the CUTEST thing...

there's always a certain type of energy in the air right before you go on a new traveling adventure. this coming up week is our travel week. there is a school festival happening so the whole school shuts down, and we "can't" have classes. dude when does something like that happen in la? yeah, things shut down, but for a week? and there's a festival too? that almost never happens in california, that i know of. it's really cool that the school and the surrounding community are really a "community."

anyways so the last thing that anybody wants to do before a big party or traveling is to head to school or work, but today we had a brief lecture from our instructor about the history of tokyo and some possible sights to see. he also talked about our trip to ise happening on saturday. after the lectur
e, he busted out all of his maps from japan and we just had a rap session about other places that we could go. I kinda psyched to see hiroshima and there is this other shrine too. it's supposed to be really cool. anyways so, i'm headed to the kyoto station and i meet up with two other classmates. to our surprise there are all of these little kids in their matching hats lining up in the station and they go on our subway train! obviously this was a great photo opportunity. my friend started taking pictures, and the fact that she was a girl made it less pedophilic. but my other friend who was a guy started taking pictures too. the troop leader was looking at us with the same curiousity as the kids so i figured, what the hell, i'll start taking pictures of them.

these kids were SOOO CUTE!!! what i thought would be cool pictures of kids playing unbeknownst to a camera, but once they saw the camera they would just ham it up and do the little "v" for victory symbol. some of them even pushed others out of the pictures so they could be in it. CUTE!! we had a couple of kids even go up to ask (in their best english accent) "nice to meet you" and then stick out their had for a handshake. and then they would laugh and run away!!! it was really funny to see them do that b/c in japanese culture there is no touching at all. you never see a pat on the back, a handshake, or hugs (well i've seen a couple of those, but not a lot). i thought it was me, but my hands weren't sweaty or anything, although it got really hot b/c they started surrounding us. but it was really cool to be like the center of their fascination. kinda creepy, but cool.

and even when i left, the whole crowd of them were waving "bye" and so was i. and even when i turned around they were all by the window waving and i could see them mouthing "BYE!!" too cute!!!

the rest of the day couldn't compare with this little event on the train.

NOT the cutest thing...

maybe it was the fact that i have dirty laundry just piling up in one of my closets, but i was going to do a load of laundry and guess who pops out to greet me!! MR. COCKAROACH!! so disgusting. so not cute. and just a couple of minutes before, my roommate found a roach on the plate and cup that was sitting on his table!!! i'm totally grossed out.

but a couple weeks earlier my friend next door had a little visitor (MR. COCKAROACHES relative) and she called me out to kill it. i squash him and see her head pop out of her door asking me "is he a bachelor?" i'm scratching my head thinking "WTF? a bachelor?" and she goes "does he have a family?" then lightbulb!! and then i totally laugh. in other words she was asking if there were any more around... that was too cute! ohh katherine...


torigimu o onegai shimas

(i'd like a trim...)


i can't believe that i went so long with out it and today, it happened... get your mind out of the gutter, i just got a haircut! but i sure could use some of that other stuff... yum...

anyways, so it's been about two months and that's a really long time for me to go with out a haircut. usually after about a month i'm so ready to get a haircut that i start pulling out my hair b/c it gets so big. but i waited. hmmmm... all of this maintaing my apparearance might all just be well, superficial... whatever. but i had a pretty good experience today. i went to the flux salon over by the kyoto station. and as usual, i got lost. i found the place one day while i was strolling the streets of downtown kyoto one night and after passing by like a million hair places between kokura and kyoto, i picked this one. it wasn't all franchised like all of the other modhair places, and it didn't look all cheap like how some of the barber shops are. it was cool, modern, clean.

anyways so after walking around for like thirty minutes trying to find it, i enter the salon and get greeted with a bow and the traditional "welcome" greeting. so for my consultation, my stylist gets a drawing pad and begins to draw what he invisions for my mad crazy birds nest of hair. with the help of the gq japan magazine and only a few words exchanged, we decided what would best be for my hair. i am then escourted to his station where he begins to analyze my hair. it was the oddest thing, but very cool. it's like he was seriously studying it so he would know how to cut it. after that, i was told to go in the back room b/c it was "shampoo time!" my head was slowly lowered into the sink and with a towel placed over my face (to protect my face from getting wet), he applied the shampoo and proceeded to massage my head. dude, it was so nice to my my hair shampooed. if there was one thing that i could get everyday, it would be to get a head massage and shampoo. they're the best.

so after the cut, my hair got washed again and before my hair got dried and styled, i got a pretty good massage. no dagger hands here. i think he could have worked on my shoulders for a bit more, but dude, it was pretty good.

i think i'll get another haircut here. it was pretty good...

anyways, but i think i got the owner angry. i was trying to be all stealth and cool about whether i shoudl leave a tip or gratuity, but apparently there was a language barrier and the owner came and asked what was going on. so i asked him if i should tip, but he totally gave me this weird look like i had totally offened him. man, i felt so bad....

anyways so i left and proceeded to shop the rest off the day away. so now i feel a little bit better... atleast my hair is cut...

(pictures to follow...)

so what do yout think? btw, that's osaka castle in the back...


kurama fire festival

October 22, 2005

I was debating whether i should go to the Kurama Fire Festival. then i started thinking, when am i ever going to be kyoto, or kurama? never! so i decided to wait on getting a haircut that day after class and went to the festival. these pictures show what transpired that evening...

This has to be one of the RIDICULOUS thing that i've ever seen. there's like over 100 people trying to fit onto this one train.

Katherine and I trying to take a picture in the train

kids + fire = CUTE!

HEYYYYY!!! check out that japanese ass...




Kurama Fire Festival Crew: Carlos, Alex, Katherine, Steven, Santino, Yohannes, with Terri and Jessica kneeling.

this is the crowd that we had to wait in to get on the train. MADDNESS!!

i take that back, this is the most RIDICULOUS things that i've ever seen. it's one of the fire gods, (aka pinnochio)

clockwise from the left: katherine, tara (our friend from japanese class), her boyfriend jason, takao, and santino at nikki's bar. this place has become one of the sciarc hangouts in kyoto. the owner is this nepalese movie star, up in the ranks of bollywood, but better, so i've heard. let me just say that i threw up later that night. i don't know what it is about japan, but i keep on throwing up here...

shrines, green tea, torii's and a revolving sushi joint...

Friday October 21, 2005

it seems like i'm always wearing the same thing to these temples...

We visited another temple in the city of uji, which is about 30 minutes outside of kyoto by train. in a nutshell, b/c i don't to bore you with all of the details about it, it was built in 1052, during the heian period, by fujiwara yorimichi, the chief advisor to the emperor. it's very minimal compared to the other temple that i blogged about (todaiji temple). it is much more relatable to in scale and stature. i didn't fell so overwhelmed with this one as i did the other one. my heart didn't drop, but it was a nice place. (www.byodoin.or.jp)

a little lily a a pond in the byodoin temple

also, i found out that uji is known for their powdered green tea, or matcha. i was about to buy a tea set, but figured that since i don't really drink tea, i would save that money to buy souvenirs for people. anyways, i got some really sweet green tea mix, which i have to try, but i sampled a little bit of it, and it was really good. i also had a green tea softserve, with matcha. so yummy...i've had so much green tea that i'm going to come back with wintergreen teeth!!!

all aboard the green tea express, seriously, even the outside was green..

we also stopped by one of our instructors former offices, called FOB association. the structure is on piloti (raised on stilts) so that they used the space below for a parking garage and a place for shade. the office was really crowded on the inside, but apparently that's how japanese architects work. there seems to be a collective energy that way.

our last shrine was the inari shrine. what makes this place pretty amazing are they 1000 torii gates. each one is dedicated to deceased family members. these gates reminded me of "the gates" by christo (http://www.christojeanneclaude.net/tg.html). i'm not sure if these are still up in nyc, but these gates are pretty amazing too. the torii gates traverse the mountain in long paths that wind up the mountain.

a small sample of the 1000 toriis

this guy was waiting for us at the top of the mountain

so after the long hike up and down the mountain and through the torii's, we went to a REVOLVING SUSHI. not as good as CHO-CHO SAN, but pretty good. i skipped lunch, so i was soo hungry. i was the winner with about 9 plates, and three beers. not bad...


madd case of the MUDDbutt

so why does being in a foreign country always involve some story about bowel movements? particularly the runity run runz!!!... it seems to happen to me everywhere. i know it definitely happened in france, at this mcdonalds with the worst bathroom ever!!! just imagine this... i was ready to leave france when my stomach starts making that bubbling, gurggling sound, and you know that 's not a good sign. so i head down this small and narrow stairway clad in that fake brick linoleum, but it's not really brick, it's more ike textured rectangular sponges made into a really cheap floor and wall covering. (anyways it's just horrible) and then at the bottom of the stairs i find this small ass mens bathroom, that totally reeks of urine and feces, and then finding out that the smell is actually coming from a toliet that has urine and feces all over it!!! so disgusting. and then having to go in that nastiness, b/c it's the only one. there was nothing that i could do... i had to go and i didn't have any imodium...

anyways i don't know what i ate today, or actually the last couple of days b/c my stomach has totally been acting up. have you seen that episode of sex and the city where charlotte and harry get food poisoning? and there is that part where their stomachs all gurggle? that's what my stomach has been sounding like for the past two days! good grief! i don't think i food poisoning (knock on wood) but something is definitely off... i'll have to call home and have my mom and dad send me more imodium and my blanket, and my electric toothbrush, and some sweaters. dude it's getting cold over here!

anyways there was this other time that i needed to go too! (i have way too many of these stories!) but it was at this japanese festival over here. i had been eating all day, a meat stick (yummy!!), a couple of cheese balls on a stick (kinda like donut holes but with cheese on the inside and way crispier), these fried balls with ikka (squid) in it, fries, a drink and to top it all off, ice cream wrapped in a crepe with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, a pretzel stick and topped with a cherry!! dude, it was all good, but obviously that didn't settle well in my stomach. so after holding it in and walking about a half a mile to the end of this festival, i booked in back with a friend to the bathroom. they didn't have the western toilets, so i had to do it in a HOVERCRAFT!! quite an interesting experience. you squat down with your genitals towards the little hood and then do your business. and when you flush, you basically have a mound of crap in front of you and water come from the opposite end of the hovercraft and it takes it down to the sewer! i guess you haven't really done japan unless you've hovercrafted!
alright i don't think that i have any more stories like that, but i'll keep you posted on how my stomach is doing...

but i think the worst story i have about bowel movements is not even mine, it was a friend of mine who had total ANAL LEAKAGE on a bus with school mates on their way to a concert they were performing at. and i think the worst part about it, was not the uncomfortable feeling that something slimly is going down your leg, but the fact that a couple of girls who were standing next to him where like "what the fuck is that smell!!" horrible!!!


thursday night at the DOHOKAN

partyin' at the DOHOKAN! steven, johannes, terri, dave, alex, katherine, carlos and me, behind the beer can (clockwise from left)

i almost forgot... just this thursday our instructor yoshio came back to visit us at the DOHOKAN, that's our home at kyoto-seika university. he gave us back our deposits from when we were in kitakyushu city staying at the city inn. anyways, after he gave our deposits back and our assignment for him we went out to dinner at the reata, this local restaurant where you can get a chicken katsu set with a beer for about 800 yen. pretty good huh? so we're eating and then our one beer turns into four and into a trip to the local circle k to get more beers. can you imagine a group of 8 guys walking down the streets in college town causing a druken raucus in kyoto? i guess it's as easy as imagining 3o something pilipinos roaming the streets of vegas drunk right?

after getting back from the circle k, we headed to alex and johannes room where we opened more beers while ben was playing dj. so in my drunken state i got my camera, b/c drunk pictures are always the best, and was snapping away. i wanted to be in some pictures so i gave my camera to somebody and this is what happens. i get a beer in the face!!! DAMNIT!! all i got to say is "what the F@ck Bi+ch!!"

goodbye summer...

hello autumn...

Just a little sign that the autumn is here. i can't wait to see kyoto like this...

both images taken at Todaiji Temple

say hello to my little friend...

Friday, October14, 2005

Horyuji Temple

today had to be one of the strangest, but coolest days that i've had here so far. it was our weekly friday field trip around kyoto and our instructor greg was showing us around some of the famous temples. we first visited Horyuji Temple in Nara. This temple holds the oldest wooden structures in the world. inside the kondo (main hall) are large scale statues of buddha. we got this little reading on buddhism and did you know there are different types of buddhas? the scale of these things is pretty amazing too, it looks pretty small until you compare it to the people that are standing in front of the lantern! isn't that crazy?

a lot of the temples are still in existence in kyoto b/c it was not bombed in the last world war. from or readings too, temples are where mostly buddhist and this is where monks lived and practiced buddhism. shrines are related to the shinto religion and are dedicated to gods relating more to nature. but i'm sure it goes deeper than that.

Oldest Wooden Structure in the World - Todaiji Temple

187' Buddha at Todaiji Temple

after having lunch we proceeded to the Todaiji Temple (www.todaiji.or.jp). this place was ridiculous!!!
we saw the biggest wooden structure in the world, the kannon hall (187 ft high!) inside once again are statues of buddhas, but the buddha inside was 49 ft. high. the scale of everything today just blew my mind.

there is also this hole in one of the columns, and it is said that it is about the size of the nostril of the statue of buddha. rumor has it that if you can push your way through the hole, it is good luck. so having done trials of luck at other temples, i said "WTF, i'll try it" so got down on my knees and went tried it. it was kinda hard at first, but once i got over being stuck inside for a little bit i made my way out. i think i almost got a cramp in there. how embarrassing would it have been to get stuck in there? and a crowd was forming too. so after that i got some great shots of nara at higher points on the temple grounds.

one thing to also note about this temple is that there are all of these deers running around! and you can totally pet them. some of them did get pretty aggressive though. my one friend bought some deer treats and there was one that was biting his butt trying to get him to give him some food! SCAVENGERS!!! but they weren't as bad as pigeons or seagulls. anyways, . i also walked into a deer field where there were easily over 200 deer. i was kind of afraid that they would attack me, but they didn't. they were more interested in eating and one large buck was more interested in well, bucking. this one buck would go and smell this one does ass and then he would mount her. i guess she wasn't as loose as other girls that he's been with b/c she totally left him hanging with this boner.

well that was it! surreal, but nice...


watashi wa ANDREW san

Saturday, October 8, 2005'

last night after not doing anything except downloading music and freaking out b/c my computer went all contrasty and it started talking to me, i was kind of excited about the first day of japanese class! i actually wanted to go out for a run this morning, but it started raining like a mother so i didn't and just went back to sleep. anyways, so i got ready to go to class.

we got to the kyoto station, which is this huge ass structure with a mall, department store (which has like 10 floors and a basement floor with restaurants) and all of this other crap, and in true andrew fashion what else happens, you guessed it! I GOT LOST! if you've ever been lost with me, you'll either get the andrew that just kinda follows and is just like whatever, or you'll get the andrew that's an ASSHOLE! guess who showed up today? yup, i said fuck the "kindness tour: japan" and saw just trying to get to class. i was cutting off little japanese kids, grandmas and grandpas and anyone else in my way. if i haven't mentioned it before being in the major subway stations over here is kinda like being in the new york subway stations but instead of a whole bunch of different people that look kinda shady, it was just a bunch of japanese people who are pretty nice. public transportation is so nice here! anyways, so i was being an asshole, but we found our way.

we were about 5-10 minutes late, but it was cool. we caught the class just going through simple conversation.

A: konichiwa. (hello!)
B: konichiwa.
A: hajime mashite. (HA-G-ME MASH-TE) (nice to meet you)
B: watashi wa (fill in your name)san.

it was totally fun. i'm not saying that i'm going to be totally fluent by the time i get back, but i think i'll be able to have filler conversation with people. plus the teacher is cool. she doesn't really speak english but it's good that way b/c then we have to respond to her in japanese.

anyways, after that we headed to shijo street (4th street), which i've been to the past couple of days and went to go eat shabu shabu. it's where you dip meat and vegetables in to a broth or water and then dip it into sauce. it was sooo GOOD!! i took a picture, but it got erased. sucks. i'll try to take more pictures of food while i'm here. i am feening for some filipino food, but i guess i'll get then when i get back. i'll be back on a sunday so hopfully my dad will have made some eggs (sunnyside up of course!), corned beef, bacon, or even better, SPAM! or if they had kfc the night before, he'll have shredded it and put that thai sauce and tried it up. dude, it's so good. don't knock it if you haven't tried it. come over and maybe you can have some!!

well that's all that happened today. we'll see if i'll go for a run around the university tomorrrow....

wait one more thing. let me ask you guys something. let's say you're in a communal living situation where there are shared facilities like the bathrooms, showers, kitchen, etc. and you're doing your laundry. you're washing is done, and all you need to do is dry but there is someone's laundry in the dryer, and it's totally done. do you:

A) take it out and leave it on top of the washing machine
B) take it out, put it in a bag and leave it inside the house
C) wait until the person who is using the drying gets back and then put your stuff in there
D) sit around and pace b/c you're so indecisive

you have to think to yourself, is this going to be an invasion of privacy if i take out their laundry and see their underwear, or do you just do it really quick so you don't see it? difficult decisions. if you guys know me, you know which one i did. anyways after i did one of the above, i was leaving the little crack where our laundry is and i noticed that i had stepped on someones THONG!! it was all muddy like someone had diahreahed all in it. had i dropped it while i was transitioning the clothes into a bag, or had it been there all the time? PANIC!! time to think quick. well needless to say, i picked it up (b/c obviously i had stepped on it and it was mud, not diahreah) and threw it behind the washing machine. screamed like a bitch and ran back inside. so if you're ever at the dohokan at kyoto--seika university and are in need of a thong, you know where to find one. you might want to wash it first though...

(answer: B, come on, i'm a nice guy, remember!)


Friday, October 7, 2005

today we went on our second tour of kyoto with greg. we saw the kyoto garden of fine arts by tadao ando. it was composed of replicas of fine art floating on a shallow pool of water or on propped up masses of concrete. the decent culminated in a large mural of da vinci's . the architecture was very calming and serene. but i still didn't get that feeling like my heart was dropping. that's one way to telling that this piece of architecture is great, subjectively of course. the only time that's happened to me was when i drove to pasadena to see the
gamble house (http://www.gamblehouse.org/). maybe it was b/c i was kinda tired and i got lost, but i was just amazed just going up the driveway. it's a beautiful house, i recommend going to so and seeing it. it's got a very japanese influence to it. the greene and greene brothers are pretty amazing. (i guess it's good that i decided to go to japan then instead of the netherlands...) anyways, we met up with our other instructor tom who showed us this house that he worked on with the architecture firm that he used to work at (http://www.fob-web.co.jp/). (it's called skip if you're interested.) and then saw another work by tadao ando, the time's cafe. definately not one of my favorites, but he has some pretty amazing work. i'm hoping to see the church of light while i'm here. go to confession and mass maybe. well see about that.

well after that we all got really hungry and decided to meet back up at 1pm. carlos, evangelique, sihenne and i decided to go to kfc. just a little taste of home. i should have got the cole slaw b/c no one makes cole slaw like kfc makes it. it's just so good. it's the paul frank bag that i compare all other bags too. so after getting our fill, we met back up with everybody in the rain. since the rain didn't let up, we broke and i went shopping, again. i got shoes the other day so i could go to the gym. we'll see if that happens.

but on my way back to the dorm, i saw the saddest thing. it was almost as sad as the day that jason, jeff and i were walking up santa monica blvd. amidst all of this chaos that is santa monica
blvd., we see this lady trip and fall directly on her face. as she layed there for a few seconds, you could imagine the look of shock on my face, and the look of disgust on jason's. (come on, it's true.) i then went into panic mode and was thinking "what should i do? call the police? get an ambulence? basically i was a mess. if something like that happened to me, i would want others to help me, it just seems to be the courteous thing to do right? and plus, you know something like that is going to happen to you, and being left behind is the last thing that i would want happen to me. anyways, others got to her before i could do anything. but i still felt like i needed to do something. as we saw the blinking red hand start, we were on our way to the other end of the street. i couldn't help but look back and see if she was alright. later that evening we headed back and she was gone, i can only hope she was taken care of.

so i was on the subway back to the dorm and i was with my roommate. there were a lot of people waiting get get on the subway to kokusaikaikan. while trying to find a spot that was less crowded, the train began to approach. as the train approached, i saw this girl in the subway doors. she was mentally disabled girl, possibly with down syndrome, but her face was all red. it looked like she was on the verge of tears or something. "someone's not having a good time on the train" i slipped to my roommate . so the doors open and the girl rushes
out, and i let out a laugh, kinda as a confirmation that my comment was correct, but then she goes into this little nook close to the escalator and starts to cry. the crowd from the train rushes passed her with no one really stopping to see if she's alright. so once again, i fell like i need to do something. i tell my roommate to give me the pack of tissues that he got off of the streets (btw, they give out tissues to people on the streets, it's their form of advertising. plus sometimes a lot of the bathrooms don't have towels to wipe your hands dry, and they're good for other stuff too) so we can give it to her. she's obviously going through a tramatic experience. but as i fight my way towards her, i realize that the doors to the train are closing, so being the jerk that i am, i opt to take the train. as the doors close, all i can do is sit and watch her cry in her little corner.

i felt so bad! if i take anything away from this country i hope it's their ability to lend a helping hand to anybody...

so am i a bad person? maybe a person with bad timing. i guess i kinda freeze in moments of stress... well i'm working on it. maybe it's time to institute "the kindness tour: japan." "the american kindness tour '04-'05: west to east coast" kinda went off with a hitch, but we'll see how that goes. kinda sounds like a need a therapist or something. well so i get home and check my email and log on to ichat. i start talking to cile and tell her the story about the subway girl and she manages to turn it into something funny. not funny like "gilbert grape," but putting a different take of my experience and it just put a smile on my face. it cheered me up. thanks cile.

i also told her that i'm kinda getting homesick. what a dreaded word. i'm in such an amazing place, that i shouldn't be homesick. i see new things everyday, find new shortcuts, new shops, new food, the list is endless, but with all of the newness it's nice to find something familiar. kinda like a safe place. i still haven't found it here, but i'm sure all of these feelings will dissappate once school gets into full swing.

alright hope you all are out there helping subway girls by handing them tissues, and i'll try my best over here...

decapitated dog head?

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

i had the weirdest dream last night. it was just really weird. i drempt that i was walking around and i saw the decapitated head of a dog. and then all of a sudden i started seeing them all over. and then i saw the decapitation in front of me. it was this dog that kinda looked like a pit bull and one of those dogs that has gotten into trouble recently, like the one that malled the baby and killed it, well it got this other dog and just tore it's head off. then it just disappeared like sirius black when he was the wolf in harry potter. i'm not too sure what it means.

and a couple of weeks ago, maybe last week, i drempt that one of the girls in my program totally got pregnant. i saw her come out of the bathroom and he had one of those ept test and i was like, "WOOOOO!"



Monday, October 3, 2005

so the presentation went alright, but i i tried not to do my usual "uhhhhh, ummmm" routine. i'm kinda getting better at presenting (kinda, but not really). anyways so i went to dinner and was all excited b/c tomorrow we don't have class!!! so i'm going to downtown to get some magazines and just soak in kyoto. and i think i might buy some shoes. i'm going to try to hit the gym while i'm down here.

cool i'm on a downloading frenzy... I'M A PIRATE!! ARRGGGGHHHH.... i downloaded the song that i'm totally embarrassed to say that i like, but it's such a fun song, i think most of you know what song that is, i'll give you a clue, it stars with "bidi, bidi" and ends with "bom bom." i also started downing loading a lot of postal service. they're pretty good, i'd say give them a good listen. (http://www.subpop.com/bands/postalservice/)

you can't be on vacation forever

Sunday, October 2, 2005,

yesterday i went to the kyoto station to sign up for japanese classes! which should be pretty cool. granted i should have taken them before i got here, but what are you going to do? i will finally be able to order other things besides tempura, ramen and assorted dons (rice bowls). how cool. anyways, after that i really just need to get away from the school and the people so i went shopping in downtown kyoto. dude there is so much stuff there!!! you would not believe it. but i did run some errands there, and got things that i needed to finally settle in to japan. containers to keep all of my stuff, and i think the highlight of the shopping event was getting a watch! i got this pretty dope diesel watch (of course!). square face, leather strap with an orange accent seconds ticker. it's pretty awesome!

back tomorrow, we have a presentation that we need to work on tonight...

"harajuku girls you got that wicked style..."

Saturday - Sunday, September 24-25, 2005

this weekend we went to yokohama, shibuya, harajuku and koiwa. it's pretty crazy how all of these kids dress. i bet most of them work at the bank around the corner or something. anyways i saw this one american girl all trying to dress like these kids and i was like, "white girl... please... don't even try. looks like you're wearing a halloween costume."

i definitely want to come back to tokyo during my travel week...

we also went to the prada store here done by herzog and de mueron. it was so exciting to see something that you've read about and seen in pictures of. it's AWESOME!! (pritzker prize website: http://www.pritzkerprize.com/2001annc.htm). obviously i didn't by anything b/c it's freakin prada and i'm not rollin in dough, but i did want to. they had some really nice stuff. the dressing rooms are similar to the ones at the prada store in beverly hill (by rem koolhaas) but but these ones are located in these diamond shaped tubes that traverse the buidling. i couldn't take anypictures inside b/c they didn't allow it.

we also saw toyo ito's tod's buidling. if you look at it, it resembles a tree. there are also no interior columns so interior square footage is maximized.