Tag Archives: cafe

Outing: inland sea beach and pizza (and camera goofing)

just up around the bend

Along our adventures, in this case, June 2022, we made a return visit to a stretch of beach called Nishwaki with a handy wood fired pizza oven/ hang out/ playground/ parking called Iweburo around Ichiro’s birthday. (He really wanted to go back to the sea even since the trip to Shimane when he saw the surfers.)

We ordered pizzas and then spread out blankets, chairs etc and picnic on the beach. Few people, some high-school/college age kids were playing games while the whipped whipped around a bit, the fellas from an takoyaki shop nearby chased a blowing red paper lantern. Ichiro went in for a bit and managed a swim (wade out for a bit amidst the seagrass).

Our friend Ayumi who lives nearby joined us there. (Foreshadowing, we are going to her top floor apartment for fireworks soon).

3 happy adventurers

The “inland sea” is very different than the rugged sea of Japan (or the Pacific coast of which i am not so familiar). Because the seto ni kai is protected by islands, this was a useful place for manufacturing, mining, shipping and transport. As such, some of the locations are hardly pristine but regardless, scenic and handy.

beach, not to scale

The Pizza Café is totally my style with reggae music playing, guitar scattered around, handbillsfor live music, drums and shakers and Legos and coffee.

Continue reading Outing: inland sea beach and pizza (and camera goofing)

Time traveling to Café Independants (sic), 2015 / 2022

Time traveling to sometime between the wars in a basement bar somewhere in France (or maybe more recently in Kyoto in a former newspaper office).

Or maybe this was the time, time traveling to another time not traveled to (yet).

Either way, creating artifacts for evidence of appearance, secret or otherwise – after all, who’s to say?

Snaps & Paint / Postcard: 4 views of Olympia, Greece (beverages and so on), 2017

These photos surfaced when I mailed a postcard to a friend of a painting of a postbox – juxtaposed by a café table – in Olympia, Greece 2017.

postcard of café and postbox in Olympia, Greece (cropped) – delivered to Massachusetts

Sent a postcard to a pal in the Berkshires. He asked me “what’s the story here?“

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Olympia, Greece… Home (obviously) of the ancient Olympic games and all the various ruins, tracks, museums, artifacts etc.… but i got off the bus quickly early when we passed a “just right“ café with a couple of tiny tables out front, in the back were old men playing backgammon and drinking Ouzo at 10 AM / The thick armed boss brought me a wonderful little variety plate along with sturdy espresso.

Fortified, I scribbled & mailed postcards, watched people hurriedly walk by, saw the throngs leave by buses from the Olympic site, sauntered up there and looked around by myself – On the way, I looked at some rental listings to think about just staying indefinitely… that’s sort of “just right“ size town that I enjoy – instead paid too much for a taxi back (sat in the front seat) to catch the ship in time >> met a pal named Nikos playing a Tzouras, I sent him postcards just to complete the circle.

There’s a cat in this empty road as well… (Or was there?)

The original painting was sketched in situ in Greece and then combined with a postbox and painted with acrylics on Nusa Ceningan, Indonesia along with my darling wife.

Painting juxtaposing a post box with a café table and snack plate in Olympia, Greece

As such, found the inspiration shots and then found the geo-location and Google Earth screenshot where you can see someone sitting in the chair where I sat making the painting. It’s all very recursive.

Πραξιτέλη Κονδύλη 32, Archea Olimpia 270 65, Greece (next droo/ downstairs of Hotel Appolon, at which sometime, i will stay for a forthnight, perhaps)

[Update: found screenshots from Ggle Streetview showing cafe´and table + clothing store next door where i bought a dress – not for me. ]

you can see the table to the right of the dresses, maybe the proprietor sitting there?
next door is a similar cafe which is also entrance to Apollon Hotel
also, the awning across the street isn’t striped – but looks better striped and all yellow and red – maybe

As it goes, this café is the exact measured point for the “Olympia, Greece“ (not Olympia, Washington) direction on my sign post.

See: Portals, 4 More Views of Olympia for more context

Diary: Coffee in Tiny Café / refuge from the storm

Japan has loads of a little tiny cafés/restaurant/bars which are like less than 10 people maximum, often with a little private rooms too. It’s one of the things I love about living here, as tiny little cafés in North America don’t really exist as everything becomes chains or aggressively turning over tables to maximize the slim profits.

Anyway, this is a little neighbourhood lunch place where we can chill out in a room closed off with sliding doors to enjoy a little break from the house. Plus everyone is so excited about Ryoko’s belly

Aside: As you likely know, Japan has a declining birth rate which is especially evident in the cities with a few kids, and countryside with some kids but lots of (awesome) old people. Anyway, we’re helping to balance that out in a very tiny way.

We went out for an errand to the post office to deal with a few banking issues, and again, it’s tiny, tidy & friendly.

To friends in North America, we see/hear you… All the cancellations and restrictions and what not started here maybe six weeks ago so we’re kind of into the routine so maybe that’s a message of solidarity or just “I see you“ #alwaysbekind

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Daniel remarked:

Okayama is the best. Such a chill and safe area. With just enough variety of food and culture to keep it interesting.

to which i replied:

That is a great summation of this remarkable and underappreciated area. Super handy transportation links to big cities, mountains, hot springs, inland sea, other islands…, including easy getaway via 2 airports if needed.
So many museums, I’m still catching up on all of them.
Certainly enough to keep amused (Plus any needed shopping) but easy enough to get out of the city when needed.
I’ve traveled much/most of Japan and this is the best “all around” place to live in my mind.
Sunny days ahoy!

Michal added:

Their the best! Especially when there’s a view on small niwa Japanese have such a great taste for! A Bliss…

to which i chimed:

I especially love the places that are sort of “lost in showa era” – with all sorts of kitschy knick-knacks and bric a brac which hasn’t been moved or dusted for a few decades… Still the old character left over from another age, run by an old couple who started the place with such dreams in their youth.

Michal again:

you incorrigible romantic

Lydia said:

That china is gorgeous

and me again:

Right! Sometimes you find these cafés that I’ve just been frozen in time and it’s like going to grandma’s house all over again… In this case, it really is as two generations of ladies both over 60 (a granny and great granny or something like that) are taking care of the shop and make a huge fuss over my adorable pregnant wife. I let them know I appreciate their great China as well, plus a fantastic tea selection

(at the) Blanket café / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Cafe named for warmth

Presents 3 bread variations

Space for belonging, me and you

Continue reading (at the) Blanket café / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Europa (unfinished) / sketches and remixes – vol. 3

Fields out of train window – somewhere in France, 2005, watercolour pencil on paper, 11″x17″

In 2005, i wandered Europa (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal) by train, car and tram. Along the way, i wrote an extensive cycle of poetry, and completed a solid dozen or so paintings (acrylic, watercolour and charcoal) – some of which you may have seen along the way. I also started a load of other pieces which haven’t had a day in the easel yet — mostly because i like to let art ferment but also because i can never decide which medium to use to “finish” these.

Acrylics were more exciting in the white hot moment of creating en plein, watercolour teases my rather clumsy and aggressive touch and i am tempted to use simple black ink and make something colour-able by kids and adults. Not sure how to go about this as its not a technique i am polished at (yet) but these do need a life beyond a shoebox.

Maybe you kind folks and artists can offer a word of advice or idea? Regardless, they are nowhere near and as such, lonely and sad. So, here are rough drafts in ragged spontaneity and various forms and mediums. This is Vol. 3 of a few (last one i think), pardon repeats and redundancies.

Fishing boats on beach – Salema, Portugal, 2005, pencil on canvas sheet 11″x17″

bonus: another version of Fishing Boats near cliffs in Salema, Portugal. copied and coloured Continue reading Europa (unfinished) / sketches and remixes – vol. 3

Europa (unfinished) / pencil on canvas or paper (vol. 2)

Beer and mussels in a cellar bar with wooden beams - Brussellex, Belgique, 2005, pencil on paper 11"x17"
Beer and mussels in a cellar bar with wooden beams – Brussellex, Belgique, 2005, pencil on paper 11″x17″

On a 2005 ramble through a few western European countries (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal), i carried a satchel of art supplies and painted / sketched along the way. Mostly on 11″x17″ canvas sheet and watercolour paper.

In most cases, i “finished” the pieces in one sitting using acrylics or sometimes watercolour pencils or pastels (these are catalogued, sold/gifted and posted elsewhere).

Little lane to a door (24) to elsewhere, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2005 - pencil on paper 11"x17"
Little lane to a door (24) to elsewhere, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2005 – pencil on paper 11″x17″

Anyhow, i have a several which never quite got finished and now sit in a folio in a storage locker elsewhere. I snapped photos and have considered how to finish – even soliciting advice which ranged from “they are finished” to “consider gouache” or “make a colouring book” which i did for my nieces and nephews.

Regardless, they are nowhere near and as such, lonely and sad. So, here are rough drafts in ragged spontaneity and various forms and mediums.

This is Vol. 2 of a few (maybe), pardon repeats and redundancies.

Café with wine and beer on tap, espresso, croissants and the like, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2005 - pencil on paper, 11"x17"
Café with wine and beer on tap, espresso, croissants and the like, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2005 – pencil on paper, 11″x17″

Finally starting to figure out how social media works…

Here are #Cats, with names

Another batch of dispatches…

Another batch of dispatches underway. Handwriting still lousy but sentiments still true. Also must commend self of exceptional quality & variety in stationary (nice one daveo, thank dave) – this is my #therapy on quest for #reinvention & #reincarnation .

Poetry session supplies…

✔ outstanding hat
✔ insta camera
✔ fountain pen
✔ Tintin notebook
✔ (not pictured) matcha latte
= fine #poetry session