マンション

Finally, we can see the sky from our apartment. Scaffolding and net for painting are gone.

IMG_2467

 

やっと、マンションから空が見えます。再塗装のための足場もネットもなくなりました。

Okinawa morning glory became dominant element of summer balcony garden

balcony_morning_glory_midsummer_nakano

夏のベランダで、琉球のアサガオが一番目立つ存在になっています。マンションと都市の間に、きれいなブラインドになってくれています。

When it was blooming prolifically, the Okinawa morning glory became an exterior screen between the apartment and the city outside. The shades of violet, red and blue are stunning.

View across Tokyo towards Sky Tree as the sun drops lower

skytree_view_hallway_nakano
マンションの廊下から見えるスカイツリーの景色が大好きです。密度の濃い都市生活はワクワクさせてくれます。

I love this view of Tokyo from the window next to our elevator. Tokyo is at once dense and variegated, with a mix of two story residential buildings and ten story mid-rises, the towers of Higashi Nakano and Nakano Sakaue, and in the far distance, Sky Tree.

Toddler bike fleet lined up outside our apartment building

winnie_pooh_bikes_toddlers_nakano_centralmansion

マンションの小さな子供たちが共有できる押し車はカラフルです。ここに、一番古いのはどれくらいここにあるのでしょうか。

It’s adorable that between the bike parking and the car parking, there’s a fleet of toddler bikes. It looks like they are shared among all the kids in our apartment building. I wonder how long they’ve been stationed there.

Bare cherry tree casts a decorative shadow on apartment building

cherry_tree_shadow_nakano_centralmansion
マンションの一階の窓を囲むような、葉のない桜の木の陰が大好きです。

I love the shadow of this cherry tree that surrounds a ground floor apartment window.

An old danchi housing from the 1950s being replaced with “The Garden Residence”

garden_residence3_nakano

家の近くで、古い団地が新しいマンションに建て替えられています。Garden Residenceという英語の名前はありふれていると思います。

A large parcel in my neighborhood is being excavated for a new housing project, called “The Garden Residence.” Who doesn’t like gardens, but couldn’t they have come up with a more unique name? I am curious what landscape will be visible to the neighbors.

garden_residence2_nakano garden_residence_newconstruction_nakano

Front door decorations made by hand celebrate the new year

shimekazari_nakano_frontdoor
マンションのドアに、手作りのしめ飾りを飾っています。萩原さんのワークショップで作りました。楽しかったです。

Here is the new year’s decoration (shimekazari) I created at Shiho studio for our front door. Although there’s a common look to commercial ones, including these at Muji, there’s a lot of variety in terms of shape and materials.

Below is Kuge sensei’s lovely arrangement at the entrance to her studio. The tiny black ball with three colorful petals is a traditional toy played with a badminton-like shuttlecock.  shimekazari_kuge_studioLongtime Shiho studio student Hagiwara-san led the workshop and provided these amazing materials, including red berries, pine, paper, and seed pods.

hagiwara_shimekazari kuge_yoshiko_meg_shimekazari

Temporary and semi-permanent parking flanked by temple, offices, apartments

仮設の半永久的な駐車所はお寺やオフィスビルやマンションに囲まれています。高いエレベーターの駐車場はお寺の土地を使っているそうです。

In the foreground, there’s an automated surface parking lot on a lot that may get developed. The tall white structure is an elevated parking lot that is semi-permanent, and it appears to have been erected on the property of a fairly large temple and graveyard. On either side, offices and apartment buildings  frame a dense and changing city.

Trees add life to bleak cityscape

後ろにあるこの高い木には、はじけるような命を感じます。ところが、前にある駐車場や自動販売機やマンションは暗いですね。

These tall trees in the background provide a burst of life in a bleak cityscape of apartments, vending machines, and surface parking lots.

Giant electric pole dwarfs persimmon & street

東京の中には、たくさんのあまりきれいでないものがあります。とても高い電線は江戸時代の五日市街道の上を渡ります。ごみ焼却炉の煙突や高架道路やマンションの終わらない蛍光灯の列も都市生活に奇妙なリズムをつくります。このとても高い電線の下に柿の実が見えます。

There are many urban sights in Tokyo that are jarring to newcomers, perhaps none more so than the giant electricity poles. Well, there’s also garbage incinerators with tall chimneys in every neighborhood, elevated freeways, endless rows of fluorescent lights stacked high on exposed residential hallways, and the zeal for paving over almost all surfaces.

This photo was taken near Shin Koenji where the elevated main power line crosses Itsukaichi Kaido, a road that dates back to Edo and maybe earlier. You can just make out a silhouetted ripe persimmon fruit. Sometimes these unattractive elements create their own rhythm and patterns in urban life.