Month: October 2016

Tokyo, Day 1

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Yasuda Yukihiko, Arranging Flowers, 1932. National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

The first day in a new place is always exciting and a bit anxiety inducing. I like to get familiar with a city by learning the public transportation, i.e. getting lost on the train. By that measure, my first day in Tokyo was a success! I managed to get lost but I also learned a couple of ways to get from my home base to points of interest.

The first day is also important for me to observe myself observing the culture…meta. Everything is new that first day and because I am usually pretty quick to adapt, I don’t get do-overs for experiencing things for the first time. For instance, I had an ‘aha’ moment when I noticed that the steering wheel is on the right side of the car in Tokyo. I started to think about the implications of this, like the proper side to walk on a sidewalk. I’m sure these things are connected. By the way, you’re supposed to walk on the left side of the sidewalk.

Transitioning into a new city also means seeing art. It’s my safe place. So I visited the National Museum of Modern Art, which was beautiful and they had lots of great works on display. There was a special exhibition by German artist, Thomas Ruff, on display but I opted not to see it because it cost ¥1,600 (which is about $15 USD).

After checking out the museum, I had lunch in the restaurant. I don’t typically have meals at museums because it tends to be expensive. This place was no different. What was different was the quality, flavor and presentation of the food. Absolutely impeccable. In my experience, you usually sacrifice one of those three things. It was a set menu and there were several courses, each more delicious than the last. My only complaint is that the portions were small.

I believe in the idea of art being in everything, especially in the mundane, and everyday things. I wonder what are the quality of life implications for creating artistic experiences in things like food presentation. This idea is not new, as evidenced by the number of fancy restaurants in the world. But I don’t think these experiences should be reserved for people who are able to spend a lot of money for them. Art is in everything and should be appreciated and enjoyed by all people.

Speaking of food and perfection, you should see the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi. You will have an appreciation for the idea of creating in an ‘everyday’ context.

A Little Recap (Where I’ve Been)

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Machu Picchu wasn’t on my list of ‘Things I MUST See,’ but I figured since I was so close, I couldn’t leave South America without seeing it. It was awe-inspiring. I had to keep reminding myself that humans built it. It was foggy in the morning when I visited, which bummed some of my fellow tourists out, but I was so thankful for the fog to get this great shot, which appropriately creates a mysterious feel. I was not disappointed.

Whew! These past 4 months have flown by. My time has been dedicated to wrapping up a project which had a mid-October deadline and because I’ve been moving around so quickly, I haven’t been posting as many blog updates as I’d like. Also, the lack of consistent internet prevented me from getting a lot of things done, which was a source of frustration. Well, I met my deadline and I am now in a place that has reliable internet so expect more frequent updates! Also, check out my Instagram (@myieshagordon) as I post there pretty frequently.

Here’s where I’ve been so far:

NYC > Dallas

Dallas, Texas > Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan > Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida > San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico > São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil > Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil > Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina > La Rioja, Argentina

La Rioja, Argentina > Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni, Bolivia > La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia > Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru > Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru > Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile > Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas, Chile > Liberia, Costa Rica

Liberia, Costa Rica > Panama City, Panama

Panama City, Panama > Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico > San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California > Tokyo Japan

Which brings us up to date! Yesterday I arrived in Tokyo (one of my dream destinations). I’m looking forward to exploring the city and telling you about it.