THE FOOD !
Near Ueno park. A tofu restaurant called Sasanoyuki (snow on bamboo). Around for hundreds of years apparently.
House made tofu, sesame tofu, tofu in sauce with dollop of hot mustard, tofu ice cream etc etc.
Shown hear are about half the courses.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Mike Slack shot this little video on his - i-phone at my house last night. Just a corner of the built-in desk and one of the 3 original Schindler chairs. A beautiful composition. He proves once again that even in the most mundane, there is incredible beauty if looked at the in the right way. When I first saw his work, I thought that I was looking at yet another hip photographer's random images that were supposed to impress me in some way that I did not understand. It was pointed out to me, and clear ever since, his images are anything but random. They are beautifully composed snippets of the environment, as found. Showing beauty where few would find it. Known for his Polaroid compositions, he has a new book launching titled "Pyramids". The third and last in this series. In a way the end of an era. Polaroid is dead. The cult instant film is no longer being produced. The remaining stock which doesn't last will all expires at some point soon. I have spoken with Mike about this a few times. You would think he would be sad about this. He is not. He says that it is just a medium. I like that he is interested in taking pictures with his i-phone. All this proves, as you can see from this image, his eye. Proof that beauty is in the eye.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Just back from Las Vegas and the 2009 Interbike show.
Colnago in the usual style of Italian excess presented this pimped-out (hate to use this phrase - but look at this bike, how else would you describe it?) 50th anniversy bike.
Steel frame with gold-plated lugs, forks and chains stays. A little much, but .... I'd ride it with pride.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
On Meguro-dori in the Meguro section of Tokyo is the Claska Hotel.
A reworked 1970's office block, the Claska is new for Japan but a very familiar style of new boutique hotel like the Standard or Maritime.
Being in Tokyo, what they do better is the retail. There is both a store and a gallery.
On show was work by Akio Ryota, one my favorite of the younger generation of potters. Very clean smooth porcelain. White or silver colored.
The entire of Meguro street is worth a stroll. The grandfather of Tokyo mid-century stores, "Meister" is there. Along with furniture stores Karf and Brunch.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
A real Louis Vuitton store, in the subway station? Really?
Yep. One of the many things i don't understand about Japan is the absolute obsession with Louis Vuitton.
I guess it was inevitable that in order to supply the almost unlimited demand to the always-busy Japanese consumer, they opened an actual store in the Ikebukuro subway station. Odd but strangely fitting.
I do like, however, the "subway theme". Crates, scaffolding, a fork-lift etc.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Good old Steve Mattson. Good friend of the Zimmerloney's and extra committed bicycle guy. A cornerstone at the Bikerowave (non-profit dedicated to helping get people on and riding their bikes), was helping a lady in distress. Trying to remove a zip tie from her handlebars with a multi-tool. A little slip-up, a shower of blood and 6 hours in the emergency room.
Steve, the lady (Molly, who took these morbidly beautiful photos) and the bike are all fine. He made it to the wedding (we car-pooled) but was unfortunately unable to do any of the riding with us in the beautiful Sonoma country-side.
The lesson - multi-tools are for emergency, roadside repairs. Use real tools at home and whenever possible.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Higashiya is always a favorite stop in Tokyo. This week Shinji Sugiyama and his lovely wife Asuka took me for breakfast at their location near Meguro.
I am fascinated that traditional Japanese style (either modernized or original) is becoming more and more popular inside Japan amongst hipper and trendier people.
My personal (and so-far uncorroborated theory) is that as the hunger that creative Japanese people have for things that are new, interesting, exotic and foreign, the farther away they are from their roots. I have been feeling for sometime that younger Japanese people have reached a point where they are disconnected enough from their past, to find it exotic enough to be become exiting.
Higashiya represents the best of this trend. Originally serving traditional Japanese sweets, beautifully presented, they are now serving entire meals.
Monday, September 7, 2009
In the past i have posted some beautiful bikes that were hand built by my friend Eric Zimmerman. I just returned Sonoma and the very special and beautiful wedding of Eric to his very special and beautiful bride filmmaker Tamara Maloney.
They rode into the wedding on a matched pair of black and gold bikes that Eric made for the wedding. Tamara has been angling for some time to have their names combined into a single surname "Zimmerloney", for the moment, the names of these unique bikes is as far as this has gone.
A man's bike for the groom, a mixte for the bride. Both steel steel frames made by Eric with hand-cut lugs with hearts. A great new detail, the new Zimmerman enamel head badge The wedding date appears boldly along with the name of each bike "Zimmerloney"
650b (small than standard) wheelsets sport handmade Japanese tires. I had a chance to ride them both. They are fast and agile. The mixte perfection. The other a bit twitchy. A result of Eric's over obsession with bike design blogs. Relying on a concept of "Pneumatic Trail" that was supposed to ease the handling on a steep fork because of an apparently non-exist effect of the rather wide tires.
In any case, a most beautiful wedding. Best wishes to a couple of my favorite people in the world, a couple of very special Zimmerman's (err - Zimmerloneys)