Monday, September 03, 2007

20070903: Warm Summer Rain

Last month when Hunter and I had a gig out in Discovery Bay (see entry for "Fire Dancers Stuck in the fire") and were enjoying the warm summer evening air, we got to talking with Audree (who was our safety for the night) about how our experience on the east coast was so different weather wise. In San Francisco, you rarely experience a warm summer night because the warm air from the Central Valley in the day time sucks the cool air in off the Pacific Ocean, creating the fog which leads to the ever famous expression about "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" or something about that.

At the time, I said I missed standing in warm summer rains and enjoying being able to get wet and not be cold and feel refreshed. Well... I feel complete with that at this point!

As Spencer and I darted off to catch the train and try to meet his friend (ag! We were late!) at OCAT in Osaka, it started to drizzel. Riding the bikes down the back streets on the way to the urban parts of Kyoto so we could catch the train to Umeda, I found myself smiling and enjoying the rain as it cooled me off. The night was hot an dmuggy and the rain was welcome,
especially in the breeze of the bike.

Arriving in Osaka, it was still drizzling. No problem... It felt good.

Soon enough, however, we were experiencing a full on rain. I'm not talking about one of those weak-willed-can't-assert itself sort of San Francisco rains. I'm talking the kind of rain that got your shoes so wet your feet were soaked and the shoes made sloshing sounds as you walked. So wet, I thought, "Wow, I'd be concerned this was a hurricane or something if it were even a little windy." So wet, as I walked behind Spencer, I noticed his jeans were wet almost all the way up to his knees.

I've got my fill of warm summer rains, for now. ;)

20070903: Having a (Silver) Ball

OCAT -- Osaka City Air Terminal -- is a Penn Station sort of place. All manner of public transit converge there and
there's shops and places to grab food along the way.

Outside is a pretty awesome and beautiful metal sculpture. It's a few arches, sort of symmetrically laid out that rise over a story high representing the path of a bouncing ball with a silver ball on the ground in between them. The silver ball is probably over 3 feet high.

We were going to meet Emily here but due to my slowness, we were late - sorry Emily!!! :( But, when we got there a group of maybe 25 urban dancers -- break dancing, pop and lock and vogue style -- the sort of thing you might see in "Step Up" or possibly "Rize" -- were hanging out practicing. Wow. What a site.

I saw some amazing artistry there, including one guy who did a 360 turn (in the air) starting from his hands, pushed up into the air (fully leaving the ground) from one hand, turning in the air and landing on the other hand to complete the turn. Think
Mitch Gaylord meeting the best break beat dancer you've seen -- gymnastic dance. AWESOME!

Thanks to Spencer, I found myself super inspired and, after seeing a rather large roach on the ground and thinking, "hmm, wonder how many thousands are under ground..." I got to work and did a dance of my own. Ah, how I love playing with my 2 balls and string. . .

20070903: Arashiyama

One of the reasons Spencer choose to move to Kyoto when he went to Japan was for the way in which that city represents the history of Japan. Another reason is the natural splendor of the area, represented with awes inspiring beauty in Arashiyama. Bike riding for the first time in at least 2 years (I don't seem to do it much except at Burning Man), we trekked out to the little town pretty late in the afternoon, getting there when the shops were closing.

Not to worry, we arrived at the Togetsukyo Bridge and ... Wow. Breathtaking. The beauty of the small waterfall, the serenity, the sense of the amazing ancient feeling of it. The greenery. Set at the base of a large mountain range in a valley, I found myself overjoyed to witness the beauty of it... To the point of tears.

The whole area was amazing, well kept and quite beautiful. Even the train station was done up with an amazing entry way, lovely water tanks and bamboo everywhere. It was a little haven inside, beautiful as it was, and simply a train station!

We walked along the water to discover a festival the night before we'd seen an ad for. Of course, festival maybe is a bit of an overstatement. It seemed a bit more like a ritual of some sort. There were boats on the water with 2 men, a woman and a small group of what appeared to be ducks or geese. The ducks were on some sort of leash in front of the boat and over the ducks were these burning baskets of wood... Embers shooting out toward the ducks.

On the water were 4 boats full of people watching the "event." Later, as the boats with the fire pots pulled away, I saw the ducks sitting on the boat near the woman. Fascinating experience, really.

And one of my favorite things to do this afternoon was shoot a photo of one of Audree's bags made by dutchy with the tag on and everything. This photo of spencer and this beautiful and spacious Rose Clutch combination wallet and clutch -- big enough even to fit my phone as well as money, oversized business cards, pen, id and more receipts than one person should be carrying -- was taken out side the really beautiful train station.

20070903: Sushi

Oh my did we have a good lunch. For less than $20, we ate copious amounts of really good sushi for lunch. This was my first really good meal since I arrived and I was grateful to be enjoying it. Where did the food come from? Yup, the grocery store. Coo, eh?