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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just a quick note while I wait for my hair to (hopefully) dry into something resembling pin curls, or a wave, or something flapperish for the Glitter Ball tonight...

I headed out today to check out Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku (more in a sec.), and on my way there, walked through Takeshita Dori, which is that crazy street of teenage fashion.

You can get all sorts of clothes here, but they aren't toooooo terribly expensive for the most part, and its all very young and modern - very cool! This is also the place to get costume wear year around, and then I gather that on Sundays, the street is full of Japanese teenagers involved in 'cos-play' which is short for costume play. I'm not sure exactly what play occurs, but all the guidebooks promise weird and wonderful sites if you head to this area on a Sunday - I'll have to check it out sometime!
Here is a shop where you might be able to get some of the requisite costumes, although I haven't been inside, so I couldn't give any details...

Since I didn't really have any appropriate shoes to complete my flapper costume tonight, I was kind of on the lookout for a pair. I ended up finding some onsale at a store called 'NoFall' (there are some very very random store names here! You get the feeling they just picked a couple of English words that sounded interesting together and went with that) Anyway, being a relative giant in the foot department (my size 8 feet barely fit into the L sized shoes!) was a good thing, because their 1000Y (10$) rack was full of my size shoes. I picked up this pair:
Although not soooo practical, they are basically equivalent to casual day wear here in Tokyo, so I could actually wear these with anything, anywhere, anytime, and not look out of place. As a start, they can be glittery enough for my costume, even though they aren't exactly the right style!

After that I headed to my destination (only getting slightly lost in the maze that is any neighbourhood over here!) Design Festa Gallery is the permanent gallery which compliments Design Festa, a two day event held twice a year. What a cool place!!

A converted apartment building, it is a two story free for all gallery, in which anyone can exhibit. There are about 10 rooms, and artists pay for the room for a couple of days, up to a couple of weeks. When you have the room, you can do with it as you wish, and there was everything from photography, to incredibly intricate black and white drawings on large silk scrims, to a small clothing shop set up. The Gallery charges very reasonable rates (starting at $5.25/day for a piece of wall, and going up depending on how big a room you have, and if you rent a projector from them, etc.)

As you can see, the outside of the building is also a complete free for all, but very cool! Obviously no pictures are allowed in the gallery, which is open every day and free to visitors, but there was an equally crazy mix of stuff in there as well. The Gallery doesn't take commisions, so there are a few artists selling stuff, and some just exhibiting. There was a video installation some three dimensional stuff, and then some more traditional forms of art. Since it changes almost weekly as new artists move in and out of their rooms, I'll be going back often!

There is a very funky, art school feeling to the place, and it seems like working there would be a pretty sweet gig! They also have a tiny 'cafe', which sells tea and cookies in the backyard, which looked to be festooned with yard art although I didn't check it out as I wasn't partaking in the tea option.

Anyway, it was a pretty cool place, and totally felt young, welcoming and fun, not at all like most galleries! If I ever do anything cool here, I might just have to exhibit it ;)

After I finished at the gallery, I walked to Tokyu Hands via Yoyogi Park (about a twenty minute walk) to pick up a sketch book in their great art section. I'm both terrified of this blog gettng corrupted or swallowed by cyberspace, and also unsure of what to do with tickets, brochures, etc., so I've decided to print out the blog, and scrapboaok each entry with the hard copy ephemera...

Then, I decided to walk home from Shibuya, which wasn't as far as it might have been - about thirty minutes at a 'Nikki' paced walk, so it's not super close, but it's definitly doable, and since there is no direct train to the station closest to us, it kind of makes sense. Plus, with it being safe to hike around here, its quite a pleasant way to listen to some podcasts or music and get a little bit of excersise, plus see what's going on in the area.

While I was hiking up the hill towards home, I decided to stop at one of the gazillions of vending machines around here and grab a drink - my diet coke came out in the coolest container, and since i'm easily amused by stuff like this, I'm going to post it on here -
It's like a (small) can with a screw top! So cute!

Anyway, my hair is basically dried, so i'm going to go see if I've made curls or a complete mess on my hair, and then finish getting 'flapperized'


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