3/26/2011

Rice is Back in Stores.... I'm still eating non-rice carb a lot.


Rice cakes.  The bedding is ( hard to see from here ) fermented beans. ( natto ! )

Green stuff is chopped scallion.

As seasoning, added some soy sauce and yuzu kosho ( yuzu pepper... spicy).

Simple dinner of last night.

Hello Kitty Toilet Rolls --- and Cantaloupe Scented Kitty Rolls !


I found these Kitty rolls today.
Can you see the left, green ones ?

It says Cantaloupe Scented.
( Kitty is smiling on the cantaloupe )

:-)

Supermarkets in My Area

I checked two supermarkets in my area today.  There are toilet rolls, tissue boxes, milk, eggs, rice and all other products except for mineral water.  I have some bottles @ home, so just bought a bottle of Perrier.

Also, studied current situation of nuke plant and found some practical information @ some professor's site.  I don't have time to translate all those, ( Hoping I can do some points in the near future FYI )but in Tokyo area, at the moment, no worries to live.  Wearing mask and long sleeves would be recommended.  He says for now, it's better to drink bottled water and avoid veggies from those areas and see how it goes.  In Tokyo, it's suggested.  His theory is while you are not sure, it's good idea to take precautions.  After a month or so, you can be more relaxed.  There is some shipping restriction by the government on spinach and some other veggies and milk, but these are about products from Fukushima , Northern Kanto region.

I read various articles of different sources.  At the moment, this professor's tone is well balanced ( not just accusing somebody ) and most practical.  Good reference for me to consider how to stay safe.

Saturday --- Shall I check What Supermarkets have ????

I would say I shop @ supermarkets twice or three times a week.  Well, shall I check if bottled mineral waters are back ?  How about milk and eggs ?  ( Some say they cannot find eggs...)

OK, this afternoon, I will go check and report to you later.

See you later.

3/25/2011

I need to work little more... will try to write during weekend.

Good news is paper products are now in stores.  Toilet rolls, tissue papers, paper towels.... instant noodles also.  Now water bottles are running out due to radiation influence.

Since the official announcement says the water is safe today( in Tokyo they said babies should shun the water as of yesterday ) , I wonder how we should treat these comments.  I'd like to study and consider the current situation carefully because I'd like to decide how to handle situations to avoid confusion ( confusion in my head ).

I said "I don't really care about nuke plant".  I can't.  The meaning is if I worry about it all the time, I cannot work, I cannot sleep.  What I need is to study more.

How people are reacting here ?   Some say, they don't trust whatever they hear any more.... saying real information does not come out.  Some say we cannot do much about it at the moment and the best thing is to live everyday life.

My stance ?   There are conflicting information here. Therefore...  1) I need to keep on working.= Today, Tomorrow is Important before thinking too much about future.  If I make mistakes in my business, I will lose that business.  I need to keep on working to keep my living.
2) I will prepare options for better future and be prepared for dangers and also when and how I will follow these options. = If there is anything we should worry about for future, I should think and take action.

Why I don't want to worry too much ?  If I worry too much, before something happens ( invisible future quake, invisible possible radiation problem, some kind of disasters only god knows ), I will be affected with stomach cancer from these worries. ( seriously ).  If I see something , something should be changed.  Our society, our lifestyle..... I will try to find specialists' advices or move forward to make some change.

One thing which annoys me lately is negative comments .... criticizing comments... it is meaningful to raise awareness, but then what ???  Just buzzing or are they going to take actions?

Today, a friend of mine called with an idea about some book.  Practical action.
I like that.

Thanks for reading.  I am planning to publish Series Shimokitazawa No.2 next week.
That will be probably later... Thursday or Friday, next week.

In the mean time, I will introduce my food etc....

Series Shimokitazawa No.1 - IV Kitazawa Glasses Atelier - Kitazawa Megane Kobo

Kitazawa Glasses Atelier
Let me wrap up Mr. Tanaka's talk today.
I had nice dinner with business associates tonight, then found good bar near my place !  ( ah, getting too late. )

The customers of Kitazawa Glasses Atelier ( or in Japanese Kitazawa Megane Kobo ) are vary... Japanese and Foreigners.  Mr. Tanaka is able to communicate with you in Japanese or body language or in written English.


Thank you for reading my blog and this series since this series means a lot to me.

Mr. Tanaka's message especially after the quake:
" Let's do what we can do.  It does not have to be big thing.  Small thing we could do is fine.  Talk to somebody near you.  Somebody in your community, near you.
It will be something.  Maybe it is not direct help to the the affected area, but that something could change things.  At least, here we are able to manage our lives here. "
I respect Mr. Tanaka's challenging spirit and message.

I had nice dinner and drinks tonight.  Hope I can introduce them shortly.
Also, there is a nice, reasonable hair salon where I found lately.

Look forward to it , please.  Thank you again.
Thank you for Mr. Tanaka.

Kitazawa Glasses Atelier can also fix your glasses, adjust the fitting or change lenses only.  If you show the problem, Mr. Tanaka will know, or write your requests in paper and show him.   He will try his best.

Direction to Kitazawa Megane Kobo ( Kitazawa Glasses Atelier ) :
Usually open @ 12:00.
Go to central exit @ Shimokitazwa Station.
Go to right, which is north exit.... Peacock Store / Hanahiro Flower Shop side.
Take a right, go straight.  You will find Yokohama Bank.
Turn left.  There are various shops.  Keep on going.  Kitazawa Glasses Atelier will be on your right.

3/23/2011

A Glass of Wine, Cocktail and... Small Plate

 I have kept saying that " we should go out, enjoy eating and drink ! "

You think I'm out of mind when nuke plant is @ risk and after tragic earthquake ?   I will try to explain why I don't really care about radiation etc...later this week.

Well, we are doing fine and let's look at shops and restaurants.

Have you been to Tsukiji ?  It's a shame that I have never been to early morning fish market, but I've been there.  There are many SUSHI restaurants and good places to eat.  How about Roppongi?  Night town, there you will see young foreigners or expats.  Those places are empty right now.  I mean during daytime there are people, but it seems people try to stay home or go home early.

Understandable...after the quake.  For a week or so, I felt it's not nice to those people in Tohoku region.  I should go into mourning... feel sad... pray.... yes, I'm still praying, but think about these people at shops... they are preparing and if there's no customer... At least, we are living here, we have to live.  I'm sure we are all stressed out from the past 10 days... almost 2 weeks now and we feel it's bad thing to say... because of those people.  I think we should get together, feel connected and drop some money @ restaurants to keep it going.

 Last night, I wanted to go out, but I thought with sudden notice, it will be difficult to find somebody, so just went to my regular place... Cafe Zinc in my town.  I had a glass of red wine, this plate ( bit of everything such as cream cheese and smoked salmon, sesame flavored sardine, grissini and ham etc.... ) and then cocktail ( orange juice, cointreau and something... I forgot ! ).  Felt so good to have these and talked to people at ZINC.  It is about time to go back to normal life here.... ( Even if we worry about nuke plant, that doesn't change thing, we just pray !  Encourage people working there ! )

Lentil Soup for Cold Night

Lentil Soup ( w/ bacon, onion and herb )
A glass of red wine and short bread cookies.  Soup is lentil with bacon and onion.  Tonight's dinner.

Ingredients for Soup:
3 slices of bacon, 1/4 onion, herb ( dried herb, I used province mix and Italian mix, consisting of laurel, rosemary, oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, parsley, fennel, sage ) maggie's soup powder ( 1 tea spoon )
a pinch of salt/ grape seed oil or olive oil

It said I should boil and cook lentils first, but I am too lazy, everything together !
1. cut bacon and onion coarsely.
2. heat the pan and add some oil.
3. cook bacon and onion well.
4. add  2 cups of water and soup powder.
5. add herbs.

Easy.  Warming.  Tasty.  Healthy.  Enjoy !

Series Shimokitazawa No.1-III

Kitazawa Glasses Atelier 

Thank you for reading this series.  Today, there is some more words from Mr. Tanaka.

The allurement of this town ? " Unpretentious.  I think so, but if you'd like to come swank, you could do that, too.  See, this town is encompassing- meaning it could accept all kinds of style.  That is the class and the capacity which scoops up various thing...people.  Also, there are networks... or people are connected well with among other... helping each other.  There is some culture .. shops or owners are helping among others.... "

" Right, next is our products.  You can see them here.  Our products, glasses are often bought by people who are particular about glasses...or items...they'd like to have something very original.  They are not satisfied with " regular " items, they have their own style.  Still, our price range is not that expensive.  If you see this quality, you would feel reasonable.  Let me show you these prices.... frames are from 7,000 yen to 35,000 yen.  Lenses are depending on the vision, but the lowest is 2,100 yen for a pair.  Products are from Japan and overseas... 50/ 50.  Japan, Asia and Europe."

This interview was actually The March 11th.  Yes, here, at 2:46 p.m., we felt the quake.  10 pairs of glasses fell from the shelves.... ( none of them was broken ! )
We were like " ??? !!! This is big ! "  It lasted also.  We stopped talking and walked out to the street.  There people were frozen and we saw the telegraphic wires were swinging .... OK, enjoy these pics.... Both Mr. Tanaka and I knew this quake is really big in somewhere in Japan, but had no idea that this many people' lives have been lost..... I was going to wrap up this Series No.1 today, but this will be too long, so let me finish tomorrow with Mr. Tanaka's message to Japan and to the world, for we stopped talking after the quake, and had follow up meeting on the next Friday.  He has some message for all of us.

Kitazawa Glasses Atelier 
Entrance of Kitazawa Glasses Atelier 

3/22/2011

Series Shimokitazawa No.1 - II

These are the pair that I bought@ Mr. Tanaka's former shop.

These are too beautiful and I cannot wear usually.  Usually I use another one and these are for special occasion.

He continues " So, I decided to launch my own glasses shop.  I have wife and a child, so naturally my wife worried.  For 2 months, I worked as house husband and experienced all the work she has been working on.  It is hard work.  I can say it , I experienced and learned.  Then I promised her that I would do as much as I could and succeeded to convince her. "

Did he have enough money ?   "Well, that was hard part.  I asked around and found finance loan @ Setagaya -ward and Tokyo Metropolitan City Government.  Yes, I am still feeling nervous about it.  Yet, fortunately, I was able to open the shop on February 19th."

Shimokitazawa again ?  "  I chose Shimokitazawa.  The reason ?  well, this is the area  that former shop was located and I used to work at.  Customers are here.  I used to live here also.  When I found this space, I didn't hesitate to decide.  Immediately, decided. "

I remember the former boutique of this place.   Somehow, I never walked into the shop although this is very close to my place.

Mr. Tanaka goes " I think places have sort of 'qi' or ' air ' that you can feel as energy.  Life energy ?  something like that.  What I did was to sprinkle some salt to clean the qi and refresh it.  Tried to pray with my heart for good energy. "

3/21/2011

Last Night --- I had this Penne


Bit small, but tastes good.

From Lawson ( convenience store ) near my place.  Their supply is less than usual.
Still, there are foods.

Mr. Shigenori Tanaka of Kitazawa Glasses Atelier /Series Shinokitazawa No.1

Mr. Shigenori Tanaka, Owner

I am starting Shimokitazawa Series from today.  Hoping to introduce one shop a week.

Why I started this ?  Actually this was before the earthquake.  I will tell you the story later, but now I feel this is like my mission to work on this after the quake....
In this series, I'd like to introduce shop and the owner or people.... with face.
In this way, you could feel this town more close..... in the future, you might visit these shops.  I hope.  This is not advertisement.  More like original town guide.  Not just introducing foods and products.  I' d like you to feel this TOWN and PEOPLE.
Let me start with Mr. Tanaka... the series' first interview.

Mr. Tanaka is the owner of this eyeglasses shop.  The shop was opened in February.
"I was a big fan of movies and therefore, during college days, I was working at a movie theater.  After graduation, they upgraded my position to regular full time employee.  My interests were music, movie and fashion.... so, it was enjoyable,but when I thought about my future,  I felt that - I would need more income-.  "

Mr. Tanaka is affable and his talk is logical.  His explanation on his own venture interested me.

" I started looking for new job and found a company which was going to open new shop, which was the shop I worked at before this shop in Shimokitazawa.  That was when I was 28 years old. "  Then he came into this new industry.

The classified said ' Looking for somebody who loves fashion '.  For eyeglasses ?
Yes.  It is fashion also.  If you wear glasses, you would agree.
" I started working and found it so intriguing.  Eyeglasses have everything I like.
Eye test is sort of medical doctor's work... Making glasses and adjustment is craftsmanship, also it is fashion , considering all the designs.  Then when you sell, you meet customers ... talk to people.  Such a multiple work. "

Mr. Tanaka was enjoying his new job.  However, the company decided to withdraw from operating the shop.  Mr. Tanaka made up his mind...... to have his own shop.

Actually, I have a pair of glasses from his previous shop.  Tomorrow, I'll show you that.  Then will continue the story.

3/20/2011

Will Update You More....

I will try to update you with more pics and information.  From Tomorrow, I'd like to show you faces , let you hear the voices of shops in my town.  Please look forward to it !

Another Pic from Today's My Town

North Side of Shimokitazawa Station
The previous street was south side of Shimokitazawa.

That side is more crowded with small shops and people.
Younger.

This north side is my side ( !)
meaning older, more relaxed.
Starbucks, boutiques, cafe, restaurants, nail salon etc.... on this street.

My Town Today / Breakfast

South Side of Shimokitazawa Station

Just wanted to show you how it was like in my town.

My town is popular especially for young people ( during weekends, I feel I'm too old here ).

On this street, pet goods shop, 100 yen shop, photo shop, drug stores, restaurants, flower shop etc.etc.

Crowded as usual.


This is today's breakfast.  Sliced bread with cream cheese and marmalade which was made by my aunt.  She makes this marmalade around this season every year.

Scrambled egg/ cooked tomato & potato.
Green stuff is dried parsley.