Thursday, October 24, 2013

Restaurant sign

natasha nakamura's diary

We use cards for buses, the subway, and even cards to buy espresso at Starbucks. But why not one card for everything? Just eliminate cash altogether. Or even better, why not use an automatic face scan and debit your account accordingly? We have the technology.

In our local market, you can buy five perfect peaches in a wooden box lined with velvet, for 7,850 yen. Or a single perfect melon for 12,000 yen. Two possible uses come to mind: to inspire an extravagant sexual adventure or to give as a gift. Not to eat, surely.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

natasha nakamura's diary

Got a job at Frippery, one of Tokyo's several dozen lifestyle magazines They seem nice people but I can see they are scrambling. Tokyo newsstands are just jammed.

Dinner with Sadek in Jiyugaoka, an engaging suburb. The place was called AEN. What they seem to be doing is peppering Western ideas over Japanese dishes, artfully dribbling sauces in decorative swirls on large white plates. What do we call this? Nouvelle Japonnaise? A couple stores down the street sells wonderful pottery and glassware by a man from the provinces  named Takahashi. There was a lovely glass for some exotic liquid, like Campari maybe, which is so light you could blow it across the table. (4000 yen.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

natasha nakamura's diary

Posters in subway saying it is bad manners to apply your makeup in the subway. "Good manners are more attractive than your makeup will make you." Sure. Also makeup must be difficult to put on in the train. But what other city would be so prescriptive?

"Do not walk onto the subway tracks because it is dangerous" is another wonderfully solipsistic instruction. Also, "Counterfeit credit cards not accepted."

Long-legged lady juggling two cellphones. "Why two?" I ask her. "One for business, one for me" OK. But why not make a cellphone that can handle both? And while you're at it let's have a cellphone that can keep communications with multiple boyfriends absolutely separate. Anyway, I don't want to carry these things around with me. They are almost as big as a butter dish. Give me a cellphone I can wear around my wrist, or perhaps, discreetly bejeweled (this would be tricky), around my neck. 

Park behind Midtown building in Roppongi. Note the shoes taken off at the edge of the blanket.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

natasha nakamura's diary

Poked around Omotesando with Akio. The pre-war Dojunkai apartments have long gone and Ando has built something completely new. There's also a huge Chanel building and the neighborhood is dripping with money. Some people like this sort of thing--the same people seem to be intrigued by Manhattan. But too much money is burdensome, I think. Like for a country to have too much oil. It becomes how it defines itself...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Natasha Nakamura's Diary

Perhaps in the end the whole point of travel, as my recent two-week excursion in Europe, from Amsterdam up the Rhine to Basel, then by train to Vienna, is that it clears the mind of routine and makes the return home seem somehow a return to a magically new place.

After the glorious but altogether too confident architecture of Vienna, which after a while seemed like living in the midst of the bass section of an orchestra, it was good to return to the scuffy but cozy architecture of sweet old Tokyo.

I've decided to give up my job of inspecting the First Class service of various airlines. Eleven hours in the air from Amsterdam to Tokyo is something to be endured, no matter how pampered. The best solution is simply to sleep. As a parting shot, I will make this recommendation.

Now I think I'll ease back into a routine of sketching and photographing the city and painting.