Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It's rasta soba.

You heard me.
Asahi is a tiny soba-ya in Higashi Kitazawa with one employee (the owner) and handmade soba, zensai, and gluten cutlets.
It also happens to be vegan, because the owner is cooking in Ital style. As in, the food associated with the Jamaican Rastafari religion.
Whatever the reason, the food is gorgeous and succulent and earnest. I could do with another plate of this right about now.
Oh man, hungry.

Monday, September 27, 2010

confession time

I'm a nighttime laundry hanger. The shame of the neighborhood. Sometimes I forget about it and don't come home and leave it out for a couple of days. Right now it's probably soaking wet. My neighbors think I'm a degenerate.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sakuragaoka Café

Here's a laid-back lounge in Shibuya’s backyard. 
I like this spot for a coffee and a some quality time with my laptop.
Peep the Nihon-ga.
Just a few minutes away from the hugger mugger of Hachiko Crossing, you'd swear Sakuragaoka Café was in a different world, or at least a different station. This spacious, mellow lounge filled with soft lighting and low-slung couches that invite you to linger longer doesn't feel like Shibuya. More like Seattle.
Rum and cherry coke, caramel latte, or a coconut curry. The staff will loan you a LAN cable.
Open until the wee hours. Shall we have a drink in Udagawacho?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

All you people in my way,

walking while talking on your mobile,
walking while reading,
standing in the middle of the sidewalk playing your DS,
mounting stairs at a maddeningly slow pace while texting, during rush hour,
practicing your golf swing with your umbrella on a busy train platform,

I have a near-uncontrollable impulse to body check you or trip you with my umbrella. My resistance thus far has been valiant but might not last. Be warned.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Questions for today:

Why are all these people wearing sunglasses at night?
Black eye?
Corey Hart devotees?
Didn't feel like doing their eye make-up?


Why can't SMAP sing?

Thank you for your time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

geezer gawk

Ice cream eating, beverage sippin', and kicking it on the curb: it's an excellent season for people watching.

Of course, sitting out amidst the stream of vain and fashionable humanity makes you a target for the more brave and brazen to strike up a conversation. And unfortunately, it's usually the people I least want to talk to that approach.

Last night PJ and I were observing the parade. 'Fabulous hair!" "Is that a dress or a shirt?" "It's adorable when drunk boys hold hands!"

A guy rocked up to us wearing sweatpants and a mesh vest, a green-accented can of beer in his pocket. He pointed to PJ and exclaimed, "Malaysia!"

PJ's not Malaysian.

He was about 50 or 60, wiry, tan. He nattered at us for a bit and I bemusedly fielded his questions. He stopped to shake my hand every sixty seconds. Yoroshiku, ne!

After ascertaining our nationalities and length of stay in Japan (prerequisite information for any conversation with a foreigner, I think it's written in the law), he started insisting that PJ certainly looked like "Michael's" daughter. In fact, was she not actually related to him??

We told him that she was not.

He persisted. But everyone says that, right? Can you moonwalk? He did a little demonstration.

No, in fact, it was the first time she'd heard about this likeness.

Ah, he said knowingly, I've got a good eye. 

He then segued into cadging a free English lesson off me.

"This is a pen!"dayo! I learned it in school! これはぺんですよ、ね。

"very good", what does it mean?
"come on baby", って、何の意味?

We finally escaped him after ten or so minutes. It was okay for the first few minutes, but then he started repeating himself and the MJ references got tiresome.

Is it too much to ask that some interesting, non-drunk and crazy people would stop and chat once in awhile? As amusing as a geezer moonwalk is.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

99 li along the sea

It's the first day of fall, or something. And after August is finished, the beaches get all deserted. Hardly anyone goes swimming. The season is over.
I ask you: does it FEEL like summer is over? I know *I* just bought another box of popsicles.
I think not. Let me tell you a secret: you can still swim for a few more weeks! Maybe even into October! And the water is still warm and there's all that lovely elbow room.
I think 99 Li Beach, or 九十九里浜, in Chiba, is the nicest beach I've been to in mainland Japan. It's long (99 li is equal to 66 km.) and broad and white and there are waves and there's plenty of space to stretch out in.
And if you're in the neighborhood, I really recommend stopping by the Brownsfield Organic Farm.
They have a beautiful macrobiotic café on weekends, and lodging in treehouses.
It's about a 2-3 hour drive from Tokyo, so I think it's definitely an overnighter. Please go. And bring me.

Although if you're going to Zushi or Shimoda anytime soon, I wouldn't sneeze at the chance to go to either of those beaches.

Quick, before summer really IS over.