Monday, July 9

Talking To Strangers

Hi again folks. I have a lot to say today for some reason. It might be a bit disjointed...but as we all know, life doesn't always run smoothly. Kyuta, the smiling red guy above, works for the Tokyo Fire Department. I like his helmet a hell of a lot. Is it me, or is it strange they were inspired by Dumb Donald from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

He was never the smartest kid in the group. He would more than likely burn the house down, then figure out how to call "119". That is what you have to dial in Japan, not 911. I have had to dial it twice here in Japan. Come to think of it, I had to dial 911 twice in NYC too. Someone should be more careful! Enough about that...let's move on.

So these are the other laces on the Patta Asics. And I tied them without using the "Granny Knot". (Thanks for the helpful comment.) I like these laces a lot. How about one more pic?

After a photo session this morning, I unDS'ed these bad boys. (DS = deadstock = never been worn. "unDS" = wear a pair of shoes for the first time, meaning they can't be sold for mad money.) It was a nice moment. But...wearing such treasured shoes makes you walk carefully. Here is some evidence:

Mind the gap.

Watch your step.

Here was my complete outfit. know I need to show you a close up of that shit. You knew that, right?

You see the connection right? Between the shoes, and the t-shirt. I am sure you do. I will not be explaining it. It is too obvious. So, where did I take my bad self in this well thought out outfit?

To play ping pong of course. I decided it was high time I used my own paddle. It had been a long time since it had seen any action. And boy did it ever get a workout today.

Story Time:

Usually it is 3 of us who go play; G, B, and Me. G is not good. B is ok. Sadly, B couldn't come today. So competition was hard to come by. After about 45 mins of kicking ass and fooling around I was bored. I had noticed a group of 5 college aged guys at a table on the other side of the room. They looked like they had some skills. After gathering my courage, I walked over there to challenge them to a game. They were shocked. I don't think it is very often that white guys come over to talk to them, let alone challenge them. Whatever. I did. So...2 guys come over. They were all nervous and laughing. The stronger of the 2 players, Kato, pushes Atshushi to play me first. After getting the rules squared away and a bit of rallying, off we went.

After a pretty even start, I pulled away and won 20-16. They were surprised I could play. I guess the stereotype of the superior Asian ping pong skills made it across to Japan too. (Too bad no one told me about this nonsense.) So, up steps Kato. He looked confident. From my spying earlier, I knew he was there strongest.

This time, we both had shaky starts. Lots of silly mistakes. His serve had me confused. It took most of the game to figure out how to deal with it. By then, it was too late. I lost 17-20. I was none to pleased. After some debating, we went at it again. He served first...cause I am a gentleman. At the change of serve it was 4-1, me. The next change of serve was 7-3. At this point I told him, "Gomene, chotto okotoimasu." (Sorry, I am a little angry) I said this half laughing. I won the game 20-6. They had had enough. I guess there was no need for a rubber match. As he was leaving, Kato said he was scared, and that I should smile more. THAT made me smile. They were nice guys.

Next time I will try not to look so fierce. G was laughing his ass off at the change in me. I was pleased I showed my skills. I hope we will meet again so we can play some more. Meaning, I hope I can continue to kick his ass!

And now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Once ping pong was over, and after a bit shopping at Tower Records, I said bye to G. I was then off to check some spots in Harajuku. I saw some nice things, but nothing screamed my name. (Except for a t-shirt at UT, more details later.) I was walking around I was lucky enough to run into some huge players in the street wear and shoe game.

On the right you have Hiroshi Fujiwara. I mentioned him before. Known as the Godfather of Street wear and underground culture. He is as high on the hipster chart as you can go. Way back when, he gave Nigo his nickname; "ni" meaning 2 in Japanese, Hiroshi being number 1.

On the left you have Fraser Cooke. He is a huge member of the Nike design group. He started out with a store in London called Hideout, before moving to Nike. He is such a big player they made a shoe with his hair. (It's the shoe on the right.)

I am a pretty relaxed guy, except for the odd ping pong match, but it was kinda exciting to see these big shots walking around Harajuku. It must be an interesting experience for them to see their influence all spread out for them. I was not brave enough to talk to them.I can only talk to strangers once a day. Maybe next time.

Last shoe news for today:

On Sunday, I tried a new color in my Hold Tights. I rocked these with a white polo shirt with pink and blue stripes. I like the new color a lot. Thoughts?

And the obligitory close-up.

Notice the new lace up style. The old style didn't bother me. And with longer laces it actually works better for me. But with these shorter laces, this style looks better. If you forgot what the old style looked like, scroll down and peep any of my old shoe pics. They have the laces pointing up and down the shoe, heel to toe. This new style has the sitting pretty on the top going off to the sides.


#1. Here is a track that takes The Beatles to Baltimore. It starts a bit shaky, like a bad mash-up from 5 years ago. But in the end it comes together well. The B'more madness continues. [via Attorney St.]

#2. This track by some Belgium band call The Subs made me say, "Holy shit." Listen to it HERE. (Lyrics NSFW or my mom) The break just before the chorus comes in is ridiculous. Taking me back to my raving days. It is dark and heavy. With some 303 thrown on top. [via Discobelle]

#3. After teasing you with a broken link. And then finding a fixed one, I can now give you the video for Dizze's track "Old School". Best. Dizze. Track. Ever. As you nod your head to the slammin beat, please notice: Blue Nike Air Max 90s, dope 80's phone, vintage Nike gear, Magnum's Ferrari, sick dance moves, and vintage Porsches. [via The Fader]

#4. Another track I talked about before has a new video out. Here is Kanye's video for "Stronger".

It looks over produced and not that exciting. This despite all the money they threw at it and the Japanese flavor. I do like his shades. And I still like the song. But, for those out there that are not feeling it don't worry, Diplo has got you covered with a fun but yet slammin edit (read remix) of the original Daft Punk track. The track is called Work Is Never Over. It gets glitchy as hell....but you will like it. [via Pingle Wood]

That's all I got for you this week. Next week might be late getting up. My girl and I are off on a weekend jaunt.


UPDATE: Hiroshi Fujiwara is so big in the game they are making him an action figure. Click HERE to see it. [via High Snobiety]


Anna said...

you are really starting to impress me with the depth and breadth of your knowledge. after all these years on top, am i finally ready for you to be the cooler sibling? do i even have a choice?

Lisa said...

Absolutely LOVE the new pink laces!!!

I read the other day that Ping Pong is predicted to become the number one world sport in the future. Keep up your skills!!!

By the way...ALL the "sibs" are way cool, there is no contest!!!!!

Gretchen said...

Your ping pong competition story was hysterical...can totally picture the so pulled a "dave," you should email that story to paul w. Maybe we should set up the table in the basement for nov...maybe you could teach my boy some skills.

scheme said...

thanks for the link homie. cool site. peace from nyc!