Thursday, February 25, 2010

Japan Resurfacing

After I came back to the states my laptop experienced the blue screen of death which resulted in a lengthy hibernation. Fortunately, Justin was able to revive it. It's now in working condition and I just so happened to stumble upon some old photos from Japan.

The year is 2007. My friend Erwin is stopping in Tokyo for the auto show before heading to Shanghai to visit friends. I am living in Osaka at the time; homeless, jobless, and only knowing but a handful of people in this busy city. My spirits are down and I need relief. Erwin calls, "Come to Tokyo. I gotchu covered." Click. Boots pounding on the pavement. Bullet train screech. Elapsed time 3 hrs. There I am standing in the Prince Park Tower Tokyo. The place exuded luxury and extravagance. Needless to say, I felt out of place in my thrifted clothes and scuffed up boots. I didn't care too much though and I quickly made myself comfortable.

Erwin came ill-prepared. His only place of interest was the auto show and now that he got that out of the way the rest was up to me. I planned an extensive itinerary for us mainly with things I thought he'd enjoy. Hmm, what would a guy that likes sports, food, alcohol and "kawaii" girls want to do? Aha! First up on the agenda, Roppongi! Oh Roppongi..the only place in Japan where you will find very little Japanese people. Sure, they're speaking in Japanese but once you get up close you'll see..dude is Nigerian. Roppongi doesn't warrant a summary of that nights events. I left Erwin at a horrible pub called Gas Panic (Sorry, Erwin), avoid this place at all costs unless you like bad hip hop and trashy, drunk girls. If this sort of thing tickles your fancy then by all means check it out and once you're done you should jump off the Reinbo burijji (Rainbow Bridge) because you suck.

I planned to get up early so we could check out the Tsukiji Fish Market and have breakfast. Unfortunately Erwin's liver had other plans and these plans consisted of recovering in the bathtub for numerous hours. No problem, we skipped brekkie and ate at one of the bougie restaurants in the hotel. Poor moi. We ate at a robatayaki-ya- Japanese grilled meat candy and while the meal was delicious it was also bittersweet because poor Erwin was lookin nauseous and about to keel over. We quickly headed to Ueno park for some strolling around and to check out the Tokyo National Museum. Good. He needed some fresh air.

or wet air..

On our way to the museum we saw a crowd of people. What's all the commotion? Apparently free meals were being given away to the less fortunate.

Homeless people in Japan - they do exist.

The Tokyo National Museum

Kitties- they seem to gravitate towards me.

We made our way to Ameyoko short for "Ameya Yokocho" meaning candy alley. Which you will see from the following photos had everything but. They should call it crappy rasta souvenir alley or stinky dried seafood alley.

What up!

Erwin tried his hand at pachinko for a bit. It's a vertical pinball looking game where you enter yen and then it magically disappears. The more yen you insert, the more you lose. Make sense?

I refused to play. Instead, I bought this delicious and refreshing beverage. Getcha sum.

Part deux: Osaka and Kyoto coming soon.

Photos by Erwin.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

"ONCE" - too many

Never, ever, base a movie selection on one particular song from the soundtrack. It seems like a pretty obvious move not to make but I've had previous success with this method of picking films. For example, whilst listening to Michael Barnes one morning, he mentioned the track he played (the name escapes me), was from a film, a good film, called Sin Nombre. For many reasons, I trust this guy. His music knowledge is vast and I prefer his selection of music over others at kcrw. That said, I came to the conclusion that similar taste in music = similar taste in movies? Somewhat accurate, right? I netflixed that bad boy immediately and sure enough I was not disappointed. The film is vivid. The colors, the violence, the story - all vivid. The soundtrack, while very good, was a back story and center stage became the plight of a young Honduran girl migrating to the U.S. The obstacles she encountered will give any American with liberal guilt (moi) a heavy heart. Rent it, watch it, love it. You may thank me later.

On the cusp of such success from Sin Nombre I added another film based on a song I heard from Jason Bentley's set on MBE. The song is nice, no? I mean a little emo for some but it's nice to be a sentimental sap once in a while. I'll be the first to admit I'm a sucker for quirky, indie love stories a la Eternal Sunshine. I added it to the queue and somehow, not sure how, Once rose to the top of the list and it arrived on Friday, full of promise. First off, there were two things going against this movie from the beginning; one: it was a musical and two: it probably cost about 3K to make. Not that a small budget should ever stifle a movies' success. With talented people anything is possible but this movie did not possess that kind of strength. It also didn't help that the person I was watching the movie with was of the xx genetic make-up. As soon as the word "musical" was mentioned I was given the stinkface.

I tried, I absolutely did. I was about 30 mins. into the film when I felt the urge to fast forward through it. It was long, or rather, it felt long. I'm sorry I can't really give an adequate review for this because I haven't actually seen the entire movie. I mean, you'll have to be slightly sensitive in order to appreciate this kind of film. Good Luck. Immediately afterwards I watched Born into Brothels to cleanse myself of bad movieness. Now I want a 35mm camera, stat.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Learned the Hard Way

She was on fiyah! (Literally, it was like 30C that day in the southern hemisphere.)

During FlyLo



Photos courtesy of Melissa "Meerkat"

PRISM Gallery: MindTheGap Exhibition

Like an M.I.A. video.

more photos here.

8746 West Sunset Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90069

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I started a blog

To learn things of some sort, to meet people of some sort, to talk about things of some sort, to share feelings of some sort, to impart ideas of some sort, to show creativity of some sort, to be of use of some sort.

And also, because, to a certain extent, I am a narcissistic and insecure person :)