magic street

home I (家之一)
all images by J - click for flickr view

We called it a magic street. But there's nothing Harry Potter-ish about it all it. In fact, there's nothing very magical, not even in the metaphorical sense of the word. I've forgotten why we called it a magic street.

The street leads to the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. In both our visits there, 4 years apart, the street barely changed - at least in our memory. Both visits were between 4-5 in the late afternoon. In Autumn, the light would have started to change.

home II (家之二)

At that hour, there would be kids who have stayed on a little later in school rushing home; maybe one or two housewives would go by on their bikes. But save for these bodies, and even quieter ones in the slow neighbourhood shops, the street was mostly deserted. We are greedy anomalies on this street, stopping every few steps for photographs, to decipher signs, stare at shop windows, and both times for yakitori, eaten at a bench outside the shop - nonetheless, quietly.

Sign I (牌之一)
slow (慢)
tradition II (傳之二)

Maybe it was our regressive impulse - wanting to marvel at this sense of time having stood still, or the quotidian amidst glitzy, metropolitan Tokyo.

Maybe it was the quiet - not the monumental quiet of ancient forests or endless canyons, or the hushed silence of religious halls and libraries - but the quiet of activity being somewhere else instead, the quiet of a clearing.


Anonymous said…
oh no, your stories aren't helping my already crazy desire to go tokyo. more of them pls!
ampulets said…
i think we have already infected another friend, so you are victim 2 to the tokyo bug! it was really inspiring - fashion wise in the streets - because everyone was different. there was no 1 "style" in the streets, and there was a sense of improvisation and personalisation. And all those pretty/glam rock boys/men who were surprisingly friendly.

maybe its me not being in the mood to look at clothes in shops, but I think J/men in general will find the stuff in the shops more "liberating"/new/wow than women. we enjoyed going to the issey miyake and commes des garcon stores - shops that make you think! and as usual, the beams, ships/freaks store and united arrows/beauty&youth chains had very nicely made stuff for guys. tokyo has also v cool, quality vintage shops - plus all the little shops at cat street, haru, daikanyama and ebisu... Go go go!

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