geometry

Rainy, Cold, and Uncrowded in Asakusa

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Sweets, Tree, and Red Wall, Akakusa

 

I went back to finish up my souvenir shopping is Asakusa on Monday.  I expected it to be a bit uncrowded due to it being Monday and it generally was. The rain also helped keep some of the sightseers away.  There were still streams of tour groups following the triangular flags, and I heard English, Chinese, and German, as I quickly made my way from the main shopping street onto to the backstreets.  I feel at home there.  My pace slows, my eyes sharped, and I can just be.

There are those pockets, tiny little pockets, of what Asakusa must have been like.  It still has got to be the number one destination for foreigners and Japanese travelers to Tokyo, but they more or less stick to the Nakamise (main shopping street) and visit the temple.  I am much more interested in those side streets for the real craftsmen.

The little gardens that thrive in only 15 centimeters of space.  It is what I love about tokyo.  Those intense patches of greening life against the drab of frozen gray concrete.

As I am typing this I gaze out my window to see snowflakes drift on down from the skies.  It is hard to imagine that in a little more than 24 hours time, I will be gazing out my window and hearing the cawing of parrots.

 

 

Behind the Temple Garden, Asakusa

Hyper Don Tree Spot, Asakusa

Seek Your Oasis in the Heat

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Urban Oasis, Drinking Spot, Ginza

No rain in sight, says the weather forecast.  So far three weeks of highs over 90s with out much rain.  There have got to be ways to beat the heat.

One way is to seek the urban oasis.  A beer garden, a tiny izakaya (Japanese bar), even the local convenience store and squatting in the shade with a can of ice teas.

We all have our ways of dealing with the heat.  To each his/her own.  Find your shade.  Keep your cool.  Enjoy the heat before its gone till 2013.

 

Limited Green in Akihabara, Electric Town

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

I needed to head into Akihabara to pick up a few things at Yodobashi Camera. One thing I have got to say is that any electrical goods store, can’t even be compared with the selection at Yodobashi Camera. And the customer service is outstanding. A big shout out to Uehara, who allowed me to charge my Ricoh battery so that I could keep shooting.

I am not to big on Akihabara. It attracts some of the craziest otaku (geeks) in all of Japan. Some of the backstreets are amazing. They are lined with tiny shops that sell just about anything that requires an electrical current. These little junk shops are amazing.

But, what I spied today was how little greenery there was in this part of town. All of the space had been gobbled up by the energy hungry shops and Donner Kebab fast food joints. There were a few oases of green here and there. Sometimes confined to small rows of potted plants in front of a store. Other’s were bound in on all sides by concrete and iron.

There among all the neon sings and concrete there was my green. There were the otaku are allowed to roam freely the green pops its head. FInd, the green I will. It reminds me of our delicate connection to nature.  I is the beginning of the Limited Green series.

Limited Green in Akihabara with Door anf_

Limited Green in Akihabara with AKB 48 and Tree

Limited Green in Akihabara with Plant

Geometric Homecoming in Chiba

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

I love geometry.  Now you might think that to be a little crazy.  Even if you are thinking about the geometry that we all have to study in school, but honestly out of all the math that I studied in school geometry was the only one that made any sense to me.  My reasoning behind that is I am without any doubt am a visual person.  I think visually.  I approach the world and how I relate back to the world though how I visually experience the world.  Now, I would never really go back and study geometry again.  I’m pretty sure the boat has sailed on that part of my life, but the lines, tangents, and bisecting lines have become part of my visual vocabulary.

The cubists did it the best.  They oversimplified the world that they were apart of into line, shapes, and tone.  A world that is visually experienced through shapes.  I have learned to see the world very mush though these same lenses.  I cannot help but look out into Tokyo, where I live, and see the world sometimes reduced to nothing more than lines and cubes.  I, however, know in my heart that the world is far more complicated than that.  There are shapes that cannot so easy be reduced to just a square.  The natural world, even though, it is full of repeating fractal patterns they are never quite as straight as a line of hewn stone.

This is where my lens comes in to help me navigate my way through the visual world.  Trying to bridge the two ways to seeing the world together.  That world of the straight hard edge lines that follow the rules of geometry and composition.  Then there are the rulers of the plant and natural kingdom.  The ways in which a branch grows divides and multiplies as it reached out to the sun.  I am a part of both worlds.  My physical form comes from nature.  There are now straight lines to be found on my person.  Yet I love to see a rectangular door, meeting a window at just the right moment in space and forming can conforming to our geometric rules.

The door in todays group of images is a geometric homecoming.  There are no plants visible.  There is only the hint of the natural world by the shadows that are being cast on the image.  A piece of my inner mind has left its imprint on this image.

Welcome home.  Welcome to lucid communication with myself.

Split Shadow Geometic Homecoming

Trio One Life, Potted Garden

Keeping it Geometrically Shady

Autumn Pumpkin, Just Waiting for a Drink

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

This getting back to normal has been exhausting for me.  My normal walk back to the station left me wanting to pass out on the train ride back home.  I can’t really complain. I mean, at least I am getitng back to myself, and feeling something other than the mattress beneath my body is a good feeling.

Had to bundle up a bit today after being able to wear a t-shirt yesterday.  I thought best to be proactive and keep those cold bugs at bay.  As the nippy air made me zip up my Jacket I came across a rather large green pumpkin just sitting on an air conditioner.  It was just there.  It wasn’t really doing anything but hanging out on top of this A/C in front of a small bar.  Somehow, in my hazed mind it made me laugh.  A green pumpkin, even though that is their usual color in Japan, waiting.  I don’t know, maybe it is just me.

Pumpkin Malts Air Conditioner

Seeking Balance between Natural and Built Worlds

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Since the March 11th Tohoku earthquake I have been exploring my relationship to the natural world around me through my photography.  How do I fit into this world?  I came to photographing nature partly because I had been on a mission to explore the geometrical structures that are built here in Japan, and how that space is created for humans to inhabit.  I found it fascinating how these manmade structures could conform and fit so elegantly within the framing of a square.

After the earthquake I found the geometry uninviting.  I couldn’t find myself to use my lens to seek out those wabi sabi interactions between the places humans inhabit and the squared world I had been putting them into.  I wanted to explore the revival and survival natures of man, and this manifested itself though the training my wide angle lens on the flora and fauna.  The roots seeping into the soil and sprouting forth new leaves among the dust and hustle of post quake Japan.

Now, I am beginning to see an integration between these two seemingly oppositional forces.  However, they do compete for the same physical space, and then they also inhabit the same space peacefully.  I want to explore this element more.  I look forward to see what I shall see.  Also, who knows where the next great theme will come from.

Ivy Creep, Mailbox Communist Party Food

Gate and Weeds, Mimomi, Chiba, Japan

The Lovely Side of the Street

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

My pendulum like mood swings has caused me to see things a bit more darkly that I would like.  The politricksters and their loudspeakers (this irritating noise is easily filtered out and ignored by the Japanese) hits a nerve deep in my soul and bring out some long rooted frustrations; however, there is another side of the street.

This side of the street is full of life. This other side of the street are full of neighbors that say hello, even to me a complete an utter stranger.  On this side of the street the kitty soaking up the rays smiles as if to say to me “I know.”

Wandering the back alleys no bigger than for a single bicycle to pass I found the lovely side of the street.  I will and always try to find this side to the urban jungle where I trod.  I can not ignore the sights that trouble my soul and they will emerge in my work from time to time.  But keeping this is check, it is the lovely concrete, and potted plants that bring out the best in me.

Seek it.

Look for that lovely side of the street.

Flower Potted River Front

Gas Door Grate

Urayasu Living Zen

Nothing but Slots

Beauty Salon Fat Cat

Red Hot Wall

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

The temperature was cool but the wall was hot out on the streets of Ichikawa.

Window Clash

Double

Hose Around

We All Geometrically Construct

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Wether wer construct houses, design our yards, or let nature takes its course all play into the theme of geometrical wabi sabi.  How the world we live in relates to the world that surrounds us.  What stone is placed where according to the rules of some unseen design.

I love coming across these perfections in design.  They lie somewhere between haphazard and planned.  Wander around where you live or work and see how everything is in harmony or disharmony with all the other pieces.

Living in Blue

One Eye Blind

Stella's Drugs

Trains Station Grays

On Guard !

Windy Backstreets and Galettes

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

I had never been to Kagurazaka before venturing there today.  I had heard that it was a bit of an old part of town, but what really got me to want to make a stroll around is when I heard that there are more French restaurants there than anywhere else in Tokyo.  I  enjoyed the little backstreets, that alternated between little bistros and exquisite Japanese places.

And finally after a beautiful Galette stuffed with cheese, mushrooms and tomatoes I was treated to my favorite coffee, a noisette.  yummy!

Perpendiculalyr Closed

Hot Crossed Wall

Yellow Square

Yochi Wada Photo Studio

Kagurazaka Compositional Still

Under the Shimbashi

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Wedged in between Onarimon station and Shimbashi station lies a lovely plethora of backstreets, cafes, and drinking spots.  Some places it seems like time stands still, or that they have been forgotten by the people at large.  The wood breaks away from it’s frame, and the paint curls under the summer sun.  Soaking up the vibe and the sweat as I wandered back and forth from the two stations.

Image is Nothing or Everything

A Not so Little Teapot

Rusted Flower Shoji

Okinawa Under the Tracks

Filling the Gap

Monzen Sun, Monzen Shade

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Made a pilgrimage to the Monzennakacho area of Tokyo today.  I love it’s little backstreets filled with all sorts of drinking spots, houses butted up next to each other like books in a library, and a bit of old Tokyo charm.  Wandering the steamy asphalt covered streets, seeking out those images that just seem to be calling my name.

Partial Truth

Takano Knows

So Busy, Busy

Life is Love

Ray Gun Blues

Higashi Ueno: The Other Side

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

I had never walked much around the eastern side of Ueno until the other day.  It was filled with business hotels, small shops, homes, and a scattering of jewelry shops.  It had all the elements that I enjoy, tight packing of so much visual information into a tight space.  The other side.

Going Down

Building the Pyramids

Double Door Tear

Pipe Window Pipe

Yanaka Nice, Went there Twice!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Yes it is true.  I went to Yanka area yesterday, and I returned there today.  I guess I just couldn’t get enough of that baking heat bouncing off the asphalt and the aluminum siding.  One big change was that we went to the Zakuro Persian spot on Yanaka Ginza Street.  We had an amazing meal of chickpeas, spicy soup, lamb, breads, and kebabs.  Amazing place.

Crate Table Door Window Pipe

Glass Brick Barber-San

Organic - Inorganic

Laundry Tree Shade

39 Degrees in Steamy Yanaka

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Wedged in between Nippori, Sendagi, and Nezu lies the old part of town of Yanaka.  Filled with old homes, many temples, and lots of shoe-boxed sized stores.  Since Japan is in the middle of the Obon season, about 70% or everything was shuttered, including the museum I wanted to see.

The mercury hit a high of 39 (102 Fahrenheit) degrees celsius.  I could feel the heat bouncing off the pavent, the and the tin covered houses.  While on the street the heat could not be avoided.

I did see some interesting places full of character, that will be explored at a later date.

The Club

Side Potted Garden

Foil Eyes

Door Jam, Window Jam

Red White Blue and Air Conditioner

Window Without a View

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