Archive for December, 2012

December 29th, 2012

La Seine

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DSC_0445 DSC_0481DSC_0471DSC_0498DSC_0490DSC_0494After the Pont Neuf, I just kept walking, getting lost that night.

 

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December 26th, 2012

Summer Night

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DSC_0315DSC_0317DSC_0312DSC_0322 DSC_0325 DSC_0326 DSC_0328 DSC_0329 DSC_0331This is from the evening of New York Philharmonic Concert at Prospect Park this summer.

With a little picnic and live classical music under the beautiful summer sky. What more to ask?  I love spending summer days like this. Easy, comfortable and fun.

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December 24th, 2012

Summertime (Part 2)

DSC_0056DSC_0041DSC_0042DSC_0037DSC_0043DSC_0044DSC_0059DSC_0064DSC_0061DSC_0036DSC_0067DSC_0069DSC_0070DSC_0074DSC_0078DSC_0079DSC_0085DSC_0075DSC_0066DSC_0092DSC_0094DSC_0090DSC_0097DSC_0133DSC_0107DSC_0111DSC_0099DSC_0114DSC_0118DSC_0121DSC_0126DSC_0130Yes, fresh homemade burgers and grilled chicken! Thank you, all my friends, for sharing such a wonderful time.

 

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December 22nd, 2012

Summertime (Part 1)

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DSC_0040DSC_0038DSC_0039DSC_0030DSC_0045DSC_0052DSC_0049DSC_0053DSC_0058DSC_0051DSC_0047Christmas is coming up in a few days and the holiday mood is everywhere. As I’m looking at the grey winter sky from the window everyday, I’m thinking of the summer memories.

These photos are from one of the nicest summer days I had this year. At Cat Lake, Squamish, British Colombia, we were with good friends, good food, and lots of sunshine.

Some were talking about their crochet, taking pictures, or making some grilled corns. Feeling completely free. I liked the long white ribbon tape that my friend put up between the trees. The wind was blowing, and it looked beautiful.

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December 19th, 2012

Pottery Gallery (Mashiko: Part 5)

Posted in Japan, Travel 3 Comments

DSC_0971 DSC_0955DSC_0958DSC_0963DSC_0962DSC_0961DSC_0959DSC_0956DSC_0957DSC_0969The white walls have no sign. It’s just the heavy wooden doors that are left open. The Chinese character on the short curtain behind the door says “Dream”.

This is a pottery gallery/shop I visited at the end of my short trip to Mashiko, Japan in May 2012. I liked their open concept design and the stunning garden. With no glass windows, all I heard was the viewers’ foot steps and the leaves trembling.  The atmosphere was discreet, yet organic and pleasant.  ”Dream” was right.

 

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December 17th, 2012

Pottery Visit (Mashiko: Part 4)

Posted in Japan, Travel 2 Comments

DSC_0890DSC_0892DSC_0894DSC_0895DSC_0898DSC_0914DSC_0908DSC_0912DSC_0946DSC_0901DSC_0932DSC_0917DSC_0902DSC_0900DSC_0927DSC_0918DSC_0920DSC_0906DSC_0904DSC_0930 DSC_0931 DSC_0933 DSC_0934 DSC_0943DSC_0947There’s a set of small tea cups my father favours at home in Japan.  They are always placed neatly and carefully on the top of the dining kitchen shelf. They’re white, simple, light, smooth and delicate. Every single night, after dinner, my father chooses the white small tea cup and serves his green tea. He takes his tea seriously and likes to drink it out of his favourite cup. I have the same habit. I don’t drink green tea every night like my father, but I do have my favourite cups to drink coffee or tea out of daily. Something about the cup’s texture, colour or its size, it’s such a small detail but it makes my daily routine a little more special. Clearly it was my father who taught me how to appreciate things like that in daily life.

My father had an opportunity to visit the pottery master in Mashiko (Tochigi), Japan, who made his favourite tea cups. So I followed.

In the middle of nowhere, deeper in the mountain, far away from other houses, there was an old house standing quietly and peacefully.

The master’s words were not too many. When I saw his aged hands, the story was there.

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December 14th, 2012

Starnet (Mashiko: Part 3)

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5月に 行った益子で素敵なお店を訪ねて来ました。

オーガニックカフェと、ギャラリー、そして素晴らしい陶器や洋服のセレクションが広がるお店が一つになったスペースがここ、「Starnet」。前からずっと行ってみたかった所です。

大自然の山に囲まれてひっそりとたたずむ空間の中には、私の憧れる衣食住のスタイルがたくさんありました。

ランチにオーダーした食事はこの日のとれたての新鮮な野菜を素材に、シンプルで優しい味がしました。デザートに頼んだのはお豆腐の抹茶ケーキ。ヘルシーで上品な甘さが日本ならではのバランスです。

自然の恵みと日本の感性を絶妙に合わせたものが揃っていて,とても落ち着く場所です。また違う季節にも訪れてみたいですね。

***

Back in the middle of May this year,  I traveled to Mashiko, Tochigi in Japan as known as Pottery village. There was one shop that I was excited to check out this time.  ”Starnet“.

Founded in 1998 by pottery designer Baba Koshi, the original Starnet location in Mashiko, Japan has grown into a gallery, organic cafe, studio and shop. (Now they have gallery spaces in Tokyo and Osaka also.) Starnet has been involved in various activities through practicing life style in a way of creative self-sufficiency harmonized with nature in the town of Mashiko.

Their food was something I was looking forward to try, of course. The daily special lunch was made with their freshest vegetables and ingredients. The recipe was simple and everything tasted honest and flavourful. And that’s a piece of tofu green tea sponge cake I had for dessert! So delicious… I felt relaxed and calm in the space. All they had was everything I wanted. A unique and perfect balance of Japanese sensibility mixed with nature.

Will be back there again.

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December 13th, 2012

Long time no see.

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久々のブログに帰って来ました。しばらくの間お休みしていたのでなんだか変な感じです。

最後のポストが8月28日。今日はもう12月12日なので本当に長い間ここから離れていました。

もう冬なのに、まだ夏の写真を見ています。あの暖かい日、日本の田舎道の風景をふと思いだしたりしながら。

目の前に広がるのは様々な深さの緑の山並み、そして青い空。

目覚ましが鳴り目を覚ますと、部屋の中の冬の冷たい空気を感じます。

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Oh my goodness.

How long has it been?

How’s everyone?

I just got back.

My last post was on August 28th, 2012. It’s December 12th, 2012 today.

A couple of months were left empty in my calendar. But that’s OK.

I thought of that warm sunny day in Japan, driving on the countryside road, away from the busy city.

All I saw ahead was the green mountains and the blue sky.

Now I hear the alarm going off, the morning light is slowly waking me up.

The air feels very cold in my room lately.

 

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