Something a little different than usual in this one - several telephoto views through the front cab of an inbound Chuo Line train. It's a different view with different details than the wider angle I usually use. And then there are views of Ginza and Yurakucho, including a few views of a Ginza art exhibition. (Regarding the videos with "LV-HD" - that stands for "Long-View, High-Definition".)
About this construction site (above video) - this is a little depressing actually. Ginza was traditionally composed of a large number of small shops, but what they keep doing is knocking down about ten of them at a time and then putting up one large sealed-box recirculating-air structure in their place that looks (sort of) okay from the outside, but is stuffy inside, and uncomfortable even to just walk past, since they generally have overpriced "brand" junk for sale - with stern-faced guards in expensive suits guarding the doors and looking sternly out on the street. What this does is transform a friendly street that is comfortable and fun to walk down into an uncomfortable zone where you feel like you practically need a special security pass to walk - on a public street - past these hideous new boxes. Progress? No. This is regression.
The passage of time is much in mind this evening - an old CD not listened to for a decade appeared in my hand while going through a dusty pile of old things. Listening to it now... it's really amazing how many feelings come back with an old CD often listened to in an intense chapter of one's life, and then not listened to at all for around 15 years. There are other factors as well. In the 1990's, recordings were high quality, but not as artificial as some more recent stuff? Not sure about that one, but the sound quality seems more real to me in a way.
Well - by the time I've written the above while listening to it - I've gotten over the nostalgia rush and have come back to 2012. Okay - time to introduce another batch of video clips:
In-between the usual Tokyo train scenes are a few Kyobashi/Ginza art exhibitions/installations. There's also a walk across a section of Ginza in the evening and a few views out around Takao Station. The video titles explain the content fairly well (I hope) - with the exception of "Tokyo Station Temporary Bus Area" of which more than half is walking through busy Tokyo Station in the early evening (after walking past the temporary bus area).
I don't feed pigeons in parks (or anywhere else) for a number of reasons; a) It's a bad idea, since the more you feed them, the more they multiply, b) they're dirty, c) they're rudely persistent and irritating, d) I don't like them, e) etc. etc. But I like sparrows, and so when a tiny sparrow landed by my feet (in a park in central Tokyo) the other day and chirped away endearingly, I contemplated the sandwich I was eating and thought maybe it wouldn't hurt to give the bird a piece of the bread. While thinking about that, the bold chirper sparrow was joined by four quiet companions and I tossed a piece of the bread over, which the bold one took and flew over to some bushes with, and quickly disappeared under them on foot.
This interested me, because I've never fed a sparrow before (or seen one fed), so my point of reference was pigeons and I expected there to be some competition for the bread among the five, with them breaking it into pieces. A second surprise was that the remaining four birds made no effort to follow the first. So I tossed another piece of bread down (air-pressure projected it actually, but whatever) and a second bird grabbed that and flew off to a different area of the park from the first bird. Intrigued, I made another piece of bread available (air-pressure projection means you don't have to get your fingers oily from handing the sandwich outside the wrapper), which was taken by the third bird, who flew off to still another area of the park. A fourth piece of bread produced the same result with the fourth bird, and at this point, the last bird turned around and looked into the park (where its companions had gone) with what seemed like a "Hey! Everyone got a piece but me!"... look? (Maybe "look" works, although it was a combination of "full body movement" and "radio waves".). So I thought "Hold on! I've got one for you too!" and air-launched a final piece of bread near that bird, which didn't notice it right away, since it seemed to have gotten the idea that it had missed out on the action. But then it noticed, and - bread in beak - it also flew off, to a fifth section of the park, leaving me in peace.
What I really liked about the experience is that they didn't fight over the bread; they went in turns to their own private part of the park to have lunch, and they didn't come back to harass me the way greedy pigeons do. All of that said - is it normal for sparrows to come asking for a free lunch?
Cleaning out some boxes from the back of a closet in a quest for more space in my apartment, I noticed a couple of old magazine ads that caught my attention - one highlighting how much digital cameras have advanced since 1998, and the other an ad for a type of sound recorder I never even knew existed. First - the camera:
More videos: The sakura tree blossoms came out later this year than usual - coinciding more with school entrance ceremonies than graduation ceremonies, which is more typical. In this batch of clips I visited the Yotsuya rampart and also recorded views of sakura trees in a few other places (Nihonbashi, Yurakucho, etc.) Then there are three art-related clips - two installations and one group exhibition - with the exhibition being at Platform Studio, which is (sadly) closing at the end of this month. For the record architecturally, there are two clips showing the ceiling of Room-515 in the Okuno Building - in which you can see where the walls of the communal restroom of the 1934 half of the building used to be. The 1934 building restrooms were obliterated in order to enlarge the back room there (on all floors except the 1st floor - leaving the restrooms in the 1932 half of the building). Among the train videos are four clips that show the left side window view from an inbound Chuo Line train running from Kokubunji to Yotsuya.
It's a sign of spring in Tokyo when you start seeing more street bands out performing, so it was great to see a three-piece jazz band enlivening Yurakucho (four clips at the top of this batch, plus a couple of HD clips further down the list). Then there are a couple of art exhibition clips, and views of a strangely empty Seibu Line train (most likely due to a very powerful storm that had just blown through Tokyo, so people were probably avoiding going out if they could), on which I had the first two cars all to myself (until a few stops down the line, when more people boarded the train). Add in a few typical train system views, and finally there's a very strong indication of spring (and something fun) - cherry blossom viewing (花見) season! I visited the area around Kudanshita Station (on the Tozai Line) yesterday evening and had a good time partaking in the yearly ritual of welcoming the coming of spring with parties beneath the cherry blossom trees. Yearly, except outdoor events were canceled last year due to Fukushima radiation, etc, so this was the first time in two years.