Monday, June 2, 2014

Tokyo | Shibuya

One of the sights I really wanted to see in Tokyo was the Shibuya crossing. It's a huge intersection that's often referred to as Tokyo's Times Square. It's been featured in several movies, most notably Lost in Translation.   There are seemingly endless side streets leading to more shops, bars and restaurants.  Although it seemed overwhelming to walk out of the subway station into the chaos, once you get out of the intersection and into the city, it begins to feel smaller and more intimate.

(Neck Face, Nokier and ERAS are all fairly well-known graffiti artists from the US.) 

At one point after hours of walking I found myself watching a disco ball spin in a small, dimly lit bar tucked into the bottom corner of an apartment building. There were maybe four other people there and it possessed the unmistakable air of abandonment, but it was cool and quiet and offered a respite from the crowds. I watched that disco ball for a while, thinking about how I seem to associate them with sad spaces. When I was a kid I had a friend who had about the hardest life I'd seen, bouncing from one bad situation into another. I went to her house once, before she was placed into foster care and disappeared from my life, and there in her room was a mini-disco ball, casting prismatic lights onto her ceiling.  It felt...wrong somehow. And here, in this little forgotten place, it felt wrong too.