Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tokyo Day 22 June 10~June 11 2008

Day 22 was me waking up in a hammock in Young Tree Press, mi casa lway from mi asakita. My flight was a five oclock pm to chicago, then transfer to new york. It was me walking around aimlessly in Narita airport looking at things, buying snacks and drinking sake bought from the conveniece mart in the airport. I was passed out on my flight from Narita to O'Hare, chicago, Thank GOD! Unfortunately or fortunately, my chicago to new york flight had us stranded on the tarmac for 4 hours before returning to O'Hare and on a line to rebooking my current canceled flight for a flight the following day at 6:45 am flight to LaGuardia because of unpredictable electrical storm that had planes grounded and the airports shut down on the northeast coast. I was booked into a jacuzzi roomed Best Western, 4 minutes from the airport by hotel voucher taxi cab. I went to the nearest White Chicken Convenience Market in the mall adjacent to my hotel and bought a beer and ate my japanese convenience snack food from Narita in chicago for dinner in the jacuzzi. I took a two hour nap and checked out at 4:20 am, stumbled around O'Hare for two hours waiting for my connecting flight and slept until LaGuardia. I arrived in LaGuardia at 10:15 am, about 25 hours from my departing time. I got home and unpacked. Waited for the jet lag to kick me in my ass and Day 23 came to a close, as did my trip. The End.

Tokyo Day 21 June 9 2008

Day 21 began with a morning trip to tsukiji, the famed old School Tokyo Fish Market for fresh sushi 9:30 am. After all the traffic to get to the far east side of tokyo, we arrived at what looked to me like a fish harbor port from films of yesteryor and deep asia. It was vendors and stores all right next to each other all bunched up with sushi restaurants and some noodle shops. It's flavor was a working port, local fish mongers, tourist commodities, dried market goods, stuffed animals, jars and platewear and hardware. The streets were all alley like and some streets were in between building through ways. It felt old and familiar and ancient and medievel. Maybe too many similes but really felt just like that. We went into a throughway within a through way to a sushi counter inside a fish market alleyway. There was a live upside down sea snail that looked like ... a puckered up snail sucker moving and looking like trying to escape. The fish dish was tasty and the snail was actually quite hypnotically inviting, grotesque and brilliant like an orchid. I had the opportunity to eat a giant oyster that took about four bites, not dainty bites, mind you. Big chompers. It was thick and bursting with sea water and gritty like sand and felt sweaty and really really wet. ~WET. Do you know what I mean?
After breakfast, it was time to clean up and pack up to get ready for my flight the next day. Packed up the things I needed and put away the things that were fragile deep in my clothes and all the books and such to surround the fragile. After some time, I coordinated with Hitotzuki Clan and paid my visit to see the new hitotzuki. A beautiful three month looking one month boy named Kai Sei. Beautiful. Of course he is going to be amazing like mom and dad. Much Blessings! The plan for the evening was a skate session at the secret Burton Bowl in deep Shibuya Tokyo. Before that, the digital photo documenting of the art show, '!!NEXT!!'. The bowl riders represented some sick line up of ill tokyo Skaters, Royal Hawaiian and Legendary Illuminaries and current Rippers. I was thoroughly getting a lesson in bowl riding. There couldn't be a more ill session before leaving Japan back to Brooklyn, inspired. Big Up to Ishihara, the legendary, Wataru, the Royal Hawaiian, RIP, the tokyo KiLLER, Kami, Hitotzuki, Takashi, Burton, Billy, Lui Araki, Tokyo and all the ill skaters who sessioned, DJ KOGEE, Kumetani Satoshi, BIG UP!!!! Of course, in classic tokyo send off style, the party rolled over to shibuya curry and Aoyama Dance night Classics a la, Le Baron. There before me on the one and twos is the time zone traveled dj , DJ ALEX from Tokyo, who I just ran into in Rivington Hotel in New York, a week before arriving in Tokyo! As well as DJ SHINSKATETHING! WHAaaatttT?! He has always looked out for me since day one, 1991. Thank YOu SHIN!!! ALWAYS!!!! What the hell?! Day 21 looks like a wrap.

Tokyo Day 20 June 8 2008

Day 20 was the short independent film show case. This is the deep underground film showing. Sometimes so deep, no one has even seen it because it was never released! You couldn't even You Tube, it's held on lock down. The show began at 2.30 pm promptly and the list of film directors are as it was viewed.

. Space Showers time lapse Mural Project. dir. Mike Ming
. Kenji Hirata and DJ Clock time lapse Felt project. dir. Joey Garfield and Kenji Hirata
.'Invisible Kingdom' dir. Cameron Lombsbread
.RJD2 Video dir. Joey Garfield
.'Two Days..' dir. Mike Ming
.'Collective Improvisation' dir. Ryuichi Strush Wheels
.'Street Sounds' dir. Yuri Shibuya
.'!!NEXT!!' dir. Mike Ming

The films were musical and Visually Oriented. Some were skateboarding oriented and mostly abstract documentary film vision. Special Thanks goes to all the film contributors and directors for creating their audio visual ideas and the incredible audience that joined us for the presentation. Thank YOU!! We went out and celebrated with Yakitori and Kushi!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tokyo Day 19 June 7, 2008

Day 19 began with me stumbling out of Secco Bar in Shibuya. It was only 4 am but the sun was already making its way up and I was running on fumes and vapors. I made my way back to YoungTreePress to pick up some clean clothes and my hard drive and managed my way over to Ebis House to do some video editing. Part of having an art show at an independent film distribution screening room, gallery and restaurant is the opportunity to also show short independent films by friends, colleagues and myself. I host a two hour set with works that might not get broadcast on a projected screen. It is like dessert to the dinner for me to have a show at Uplink. My hope is to show the work to a broader audience and also for me to see what the videos look like on screen. I enjoy this part of the exhibition, I like to Big Up my friends who do screen work as part of their creative extension. For my part of the show, I brought some shorts I've already done in the last two years but specially for this show, I wanted to try to show the trip I've had in the last three weeks in japan. I wanted to incorporate stills with motions all shot with a canon 1000 point and shoot. The video capabilities for the camera shoots in 640x 480 and the stills are all high quality 7 megs of visual, it was just a matter of dropping it into an editing program and run the course. In Ebis House, I borrowed Etsuko's G5 Station. It was the weekend so I coordinated with Etsuko. She was very generous to allow me to borrow the computer for the two days before the video event. I began my three week trip's editing after a quick nap on the couch. I woke up at 8 am and went to work. I did the laundry during this time and managed a breakfast and a shower. By 3 pm, I had the foundation down for the look and feel of the short. I went back to Young Tree Press for a quick nap. On my agenda was a 6 pm art opening with Chris Mendoza, Aiko Nakagawa, Martha Cooper and Chris Rabino and a 7 pm live Taiwanian Music event. Unfortunately, I over slept and woke up to a phone call from Kumetani Satoshi asking me where I was at 8 pm. I missed the taiwanese live music but made the tail end of the Artist Reception. We hung out with celebrity japanese hip hop djs and media folks as we celebrated the two day art show in Hiroo. We went to a bar after the gallery closed. I had a round of mojitos and some scooby snack pizza. Afterwards, we all parted ways and Kumetani Satoshi and I returned back to Ebis House to finish editing.

Tokyo Day 18 June 6, 2008

Day 18 was the opening day for Uplink Gallery's '!!NEXT!!" group show. I got ready for the show. I took my shower, I brushed my teeth and put on some clean clothes. I was at the gallery by 5 pm and the opening was from 6 pm until 10 pm. We had conflicting schedules from Uplink , as they had booked a going away suits party right next door to us at their adjacent restaurant Tabela. There were speeches, merry making and some confusion as to which party was which. We had an opening reception but also had an opening party at a closer venue in a place called 'ROOTS'. It is a reggae Bar and Live Spot. For the reception, we had Dedication Studio's DJ Mikey spinning and a live dub band, Trial Productions representing the "!!NEXT!!' Show. The Uplink art show filled up the gallery and our party ended up spilling out to the Tabela party. Fortunately, Uplink director, Mister Kuramochi, seperated the two events with a partition wall. We became an independent closed door secret room gallery. At 9 pm we asked everyone to join us at 'ROOTS' to attend the Trial Production Live set. It was a magnificent 10 piece live band and the place was in full attendance. Thank you goes to Roots for putting up with our show, Trial Productions for putting on the show, Studio Dedication for holding it down, Uplink Gallery for having our art show, all the artists for showing their art works, Yuri Shibuya, Jonas Kaku, Chris Mendoza, Aiko Nakagawa, Kenji Hirata and Mike Ming, Kumetani Satoshi for coordinating the event and for all in attendance. Thank YOU. After the opening, a gang of us filled with aomori, beers, mixed drinks and wine all made our way to Shibuya's Secco Bar. We were invited by Kleptomaniac and Aki who was having a silent art auction dance party. It was a night which my memory goes blank. Blank enough to end the story here and night and day becomes an utter blur.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tokyo Day 17 June 5, 2008

Day 17th was the first day of our art show's opening, '!!NEXT!!'. Our art show and Uplink's, an independent film distribution and screening company with gallery and restaurant in Tokyo's Shibuya District, scheduled programs were of a conflicting nature. Unfortunately, we would have the opening on a more crowded, more schedule conflicted day. That was fine with us, as the event became something of a, literarly,
'closed door' event. But that is tomorrow's story.
I think, today at noon was the opening screening of a new film called 'Beautiful Losers' in roppongi. It is a film about the contemporary artists who came out of Alleged Gallery and is also connected to the famed lower east side gallery owner, Arron Rose. It is a documentary about the handful of artists who are currently being seen as the next establishment. The film's message, like it's title, reflects a sarcastic but positive statement about being really deeply into the importance of an individuals life as well as the groups that can propel one into another dimension of public recognition. Beautiful Losers. It's a disarming title that makes the audience accept the lines without defense. The loser is the underdog, and who doesn't want to see the underdog's struggle overcome? Feels like I am a loser. I can relate to that. Beautiful? Not an underdog... more like and under rat, by the way, does not sound so nice. The rest of the day, like the rest of the trip began to take a high speed blur and the moments are flying by in such a way, in retrospect makes me wonder, why I did not keep better notes? or why am I such a procrastinator? or what else happened? The art show '!!NEXT!!' was up and running and tomorrow would be the opening reception of a day.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kamakura Day 16 June 4, 2008

Day 16 began nice and early. I woke up on the floor of the casa Yamada living room at 4.55 am. In five minutes, I was to get a wake up call to come down with a board to get wet with naomi and matsu. The waves were pretty mellow in the morning. There is a three quarters of a mile strip of various surf points and we were in the spot in between spots. Our location was hassle free and breaking way inside. The pumping spots on either direction of ours were a zoo. The break was steeper and faster, even it's only a few yards apart, is always a fascinating thing. I had a 7'6" Larry Marble shaped G&S. I don't really know what that means except the board was fat in the top half of the board and it was wicked old and yellow. It is fun to go out riding different shapes and sizes. Sometimes the shapes makes sense, sometimes it doesn't. It definately affects a riding position and timing. I enjoy it all though, I don't really discriminate. I like the ocean playing. The waves in the morning at our point was fickle and kinda teaser. Definately not breaking outside where it would lump out but breaking inside where you can ride the foam. A quick down size from the day before and lots of loss in wave power just from changing surf points, even it is only a few yards apart. The bigger fatter fun board was definately a good choice, felt a bit glide for a sluggish wave. At 5 am, it did not matter. I was with friends and we were giggling and stress free. At 7 am, Naomi had to get back to kids and work. Matsu had to get back to jewelry and I went back to get ready for yet another exhibition for later that week. I had one more show I was preparing for which opens on June 5th, thursday. We had to get back up to Tokyo to set up for the show today. At 9 am, one of the show's exhibiting artist, Jonas Kaku of Jonas Glass Vision and I went for round two. This time, the tide was dropping and making the waves a little bit more punchy but still a little mushy. This time we surfed a point in front of Jonas' Spot called Shichirigahama, a few yards from where I surfed in the morning. The tide was dropping and the reef was exposing but the break was making a nice left. Caught a bunch on the fat board and it was fun. Learned from the morning to surf the inside and the waves would come. The unpredictability of surfing and learning patience. It all works out, eventually. The waves here were a little bit more dramatic , but not at all hectic. Fun waves for all!
We got out a couple hours later and we were on the road and at tokyo's Shibuya neighborhood where Uplink, the art gallery spot was located by 3 pm. The show for Uplink was curated by yours truly and the artists represented were, Yuri Shibuya, Jonas Kaku, Kenji Hirata, Chris Mendoza, Aiko Nakagawa and Mike Ming. The choice of putting the artists together and the show title was '!!NEXT!!'. I felt that this group of six artists were all working on different styles and ideas from what would have been considered the evolutionary changing from what was the signature style to the tangent of that particular style or technique or vision. It was a show that captured the next development. We had the show up and ready for the opening day. That night, I was bushed. I had been up since early and was feeling the effects of playing in the ocean. That night, we all went separate ways and prepared for friday's main event.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kamakura Day 15 june 3 2008

Day 15 june 3 2008 was a cloudy day. We were all expecting a big tuesday.
From my point of view, the living room window at casa ala Yamada, I could see a rather clean line of waves breaking on inamura. But from the distance, I could not really judge the height nor the speed of the waves. I am not a good surfer, I just really like it. It wasn't until 11 am when I stood in front of the wave I could see that it was not as small as I thought. It wasn't until I was paddling out and diving the waves, I felt a little bit of concern. I caught two that day. I was flying! Kinda reminded me of autumn waves. Typhoons were no joke, it was time to get excited. Jonas and I started to create a glass piece collaboration. Later, it was out to dinner with Kaku Clan and Naomi Crew. We swarmed on Big Sur in Kamakura to eat that killer curry. Survivor Curry. Powerful Burly Curry. One of the best in the region! But Big Sur? It is the Dope Curry spot owned and run for over twenty years by a Big Sur Ricocheting 400 Feet Drop Car Ejected Survivor. A straight up Master. It was decided in eating our prepared as you order in the eight to ten maximum customer diner eatery that we, naomi, matsu of Shonan Jeweler and me would go out and get wet at 5 am. Went home and talked to Yukie Mori about the exciting day's events and passed out on a heated living room floor like a dog.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Osaka Day 14 June 2, 2008

As beautiful as day 13 was, day 14 , we woke up to cloudy skies and wet floors. The weather once again began to turn and the day became wet as we as left. Before we left osaka though, we hooked up with a good friend of mine, Kishin of 2000BC and he introduced us to the best udon joint in Osaka, Fu FU~ Te Udon. The noodles are so good, there was even a comic feature of the store in which some sumo wrestler turned udon maker had to battle a little old woman from osaka for the title of best udon restaurant. Of course, as the comic ended, the little old lady from osaka won the title and we were sitting at her restaurant. The recipe in the restaurant was simple. Udon, Tsuyu (dipping soup), ginger, green onions and either fried tofu or plain. On the road, this was the magic elixier. Here was the food to cleanse and fulfill. Our bodies were nourished. You like Udon, you have to go Fu Fu~ TE UDon. this is the best. There is no complete tour of osaka without visiting all the crazy neighborhoods that is old dangerous japan. I mean, you don t need to go. It is so sketchy and dirty and run down, you have to wonder what the hell?!.. yes, japan can be a dangerous place. They still have a brothel system run by parents and mafia members where it is a whole neighborhood with a tiny house next to all the other tiny houses down the row. Here the 'mom' sits in the front with 'daughter' all decked out and lit up smiling. Just the eye contact alone is enough to encourage business. Another neighborhood not too far away is run down and piled up with garbage, junkies and dealers. It's another part of town that looks so crazy, I wondered where japan left and universal junkie town began. It is a neighborhood no police officer ventures into. I m sure with all the right reasons. It feels lawless as much as it is controlled. It is enough memories for the naive me and the souvenirs were not what I wanted to take home with me. After the grand tour, we left Kishin, our host and took off to go back to Kamakura. Once again, we started to discuss the wave conditions and we all prayed for surf. There were trickling news of waves kicking up and the surf getting momentum. We left Osaka around 4 pm.. we arrived back to Kamakura around 1am. It was as easy as can be and coming back to shonan, it felt like being home.

Osaka Day 13 June 1, 2008

Day 13 began at Obake party in Downtown Osaka.. or, right near the american town, right near channel.. some place like that. After the event, we all crashed out above Kulu Kulu in Sakai, Higashi-Ku. When we awoke, it was to a beautiful bright sunny day. The weather had cleared and the day was perfect. It was hot enough for shorts, tee shirts and flip flops. The highlights of the day was the birthday cake for yours truly by Kumetani Satoshi, a happy anniversary phone call from my wife and a birthday text message from my son. It was quite an exceptional day. Of the day's events was to hear Ash Grunwald perform for the second time in japan, Afnica, a jazz sound five piece from osaka, Caravan, Keison, and Blue King Brown. That is in fact, not to say that the other bands were no good, it was that I did not have time to check out all the musicians involved and actually feel quite sad about that. There were many beautiful ladies and gentlemen who approached our walls and all the artists and their artworks made the osaka festival even more eventful than the yokohama event. In osaka, the arts was actually seperated from the live music venues by a staircase and a wall lined with windows that faces out to the outdoor stage. In our vantage point, we could hear all the music filtering from outside as well as get beautiful sunshine and be in the shade. how dope is that?! The artists that were at the event who especially made the times super exciting was, Naki, the camera. He was especially enjoyable!! Thanks for the wines and hugs! Yusuke Hanai! U-Ske! Taisuke's Wall from yokohama! and even a special guest appearence by Rockin Jelly Bean!!!!! my favorite! The day flew by like a dream. After the show, we had to pack up and ship out. Tired from the crowd, the music, the sun and all the sake, we finally arrived back to Hiro's spot and got another birthday cake and ate some awesome unagi courtesy of Jinta's Eels, the best Osaka Eel Eatery. After the cake, I crashed like a paper plane into the wall. My life passing before me like a pleasant blur.

Kamakura Day 12 May 31, 2008

I woke up in day 13 in kamakura. I was allowed a room in Yamada residence, in front of inamura. It was wet from an incoming typhoon. Today, we, Jonas Kaku, Yuri Shibuya, Kumetani Satoshi and I were to meet at InamuraGaSaki Eki and pile into the Kaku family cruiser and head west to Osaka for Greenroom Osaka Music Festival. The plan was a seven hour drive to osaka from shonan Kamakura to set up for the next Music venue. We were not planning on an extensive art wall installation like the one in yokohama but something a little bit more mellow and more showcasing goods as well as art works. It is a show and sell. The drive down was a rain storm. The excitement in the drive was whether there are going to be waves in the west or whether there are going to be waves in the east. Will there be a storm that can create swells to last until tuesday june 3rd,
when we get back from osaka or should we detour south to catch the swell when it is just arriving? We all had schedules and we all had to be somewhere on june 3rd.. this was a sticky call. We would think about it later as we watched the storm's progress. We left for Osaka at 8 am and we arrived at 4 pm. We took an hour rest for lunch and multiple random stops to get gas and food and drinks. Gas prices were rising in japan as the day wore on. Can you imagine? It took almost $75-$95 to fill up the ride. The highway system is also quite taxing, almost $100 on the highway to get to osaka. When we arrived, it was right to setting up and getting the wall done. By 8pm, the art was up and we were ready. We only needed to get some hangers for our shirts. Easy breezy. Being in Osaka is not being in Tokyo. Even this is the same country, the west is .. well, let us say the people here are more vocal and feels alot more warm. Osaka is known for all the great comediens and entertainers. It is a place, they can sell you your shirt off your back and offer their shirt for free as well. Doesn't make sense, it is alright. It is well worth the visit. It is like the whole city was like an East Village. You got your artists and entertainers, your gangsters and your suits and every type of people all rubbing elbows down the street and just being themselves. It can get pretty hot. After the set up was the break time. We ended up at an 'Obake' party. Obake is ghost. Did I know we were going to an obake party? Were there people dressed up as obake? Was the interior done up all spooky? NO. Yes. YES. When we first arrived, it was already a bit after midnight and it was my birthday! There was some Drum and Bass and Jungle and it was fun! We got in and just jumped right into the mix. The next thing I know as I start acclamaiting to the dark room is all the heads hanging off the ceiling, the look of a burned down-run down room, fake blood and all the costumes. It was like a halloween in the summer. Which actually seems like a better time to have halloween. Something about the heat and costumes and dancing and drinking.
There were ghost-esque dancers and half animal half people dancers and 2Yang, a member of Ichiban-Boshi Crew in Osaka. He just kept telling me that Osaka was 'aho-ya!! Minna Osaka Aho~ya!!' while laughing. He is true Osakaite and I think he really loves that shit! It was good to see 2Yang, since its been about 8 years... crazy. After the DJ set was a band from london, Dokkebi Q! Kinda like the MIA style SOunds and Vocals. It is an awesome two person crew with one chatting and one on the mixing with effects and computers. They were pretty awesome!! IF you ever hear of Dokkebi Q coming to your local stage, I highly recommend it! Didn t understand all the blood on the shirt, but that s before I realized that it was a ghost party. It was getting late and the last set I checked out for a minute was a DJ guy who got all the ladies and freaks out on the floor. Ahh.. the power of music. It was a pretty full night and the travelers, never get to sleep! At the party, we even had a chance to meet up with some core skate crew riders, all 30 plus crew!! hahaha. Crazy. We had accommodations in osaka from a friend of Jonas. His name was Hiro and him and his family were generous to allow us to stay at their home. They own an awesome surf theme bar and restaurant called 'kulu kulu'. If you are out in Osaka, please check it out!! Hiro would also be traveling with us to the Greenroom Festival because he is also a member and works with the Surfrider Foundation, Osaka Japan. Surfing is traveling. The more points you are welcome, the more blessed you get. And the more humble and opened eyed. Bless!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tokyo Day 11 May 30, 2008

My darling readers and blog fans, I have just returned from a short trip from tokyo to kamakura to osaka back to kamakura and finally, base camp! I am in awe of the musicians and journey men and women who make their living out of the suitcase and hard cases and make personal appearances as their lively hood. I ve just been on the road less than a hand full of hours, but the trip knocked me out five days from updating. So without further a do... Day 11 (friday) to Day 15 (tuesday).

Day 11. Day 11 was another wet day. But being in the mini mountains and right next to the ocean, even though kamakura is south of tokyo, I woke up freezing! It was cold!! My packing from a really warm humid tokyo in may was shorts, tee shirts, the occasional long sleeve shirt and windbreaker. I ended up wearing everything I packed to keep myself warm. I woke up early enough to have breakfast with my friend's Mikey and Yukie's Daughter, Nina. She is such a bubbly girl, at age 10, she is already quite a clever child. I day dream about my son and how he might be at that age. It s always easier to imagine my own child at a different age than the one he is at. I imgine the whole world for him, I hope he learns to have gratitude, responsibility and compassion. Not my strong points, unfortunately, and the apple does not fall too far from the tree. But I can always dream. and change. The sky cleared up a little so it wasn't raining like the day before but it was cloudy and wetty. At around noon time, Jonas and I ended up going to chigasaki to a public skate park the local kids all coordinated the money and built. There is always a strong sense of community pride when I think of japanese people all working together. It good to see and the effort to produce a cool free mini skatepark under a highway is inspiring. I see that in the skaters who produced burnside and all those parks that are either permanent or temporary. You know what, all over the world, everyone tries to make 'do' for their peoples. That's really cool. After skate session, we did car packing for the trip to osaka the next day. At 6 pm, I was in enoshima island off the coast of kamakura right between kamakura and fujisawa. I have a really good friend, Naomi Kazama and Masa Hatakeyama. Kume arrived from tokyo and we went to Naomi's new studio in enoshima. Enoshima is a small mountain community island that rises out of the sea with praying shrines all over it. It is one part location of faith peoples, one part tourist economy island selling everything enoshima from hats to foods and one part fishing village. The people are warm here but for sure, it is a small enough community, when a child is born on the island, it is customary for the family to travel from house to house and receive blessings and share in the blessing. It is very community oriented. Strangers are instantly recognized. Its also quite fascinating that their is a hugh cat population. Huge. Because one needs to cross a bridge to get to enoshima, the owners of cats who can no longer keep their feline company, bring their cats to the island and let them go or abandon them. The cats then have to fight for their own survival and get mad hand outs from the fishermen. Thus their community essentially begins to grow like weeds. But life does not seem so easy for the cats. There is always constant struggle and a need for attention if they are just abandoned. As Kume and I walked to Naomi's studio, we were joined by a cat who tried to rub up on us and follow us around the island. I don't know how people feel about things like that, but I don't really enjoy that. It feels really creepy when an animal I don't know starts to follow me around. Makes me feel like I was gonna get jumped by a whole tribe of cats waiting to take out the unsuspecting tourist who falls for the cat. I must be paranoid. Naomi's studio is seperated from his house by a parking lot. It is nestled in over grown weeds and is braced by the mountain of enoshima. The studio is all hand made and built by Naomi. It's an amazing thing when I've had fantasy talks about building my own studio. The glimmer of justified pride in the eye that shines when I can say I've done it with my own hands, all enbodied in Naomi. I feel proud when I see what he has done for himself. An amzing designer collaborating with Oakley and Volcom, creator of Dyezu Jiken in Nakameguro, silk printer wall paster ( see Spike Lee's Movie, 'The 25th Hour' for a brief scene of main actor walking across the screen in soho with wheat paste pattern poster in full stereo color, Soho), a great outspoken leader and a proud father of two beautiful twin looking daughters. What can one say? I think I've said enough to be just a bit shy of embarrassment. Masa is a good friend from New York. He is a long time surfer from tokyo and was about to quit surfing while living in New York because there were all sorts of obstacles that held him back from getting to the waves. It was because we had the occasion to meet at a friend's party that we were able to connect and go surf. We went for surf whenever we could in New York City a few years back. Life leads us all over, sometimes we can't imagine the places we will go, but for sure no one can say that my life is going to be only point a. We sat around for a few hours to discuss 'art' and artist living and commercial works and money. We sat around and drank a bottle or two of wine and talked about family, the future and the cosmos. We sat around and caught up on old times, new times and current events. And then we all went out to eat at 10:45 because we all have to eat. The finest restaurants are sometimes the one that looks and feels like we came up into someone's home and they are straight foward and not confusing and cooks without msg. Maybe that explaination is too easy but we ate at BIG SUR in enoshima-eki shotengai. The master has had the shop for over 20 years and I m sure it hasn't changed much in that time. He specializes in curry and has won awards in japan for his recipe. Beside the curry, I m sure he gets high grades for great communication and 5 stars for seating. It is a small restaurant with a maximum capacity for 10 customers. When I say 10 customers, I mean, 8. It's tiny. And it is all counter sitting. The master is right in front of you as he prepares his meals and there is no one else working. Each order is prepared as you wait and everything is fresh. The vegitables are fresh and the curry is banging. It makes you feel like something pretty powerful and cleansing. It is a taste that makes you a repeat customer. After the meal and a full day, it was back to Yamada Casa to crash out in my home away from office away from home.