Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"Multi-Clouds, Nishi-Ogikubo, & Inbound Night Trains"

July 29th was one of those days where I had what felt like profound thoughts at the time, but by the time I sat down in front of a computer to pound them into electrons, things had gone ordinary again. In any case, the dual-layer clouds, with a nearly stationary layer up high and a swiftly moving lower layer, all overlooked by a half-moon visible now and then in blue gaps in the clouds, were quite interesting to watch in the evening, as I relate here (with a few photos that don't do the scene justice):

After watching the clouds a little in Ebisu, I went over to Nishi-Ogikubo and took some photos there of a retro-drinking area.

"Inbound Tokyo Night Train - July 1991"

In this video, I take a Seibu-Shinjuku Line train from Tanashi Station to a station near Nakano-ku (not Nakano Station) and then take a bus towards Nakano Station, stopping midway to visit a friend for a quick hello before heading out for a day of video recording (the video ends on the night streets of an area of Nakano-ku after getting off the bus). If you have noticed how crowded the trains in Tokyo can be, this video shows how empty they can be if you're traveling in the opposite direction from the main flow! Going into central Tokyo late at night, the train is almost completely empty. The trains zooming by in the other direction, by contrast, are mostly full.

Regarding the bus ride: After my comment about my last night bus video that the voice seems to be the same for the different bus companies, I think I may have been wrong about that. Listening carefully to the recording in this video from a different bus company, the voice is of the same style, but I think is a different person.

Incidentally, one viewer of this video wrote:

"This video is especially surreal. Maybe it's the empty nighttime that does it. But I think, you'd been drinking..."

I responded to this with two messages, first this one:

"Tokyo is weird that way. One hour you're a sardine and you wonder how it is you came to be living in such a high density city, and the next you're in an empty train car. It really can be weird. Drinking? Why? No - I think I may have had a beer *after* this at my friend's house, which happens just after the end of the video though. - LHS"

- and later with:

"Okay - I'll go ahead and take the "drinking" comment as an insult then. It's interesting how you pair insults with compliments and then the insults almost don't seem like insults. I might even try that the next time I want to insult someone. - LHS"

[If I sound overly touchy in my reply, please keep in mind that I've had several similar comments from this same person, who often pairs insulting comments with compliments - so this isn't the first time.]

I suppose the viewer might watch the views out the train window, where the camera operator (cough-cough) is obviously hanging out the window, and come to the conclusion that someone could only be hanging out the window if they are under the influence of alcohol. But anyone who knows a dedicated photographer won't be surprised. Photographers will go to great lengths in the quest for interesting images! Some of these attempts turn out, and some don't, but if you really want to take interesting images, you have to try....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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