This week has been a real different kind of week for me. I met three people for the first time. Ok, not really for the first time, but it was the first time that we meet in a physical space. It was the first time I could put a voice to all the texted discourse. For me, that is a big step in a positive direction.
I got to meet up with a photographer mate and munch on a Junior’s pastrami sandwich in the Imperial Palace Gardens and exchange our views on photography. It really was a healing experience. I don’t get the opportunity to chat much about topics that are close to my soul, other than pouring out typed discourse on the Lucid Communication website.
The next I met up with a singer and dancer who is here with the first time in Japan tour of the musical Hair. We got to do some speed sightseeing and caught dinner where we compared NYC and Tokyo. It is always refreshing to see my city, Tokyo, though the eyes of the first time experience. It gave me more reasons to love this strange dwelling place.
Lastly, I met up with a fellow artist today to show her the basics of photography technique. She arrived on island time but that didn’t really matter. We went over the basics of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and how these basic numbers really determine how the image is created.
We then proceeded to walk around the old part of Urayasu. I was shocked. I wish she had captured what must have been a look of horror on my face to see my beloved Flower Street had undergone intensive rebuilding since the last time I strolled around more than six months ago. More of the old buildings had been torn down and replaced with new ones. The old bridges had been replaced. Even some of the streets had been widened. There are still a few pockets of old homes. One home we passed my guest had pointed out to me that there was a kitty staring at us from a window sill.
We were invited into to see a collection of photographs that had been taken in the 1950s and 50s around Urayasu. The humble black and white photographs captured a time when the canals and rivers were swarmed with wooden fishing boats. The streets were lined with filleted fish and seaweed were drying in the sunshine. These images captured a time that has slipped though the nets of Urayasu in favor of giant condominiums and the business brought about by Tokyo Disney Land.
The rate at which the old part of Urayasu has been swallowed up by the redevelopment is alarming. There will be a time when there is no longer an old part of town, and Urayasu will only be separated from the rest of sprawling Tokyo by the Kyo Edogawa River.