Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Shinjuku Southern Terrace, Etc. (Four Video Clips)"

First, it should be noted that "Shinjuku Southern Terrace" is not actually in Shinjuku! It's in Shibuya, but it's right by Shinjuku Station, and so it gets the Shinjuku name. While you're on the plaza, it's easy to forget (if you ever become aware of the fact in the first place) that it's basically a bridge built over the Odakyu Railway lines which are unnoticed below.

Shinjuku Southern Terrace opened in 1998 and I've always enjoyed its sensible lighting (in contrast with the "the more the better" style in too many parts of Tokyo), and its wide pedestrian-only walkway. There's a section with a path that takes you up a small hill between trees, which looks (at night) like in this clip:

"Shinjuku Southern Terrace at Night - September 15th, 2009"

Near to where the above video was taken, there's a popular Starbucks. The following video is a walk past the long and narrow store:

"Walking Past Starbucks on the Southern Terrace" (Shinjuku, 2009)

Now, jumping in a (video) time machine, here's a view of the south exit area of Shinjuku Station in September 1990. The Takashimaya Department Store was in the beginning stages of construction and there is no trace of the Southern Terrace yet:

"Out & About - Shinjuku, Etc. - September 1990"

Finally, we come to the "etc." part of the title - a Peruvian band that I saw in Kokubunji. Over the years, I've seen either this band, or similar bands, in various places in and around Tokyo (Shinjuku and Kashiwa come to mind):

"Band from Peru in Kokubunji - September 14th, 2009"

I need to get some new photo pages up, but it's quicker (and funner) to get a video posted, so I've been doing a lot more of video posting than making new photo pages....

Sore dewa, mata!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"A Few Toshimaen Rides in Tokyo" (1990)

I edited out a few more rides from my 1990 video recordings of Toshimaen Amusement Park here in Tokyo.

Swing Around:

Bumper Cars ("Auto Scooter[s]")


Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Only so much Time"

The limitations of what one person can do are very much in mind these days. I have several - no... make that mountains of projects in mind for my photos and videos, both material already recorded ("taken" & "shot" are the standard terms), and material that I should/hopefully-will record in the future - hopefully near future. The tendency has always been to record first and foremost, and then do editing and publishing as time is found, but a person's lifetime is not infinite, and I'm beginning to contemplate the futile scenario of a person who has spent their whole life working on the beginning stages of projects, and then runs out of time (the final deadline) with many (or most) projects awaiting more time invested.

If those projects can be handed off to someone to continue, then it's not wasted, but if the projects end up going into the trash at the demise of the individual who spent their life working on them, then... that's depressing, and... wasteful? Tragic?... or... who cares?

For some (many?, most?) projects, it's only a matter of finding help, or getting a paid team together to speed things up, and then things can happen very quickly. And then the issue of financing the projects becomes paramount. I've always wanted to do everything myself, but now time is forcing me to realize that there will have to be help, or the projects will not be completed.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Legal Screaming & Flying Through the Air"

Aside from being a bit nervous about riding roller coasters when my age was in single digits, I've always liked riding them; going up high, looking around quickly before flying diagonally through the air, etc. - and since coming to Tokyo - doing a bit of yelling from time to time. Where else can you let loose with a full-force yell/scream? There have been a few times I would have liked to have done so on the train system, but... you can't do that (for obvious reasons), so I haven't. That leaves the amusement park. Exhibit A, the Cyclone Roller Coaster at 1990 Toshimaen:

I think it's still there, but not as many people go to amusement parks as when I took the video, so the atmosphere is probably a bit different now.

Yelling on roller coasters is an old tradition, but for competitive yelling, the "Flying Pirates" ride is (or was?) better, as one group of people faces another and takes turns yelling or cheering at the other. A September 1990 example, also from Toshimaen:

Toshimaen is nice in that there a lot of trees in it, so it's pleasant to just be there on a nice day (come to think of it, the "park" in "amusement park" is very appropriate in this case). I haven't been there for quite a while, but I visited the Seibu-en Amusement Park last year, and was surprised to see very few people there... on a national holiday! They used to be crowded all the time, and really packed on national holidays. That may be why a lot of people gave up on going to them - when you have to wait in line for over an hour for a single ride, it detracts quite a lot from the day, and then, when thinking of going somewhere in the future, those long lines are remembered and a different destination chosen (if any destination is chosen at all - there is more to do at home now).

So, this may be a good time to go to Toshimaen actually. I'm thinking of going myself after seeing these videos of fun I had in 1990....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Monday, September 07, 2009

"September - August Gone Already..."

September... sigh. Cooler temperatures are always welcome, but I never like the concept of approaching winter, with it's dry, cold winds, leafless trees, flu season, and months of dreaming of warmer weather, hoping the cold will soon be over.

Summers as a child were always so free... three months of no school, and every day I was free to do as I pleased. No wonder as a member of the working world, summer is now over in a flash. Between daily responsibilities, a quick trip to Kamakura & Enoshima one day; later in the summer, a few days in Kyoto; a summer festival in Koganei... and a few other things, but that's about it.

Ah... one reason I didn't do more, was because I used some of the free time I did have to edit photos and video. The last project of August (and early September) was a video about the Koganei Natsu Matsuri (summer festival) that I finished editing today:

For text about that festival, see my "Natsu Matsuri in Koganai - August 2009" blog post.

Sore dewa, sleep is needed!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon