Month: September 2012

Tokyo waterfront infrastructure at Tatsumi: the beautiful and the ugly

東京湾のあたりは50年前に、高速道路と公園のようなインフラをたくさん作りました。全く使われていない不毛の空間ときれいな場所が同時に存在しています。雑草と偶然にできた緑の空間が生き残ります。

I often show images of the long cherry tree path that leads from Tatsumi’s subway to the municipal swimming pool. The 10 minute walk mixes all that’s both beautiful and dirty about 1960s infrastructure projects. There’s the amazing public sports facility, a now mature park with tall trees bordering the elevated freeway, and an odd mix of new construction, prior buildings, and informal green spaces that benefit from a lack of attention.

How long will this abandoned wood house last?

マンションの前にあるこの放棄された木造の家はいつまで持つでしょうか。

In front of our apartment building is this picturesque but abandoned wooden house. It’s beautiful, but I don’t think it will be there for long. On the main street, I watched an old liquor store turn into a 7-Eleven convenience store in less than 1 month.

These two weedy lots for sale attract bats at twilight

東京の夏は、草の背が高くなってたくさん茂ります。この売り出し中の空き地に、コウモリがよく来ます。いまのところ、虫が多そうです。コウモリには都合がいいですね。

A Tokyo summer quickly produces thick and tall weeds. These two empty lots are for sale near our house. In the meantime, they are supporting a large insect population, and attracting bats. There’s something wonderful about this temporary nature spot.

Tatsumi cherry tree path is lovely in late summer

この長い桜の路はそれぞれの季節に違う外観と雰囲気があります。この写真は辰巳で晩夏のです。

I often walk down this long path of cherry trees on my way to the swimming pool in Tatsumi. I love how the path changes with the season. In late summer, it provides needed shade.

See earlier shots from “flower blizzard” at end of bloom, decomposing petals, and night view.

Balcony strawberries are lovely and delicious

ベランダのイチゴはきれいで美味しいです。フィルムの写真には真っ黒な部分があります。

The strawberry patch on my balcony has been a pleasure to look at and to eat. The fruits are small, and the flavor concentrated. I am also amazed by how black the dark areas are when shooting with film.

Can you spot the tiny cucumber taking shape?

小さいキュウリが見えますか。グリーンカーテンにぴったりの植物だと思います。

Cucumbers grow quickly, and they are easy to attach to the green curtain.

Another view of balcony morning glory

琉球のアサガオは生き生きとしています。

This angle gives you a good sense of the balcony green curtain. By now, it’s very thick and composed of several vines. The Okinawa morning glory is the most vigorous.

Let’s welcome Tanuki back to Tokyo

タヌキさん、東京にお帰りなさい。「Making Friends(友達を作る)」は、東京メトロで起こった違う種類の生物同士の出会いでした。

Making Friends was a true, inter-species encounter in the Tokyo Metro. Click to enlarge.

Distrust turned to Avoidance, then Curiosity, Connect, Reverse, and Unite. For more on S.C.R.O.T.U.M. see my article with Chris from A Small Lab and Jess from Edoble on This Big City.

Blueberries are packed with flavor

ベランダのブルーベリーのフルーツは小さいのに、とても美味しいです。

We have several blueberry bushes on the balcony. The fruits are small and full of flavor. I wish I had enough to make a blueberry pie.

Pink flowers provide pop of color on balcony jungle

日本語で、「pop of color」という表現をどのように言うのでしょうか。このベランダにはたくさんのピンクの花が長い間咲いています。

These dry pink flowers last for weeks and weeks. I forgot the name already, but I like this type of flower that provides a pop of color against the many types of green leaves in the garden.