flowers

Mother’s Day in the Neighborhood

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Concrete Flower Wall Mother's Day

Flowers for all the mothers in the world.  Those mothers that  know and and those that I don’t.  I especially want to thank my own mother Madelyn for being there for me.  Much love to all.

 

Gardening in the Neighborhood

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Flower Burst Wall Window

The weather today has been gorgeous.  It might seem strange but after a few days of some weather that just confused me, it is nice to have awoken to clear skies and coolish air.

The weather on the stroll around this Narashino neighborhood on Friday was perfect.  The small plots of land are always stuffed to the bursting point with plants.  The Japanese had a great knack when it comes to using space efficiently.  Most people who are into gardening will have plants lined up on walls, in front of the home, and even planting some in the earth if they have the space.

I love look at how beautiful and compacted these gardens are.  There is so much concrete we are surrounded by everywhere we turn, it is a pleasure to see some green leaves reaching towards the sunshine.

I too have tried to use my space efficiently by planting a container vegetable garden this year on my patio.  I will keep you posted on it’s progress.

Keep on sowing seeds!

Bush Wall Taped Up Mailbox

A Heart Full Day in Rainy Harajuku

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Heart Full Door, Harajuku

Harajuku is one of those places in Tokyo that I have a real love hate relationship with.  For most wether they are visitors from other countries or the Japanese themselves, Harajuku they love is full of teenage girls and boys playing dress up in and around Takeshita Street. Or the ultra brands like Gucci, Prada, and Luis Vuitton.  Often it is described as the gauge for what is happening in Japan’s fashion world.  For me, this is the part of Harajuku that just gives me the creeps and leaves me feeling empty.

It is too obvious.  Japan, crazy people, wearing lots of crazy clothes.  Being fiercely independent by all dressing alike.  Ok so there are a bunch of overly fashion obsessed kids around here, so now what?

What I actually dig about Harajuku are the little side streets that wind between Harajuku and Shibuya.  This is where cool little houses mingle with the most esoteric boutiques.  On this rainy day I was not disappointed.  I am always amazed that people live within a rock throw of the great teenage hordes.

On this rainy day in May, I still found some love to warm my heart.  A door to someone’s home had been tagged up with hearts.  Many many hearts.  Most of the hearts where smiling at me, so I smiled back at them.

Anyone who has spent a lot of time in Tokyo know that the real Tokyo lies hidden under the gloss of the tour books, and what the Japanese celebrate in their culture too.  The real Tokyo that captivates me is in these little backstreets that no one pays any attention to.  It is here on these wet backstreets that I found a door of hearts.  A door into my own heart.

Flower Full Door, Harajuku

 

Gated Jungle Home, Harajuku

 

Stray Kitty in the Parking Lot’s Garden

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

This little kitty was out enjoying the clear winter sunlight the other day, just like me.  The kitten was peeking out at me through the parking lot’s garden.  His/her eyes met my lens, as I pressed the shutter button. I hope that one day he/she will find a home.  Someone out there will take care of this kitten.  However, for now he’ll just continue to take advantage of winter’s sunny skies.

Kitty in The Parking Lot Garden

Pre Autumn Burst of Red

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The temperature may have dropped in Tokyo, but the autumn leaves have yet to arrive.  I am not complaining, I am immensely thankful for the cool weather that I have breezing in through my windows.  I am, however, anticipating the changing leaves.  Those colors that dance on my lens as the long rays of autumn light struggle to reach earth.

Today I kept my eye peeled for any signs of the changing leaves to come.  Have the tips of any leaves started to morph into those autumn hues?  Not yet.  They will come soon enough.  In the meantime I found a bush of these flowers tucked behind a huge hydrangea bush at a small buddhist temple.  They are just a taste of the colors that are to come.  I give thanks for all the bursting colors of summer that are still hanging on into autumn.

Autumn Red Flower Burst

Little Urban Details

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

A few shots of mixing up the urban and the flowers I so love these days.  I love how they just merge together.  Sometimes it is the intention of the homeowner’s attempt to beautify the unbeautiful and others its just seems so random.  Flowers…. air conditioners, a few of my favorite things.

Air Condition Mini Garden

Outside the Kindergarden

Celebrate Life, Not Death

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

The weather yesterday was gorgeous.  The sun was bright.  The air was cool and dry.  A slight breeze was blowing through town.  I was thinking to myself how beautiful life can be if you only take the time to enjoy it.  To open our eyes to the world full of pain and sorrow to see that there is beauty in the living world.

I have continued to be completely obsessed with observing the spring.  All the colors that dance with in my sight at every step, anywhere I go these days.  The flowers are survivors.  They are thrivers even in the most difficult of situations.  Their roots reach down and squeeze in between the cracks to seek out the nutrients from the earth, as the colored petals open up to receive the sun’s rays.

It wasn’t until I got back to the station and hopped on the train that I checked the news on my cellphone.  The top story was Osama Bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan.  I had no real emotional reaction to it at that time.  I felt kind of numb.  I felt no joy in the news.

I read through the story and still felt not much of anything.  I wasn’t surprised.  It was as if i was saying to myself, “Ok, now what?”  After the news sank in a bit I began to wonder what is this going to mean in our lives.  Are we truly going to be safer.  I think now.  Now that the number one evil doer in the world has been killed, I thought to myself, what are they now going to use as the poster boy of evil?

I was sadden to see the young Americans out in the street rejoicing in the death of someone.  Even though that someone in no way was a good soul.  My heart tells me that rejoicing in the demise of someone else is just wrong.

I began to think about these young people.  Most of them were of the college years.  They were just children when 911 happened.  They know nothing than what the media has been feeding them over the last 10 years.  In the words of my friend Jerry Kolber It saddened my heart to see them “celebrating as if we had won the world series of baseball!”

We, as human beings, should celebrate LIFE, not death.  Life is worth living.  Life is worth more that all the billions spent in the name of war.  We should celebrate life, the happiness in our lives.  The color and joys that fill up our days.  At the same time we need to be vigil and remember the great incalculable cost to kill one man.

So I choose life.  I will celebrate life, not death.  We cannot let hatred rule our lives, because hate will only breed more hate.  Love can conquer hate, but it is the more difficult way.

For me the flowers and their hues are life.  I celebrate the joy that they bring to my heart.  Let your hearts be open to love to dispel the hate.

One Love

from Tokyo

Dancing Orange Blossoms

Yellow Up Between the Pavement

Love Life in Yellow

Another Week, Time to Give Thanks

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Another week has come to a close here in Tokyo.  The week that was filled with dust, dirt, and pollen.  The air was playing hell with my allergies.  I tried to do the Japanese way of wearing a surgical mask, but that helped just a bit.

I am thankful for making it to another shabbat.  The time that has been set aside for reflection and rest.  To look back on the week, and be thankful for what we have.  And I am truly thankful.  I am thankful for my friends and family being safe and in good health.  I am thankful for all the beauty that surrounds my lens.  The flowers are a constant reminder of the change that is brewing here in japan.  The change that needs to happen for this society to overcome all of their difficulties.  I hope that they too will stop to take heed of this beauty, and let the colors inspire them to reach higher than they have ever before.

It is time to put away petty differences.  It is time to see the good in the world and time to put away childish selfish ways.  The glory bubble times are long gone.  It is time to sober up and put forth conversation, and real inclusive unity rather than just for show.

So to all of you, I ask that you in your works, take time to pause, and reflect.  Stop and look up high into the sky and watch the clouds dance across.  Stop, and look at your feet and see the little blooms that are scattered at your feet.

The earth will shake, the rain will fall, and we will be here, being thankful for the life that we are given.

Peace from Tokyo.

Junglefied Front Garden

Wisteria in the Neighborhood

Potted Step Up

Things are Coming Along

Monday, April 25th, 2011

I spent the morning helping some friends rebuild their garden that had been covered in a layer of icing like mud after the liquefaction in Shin Urayasu.  The day was a gorgeous spring day.  The sun was shining brightly yet the air was crisp and just a tad cool.  It felt good to both help out and just to be out in the sun.

Sometimes I really miss having a yard with trees, plants, and a garden like I had growing up in Miami.  Here in Tokyo and it’s suburbs there is little space for gardening.  Homeowners get very creative with their use of space, and create elaborate gardens in the most minuscule of areas.

As I wandered a bit around the Shin Urayasu neighborhood, I did notice that it was a lot less dusty than two weeks ago.  More of the silt has been removed, along with a few days of some heavy downpours have helped to clear the air.

People are out and about taking care of their homes and all in all after six weeks things are coming along nicely.

The spring colors keep pushing me forward.  I am compelled to show all the colors that the world has to offer.  The bright spots that standout on a sunny day like yesterday.  With all the worries of the world, I can loose myself within the simple beauty of color.

One Out of a Town

Orange Ones, Drying Ones

Spring is Popping Up in Tokyo

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

As the earth still continues to shake, and TEPCO struggles to contain the the nuclear power plant, the colorful blossoms of spring are popping up in my neighborhood.  The Cherry Blossom trees are covered with buds that should burst forth any day now.

As all these issues that I have absolutely no control over swirl around me I can take some comfort in knowing that mother nature will continue through its cycles.  The flowers will continue to bloom.  The children who have been bundled up during the winter months will head to the parks to play.  All the signs that spring is coming.

Still I feel this uneasiness this spring.  I am sure that there will be little partying under the cherry blossoms.  People’s hearts are heavy with uncertainty about the future.  I have no choice but to be optimistic that a better future will come.

Disasters are a part of human kind, and they challenge us to rise above and overcome them.  My prayers go out to those on the front lines of disasters here in Japan and throughout the world.

For all my family and friends out there, keep us all in prayers.

First Bloom Spotted

Fluffy Pollenating Tree, Minami Kasai

Trio of Spring with Mailbox and Wall

Step Up to Spring with a Pair of Addidas Sneakers

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