PK Event on Wednesday

Just like I usually put PauseTalk on hold during August because of the summer slowdown (people tend to go awway on holidays), so does our regular PechaKucha Night series, but on the PK side of things, we are having something just as good this Wednesday (August 24) in the form of a special Heineken-sponsored PK event. It’s part of the Open Design Explorations competition — the winner participates in a project to design a temporary club space at next year’s Milan Design Week — and the even in Tokyo will have finalists presenting their own work (just like in a regular PKN), with one chosen to go to Milan.

It’s going to happen at SuperDeluxe, as always, with the regular start time of 20:20 for the presentations (doors open at 19:00), but with one bonus: Entry will be free, and the beer — Heineken, of course — will be cheaper, at 500 yen. Should be a good time!

I’m So Over This Summer Thing

So how’s your summer going? Is it hot enough for you? I can assure you that here in Tokyo we have had our fair share of hot weather, and it’s in no hurry to stop: A quick look at my weather widget shows a pretty steady mid-thirties for the rest of the week. Enough of this already.

The real question is, how are you dealing with it? I’ll readily admit that summer is my least favorite season — not a fan at all, actually — and so it tends to take the form of a constant countdown until fall. Yes, September can’t come soon enough for me (even though it tends to still be hot in Tokyo, psychologically I can tell myself that the weather is on a downward spiral towards something reasonable).

Of course, it’s also a challenge for my dog — summer in Tokyo is obviously not what a Great Pyrenees needs. But he’s used to it — it’s his 3rd summer — and he just pretty much stays indoors during the day, sleeping near a fan or air con. Walks are done at night, when the air is a bit cooler (but it still doesn’t take very long before he starts panting). We did manage to take an epic walk from Ikebukuro to Harajuku this past Saturday — it takes us about 2 hours both ways — but we left around 3-4, and got there a bit before 6, so we were at least past the midday heatsuck.

Above, a photo taken as we were walking — this is somewhere between Takadanobaba and Shinjuku.

Moving Servers

Just a heads-up about the relative silence here, as well as the offline status of a few of my sub-sites (like Codex and PauseTalk). I’m going to be moving over all of my sites to a new server (same host, but it appears that the server I’m on is quite old and slowly dying, and they want to put me on a newer one). It’s taken time because I’ve had issues trying to backup everything — compounded by apparent spam attacks that were being done through some of my sites, which then got “locked.” I’ve finally backed up everything, and will initiate the move later today. Not sure how long the whole process will take up, but hopefully see you on the other side with everything still working properly.

A Car Drives By

I’m not much of a car guy — although I have come to realize in recent years that the racing game in indeed my favorite genre (along with RPGs) — but I did quite like the looks of what you see pictured above, which drove past me as I was having a coffee at the Starbucks by the Junkudo bookstore in Ikebukuro. When I put the photo up on Instagram, a friend mentioned that it may be a classic Porsche, but I have no idea.

I should mention that all of the photos I’ve been posting on the site of late are taken with my iPhone, using a variety of apps for the effects: Instagram, Cross Process, and Hipstamatic.

Beers in the Park, Hitachino Edition

I’ve often described how I enjoy drinking beers while out and about — street beers, yo — and since the closure of the Minami-Ikebukuro Park a few years ago, my main outlet in the ‘Bukes has been Ikebukuro West Gate Park. It’s more of a gathering place than a park, but it’s fun in part because of the “characters” it tends to attract. The routine is usually just to grab a few brews at the nearby combini (Sankusu, if you must know), but the other night my hometown friend Julie — in town for a month on a visit — invited me for a degustation in the park. When I met up with her, I was greeted with a Seibu department store bag filled with a few selections from the Ibaraki-brewed Hitachino Nest Beer. It was a great time, and I’m always a proponent of mixing high class (the beers) with low class (the spot) — and the cups we were drinking from were purchased at a nearby 100 yen shop.

The photo above of me was taken by Julie, and the rest, by me, cover our selections, and the park itself. The beers themselves were pretty much all great, except for the “Ginger Ale” brew, which was a bit rough (and 8%) — it’s worth noting that it’s also the only with a silly label, featuring some sort of crazy mascot.

No Burritos, No Life

Let me say something about burritos. Having grown up in Eastern Canada, I did NOT have access to any quality Mexican food — or basically ANY Mexican food — and it was only after I left my hometown that it was introduced to a few restaurants (of the chain variety). Now I’m not trying to say that whatever it is I get here in Tokyo compares to anything from the Americas, but a few years ago I developed a rather strong love affair with the chimichanga at Junkadelic in Nakameguro, and today I was just reminded of my love for the burrito after a lunch with my buddy CheapD at Frijoles in Azabu-Juban. The place also gets extra stars for their chips and guacamole (both made on the premises), and the availability of root beer (oh yes, root beer).

I’ve been hearing good things about the burritos at the fairly recently opened LIBRE shop in Aoyama — mostly from my friend Ryan, who usually picks one up on his way to my place for our Friday game nights — and I think I’m going to have to partake in one of those as soon as I can.

I need more burritos in my life.