Post Japan Blues

Back in new york and low on happy juice
we noticed that the cherry blossoms were in full bloom in nyc (not the yoshino variety but the puffy chiffon-y dark pink kind) so we were still able to organize our annual cherry blossom picnic.

looks like Zabars is trying to save this Banksy street art on the side of their building in the upper west side by bob's house

I did illustrations for Banana magazine issue 3, an Asian American magazine and they had an issue launch party at the Ludlow house in the lower east side.

I called up Foo and we went to williamsburg for a show he was in

first a snack at Snacky on grand street

we regularly get a whole chicken and make stock out of it and its satisfying to see it all lined up.  We use a lot of it and usually get like 10 or more cups.  I feel like a regular pioneer woman.

craft beer gettin' more play in these Nunu chocolates, there are all breweries including The Other Half down the street from us.  Good stuff.

they came everyday for a week for Rose downstairs who is like 85.  They can't do anything for her so they bring her back later in the day.  One day the locked the ambulance keys in the ambulance and she was locked in there by herself for like 10 minutes.
the very miss-able and old school Italian mobster era place "Sam's" has been passed by by us and most people until one night we gave it a try and their pizza is really good.  It's in carroll gardens by the theatre.

9th street by the bridge flooded

at court street grocers I spotted this expensive little guy of water from the atlantic ocean by amagansett long island for sale as culinary sea water.  Old bay seasoning for scale.  What will they think of next.

wish they hadn't thought of these chips.  I love kettle chips (not the brand kettle chips though) and Korean BBQ but of course they had to go and make it super sweet and nothing like korean bbq and are just using the goodwill and hype that korean food has around it these days to sell us more sugary chips.

A Honeymoon in Asia - It's Over

the final day of our honeymoon in asia was spent traveling back to NYC

we had a 9am flight so we had to wake up super early.  We didn't ride this cool looking tetsujin like train to the airport.
we had wifi the whole time in Japan thanks to their pocket wifi technology that you can rent and drop off in a mailbox when you're done (in an envelope of course).  Benefits of pocket wifi is multiple devices can connect to it at the same time as opposed to renting a sim card.  Down side is it's another device that runs out of battery power.  We rented from Pupuru.
in the bathroom
was digging the style of this terminal at Kansai international airport.

gifts from friends and fam from Japan and Korea

our purchases from left to right:  kukuri zaru, daruma, bowls, ceramic tanukis, look at their precious eyes, alas the pair went to my parents.  traffic safety charm from a shrine in kyoto, japanese kids cups, little monkey bell, tickets that are 3 frames of ghibli films from the ghibli museum, and ghibli pins.

jen got this furoshiki at Kyoto Musubi at the tokyo shop in harajuku.  We met the artist Kata Kata who was in the back hanging out. 

got these big khakis in Seoul, my skinny khakis on the left.  gonna try to make it work this summer

bought this traditional indigo dyed jinbei style thing in daikanyama, the brand is "gaijin made".

top two found in tokyo, i've been looking for that erroll garner record and its in great condition.  bottom two are ebay buys, that ralph burns spring sequence album is my fav spring jazz record.

tried to recreate the onion we ate in tokyo, miso tamanegi and it was ok.  There aren't recipes online so I had to guess, also they are made with fresh in season new Japanese onions so I don't think i'll ever get it right.

So in conclusion we had a great time, it was jen's first time in japan and she loved it.  After 3 weeks we were destroyed.  Having friends in Japan allowed us to have a different kind of experience than the normal tourist so that was cool.  It was good to see all my asia buddies again.  The flight back with a stop over in beijing was relatively uneventful.  After 3 weeks of fun times and seeing a glimpse of my old life i had a few depressing weeks.  But you can't sustain that kind of life forever and there are different fun times back here in America.  Hopefully this isn't our last time in Japan.  Ok honeymoon achieved!  Now onto life including moving into a new apt and beyond!

A Honeymoon in Asia - Kyoto - Day 4

Our last day in Japan (besides going to the airport in the morning).

on the way to getting coffee at that lawson.  Did i mention how coffee in Japan is not that good?  I was so excited to try coffee done the Japanese way but I supposed you really have to go out of your way to get that or else you're gonna end up with convenience store coffee (because there aren't many coffee shops and the ones there are like tully's or doutor have tiny weak coffees).

we stayed at Kinoe Ryokan, it was $350 for the one night (prob because it was a week after cherry blossom season) and we did it cuz we should stay somewhere nice at least once.  It was a great location but like all hotels I feel like it doesn't matter that much because you just sleep there and leave.  When we first came they even cleaned our luggage wheels.

no thank you

they love egg salad in Japan and so do I.

and they love hot dogs and making monstrosities like this.

took the 45 min bus ride to Kinkakuji, the golden pavillion.  Ryoanji is walking distance from here but I gotta tell you honestly, it's such a time suck that if you're strapped for time I don't know if I would recommend going to this tourist heavy spot just to see this golden pavillion.  There isn't much else on the property.

i'm guessing chinglish.  Please wait for me here.  Feels Good.  Room for What

I love Ryoanji's zen garden.  

fire buckets

never saw this part before with these crazy trimmed trees.

the Yoshino cherry trees are gone now but these kind of tall weeping cherries were out in force.

either this is a sign of the breakdown of Japanese society or kids really like practicing their Kanji tables.

Japanese design is great, even this political poster.

Kitsune Udon at Tsurutontan in Soemoncho, Osaka

tororo, tempura, and curry set udon

the crush of humanity at the entrance of Shinsai Bashin shopping arcade.

Akira and Masako's parents took us out for Kushiage dinner at a place around the corner from their house.

we drank at their house and waited for Akira and Masami to finish their jazz work.  Their dad buys the huge whiskey and pours it into the more manageable bottle.  Once again Japanese people are too nice.  Everyone gave us presents.  Thanks again for everything Matsumura San tachi.