Saturday, January 27, 2018

Meet Me In the Rainbow Ballroom

Is winter getting you down?

Winter doldrums gripping your soul with an icy cold hand squeezing the joy out of your life?

Got a bad case of the winter blues?

This is not the time to start a woe is me pity party.

Shake it off, c'mon get happy!

Just because it looks kind of dreary outside it's no excuse to be sad and blue.

So... there I was standing outside the Hotel New Grand in Yokohama thinking what can I do to perk up and be happy. By-the-way, notice that there's still some snow on the street leftover from the snow storm we had last week.

Then, I saw the light! That is the light at the entrance of the original part of the hotel. The hotel was built in 1927; read more about it here: Hotel New Grand

I went inside and was immediately transported back in time.

This place is so cool!

I feel like I'm in an Agatha Christie novel. Maybe "Murder In The Really Cool Hotel"

Then I saw the entrance to the Rainbow Ballroom. Whoa! What's in there?
While I stood there thinking the maĆ®tre d' walked out of the ballroom and I timidly asked if I could look inside and he looked me over and to my surprise he said "okay".

Magnificent! Or should I say splendid, spectacular, impressive, striking, glorious, superb, majestic, awesome, awe-inspiring, breathtaking... I could go on but I think one gets the idea.

Even the ceiling is finely sculpted.

Sculpted phoenixes adorn the wall above the stage.

I can't believe they let me in here unescorted.

After retreating from the ballroom I spent a little more time taking pictures of the waiting room.

As I was leaving the hotel a couple of the hotel staff asked me if I enjoyed looking around? They smiled as I gushed about how much I'd enjoyed myself.

With my happiness battery fully charged I hit the streets to mingle with humanity.

Japan is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people.

We may travel to the beat of a different drum and that's okay by me.

She's got her man and she ain't letting go!

Dapper Dan - A man on the move.

Fighting the temptation to look at her smart phone.

It may not show but I'll love you 'til the end of time.

A bit dreary looking over at the Motomachi shopping street.

No problem 'cause shopping makes her happy!

I call this the picture of the serious taxi driver.

There's only a river separating Motomachi from China Town. One river and two completely different worlds.

(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do
--Pharrell Williams

The harsh winter sunshine can be difficult to work with.

Point the camera one way and it's darkness and shadows. Point it in the opposite direction and the lighting is perfect.

First time for me to see haze grey nail polish on a girl.

There's no age limit on being happy.

Time to start heading home and I've got Yamashita Koen Dori all to myself.

Living together in our separate worlds.

Last shot of the day:
Standing on the corner, shopping bag in her hand
I smiled because I've been to the Rainbow Ballroom
She didn't notice me
C'est la vie

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Everyone is Beautiful - Sony A7II & 35mm f1.2 Nokton II VM lens

When it comes to running the streets and taking pictures of everyday people the Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 Nokton II VM lens is a real winner. Starting out on a crispy cold January morning I started out in the Isezaki shopping street of Yokohama and let my feet take me where they may go!

This is how one bundles up against the cold. One can never go wrong wearing wool.

That's right, don't forget the gloves.

I guess some facial hair can help too!

It's always good to combined elegant style with keeping warm.

The sun shines bright and it's time for a little ice skating fun!

That's it, close your eyes and take your boyfriends hand -  in your mind you'll be skating like a pro.

There are skaters and then there are the rail grippers. They hang on to the rail and never let go as they inch their way around the rink.

The two handed rail gripper.

Back on the move.

This is turning into a beautiful day.

Pouting will probably get her whatever she wants.

No pouting here - she definitely looks like the happy type.

The magic of China town.

There is happiness in the air.

Maybe some love in the air too!

One might think there is a dress code in China town; everyone looks marvellous.

It's always good to travel with a friend,

Friendships are enhanced through shared experiences.

It seems like girls are better than boys at sharing. Just my own opinion - observation.

Mmm, mmm, good!

It's really crowded here today and that's a good thing. The more, the merrier.

 From "Two for the road"
If you're feeling fancy free,
Come wander through the world with me,
And any place we chance to be, 
Will be a rendezvous.
Written by Henry Mancini, Leslie Bricusse

The fun and excitement can be overwhelming.

Plenty of street food in China town.

With all the fantastic Chinese food here the simple ice cream cone remains immensely popular.

A face in the crowd.

Another face in the crowd.

All dressed up and ready for some fun!

And, there is plenty of fun around here.

Heck, let's pray for some fun,

Happiness is a warm french fry.

I'm always interested in lanterns and lights - Welcome to Motomachi.

The back streets of Motomachi are just as nice as the main street.

I should dedicate this post to these two girls. While I was taking a picture of a light on the side of a restaurant near the entrance they walked out of that entrance. In my mind I thought I must look like a strange stranger. I smiled and tried to explain that I was taking a picture of the light and not them. They smiled and pointed out that all three of us were using a Sony A7 camera. After some pleasant conversation I gave them my blog URL and then took their picture. If you two girls see this please know that our chance meeting was the highlight of my day. Thank you.

Moving on. As the afternoon creeps in the temperature starts to drop. Time to head home.

Last shot of the day: Attitude! She wears it well.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bonus shots!