2017年9月5日火曜日


  To live in a town that you love, is a great experience.

 It was when I moved to Greenpoint after college, that I started to realize I love certain places.
 I didn't know many people in New York, so I wandered pointlessly around the city with a camera in my hand.  My camera might have been an good excuse to walk around, but I often felt totally at loss, and couldn't find a good reason to justify myself being there.

 But then the people in Greenpoint were surprisingly kind to me. The man working at the store where I  bought fried chicken looked happy when he saw my face. He grabbed bunch of fries and pushed it into the paper box. "Its nice to see you."  When I bought a gum at the kiosk the young boy handed it to me saying "Its just about one thousand dollars."  Those small moments totally made my day.

  And the room I lived in. The tiny room that could barely fit a queen sized bed. One of the wall was painted lavender and it had a window that overlooked the small garden on the ground floor. The land owner lived there, and in the summer, their charming daughters swam inside the blue pool. "What a scenery!" I thought. "Life is sometimes lovelier than a film"

 Once, when I accidentally locked myself out of the room I asked the landowner how to get in. They also didn't know and said perhaps there is only one way: to get in from the window. Their uncle came back with a  long ladder and placed it in the garden. They all spoke polish but we knew what we had to do.  The man climbed the ladder and opened the window for me. Every body in the family applauded. They seemed happy to see me go in the room.

 What Greenpoint did for me, was to tell me that it was ok to be there. They welcomed me as if it was the most natural thing for them to do. I felt very safe there, and everytime I stepped out of greenpoint and searched for something else, I came back feeling that I was in the right place.

  When I came back to Tokyo, the first thing I did was to look for a town that I liked.
 I came to Shimokitazawa, because I liked Kyoko Okazaki, a female comic writer, who was brought up in Shimokitazawa.   My sister's boyfriend in college lent her one of Kyoko's work "Pink".  And she  handed it to me saying it was very interesting.  I was in high school at that time. Her words spoke to me in a way that nothing else ever did.  Everything in highschool was a bore for me, the words floating around in a rigid girls only catholic school barely touched my heart, but her words did. I felt that Kyoko Okazaki sketched the world around her with sincerity and  affection. If She was brought up in Shimokitazawa it must be a lovely town.

 And it was. A very lovely town. I was lucky to have found a job in a family owned photo studio in this town.   Everything that happened here is now embedded in my body and soul. At that time, I only thought that I was looking for a town that I like, but what  I really did was to choose a story that I want to tell.  I jumped into a story, like Alice jumping into the hole out of sheer curiousity to know where the rabbit was heading.  "The rabbit is, as we all know,( don't we ? )that feeling of wanting to know the unknown world,  that thing which jumps inside our body.  My rabbit was injured, as I was often reprimanded by the adults to follow their rules instead of my heart.  I rebelled, and paid attention to that rabbit who wanted to keep on going.

That is how an adventure starts. And was it unknown? Yes. Did it change anything about me? Yes yes. Was I surprised by what I saw? Yes. Every single day.

 Everyday I feel so excited to see this world.




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