from Pez and Monsieur Andre while trying to avoid getting run over by the trucks that squeeze through the narrow roads through all the people.

After an hour or two out, we fled to the hotel. At that moment, I think we both wondered why the hell we decided to stay there.

The next morning I got up early and went shooting before the crowds descended on the area. I got a lay of the land a bit better and we had a much easier time the rest of the weekend. We spent the rest of our weekend in Shibuya wandering around, eating and shopping for souvenirs. I'll post a couple of the more interesting prizes I brought back soon.

Photo of the Day: Mount Fuji


IMG_4335, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

June 18, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Cheer Up


Cheer Up, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tokyo, Japan
::c::

Random Observations: Keep to the Left

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You'd think the hardest part about visiting a place where they drive on the left would be trying to avoid getting hit by a car. It turns out that that part is relatively easy.

What I've found to be more difficult is getting used to walking on the left. Over and over again, I've found myself walking against traffic after I've veered right without noticing.

Photo of the Day: Shiodome Clock


IMG_2077, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Shiodome, Tokyo

Shiodome is a mall/office tower complex not far from where we stayed in Ginza. This clock was on the side of the media building. I don't know where it's from, but a dozen kids and their parents stood out in front of it for half an hour waiting to see it go off at noon. On the hour, an animatronic display went off for a couple minutes, everyone was rapt.

Random Observations: Brilliant!

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Everyone talks about the big technological differences that are vastly superior in Japan. What struck me were these random little things I saw there that I loved:

*When you hit the elevator call button, the light goes off on the elevator that is going to come. I don't know how common it is, but we saw this in a few places.

*In our last hotel, the Cerulean in Shibuya, Tokyo, the center of the bathroom mirror is heated. After taking a shower, everything is steamed up except for that.

*Next to the bed a couple of the hotels had controls to open and close the drapes and curtains.

Kyoto Hotel Okura

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I raved about it in passing earlier, but I think our incredible hotel deserves a bit more detail.

Kyoto Hotel Okura is described in the Lonely Planet as probably the best hotel in Kyoto. I took it as hyperbole and didn't really think about it when booking it. It seemed like a central location and the price, $172 a night was reasonable. It may be the best hotel experience either of us has ever had.

When we got in the cab from Kyoto station, the driver asked if we had been there before. I wasn't sure why, but I found out shortly.

Getting out of the cab, I reached for the trunk to get our luggage, the driver waved me away and gestured for me to wait. Almost immediately two porters came over to greet us and unload our bags. They took us to the front desk and then led us to our room on the executive floor. Our room was huge. The window stretched from wall to wall and had a view of the entire city and the mountains on either side of it.

The best part, entirely unquantifiable, was the service. The staff was everywhere and always there with a greeting and a smile.

Bars: Rub-A-Dub

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We only swung by Rub-a-dub in Ponto Cho, Kyoto to see what a Reggae bar in Japan could possibly be like. It turned out to be a lot of fun. It's a very small place that could probably only fit 20 people. Maybe.

We were there late on our last night. The only ones there were the bartenders, a girl who was friend with them and an old Japanese man who had been sitting next to us at the bar, wearing a cowboy hat.

I yelled out a request for some Bob Marley and they invited me over to pick something out. As we listened to "War/No More Trouble" from of Babylon By Bus, the old man got starting moving to the music. Before the song was over, he was dancing in the middle of the bar.

Kyoto ATMs

All throughout Japan, we found that there weren't as many banks as we see at home. There certainly are not so many that accept American bank cards.

Well, Kyoto has even fewer. In fact, I only found one. After walking in the rain for nearly an hour. With a bar tab waiting to get paid.

Lesson learned: stock up on your yen.

Ponto Cho

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Our hotel was just a block or two from Ponto Cho, an collection of interconnected alleys anchored by a pair of main strips, the main stretch, lit up at night with signs and the narrow parallel alley closer to the river sat in its shadow. The area is full of bars, restaurant and clubs stacked in anonymous buildings and packed into narrow pathways. We wandered through here blindly searching for food and drink, sometimes successful sometimes not. Occasionally, we found ourselves stalking geisha walking out of one of the private clubs on their way back to Gion, just across the river.

The first night we found Ponto Cho we spent at least and hour looking for Ing, a dive written up in our guide book. In the process we found a shabu shabu place with seating on tatami mats. While searching for food, we followed the delicious looking skewers in a window that Tammi had to have. The thick liquid they were bathed in, reminiscent of peanut sauce, was not quite sweet enough to cover the bitterness of tripe. I ate as much of it as I could and we split a hotpot.

After another misadventure, on our last night in Kyoto, we got got gyoza from two hilarious guys who were very excited to meet a pair of New Yorkers. At nearly 2 in the morning, they cheered 'Go Yankees!' and practiced their English with us.

I could have spent weeks exploring this strip alone, meeting the people and learning where to find the cool bars. I think we did alright for ourselves considering we were a pair of gaijin with nothing to guide us but our appetites and a Lonely Planet map.

Return of the JetLag

Well, it's 4:30 in the morning and I'm wide awake again. The only difference is that I actually have work this morning. I'm still pretty tired, but my mind is suddenly active and I figured I might as well get up rather than wake Tammi. So, I'll take the opportunity to put up some of the posts I worked on on the plane.
::c::

June 17, 2007

Kyoto


IMG_2875, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The first four days in Tokyo were so much fun that neither of us were really excited about going to Kyoto. Everyone we knew who'd been there insisted that we have to go, but we didn't really know much about what was there besides a bunch of temples and shrines. That all sounded well and good, but running around Kyoto, temple-hopping didn't sound so exciting.

We managed to see some culture despite ourselves and we were very glad we did. In particular, Nijo Castle was worth walking through a downpour to see. If nothing else, I had to check out the 'Nightingale floors' with floorboards that chirp when you step on them, just in case there are ninjas about. You can never be too careful.

Beyond that though, we did as we always do: ate well, drank well and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest.

Kyoto was a total change of pace from Tokyo. First of all, it's population is at most an eighth of the size.
Also, English was a lot more common there, enough so that we barely had to deal with language issues while there at all. Other issues, like figuring out where we were and where the banks were turned out to be much more pressing.

Time Warp

We got on the plane at 5:30pm, Sunday afternoon. We've been in the air for five and a half hours and it's 10am, Sunday morning. New York time, that is. We're probably somewhere over Alaska at this point, I expect.

I'm trying to pass the time without sleeping too much, to cut down on my jet lag. In my perpetual effort to squeeze every last minute of my vacation time, I'm working tomorrow, whenever that is.

I've got another seven and a half hours in the air. I think this may be a losing battle. In the meantime, at least I can catch up on my posts...

June 15, 2007

Photo of the Day: Rainy Kyoto


IMG_3356, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

It poured all day yesterday (Thursday), but we managed to be out and about the whole time - I got pretty soaked in the process. I'll get more Kyoto info posted soon, I hope.
::c::

Japan Photo Collection


IMG_3004, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I'm putting all of the Japan photos I upload in a Japan 2007 collection on Flickr.

Tammi's been posting her photos, too and writing about what we've seen on her blog. Check it out.

::c::

Pork Cheek Ramen


IMG_2757, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

This wonderful vision of deliciousness came from Santouka, a spiffy little ramen shop near Gion in Kyoto.

I can't begin to tell you how I love pork cheeks. This restaurant touts the fact that you only get 200 grams of cheek per pig. That's not the point.

The decadence of pork cheeks comes from the meltingly tender texture you feel as it deconstructs in your mouth. It's the waves of richness that overcome you when you taste it.

Bars in Japan

A few things I've learned in the last week about the bars here:

1. Most don't open until 6 or 7. Even the hotel bars and the Irish pubs aren't open until 4-5pm. This makes it difficult when all you want it a beer after schlepping around town lost for a couple hours.

2. There just aren't that many bars, in the sense that I'm used to. Most are at least partially restaurants. Apparently a lot of the drinking here is done in restaurants. It's cool, but can make it a bit more difficult picking a place out.

3. They are often hidden in otherwise anonymous office buildings, making them a lot more difficult to find.

June 14, 2007

Random Observation: Check Please!


IMG_3324, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Apparently the way to signal that you want the check is to make an 'X' with your two index fingers as demonstrated above by my lovely assistant.
::c::

Random Observations: Cell Phones


IMG_2559, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

It's no surprise that the cell phones here are more advanced than ours. Or that the Japanese are fixated on their phones, perpetually staring into them on the train, in the street and just about everywhere else.

I was surprised to see how big the phones are here. Nearly every phone I've seen, including the hot new phone pictured above, is huge compared to the phones we carry around at home. I guess when it comes to features versus size, they choose features.
::c::

Photo of the Day: The Salaryman


IMG_2086, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The closest we've seen to the notorious salarymen of Japan. He did look pretty torn up though.

Graffiti of the Day: Zeptiror.2006


IMG_1618, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan. 2007.

June 12, 2007

Random Observations: Smoking


, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The Japanese smoke a lot. Maybe not as much as the French, but pretty close.

Harajuku Greasers

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IMG_1835, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Just around the corner from the cosplay girls, a totally different type of dress-up was going on. These guys were dressed up like 50's greasers, complete with the leather, the motorcycles and the bouffant hair-dos. The women looked like they were going to a sock-hop. The guys mostly hung around in a circle looking cool while a few of them danced in the middle.

Tammi and I had the same idea when we saw this: At home they'd be charging for this. In the states or in Europe all of this would be busking and we'd never think anything about it. Just someone trying to get some money from us. In a culture with no tipping, these folks just do it for fun.

Graffiti of the Day: Sizzle


IMG_2150, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Random Observations: Kids


IMG_2501, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Kids are great. They have no superego telling them, "Don't look at the great big dark man who doesn't look like anyone you've ever seen."

I don't really know the proper reaction, but I'm amused nonetheless.

Okonomiyaki


Okonomiyaki, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.


Monday night was the end of the first leg of our trip. After the baseball game, we headed back to Ginza and looked for some food.

After a mostly embarrassing experience at a small izakaya down a dark alley, we stumbled upon President Chibo, an Okonomiyaki restaurant.

When we got there, they were getting close to closing, but let us in anyway. The staff was super-friendly even though we came in as they were wrapping up the night.

Okonomiyaki is often known as a Japanese pancake, which isn't really as descriptive as you'd want. Since fillings often include squid and cabbage and bonito fish flakes, you should probably know more about it before you order it for breakfast and drown it in maple syrup.

I first heard of it from Lara, who had gone to Japan a few years before we started dating, probably 10 years ago now. The only one I had ever had was the one at the izakaya attached to Angel's Share in the Village (upstairs from Around the Clock). It's thick like a pancake and stuffed with squid and cabbage, topped with fish flakes and japanese mayo.

This was totally different. It was much more like a crepe, the batter was pours onto the skillet in front of us and spread out flat, while our fillings, pork, octopus, noodles and scallions cooked on the grill.

I hear there are a lot of okonomiyaki places in Kyoto, I place to look them up tomorrow.
::c::

Hibiya Park


, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

On our first day in Tokyo, I wandered around the area while Tammi napped and came across Hibiya Park, just a couple blocks away. Shortly after getting into the park, I started to hear yelling and chanting coming from one corner. I followed it to discover these guys flailing about singing and gesturing to each other. I have no idea what it was.

On the way out, I found another set of guys doing the same thing, this time making stabbing motions towards themselves. It was very strange.

Japanese Baseball

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Tammi and I went to see the Yamuiri (sp?) Giants play last night (Monday).

The baseball ritual in Japan is fascinating. The stadium is split between the two sides and each side has songs and chants and rituals for each player.

The entire experience was fun and culturally very interesting, but the best part has to have been the beer girls. Unlike stadiums in the US where pisswater beer is poured and then carried around until when you finally get it, it's warm and flat, this beer is always fresh. That's because they pour it in front of you... from a keg... on their back! Yeah, really.

I love this place.

Harajuku Girls

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On multiple recommendations, Tammi and I headed out to Harajuku on Sunday to see the show at Yoyogi Park. Every weekend teenagers into 'cosplay' show up dressed in elaborate outfits, wearing layers of make up and freaky custom contact lenses. They sit out at the entrance to the Meiji shrine and hang out. This has become a tourist attraction and when we got there, at least half the people out there were taking pictures of these kids.

I was very apprehensive about the whole thing at first. My photos of people tend toward the candid. I feel like there's a sort of purity in catching people unaware. Seeing subjects as they are, without the pretense of a pose or a primp, is equal parts honesty and voyeurism. It's real.

Further, I've known more than a few angsty teens in my time who view their outrageous styles as expressions of their true beings and, regardless of how disingenuous as it may have seemed to everyone else, insisted that they did not want everyone's attention.

So the idea of walking up to someone and sticking a camera in their face seemed inappropriate.

I hung back for a bit, shooting from afar, watching the tourists pose with these kids. Then I noticed that all of the cos-play kids were eager to pose. They held up signs, in English to attract attention, they sat through photo after photo as Americans and Italians and everyone else pointed and shot. They loved it and were actually there for the attention.

Out of everything I saw there, that was probably the weirdest thing about the entire experience for me.

Thank You Orbitz!

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Orbitz totally hooked us up with a super-swanky room at a great hotel on the Executive floor. The room is huge and it's got a view of the entire city, including the Buddha statue above.
For that, they get a shout out.

Transport Rant

Forgive the upcoming soapbox tirade. I'm sitting on the bullet train to Kyoto and thinking about some of the inadequacies of home.

While I watch the Japanese countryside zoom by at hundreds of miles per hour, the first thing that comes to mind is 'why can't we do this at home?' I've been avoiding ranting on this subject for a little while now, but those who have known me for a little while have heard me sound off about the concerted effort of various lobbying groups to keep our rail system antiquated. Amtrak should be so much better than it is. When politicians go on about the agency needing to be self-sufficient, I always wonder what they would say about ending subsidies to the interstate system.

Economies run better when people can get around. It's just a fact. That's why we have public transportation. Mayor Bloomberg has said that he wishes the subways could be free because it's such a necessity to us all. The national rail system could be like that, if anyone wanted to do it.

June 11, 2007

Random Observations, Part 2

I can't get to Google.com from here, only Google.co.jp, which is in Japanese.

Bars: Brick


, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Brick is a cool little 'American' bar in Ginza. The first time we passed by, it caught my attention with the softly playing jazz wafting out of its dark doorway.

The vibe inside is relaxed and the decor old school. Bartenders dress in vests and bow ties and dim lights reflect off the polished dark wood and the bottles of liquor on the wall.

You can't get sake here, or Tammi's new favorite, Shochu. She had to stick with her usual bourbon. The beer selection is half local, half imports. I've been sticking to the locals for most part, particularly Suntory Premium Malts, one of the best Japanese beers I've had.

Brick also has the distinction of being one of the few places in the neighborhood that stays open late on the weekend, when the after-work crowd isn't around and the shoppers have gone home.

Photo of the Day: Ginza Truck


, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. 2007.

Random Observations, Part 1

I heard "We are the World" twice in one day. I have no idea why.

June 10, 2007

Tsukiji Fish Market


, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

On our first morning here, we got up obscenely early in the morning and headed out to see Tsukiji Fish Market. The cab driver dropped us off in front of a loading area where trucks sped in every few seconds. We had no idea which way we were supposed to go, so we decided to just start walking the direction the trucks were going.

If we had taken five steps to the left, we would have seen a sign, with a map of the market and the warning:

"The Market is crowded with lots of trucks and special vehicles and people.
Be careful not to be injured all the time please"

Eric forwarded me an article on the fish market, so I had heard a bit about the 'special vehicles' in question. The writer, Nick Tosches, describes them:

"Old, diesel-fueled turrets; new, battery-powered turrets: every one of them driven by a single standing man who seems invariably to have both hands occupied with lighting up a smoke rather than with steering as he careens round and among the other vehicles that lurch and speed every which way, a surprise at every turn, over the bloody cobblestones amid the pedestrian traffic of the rest of the 60,000 or so people who work at Tsukiji."

'Careen' is the key word. Seemingly oblivious to everything around them, these guys zipped around the market, in and out of the tightest of turns and scaring the hell out of Tammi.

We wandered around the stalls, taking pictures of fish, vaguely feeling as though we didn't belong there. We turned around before finding the tuna auction, which is the big deal of the experience. Giant flash-frozen tuna is auctioned off to restaurants and shipped around the world.

I'm still holding out that we may make another trip there before we head home. We'll see.

Photo of the Day: Tokyo Flower


, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Access cover, near Tsuikiji Market.
Tokyo, Japan. 2007
::c::

June 9, 2007

Japan: First Photos Posted

The first photos are posting to Flickr right now. I'm going to try to get a little rest now before the day starts.

June 8, 2007

Wow, Jet-Lag

It's around 4am on our second morning here and we're both up and awake. Neither of us can get back to sleep. Yesterday we got up early on purpose to go out to Tsukiji (more on that later) then napped for a bit and spent the rest of the day on our feet. By 9pm I was nodding off at Brick, a bar in Ginza (more on that later too). Yes, I was nodding off - in a bar. Obviously something was wrong.

We were passed out by 10pm. As tired as I was, I knew I'd sleep the night through. So, much for that. I guess I'll take the time to download the photos I've taken so far.

Immersion

A couple hours ago we crossed the date line, which means I’m officially 30 years old. We’ve got just over an hour left until we land and I’m a little too excited to sleep. It’s a few minutes to midnight at home, but I can’t keep my eyes closed.

I’ve been passing the time with a little immersion. I went through some Japanese lessons, trying to get a handle on grammatical structure and such. I’ve also been watching a bunch of anime I haven’t seen in years to get used to hearing it spoken. Every now and again I’ll hear a word I recognize, but mostly it’s outside my reach. I’ll just have to get by as best I can.

I’ve come across an interesting obstacle. Whenever I try to put together a sentence, I find myself thinking Spanish words in the place of Japanese words I don’t know. It’s an odd thing. Spanish is the only language, besides English that I have more than a passing knowledge of. I’ve studied it on and off for over 15 years, so it’s my default ‘other’ language.


June 7, 2007

And We're Off...

bklyn

Today's the day.

We're doing our last minute packing before we head out. I'm adding movies to the ipod so we have entertainment for the long long flight. I got up a little after 6am to start getting ready, call the family and tie up the last few loose ends. We're both really excited to finally be going.

Last night we went out with many friends at ReBar. I had a great time, thanks to everyone who showed up. ReBar was a great space too, I'll be sure to write it up when I come back.

In the meantime, I'll be posting erratically and at totally random hours for the next 10 days or so. Keep an eye out for photos on the flickr stream too!
::c::

June 6, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Hell Box


IMG_2734.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Downtown, NYC.

Artist: Hell.

Photo of the Day: Baby Revolutionaries


Baby Revolutionaries, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

I have to wonder if the City employee who named this place had any idea who Nat Turner is.

June 5, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Brooklyn Law


IMG_0031, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Photo of the Day: Conservatory Garden


IMG_9553, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
::c::

June 4, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: UFO Van


IMG_0004, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Photo of the Day: Serene


IMG_2733, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn.

June 3, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: When Copy Editors go feral


When Copy Editors go feral, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Delancy Street Station, NYC
::c::

Brand New Heavies @ Highline Ball Room

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Last night I caught the Brand New Heavies at the Highline Ballroom. It was a great show. I'm not very familiar with BNH, but I've heard good things about them. Tammi wasn't interested - she says all their songs sound alike, I don't entirely disagree. I still don't really know one song from the other, with one or two exceptions, but for the most part I like their sound.

Regardless, they know how to amp up a crowd. The music swayed from Funk to Soul to Disco rocking the ballroom with it. I went with Will, who has now seen them play 3 times. One of the highlights for me was when they played "I Don't Know Why I Love You." N'Dea sang it in that Micheal Jackson style, yelling and pleading the whole way through. It was great.

Check out the photos here.

Photo of the Day: Precious


IMG_6029, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Habana Outpost, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
::c::

June 2, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Commy


IMG_3113, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Philadelphia, PA. 2007.

Commy Paste-up.

Photo of the Day: Italian Trumpeters


IMG_4007, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

San Gennaro Festival, Little Italy, NYC.
::c::

June 1, 2007

Graffiti of the Day: Nothing Lasts Forever


IMG_7116, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2007.

Artist: Faile.

Faile's response to the splasher.

::c::

Brooklyn Record: RIP

Sad news: I just heard yesterday that The Brooklyn Record, the general interest Brooklyn blog I wrote for from time to time was closing down. It was a good experience getting into the habit of writing more often, even if I still have a hard time consistently posting.

Hopefully the benefit of one less thing to do will be that I'll spend a bit more time actually writing on this blog. I will be re-purposing my posts from The Record in some fashion soon, I just haven't decided how yet.
::c::

Update: I just went ahead and copied all the posts I wrote on The Record and re-posted them here for the same time/date. There will be some overlap between posts, I wrote about the same things in both places occasionally.

Photo of the Day: Commuting in Argentina


IMG_0936, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2006.
::c::