Uchie's New York Mainly Art Sometimes Trivial and Rarely Update Diary

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Vancouver Impressions 2 / 2006/09/23(土)
The day after walking and scanning of the city, I and Sarah headed for north vancouver, where there's a small trek to the observatory in the middle of the mountain. We rode up by foot and got off by cable car. Hike was actually much more than I expected. It was like the kind of hike that your hands and feet got black by mud. This observatory seemed like have a decent restaurant facilities, and when I was there, fancy party had been held. What was interesting was there were both fancy people and dirty hikers. We, as among dirty hikers, were washing hands and faces in the restroom, whereas right on the next to us fancy people are fixing their hair and checking their tie and all. I enjoyed that amazing contrast.

Not only mountains, but there are lots of beaches around the city as well. One of the beaches, located near British Colombia University seems like hard-core nudist beach. I was so curious and she brought me there, and we just took a look at it. It looks like some kind of hippie community, most of the people were naked from head to feet, but it was so natural. I couldn't feel any feelings when I was actually there. There are couple of small shack which sells things like drinks, salads and Burgers. It is like Japanese sea house (Umi no ie), but the people working at there was also totally naked. They sell in naked and they roast meats in naked. Actually I felt a bit unnatural thing only in this moment when I saw that, but I guess it was not a big deal at all for them... After that I saw a live show of a band which was so intense hard-core... what I saw there I cannot express... anyway Vancouver was so crazy city, it is totally opposite from the common image.
steep hike

Vancouver city and beautiful woods

on the cableway

the hardcore...
 
   
Posted at 15:48 / 出来事 / Permalink URL
Tokyo Slow Life / 2006/09/14(木)
東京帰って来ました。

Like maybe many of the readers are guessing, at the end of the summer I went back to Tokyo from New York and I am living a life exactly same way as the time I was here. Same place, same apartment, and same roommate. One thing that is truely different is now I am looking for a new apartment. Oh here's another. I don't have Internet right now. It would be surprising, the roommate Kris didn't have Internet for all this long time. I am sure he is a character. Anyway I got a new cell phone, and that AU cell phone is super cool that it has PC Internet Viewer. That is very useful so I could check emails and can see Internet, but screen is so small so I couldn't do updating blogs and all. I still have lots of emails to write, lots of photos to send, but I wouldn't make them for a moment due to the situation so please hold on.

The last moment in New York was actually awesome days. I met friends day by day, visit old one and newone, went Boston and Washington DC, and it was awesome because many of the friends who were present at those meetings were the person just I met or became a friend recently like within two months. Very fun. To buy souvenir was also fun. A friend in Tokyo told me about RUGBY (not POLO) Ralph Lauren, personally I was not familier to that name but it seemed alrealy famous among fashion people. Clothes had british trad taste and was very cool, so I bought lots of souvenir at that place... maybe later I might have to ask some New Yorkers of my friend to buy one of their clothes for me:)
 
   
Posted at 00:03 / 出来事 / Permalink URL
Vancouver Impressions 1 / 2006/08/10(木)
I found that Vancouver is the city of sex drag and rockn'roll. I'm not sure but here I would put some of proofs one by one. At the first time this town looked so Asian. Actually here I saw tremendous number of Asian people. Most of them looked like students from South Korea or Japan, and they always flocking along the street. Robson street, which would be the biggest shopping street in Vancouver, was packed with young Korean and Japanese, almost like somewhere in Kyoto. Library was awfully packed with Asian students. Above all, I found interesting fact. Japanese student in New York are more or less Americanized or Chinized, of course it is depend on the person but I could say some people really changes quickly. But in here I found Japanese people tend to be still Japanese, in terms of appearance at least. Maybe this big population of Asian student and easy atmosphere does it. I don't know if it is good or not though.

San Francisco used to be a destination of the hippies. Now Vancouver would be the destination of hippies, and also yappies. Lots of high rise apartments can be seen and funny thing was all of them has green glasses obsessively. To be green might be mandatory for Canadians. Downtown was strange mixing of this clean-green apartments and gay-rock-hippie districts. One of the main street was filled up with nightclubs. At night it was an unbelievable mess of boys & girls gays & lesbians, all the kind of weirds... Long lines were built in front of all clubs. So intense that well over the summer night of Roppongi or Chelsea. But no Asian people, who once dominated the streets and library, was found. Where the world did they go?

Obsession to be green


Bridge on the Stanley Park
 
   
Posted at 13:51 / 出来事 / Permalink URL
SF impressions / 2006/08/04(金)
In San Francisco I stayed at one of the youth hostels. I like to stay hostels a bit. I stayed hostels in Japan too. Nowadays I guess it's getting better, but Japanese hostels were sometimes too strict. Like at the time when I stayed there, I went out and if I got back very late, the people in the hostel is going to look at me as if I were a drunk asshole. Maybe problem are not in the hostel but in the people staying there. Anyway I stayed two nights. That hostel has a very unique activities like a small van tour of San Francisco, which I took part in the second day. This small van tour was guided by a local-born guy, who knows lots of things about SF and his tour was terrific. Places such as Twin Peaks, Mule woods and the fancy end of Broadway, would be difficult to get without his guides. I saw lots of funny houses and gorgeous houses of SF style.

Right after getting back from the tour, I met Onna in downtown. She drives Civic, which makes me a little nostalgic because I was driving the same car. She moved near here recently so I would say we were both new to San Francisco. We decided to go the bar at the top of hotel Marriot but we don't know where Marriot is. Asking the people out there, we rode up to the bar room which has huge and nice window. We were at the same table as the nice-looking-middle-aged guy, who nicely started talking with us. He says like he has some building in SF and he is living in the cozy beachfront town near Los Angels and so on. He is used to be coming here, and I thought he might be coming here to Watch and Gaze his building right in the middle of San Francisco... I thinking like this and I felt a bit sorry for disturbing his personal time of pleasure. It was actually terrific view.

View from the Marriot


City of Graffities
 
   
Posted at 15:15 / 出来事 / Permalink URL
Prologue / 2006/07/29(土)
I decided to go to San Francisco and Vancouver. In each city one of my friend is living there. Onna is living in the smaller town in the suburb of San Francisco. Sarah is living in Vancouver, which is the west coast city of Canada. I was always wanted to visit them, cause we are so intimate relationship that we went Onsen spa together... Of course it was in Japan and of course it was not a mixed bath. (by the way Haruko went together with them, I heard it was awesome experience for her as well!) Actually they are friend of my former roommate Kris and they visited Japan last year, stayed several weeks in our house. One of the most terrific episode of them were in the train Inokashira-line. It was maybe Friday night. I was on the super crowded train but I found a seat, so I was in the state of half asleep and half awake, as others do. But at that time I was like oh shit... there seems like some foreigners who are so much excited by crowded train... oh no they are taking photos together with the people out there... too loud, I am tired, let me get some quiet time at least... And finally it revealed, they were them. I couldn't do nothing other than laugh. So funny, and so cool people.
 
   
Posted at 13:56 / 出来事 / Permalink URL
Vacation / 2006/07/29(土)
Now I only have just one month to go here in New York. So now I am at a kind of wrapping up of this one year. Also now I'm on the last semester of school. Our school has a very intense program, we don't have any long vacations like one month or two months as others do. Instead we have just only one week vacation between each semester. What is worse is sometimes this precious tiny vacation has been disappeared by the effect of some make-up classes... I don't know why they're so intense but that would be definitely one of the feature of the school, cause it finishes very quickly. In 9 month. That is actually a part of the reason that I choose this school, so I cannot criticize so much about this short vacations.

I always forget the main point. and the main point was that in the summer semester, we happened had two weeks vacation luckily. That was almost like a sudden shower after a long draught. We are pleased and so many of the student went back to their country or going out of town, so on so forth. As I am working at the company so I cannot easily going back to my country but fortunately I got 5 days of continuous holidays, so I decided to go west. (Actually it was always west, when I thinking about spending some holiday... I went several places to spend holiday but it no longer be 'south'. And no longer be 'New York' itself. I don't know)
 
   
Posted at 13:43 / 出来事 / Permalink URL
Rooftop Acperience 5 / 2006/07/05(水)
Nowadays I went Queens a lot. Actually in the standpoint of the diversity of the architecture, Brooklyn and Queens will be good place more than Manhattan. In those areas, the building itself is not so interesting, but has more flexibility of the spaces. Which means they tend to have some great gardens, skylines, rooftops, and so on.

Flux Factory is a gallery and residencial space in Queens. It looks like an Artist association, which has a long history. They have a gallery in the middle of industrial district of Queens, and they had an opening recently. The exhibition was a kind of 'reading art', which features comic strips as their means of expression. The exhibit space pretended the structure of the city, which means they divide each space to artists based on the blocking system, like Manhattan. The artists built a building with rooms and they installed their 'reading' works in those rooms. It was actually a lots of things so the idea to make the city in gallery space might be a practical solution. And funny thing is that there were so much people, so crowds had been made and the traffic jams were there too, just like Manhattan.

Rooftop was as fascinating as I heard. So big, and so open. You would get terrific industrial view from the roof as well, nice. I met a bunch of Japanese artists and curators. It might be popular among Japanese.
 
   
Posted at 15:34 / イベント / Permalink URL
Alternative Park on the River / 2006/07/04(火)
On the way to Noguchi Museum, I happened to come across a strange park. It was Socrates Sculpture Park, which looks just like a empty riverside space, but has a bunch of sculpture in it. If you heard about a sculpture park along the river, you would imagine a vast and beautiful plain field on the river with sculptures like Alexander Calder. But it's not. It is more like a field with not-so-beautiful grass and shabby huts and mysterious steal structures. Maybe before, it used to be just a forgotten garbage storage site or something. I reminded Takashi Murakami's studio in northern Tokyo, which is called Marunuma Park of Art. It was a place of half industrial and half cult flavor, near the river. was also a strange place.

However, contemporary sculptures usually becomes well in these kind of environment. They are really tough. And it would be definitely comfortable to walk around these park, filling your mind with questions derived from the sculptures.
This may be the best shot in this park. The fragments are so beautiful in front of the sky.
 
   
Posted at 15:10 / レビュー / Permalink URL
Noguchi Garden Museum / 2006/06/23(金)

Isam Noguchi has a certain presence in here. There are several Isam Noguchi museum in Japan, also New York has the one too. On a super sunny sunday afternoon in June, I went Isam Noguchi museum with my school friend Jenny and Notre. It is located Astoria in Queens, just across the river from Manhattan. Taking subway and bus and a little walk and finally, I could reach the museum. It was a very modern place. The building reminds me of the architectures of Tadao Ando, that was basically composed by bare concrete walls and green plants and water. Which was actually very astonishing for me, because in New York all the building are very old and huge and classic, so when I first entered this building, I felt I have gone so far from New York. Yes, it was more Japan than New York.

Exhibit was also pretty nice. Somewhat I had an image that Isam Noguchi is among the kind of minimal artists, regarding his famous sculptures and landscape designs. But this time I saw lots of his sexy sculptures. Materials are basically well-polished-heavy stone or metal, but it was very sexual, sticky and organic. It might be his another character, usually hidden by his sophisticated approach though.

At that time when I was there, Special garden musical ensemble was being played. It was a mix of classic shaku-hachi music and electric sound, and all the more, the scene itself was beautifully stunning.
 
   
Posted at 13:11 / レビュー / Permalink URL
Unique Clothing Store in Soho / 2006/06/12(月)
Through several times of trial, they are going to have a decent boutique in Soho. It seems on the way to constraction, and I was just curious the way the did in their board decoration.

Strange thing is that they use Japanese character here, while they never use Japanese character in Japan.

For American people, it should seem like some kind of stamps.
 
   
Posted at 13:13 / 出来事 / Permalink URL
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