Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Boats for hire to have a party at night out on the river

natasha's diary

The cello can make me cry. Not the music played necessarily, just the sound. This beautiful instrument, a piece of architecture, was played poignantly (Bach) at the recent funeral of Toshio Yasuma, a lovely man who brought the spices of the world to Japan as a commercial venture. A thousand people attended, from all over the world, and many of Tokyo's most aware restauranteurs. After the ceremony, there was a standing, pass-your-plate banquet of inspired Indian and French dishes. To the side were tins of Beluga and for those so inclined a bottle of Lafite '91 was opened.

It was a good goodbye to a good man.

I would have liked to have learned to play the cello, but it is so large: like playing an umbrella. Other things I wish I had at least dabbled in while I was growing up: dance, the harpsichord, juggling, magic, the stupendous game of go, kohdo, the Italian language. Too late, too late. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Window-washer's delight in the Ginza

natasha's diary

Job of the Week: JR has hired a sweet young thing to travel from station to station on the Yamanote Line, visiting kiosks on the platforms to relive the gentle ladies manning them so they can take a little break for a few minutes. She spends about 30 minutes at each kiosk. I could do that.

On a t-shirt: "Ambiguous". An invitation to the adventurous.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

At the checkout counter of our supermarket

natasha's diary

I have discovered that first thing in the morning, before anything, a drop of first-class Balsamic vinegar wakens the tongue and brain wonderfully. Why is this not known generally?

I want a new job. Perhaps I could import bicycles. Hans tells me there is a shop in Amsterdam, that bicycle-mad city, that imports the bicycles issued to the Swedish Army--great tank-like things--and paints them psychedelic colors. Just the thing for the new breed of bicycle messengers. Also, the Danes are making a bicycle whose chain and cables are all inside the frame. I'd get a smart architect to design the shop. "Cycles by Natasha".

Friday, April 4, 2014

natasha's diary

After the typhoon, a heavenly day. Clouds are a gift of nature. Perpetually clear blue skies would be as boring as perpetual smiles.

Tokyo bicycle manufacturers understand that brakes applied delicately should let off a small squeak, like a whisper in the ear, to warn people walking ahead that a rider would like to pass. The sound of a bicycle bell is to insistent, too crude.

It is rare in most neighborhoods to see a balcony without some flowers in the corner. They are not there to enrich the lives of the residents of the apartment, but to give a little lift to the passersby.