Monday, May 19, 2008

Cocca Published on Pingmag

My Cocca article was just published on Pingmag. I love, love this store/design collective and was happy to help promote them and their beautiful fabric and prints. Those of you who have visited us in Tokyo may remember some of these prints from our apartment. I'm hooked on this fabric!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Beast featured in ELLE

When you’re living abroad you tend to miss the strangest things from your home country. The things I crave most (aside from people and places) are the things I rarely gave notice to before moving to Tokyo. Things like boxed macaroni & cheese, television, Nestle Toll House chocolate chips, grass to sunbathe on, sliced turkey or whole wheat bread. The other night I surprised some fellow American friends with homemade cookie dough. I had to ride my bike to two different grocery stores to find all the ingredients, but it was worth it. We practically finished off the dough before it made its way to their microwave oven. You get the idea. I also really miss magazines. For me, these days any English language magazine, no matter the subject, is a slowly savored treat. They’re just so expensive here that I never bother buying them. I’m talking $10.00 - $25.00 for magazines ordinarily costing around $4.00 in The States. But with Driscoll off to LA for work, I decided to go ahead and splurge on some mags for entertainment purposes. One of the magazines I bought was ELLE. Somewhere between catching up on clothing designers pushing for sustainability in fashion and Madonna’s latest whatever, I saw a full-fledged article on Portland’s Naomi Pomeroy and her restaurant, Beast! I couldn’t believe it. I asked myself, “Is this the same Beast I get those emails from?” I was heading over to have dinner with some friends, so I brought the mag with me and upon entering their apartment, promptly shoved the article in their faces (so much pride), “Look!”
“Oh that’s great, Bonnie,” they said. Right then I realized that being from NYC, they must see their local restaurants featured in magazines all the time. Still, it’s fun to see Portland making its way to the notable map. It may not be the biggest city (most people here seem to think it’s all Nike and countryside) but it sure has a lot going for it including–speaking of things I crave–all those fantastic restaurants! Don’t get me wrong, the food here is amazing, but all those Portland restaurants are such a piece of home.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

Oh this old blog. It’s been hard to keep up with lately. Aside from being a little distracted, as soon as I decide what to write about, we do or find something new and then whatever I was going to write about seems like old news. I’ll try and recap a few things here…

Just after our return to Japan (from The States) our friend Allison showed up, which was great fun. We had just bought bikes. I can’t believe we waited so long to buy them. Bikes are actually a pretty fun and easy way to get around town. Allison borrowed D’s bike and together we rode all over–up to Shinjuku’s New York Bar, through Yoyogi Park, around Harajuku, Aoyama and Shibuya all in one day/night.

Then, last weekend Driscoll and I went up to Okutama. Driscoll left a day before I did to do a solo hiking expedition climbing Mt. Kumotoriyama, covering 20 miles in 2 days! He must be nuts, but he had a great time. Within the first half hour of his hike he saw a giant snake followed by multiple bear warning signs and finally a woman walking down the trail. She crossed her fingers at him (this is sort of like a NO symbol here) and exclaimed, “Abunai!!” over and over again. Abunai means LOOK OUT, DANGER! He was a little freaked but kept on. We met up the next day and stayed at a ryokan (a Japanese style hotel with a hotspring). In the morning, after our breakfast of fish, rice, raw egg and green tea (ah, just what we westerners crave before 9:00 am), we followed the Tama River for a long hike up to Okutama Lake. The area seemed to be the greenest of the places we’ve been in Japan. The scenery was quite stunning with rolling tree-covered hills reminding us of Oregon and Vermont.

Aside from that, we’ve mainly been working, hanging with friends and continuing to get more and more acquainted with Tokyo. The city’s offerings seem endless. We’re just scratching the surface of the 160,000 restaurants (compare that to NYC’s 40,000). I got that stat from D so don’t hold me to it. We’ve also been contemplating our next move. And despite the New York Times’ best efforts to scare us away from The States, we’re hoping to make it back to our home and dear friends in Portland, Oregon at the end of the year. Perhaps we should wait for the outcome of this year’s election to make our final decision…