japanesedream_72: (japan)
[personal profile] japanesedream_72
Finally getting around to putting words to this awesome, awesome day known as Japan Day 2011!

Started off a bit on the semi-disastrous side - or, as the newly-coined phrase [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky & I came up with goes, it nearly fell over the cat.

Said expression comes from a comment [livejournal.com profile] blacktarblood made during one of our on-line conversations a while back. I brought up the rumour that Klaha, one of Malice Mizer's former vocalists, had passed away. (After a brief solo stint, he basically dropped off the radar.) Those of us who admire & appreciate Klaha, of course, hope that it isn't true. There is a fairly famous photo of him with a cat, purported to actually be his, & [livejournal.com profile] blacktarblood responded that, in true media-blowing-things-out-of-proportion fashion, the rumour prob'ly sprang from something really simple or even silly. No, he's not dead, he was just really sick. No, he wasn't sick, he just fell over the cat. XD

I'd gotten up early, hoping for a day free of catfalls (an expansion on our - forgive the pun - pet phrase). Seemed to start off pretty well, with an on-line chat with [livejournal.com profile] styxonline. ^_^

Unfortunately, the beginning of the day was soon fraught with little catfalls. First off, there’s my hair. I don’t know how many of you know this (I know I put it on Twitter, but can’t remember if it’s on Facebook), but I recently got it cut. You’d think that wouldn’t present a problem, right? A little layering, take off the split ends, nice & healthy...but not with my luck. Not only is the bottom too short, the whole thing is lopsided! The right is way shorter than the left. So unless you see me within the first 5 minutes of my having washed/blow-dried/straightened it, it’s gonna look completely awful. Worse than before - & I wasn’t happy with it before. Wish I’d have noticed it when she cut it, I could’ve complained. But it was wet & already waving up, so it was harder to tell. I even took her suggestion that, since my hair was too dry, the $20 serum was a good investment. It has added a bit of softness to my hair, but now it’s short, curling up to look shorter (she assured me it would stay straight – why do I listen?), & lopsided. I still put it up in my usual ponytails sometimes, but they’re so uneven, it’s sick.

Anywho, I wanted to try doing something like a Mana hairstyle, but, alas, this was not to be. I teased it & sprayed it & teased it some more, but I looked more like Edward Scissorhands on a bad hair day than Mana. So I said the heck with it, whipped out my Winnie the Pooh scrunchie, & piled the whole thing on top of my head.

Then, there’s my dress. I love that dress – [livejournal.com profile] charaxinae made it for me, & I wore it to Kyoto on my first trip to Japan. There’s just one little issue with the collar: she took the measurements when I was a touch heavier, so it doesn’t sit as properly as it should because I’m thinner. A pin or safety pin fixes this quite nicely, so it’s not a huge deal. Well, not normally. I thought I might wear the Vegeta pin I bought in the Dragonball Z section of the Jump Shop in Tokyo Dome City (again, on my first trip), but no sooner did I fasten it into place than the backing came off...& I have yet to find it! Unless it bounced on the carpeting & went under the dresser or something, I have no idea what happened to it. I shook out all my clothes & everything. :P

Opted instead for a safety pin, on which I affixed another of my first-trip purchases, the Hello Kitty cell phone charm that has her dressed as a Geisha playing a Shamisen (bought at Narita Airport just prior to my return flight). I put Vegeta back in the bag where he’s been for the last going-on-4 years, & moved on to the next of my tiny disasters, like, "OMG, where did I put this or that item of clothing?!" (I’d just done laundry, so there was still stuff in the dryer), & since my foundation of choice (Jane) was recently discontinued, I had to get a new one, which was making me look a bit darker than my usual pale (I’ve had to tweak the photos ever so slightly to rectify this).

Talked a bit more to [livejournal.com profile] styxonline after putting on the rest of my makeup, put on my Hello Kitty earrings (an Xmas or b-day present, I forget which, from my penfriend, Emma, in England), & soon grabbed up my goodies & was on my way.

I decided to skip breakfast, since I hadn’t felt like eating much, but was also kind of craving a donut. Since there’s a Dunkin Donuts next to the bus station, thought I could grab one there. Again, no such luck. When I got to the bus station, the bus was already there, & within a few minutes, I was on it. No time to get in line for chocolatey goodness.

Think I dozed a little on the bus; I hadn’t gotten as much sleep as I’d have liked (nothing to do with our Skype session the night before, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky, it’s this damn insomnia). But I don’t usually have problems with being tired once I get into the City – esp. if I’m doing something fun & wonderful, as I was that day! Began a series of text updates with some of the friends I was to meet up with, letting them know my progress.

First stop after the bus station (where I photographed the statue of The Honeymooners’ Ralph Kramden – if you recall, the character worked as a bus driver) was the luggage storage facility on W. 36th; [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky wanted to take some of the books I’d chosen to part with after my clear-out, but neither of us wanted to lug the bag around all day. This small, second-floor facility operates much like a coat-check: pay a bit of money, leave your stuff, & receive a ticket which you turn in upon your return. As I was leaving the goods for someone else, I wrote [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky’s name on a sticker, which the nice-yet-somewhat-overwrought girl working there affixed to the bag.

This done, I made my way to the subway, riding up 7th Ave. from 34th St. to 72nd. I’d arranged for us all to convene near the Dakota Building, after which, we’d cross the street, & walk straight across into Central Park, to the Eastern side of 72nd, which would bring us to the festival area.

Never did get my donut, just downed a few cherry Pez from the Hello Kitty dispenser my mom got me last year.

My friend & co-worker, Allison, got there a few minutes before me, & we were joined not long after by the lovely [livejournal.com profile] wagashi, whom I’d not seen since we met in the Vamps/X-Japan line last October. [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky had phoned to say she was on the Eastern side (she had been to the Museum of Modern Art earlier in the day, which is over that way), & began making her way to the rendez-vous area. It wasn’t long before we were all together! This is where my day starts to get super-happy, & catfalls are pushed back to mere annoyances or occasional gripes, in favour of hugs, introductions, & excitement.

On our way to Rumsey Playfield (some of you may remember this area; it was where I tried to go to these same festivities a few years back, only to learn it had been moved further uptown, to the area where, the following year, I finally did attend the festivities, with my mom), we stopped at Strawberry Fields (I always have a terrible time finding this on my own, for some reason), & snapped a few photos:

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Eyelash Girl - [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky wearing a pair of the lashes [livejournal.com profile] styxonline helped me pick out to bring her back from my trip in December

This Katty's got claws! - [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky is a nail artist – still don’t know how she types in things like these!

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At the Playfield, had a look around the Bandshell area, where the activity tents were situated. There were tents for donations to Japan relief, traditional toys, Kabuki face painting, photos with Hello Kitty, information, language, robot battling, & I forget what else. A screen & speakers were set up on the stage, broadcasting info & messages, as well as performances from the main stage area, a few minutes’ walk from where we were.

Unfortunately, unlike the last Japan Day I’d been to, there was no food.

There was, however, distribution of bottled green tea!

As the tents were a bit crowded & Hello Kitty was just about to go on break, we decided to walk around the park a bit, take a few photos, & just generally enjoy ourselves.

Lovely ladies - Allison, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky & [livejournal.com profile] wagashi, standing by the big, stone vase - I thought I got the flowers in that shot – should’ve suggested a second take...sorry, gals!

Flower girls - Me & [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky; thank goodness someone was able to get those flowers! XD

At the top of the stairs - looking down on the fountain area

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One of the prettiest places in Central Park - the fountain!

Gorgeous, ain't it?

Fountain, close up

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Stairs leading down to fountain & lakeside; notice the archways in the center of the photo...more on them in a minute

So pretty!

Garden photo 1

Garden photo 2

Dis is mah sexy Goth face

Goth face reprise - photo by Allison

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This is what it looks like under those archways (more photos below); there was a group playing really lovely music under there – singers with guitar, cello, & other instruments. I got some of them on video, here:

http://youtu.be/cm3nn0kkO6E

(You may need to turn the sound up a little, sorry.)

Took some more photos...

Under the stairs 1

Under the stairs 2

Under the stairs 3

Under the stairs 4

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[livejournal.com profile] wagashi took this; it's one of my favourites - [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky & myself

Between the stairs & the lake, we actually saw (at various times) 2 wedding processions!

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Back to the festivities!

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At the language tent, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky & I played a game of “karuta”, a card game with pictures representing phrases (they gave you a sheet with the phrases – it was sponsored by a local language school), & when the woman called out the phrases, we had to point to the corresponding picture. Whoever got to it first won that card. When all the cards were gone, they counted who had more in their pile. (It was close! I won by 2 cards. ^_^)

Little cosplay furries started dancing para-para, so [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky & [livejournal.com profile] wagashi did it, too (yes, that's me urging them on) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpz3xGannpo

Ganbare Broadway! (listen & you can hear [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky's childhood dream ^_^) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvF-hGQJORA

A very nice Japanese woman & her daughter let me take their photo – I loved the yukata they were wearing!

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Floated around a bit longer, looking at cosplayers & people in generally interesting clothes, then set out to find where those broadcasts were coming from.

People were asking to take pics of [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky, & me, too, & we asked some other people if we could get their photos...

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[livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky loved this girl’s outfit! The girl was so cute – she saw [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky & was, like, “Aww, a Lolita!”

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Whereas I’m a Goth, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky is a Lolita - & look, we found another one outside the main stage area!

The Witchy Thing, near the entrance to the main stage

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Banner up by the main stage area

I actually took more video than photos of the general festivities & stage stuff (some of which we missed ‘cuz our schedules were such that we had to convene in the early afternoon, & everything started in the morning), but what I got included a great jazz combo & an appearance by Hello Kitty!

Jazz combo 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG7EKHe9qTc

Jazz combo 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pHyJno0bvs
(sorry for the dizzying pan-around)

Hello Kitty - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz-GIm_kbmM
(yes, that is me screaming like a dork)

There were some neat people in this area, too, cosplayers & Loli's & the like...& a guy in a leotard & bunny ears wearing a sign that said he was from the Tokyo circus (wish I'd got a shot of that!), as well as a tethered male/female couple giving out free hugs (as [livejournal.com profile] wagashi said, what is it about Japan & free hugs? XD), the guy sporting a somewhat amusing sign about being abandoned as a child (thus needing the hugs). :P

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How cool is this guy?

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We signed the “Pray For Japan” canvas (photo above by Allison), writing messages for Japan & its people. They took pictures of us for the website!

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Main stage

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[livejournal.com profile] wagashi

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[livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky & me (I still think I look kinda derpy in this photo)

Amidst the lovely sounds of Mai Fukui (who, when asked what inspires her, answered, “People I love”), we were on our way again...

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Me, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky, & [livejournal.com profile] wagashi, sitting on the rocks

Rocks, take 2

Into the trees...yeah, a little Cure reference there. ^_~

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Allison & [livejournal.com profile] wagashi; we’re heading back to the activity tents...we were gonna get our picture with Hello Kitty, but, alas, the line was too long. :P

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As [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky was slated to see a Broadway show that evening, & few if any of us had eaten for quite a while, we took one last little glimpse at everything, then set out for our intended dinner location, Kumo Sushi. It had been some time since I’d been there, & my friends had never been there, so it was a treat.

Took some pics of the architecture along the way:

There is a light...yes, a Smiths reference...but this light is on the Dakota Building

I don't know the name of this building, but it's way cool...

Apartment 1

Apartment 2

Apartment 3

Apartment 4

Another building...another light

Received an additional treat at the restaurant when Glen, ex-co-worker & mutual friend of mine & Allison’s (you can see the 3 of us in this photo), was able to join us! We’d invited him for the day, but he hadn’t been able to make it earlier.

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My dinner - tofu teriyaki bento

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Cute soy sauce dispenser

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Green tea ice cream for dessert!

Much chatting, eating, & laughter ensued. This is where the "dirt tea" conversation cropped up (I don't even remember precisely how that one started). But we'll just go with the term "earthy". XD

Sadly, this fabulous day was coming to its close. We walked back to the subway (poor [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky, having seen loads of French people in the park during her day, now had buses & people’s sweatshirts rendering her unable to escape her native Montreal, Canada, on the way to the train – it’d be like me going to Japan & seeing Americans & US-related stuff all over the place! XD), & after assisting in the navigation of our currency (apparently, our money’s a bit confusing, esp. the paper notes, since, unlike many other countries, ours are all the same colour - funny how I never took much notice of that, even having been overseas), we hopped on the train & were off down 7th Ave. [livejournal.com profile] wagashi's stop was before ours, so there were hugs all ‘round as we bid her good-bye...at least until some future City excursion. ^_^

Next, we went back to the luggage place so [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky could pick up the bag of books, after which, we walked Glen to Penn Station (more hugs) so he could catch the train back. Allison & I made sure [livejournal.com profile] teacup_sky got to the theatre okay.

It was on the way there that we saw a series of slogans posted on an awning. I don't even recall what the thing was for. We just thought they were pretty funny: "Carpets soft enough to sleep on?" "They got WHO to decorate the lobby?" "The Phantom of the Opera lives next door?" And our favourite - "Ooh. Showerheads?" XD

Said our au revoir's (with, yes, more hugs, & bisou; always wanted to do that ^_^), & Allison & I were soon back at Port Authority to catch the bus back to NJ.

And there you have it. Bet you're tired just reading that! :D

But wait - the Japanese news did a report, too!

http://www.fujisankei.com/video_library/event/japanday2011.html

Last but not least, I made a wallpaper for my computer at work, as an ode to the occasion!

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