cuponoodles museum -- ferris wheel -- some nice buildings

Something like day 9 of 10 here; our last full day in Tokyo was the day after this. We went to the cup-o-noodles museum, which was kind of equal parts fascinating and weirdly hero-worshiping of the founder/inventor of instant ramen, Momofuku Ando. One thing I didn’t get a picture of because I was starving, was the sort of food court area that had different noodle dishes from all over the world you could sample; I had like 3 different kinds of noodles, all delicious.

The ferris wheel: so right next to the museum in Yokohama was this little amusement park with a great big ferris wheel. Somehow we realized that tickets were cheap (300 yen sticks out in my mind but I could be misremembering) and hopped on. Went up and over the place, got some nice views, and some OK portraits of my traveling companions. I’m holding back the portrait of Sophia, because I know she’d hate it.

Which really just leaves the last photo, of the Atari-logo-shaped building. For some reason, I just really liked the shape of this building. Nice proportions. It’s a stitched panorama, about 95 megapixels. I have a couple from the same spot with the 15mm, but it was a bit too wide, and so I’d have had to crop. This works really nicely.

Posted by Matt on 2019-05-28 00:15:02 -0700

in search of food and other things

So, after we exited the TeamLab building, we were pretty hungry and the building next to it was kind of a mall, so we wandered in in search of food. The mall was a little weird, oddly empty, but I have no idea what qualifies as normal there. The whole thing was like they’d seen the inside of an Olive Garden once, described it to their designer, and said “Go nuts on it.” Faux aging paint jobs, fake marble, tile floors, the whole deal, but executed with this precision and workmanship that made it kind of alien?

One thing I like about visiting foreign lands is looking for the standards. Not just the shape of their outlets but the distance between them, are they grounded or GFCI by default. What materials do they use as standard? What are the bathroom fixtures made of? Doors? Locks? Lighting is interesting because it’s always different, affected by the local fire codes. Local brands of everything made to different specifications, not only the difference between inch and metric, but what do they consider a sufficient width, of say, scotch tape? Endlessly fascinating minutiae. Japan was great for that because even now a great deal of what they use is made there.

Anyway, after the weird mall, we walked down to this area with a lovely view, and took pictures. The Gundam was on the way to the pier near the statue of liberty; that photo is a composite of 6 or 8 images. I didn’t have the wide angle on when the people were there, so I got it in sections and stitched it together in Lightroom. Not sure what the golden cigar is about. Then we found a bunch of street food that would have at least been tastier than the mall food, but alas we had already eaten. I think I got a Pocari because I couldn’t get enough of that stuff.

Then we went to Akihabara in search of electronics components, but it seemed like all the shops were just selling used cameras and computers. Interesting, and not bad prices, but not at all what I was hoping for. Apparently you can hire a guide to get you in the good shops, but unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s hard. We were all exhausted at this point, and just went back to our respective hotels to pass out.

Posted by Matt on 2019-05-23 00:22:17 -0700

teamlab borderless

Projections and lights and mirrors. Interactive, sometimes. I can’t say it was a place made for instagram, in the vein of the Museum of Ice Cream, since it was kind of difficult to photograph in all that dark, projector filled space. Still, neat. I can tell that the place was designed so that you really had to see what the creators wanted you to see.

Anyway. Working on trying to find financing to buy another Leica. Shooting with it doesn’t endear me to it, but working on these files sure does. I don’t know how, exactly, to make this work, because consumer financing at the point of sale has ridiculous interest rates; highway robbery by another name. If I had a business entity, it’s possible I could lease it, and that’s a bit more reasonable. Might look into that a bit more.

Posted by Matt on 2019-05-22 00:16:38 -0700

tokyo at night

So, after the robots, we came out and it was nighttime, and I don’t really remember what happened. I think we probably walked somewhere and got some food and went back to the hotel. The pictures seem to indicate we walked through Shinjuku some more, getting closer and closer to the hotel.

I feel like right now there are a bunch of things I’m supposed to be working on, and if I can pull off half of them, I’ll be doing pretty good. The short list in no particular order:

  • building a headlamp (mostly done; board bringup and programming left)
  • building a bike frame (maybe 1/3rd of the way done)
  • live art installation at Priceless festival (woot! this should be simple and fun)
  • Parents’ visit (Hi Mom!)
  • making bags (this should be higher in the list)
  • brewing beer (which is really hosting dinner for people while someone else brews beer)
  • zine shelf (for a friend)
  • all the other photography I’ll probably do.

Oh, also hold down my day job because only one of the things on this list pays in money. I’m not mad about it, per se, just that I’ve set myself some lofty goals for shit to get done this summer. At least now I’ve put the short form of the list somewhere more concrete than twitter.

Posted by Matt on 2019-05-20 01:44:49 -0700