Monday, June 19, 2006

World Cup 2oo6!

World Cup 2oo6!

All I have to say is wow… the world cup is soo much more fun than in the US. For the first game vs. Austrailia 4 of us went to shibuya to find a good sports bar to go to, and ended up in a karaoke place, it was fun, but where we went to last ngith was wayyyy better. Last night we went to a bar where everyone was watching the game and chanting and cheering the entire time, everyone was wearing their jersey, and it was amazing!

We ended up going with around 10 people in all I think and everyone had a great time. I was completely decked out in my “samurai blue” gear; I had my 2oo6 jersey, white shorts, and blue shoes. I basically had the uniform on, as seen below in my super cool pose…

As well as with me uber stylish Japanese haircut… which can be seen now to all those in the states…

2 people that i met and joined their sheering squad for the 2nd half!

2 friends that go to TUJ =]

After the game though we tried to decide on where to go the next game, and missed the train home so we took out time getting back to the station to get a cab. The streets near the station were going insane though, people were on top of the station entrances getting people psyked up for the next game vs brazil! It was really crazy, there were tons of cops trying to keep order, and having everyone moving along. If that's what it was like after a 0-0 tie, I wonder what would happen if japan were to win, and if they beat brazil, they pretty much make it into the tournament! I basically cant wait until the next game!

steves show and karaoke…

Steves Show And Karaoke…

Steves Show was pretty cool. Steven Berkawitz is one of the photography instructors during the summer here, he teaches full time at Temple in the US. I actually helped put up his show and it didn't take as long as we expected, and it looks amazing. He thought of a very fun way to show his work. There were a series of 9-15 prints that were all lined up side by side but were on very long pieces of paper. So picture an 11x14 print on an 11x 6 ft piece of paper (all vertical) and around 10 side by side. The over all work was huge, and we set it up to the paper was ‘floating’ away form the wall. Pictures to come…

And now to karaoke- after the show. It was actually one of the guy’s birthdays on the trip- Matt (21st) and we all decided to do karaoke. So we had a huge group of almost all the students that went on the trip, and few others: Shawn brought Yuka, I brought Mayu, so it was 15 in all. I was kinda not sure what to expect when we went, but the way I see it is: you might as well go all out and have fun, otherwise you’ll be kicking yourself for missing out. We originally planned to stay for only 2 hours, but you know when your having fun (and a couple of drinks) it goes by real quick >_<. All In all I would say it was a success, and a great night.

my project

My Project

Ok so I ended up deciding to do a series of 8 posters, each one describing a mode of transportation used in my block. All the posters are going to be A3 size, or very close to tabloid in the states. If you still don't know the size… its approximately 11x17. And in addition to that I need to make a multimedia piece, which will be a cd containing sounds of the various modes, in a rhythmic way. They will all have a fairly humorous feel to them, but all reflective of what I perceive of each type of transportation to be like. Once ive complete them ill post them up. Most will be highly illustrative, I just need to make sure I stick with one style, and make it work for a series of 8. Also I plan to utilize a lot of things ive learned form Japanese art and design while ive been here, by using patters, styles different ways of using type to portray what I want to say. I think it’s going to be fun.. but I have a lot of work ahead of me…

expectations of Japan…

Expectations of Japan…

I would say without a doubt that my expectations have been fulfilled, and I am very impressed with this country from every aspect. Although ive only seen basically two of the largest cities: Tokyo and Kyoto, I had pretty high standards coming in. This country is extremely clean! I love it, there is NEVER trash on the ground, people don't litter, things are spotless, and very well maintained. To me this is a huge plus, I love have things nice and clean and neat, and I didn't think anywhere could be this clean, but it was. The only weird thing is: there are not many trashcans. A lot of vending machines, and each one has a trashcan only for the bottles you bought from it.

The other this that exceeded my expectations was how safe it is, even in Tokyo! Walking at night is perfectly fine, ive never felt un-safe, ever. And what adds to it, is that school kids walk to school by themselves, for miles, downtown, across highways and streets, everyday! And they also ride the public transportation by themselves as well, which is the bus and the subway. The crazy thing is: I see kids every day that are no older that are 6 or 7 doing this, and it’s no big deal here.

Other expectations that I had was that it was going to be extremely expensive here, but to me that not the case. I live in one of the most expensive areas in Tokyo: Akasaka, and I can eat lunch for anywhere from $4-10 (400-1000 yen) and that includes tip. For instance, I had a sushi lunch today and it was only $8 even. I can however go out for dinner to a nicer place and easily drop $30+ on dinner, but I try not to do that too often…

The people are great, they realize that you are a foreigner and they try to speak English, The food is amazing, the weather is pretty good, and I cant think of anything else, but im sure ill think of all of it once I get back to the states and realize what is missing.

super deluxe:

Super deluxe:

Pecha Kucha night is what we went to. It’s always held once a month (last Wednesday of every month), at this space/area that hosts parties and events that's called super deluxe. How to describe pecha kucha…. Well basically there are around 20 designers, of all forms, that pitch what they are doing recently, to an audience of other designers. It's a good way to show off what you do, most people do architectural stuff, interior design, installations, etc. These designers however don’t have total freedom; they get to present 20 slides, and each one is only up for 20 seconds, no more no less, so it becomes a very interesting presentation. It was very cool seeing both Japanese and American designers showing their work. I actually thought that it was soooo cool that I asked one of the people who ran it how someone can enter in it: if there is a wait, or you have to be professional and not a student or what. Well… I gave my business card to the right person, and she told me to e-mail her with some info about myself and some samples of my work, probably just to make sure I know what I’m doing and not some random joe. All in all I actually e-mail two people and they both said that I am in the next pecha kucha night! I just have to have all my work by a certain time and e-mail them my personal information. I think I’m going to show about 10 slides of my magazine, and about 10 slides of the project I’m working on here. Last time the place was packed, and a lot of the other designers were pretty good, and they were also all pro, but I think it will be alright.

like to the real site which has pictures and more info:

Sunday, May 28, 2006

my block

My Block-

Ok so today I went out looking for a block, and to tell you the truth I was NOT looking forward to it, especially since it rains all the damn time, and I would have to be walking around aimlessly for hours, getting soaked in the process. And I woke up at like 12:00 so that also pissed me off that I practically wasted half the day…

But luckily it was a beautiful day! The sun was out and the wind was blowing, and the temperature was perfect. So I got up off my computer and left the room and just went walking. So instead of going where I usually would to class and whatnot, I went in the opposite direction. And by doing so I got to see how huge Minato-Ku really is, and the variance in people, shops, cars, buildings, and cleanliness. AND… I found my block, it’s actually perfect, and it’s practically on the border of Minato-Ku and Chiyoda-Ku. It has all the types of transportation that I wanted, walking, bikes, subway/train, cars/highway, and plenty of all of them. The station is Akasaka-Mitsuke, so I can get there quick if I need to and its fairly big as a station as well.

After I found my block, I walked a little further, because it was such a nice day. And I got into the REALLY nice part of town, and I’m in the nice part of town too, but over where I was the hotels had guards at every entrance, and there was one at least every 50 ft. so after I walked past, I came to a really cool area that overlooked some athletic fields and tennis courts. It was a cool path that I wasn't expecting to come by, a lot of trees, and it was really pretty. Then to my right though there were a lot of people coming out of this large complex, but I wasn't sure what it was, people were dressing in suits/nicer than casual clothes, so it seemed kind of odd. They all were not coming from work, it seemed like a social event. So I pass it and walk to the end of the path, and get to Shinjuku Dori, at Yotsuya station. There was a map there and I had my Tokyo City Atlas so I stopped and looked at both to see where I was. I had walked pretty far, but it was pretty cool to see that I was pretty close to some places that I had been to before. Also I come to find out that I just passed Sophia University, which was where all those people had came from.

I walked back the way I came, and took some pictures of my block…
Then I walked back a different way, and kinda got lost, but by looking at the tops of building and stuff I found my way back quite easily.

Also by going to Kyoto and seeing so many different types of design, I have a lot so ideas/ approaches to my neiborhood narratives project. Im starting to really get excited about the possibilities that I have, and the boundaries that I can push and all of the variations I can explore. So far I thought of ways to present my project in a print form, that involves a sculptural element to it, and become interactive. Im also thinking about a packaging idea similar to what Matt is doing, with a cd containing the “sounds” of his block. But also… I don't want to kill myself with work… hehe oh well.



Kyoto was such a great place to go. Seeing another part of Japan was very interesting, I think it was good to get out of the city of a bit and experience other parts of Japan.

Traveling on the Shinkansen (bullet train) was a great way to start off the trip; I think they said we were going 170 mph so we arrived in about 2.5 hours. It was very comfortable, roomy, and quiet. Kyoto station was amazing, the architecture was so different form anything that I was expecting. Kinda hard to explain, I have pictures…

So we get to the ryokan, and walk around a bit before dark/ dinner, and we get to see some of the shrines and whatnot. When we get back its dusk, and we were told to go to the onsen before dinner. Onsens kick ass! It was sooo relaxing and soothing, it’s been a long time since my muscles have felt so relaxed.

Day 2 I traveled with Noriko sensei, and Abby, 2 great tours guides btw. First we saw Ninomaru Palace, and we were told that the 3 place that we are going to see are the most popular places for school kids to go, and I thought there would be a few, I didn't really doubt that, but I never thought there would be thousands! Overall we saw a bunch of temples/shrines in the day but we actually ate at one for lunch, and we had the traditional dish of Kyoto: tofu. I think we had 11 different plates of food, and within that we had at least 13 different preparations of tofu. We also had the option to eat outside or inside, either one would have been fine, but it was the perfect day, so we ate outside. The sun was over us the whole time, but it was seriously perfect because the trees provided just the right amount of shade. It was unreal. Then we went to the golden pavilion, and this area was actually more crowded than any of the others we had been to yet, and before we know it, Abby is already getting interviewed by kids for their English class!

The golden pavilion was very cool; it was so bright and vibrant. Later on after we are on our way out, we had stopped for ice cream, and there was a group of 4 or 5 kids that looked like they wanted to talk/interview us, but they looked soooo shy. So Tom just kinda walked up to them and looked at them, he said hi or something and they started to ask him questions, the finniest thing was that it sounded so scripted, and at the very end they asked tom what he thought about Kyoto, and the told them it was beautiful, then right after it one of the other kids replied with “I agree”, hahaha he sounded to strong and firm with his answer, and it sounded so scripted, he was going to say that no matter what Tom said. It was great.
Then after that encounter we made our last stop at the Kiyomizu Temple.

Once again thousands of kids, which means more interviews. The temple and the view were gorgeous. We all basically had 2 hours or so to do whatever we wanted, and there were shops and stuff too. On our way back from the temple, we made our way down to the shops, and Tom got interviewed. And right after that I got interviewed also, but at the end of mine I got a present- which was a card that each one of them made, with their names and school, and their school e-mail address as well, im going mail them and say thank you. Then back to the ryokan for a great dinner, and fun with friends, oh and the onsen, Twice! A great day indeed.

Finally on Friday the huge group split because we all had our own agendas, and some people we staying in Kyoto, others in Nara, so we all did different things. I was going back to Tokyo on Friday night with 7 others, and it just so happened that Noriko Sensei was going back also (Best Guide Ever) So we departed for Nara in the morning, and we got their pretty quick, the first thing we saw was the Saiin Garan, and as soon as we got close, sure enough huge buses started appearing, with all the school kids again. And see the thing is we were told to not really mess with the kids at all, but we couldn’t help it. Every time we would pass a group of kids we would either get stared at, or we would say something like konnichi wa, or hey or yo, and they would all just laugh or say konnichi wa back, or sometimes say something in English. Or even wave to the group and they would all wave back. It was great. It rained and it was a pain in the ass, but we also got to see another area that was exclusive to us, and the only reason we got in was because Noriko Sensei’s Grandfather’s cousin is the head nun at the temple. To me it seemed like we got very special treatment: 2 types of tea, and these powdered sugar type food too, it was really cool, we also got to go into areas the general public cant, and had our own tour guide and everything, it was very very cool. Then we also got to see one of the sculptures we talked about in class, up close, which was also a privilege the general public doesn't get. It was definitely awesome being in Noriko Sensei’s group, she know sooo much its amazing, also she translated all the facts and complicated words to us that the guides were telling us, it was great. After that, we got ice cream (sesame for me, it looks black and tastes almost like penutbutter) and we headed back to Kyoto. Then we went to the Kyoto national museum, and saw some amazing stuff there. The visiting exhibit they had was on scroll illustrations, and that was really good, but I thought their permanent collection was much better, and it was a lot less crowded. After the museum we went to Kyoto station and headed home with meals ready to eat on the train. Food was great, and the trip went by really quick since we were all talking and having fun.

Overall the trip was fantastic, I kinda felt like we were going back to the ryokan that night, and it was definitely weird going back to Tokyo, and coming back to this area that is all city, and bright lights.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


hey its my first post, i just wanna see what it looks like.