Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rain Storm in SoCal  雨嵐

It's been raining heavily in California for days now. It's wet, windy and cold, and strangely my seasonal allergy started..., but why in December rain??? The air pressure is low that gives me bad headaches.


Many green palm tree leaves are dead and have fallen out into the street. Some are heavy and large, and they could be so dangerous if you get hit by them! I did not know that California could have this kind of bad storm... however, I do not mind it at all. The rain nourish the green, and we needed it.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Elephants and I  ゾウ様と私

I love elephants. I must say that they are my favorite animals, therefore, I'm always drawn to elephant stuff. This elephant head 23k gold bracelet found me in India, and the pendant at an Indian ashram in SoCal. They are my protector-lucky charms! (or at least I think so...)


This giant elephant statue at Ellora, India, was missing its tusks. Ivory has been banned, however, someone took those tusks, too? Terrible...!


Lovely and popular deity, Ganesha.  可愛くて人気のヒンズーの神様ガネーシャ。

One more Ganesha. もうひとつ。

And one more. The crystal Ganesha. May all elephants be happy and safe :)


Thursday, December 16, 2010

What kind of cafe? どんなカフェなの?

I pass this "cafe" everyday when I walk my dog. One day I noticed that they had some exotic looking stuff inside, such as an Indian table, but they did not seem to serve coffee. Also, the red letter "R" had always attracted me since it is my initial. However, I had never seen people in there, so I'd never gone inside. Paul and I decided to go in and ask who they were. Well, well, well. It was a medical marijuana shop. It is where you purchase marijuana for your medical reasons. That is right, this is San Diego. Marijuana is everywhere. I smell it on the street, I see people smoking in the park and on the streets, I smell it in the kitchen of a restaurant. It is no big deal for the locals, but coming from New York it's still a surprise for me to see it being so available everywhere!



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday cheers ホリデーチアーズ

It's freezing cold and snowing in New York. It's sunny and warm here in San Diego, and the Santa is happy about it! ニューヨークは零下で雪。ここサンディエゴは晴れで暖か。サンタさんも幸せ!

People get into decorating their gardens with the holiday spirit. Did this Santa dog bring gifts for the duck babies?


A cactus Christmas tree! なんと、クリスマスツリーもカクタス!

A doorstep of somebody's house has a beautiful wreath with all sorts of cacti plants.

The Christmas in San Diego seems so tropical to me. The Santa, rein deers and Christmas trees are surrounded by cactus plants and flowers. However, we saw this amazing collection of Xmas light decoration at a friend's house. Once you are inside the house everything is the same - the tall Xmas pine trees and some large knitted socks hung by the fire place. Oh, needless to say that the fire places are not necessary in SoCal!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Fun & lazy Sunday night 楽しくレイジーな日曜日の夜

We got together with 4 friends on Sunday night, and we dined at the Burger Lounge in Hillcrest. Since my husband and I had been attending many holiday parties we have not had enough greens, so I ordered a salad. OMG, that was big. My turkey burger was very tasty and juicy.., but a bit salty.


My husband who came to dinner right after the intense bikram yoga class ordered large fries and onion rings. Oh, and a beer. How healthy is that??? lol


After the big burgers we had to finish our Sunday meal with some tarty yogurt. We treated ourselves at the popular Pinkberry. As a chocolate lover I had chocolate yogurts with coconut flakes, almonds and chocolate crispies as toppings. Good & easy food with a great and fun company... it was a perfect lazy Sunday night.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

80F and Sunny! 27度で晴れ

It is a middle of December, and it is 80F, sunny and dry here in San Diego. I drove to the pool
in Mission Valley in my mini cooper convertible, and swam for 40 minutes, surrounded by the palm trees. The life guard had a radio on that kept playing the Christmas songs forever. I kind of miss the snow and the cold weather... or maybe not :)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Richard Gere for Liu Xiabo, the Nobel Peace Laureate

Outside of the UN in New York, a Hollywood star and a passionate Tibet activist, Richard Gere spoke at the press conference. He said, "The award becomes larger in Liu Xiabo's absence." Mr. Xiabo, a committed human rights activist who's been jailed for 11 years has said, "I have no enemy." China has been facing a critical moment. For how long can this nonsense go on in China?


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ukiyoe ~ Hiroshige ~ 浮世絵 

I attended the auction luncheon and the lecture on this amazing collection of the Japanese woodcut prints at the San Diego Museum of Art. The luncheon was an intimate group of 70 people who are mostly members and benefactors of the museum. The collection of the popular Ukiyoe artist, Hiroshige was overwhelming. I had never seen so many prints in one room before!
His composition, sense of colors and wit was impressive. In his late days he became a Buddhist monk. "Ukiyoe" means "picture of impermanence." For a moment, I had a fantasy that I could have been Hiroshige in my past life! lol


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Olive & Rosemary Bread

This olive & rosemary bread is my current favorite. It is just heavenly delicious! I normally avoid "white food," such as white bread, white pasta and white rice, but this one is seductive! So I try not to go to Bread & Cie so often. However, I had a huge craving today that I could not resist! My neighbours here in Hillcrest tell me that people come to this shop from all over San Diego. I cannot wait to enjoy this tasty bread with my beats and tofu salad tonight!

このオリーヴとローズマリーのパンが、私の今のマイブームです。その美味しさたるや!普段は健康のために「白い食べ物」(白いパン、パスタ、白米など)を避けている私ですが、これは何とも誘惑的なんです!なので、この有名なベイカリー「Bread & Cie」には、なるべく近寄らないようにしているのですが、今日は無理でした、、、。ヒルクレストの近所の人たちは、サンディエゴ中からここにパンを買いに来る人が多いと言ってるほどです。今夜は、ゴールデンビーツ、ほうれん草と豆腐のイタリア風サラダと一緒に、このうなる程美味しいパンでディナーです〜!

Monday, December 6, 2010

X'mas in SoCal 南カリフォルニアのクリスマス

It's December in San Diego, and it is over 70F outside. I took a nice 5 minute walk to the Whole Foods from my house, then found this Californian fruits company called Yeti! How funny is that?


There are many Christmas products in the store. Lovely poinsettias are everywhere in town now.


Squash soups are the signature dish of the winter. カボチャやスクワッシュスープは冬に欠かせませんね。

I felt so "winter" at the Whole Foods, but then, on the way home, looking at those tropical cacti made me feel so "summer" again. This one had more than 60 cm diameter! Phew.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Jean Louis Etienne ジャンルイエティエン

This French man was the first man who reached the North Pole alone in 1986. He walked for 8 hours everyday, and it took him 63 days... by himself. I don't know how he could stay sane! I was invited to meet him at a French school in La Jolla. Not only he's a world famous explorer he is also a physician, scientist and a passionate environmentalist, and he talked about global warming, and warned that it is a truly serious matter that we all must go green now. It means that we must develop more green energy, period.

His expertise on global warning was impressive, but painful to hear at the same time. When you care about something it is often painful. Life is much easier when you don't care about anything..., but if your heart keeps hurting to learn about the earth's disasters you just cannot stay still. We must do whatever we can.



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is it big enough? 十分大きい?

I had never seen this charming car before! What a fantastic design, and how cute is this?!?
This old BMW was parked in front of our building. I thought that I had a small car (mini cooper), but this is small... and look at this gorgeous red. Red cars tend to be flashy sometimes, but this one is just perfect. Then what killed me was the exquisite Japanese lacquer storage box. I wanted to meet the owner, but he/she never showed up. What an amazing taste. Impressive, indeed.


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Japanese garden 日本庭園

We took a walk to the Japanese garden at the Balboa Park on a typical San Diego sunny day. On the way we saw those beautiful museum buildings that were surrounded by the tall palm trees.


This Japanese garden is a symbol of the friendship between San Diego and Yokohama. There is even a song of their friendship (see the photo), and my husband always asks me to sing it every time we pass this garden! I sang it once, and it was not a good song. (Sorry... to the composer.)


There are many beautiful bonsais at the garden. This one with the vivid flowers are very SoCal!


The carps were large and fat. They must be fed pretty well... and they must have no exercises in a small pond... Carps always remind me of my late grandfather who used to raise beautiful carps at his Japanese garden.

The bamboo bush was sparkling with the sunlight. It was a magical moment for one second, then I saw one family going into the sacred stone garden! I could not believe it. You are supposed to only look at the stone garden, and you are not supposed to walk around in it! There were fences to suggest people not to enter, but many people did it anyway. I softly told the family not to be there, and they were very embarrassed. They just did not understand it well. I talked to the garden's management office, but they told me that they were trying their best to prevent people from going into the stone garden, and there was nothing more they could do... How sad is it?


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fish tacos フィッシュタコス

I never liked Mexican food, period. I never had a good Mexican food in New York, and when I
was in Mexico I never had an authentic Mexican food because I was scared to eat in a local restaurant and I ended up eating at a fancy hotel every day. In San Diego I finally experienced a truly good Mexican food. I could not believe it. My favorite is the fish tacos. I don't think that we have the fish tacos in New York. If we did I never knew it. I must say that now I am addicted!


The tortilla chips are so crunchy, and they come with all sorts of chili sauces. Most of them are too hot for me, but I always try them. However, as a result of my daring nature my tongue often become paralyzed. Was this skeleton Statue of Liberty(?) on the wall laughing at me!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Our First Thanksgiving in So-Cal 南カリフォルニアで最初の感謝祭

Now I am back in San Diego, and despite my awful jet lag the Thanksgiving Day came the next day. All I wanted to do was to sleep, and I did not want to think of the turkey and the cranberry sauce. However, my husband and I were invited to Terry & Ed's house for a wonderful gathering, and I am so glad that we went! It was a very intimate and casual group of 10 people. We kept laughing and chatting, and the evening couldn't be better! Needless to say that the food was good.


Well, well, well.., everyone except me drank so much! There were all sorts of wines and champagnes, and there was a bottle from Argentina, called Route 40. It rather looked like a California wine with a name like that.


Since I am not so crazy about the pumpkin pies I brought this small pecan pie for myself. I put an extra large amount of whipped cream on top, and it was perfect. After the fun dinner my jet lag was completely gone! We played the "beer ping pong" followed by some serious karaoke. On the way home I felt grateful to be full, to have good friends, to have good health and to be alive. I am glad that I did not forget to be thankful after all...

パンプキンパイが苦手な私は、小さなピカンパイを持って行きました。この上にたっぷりのクリームを乗せていただいたら完璧でした。気付ば時差ぼけもふっとんでいた!ディナーの後は、皆で「ビールピンポン」をして、その後はカラオケ。笑 皆、歌う、歌う、、、!帰り道、車の中で、お腹いっぱい食べれることに感謝、良い友人たちに感謝、健康であることに感謝、生きていることに感謝しました。感謝する日に感謝の気持ちを忘れなくてよかった、、、ほっ。

Saturday, November 13, 2010

`Obamaccha` オバ抹茶

I visited the giant Buddha in Kamakura. This statue was built in the 12th century, but also there is a story that it was sent by a tsunami! The president Obama who is in Tokyo currently is visiting this Buddha today. He apparently told the press that he would want to have the green tea ice cream that he had as a boy with his father many years ago. All the local shops have banners saying, `We have Obamaccha.` Maccha means green tea. How funny is that?!

Every single street was closed and guarded by many police men and police cars.

This was my second time to see this huge Buddha. For some reason it seemed bigger each time. Perhaps it is showing the fact that I am getting smaller... well, hopefully my ego, at least!
Obama flew in to Kamakura by a helicopter that was accompanied by five police helicopters. I hope that he was able to enjoy the Obamaccha today!

鎌倉の大仏様を見るのは2度目ですが、なぜか見るたびに大きく見えます。私が小さくなっている証拠でしょうか、、、?少なくとも、私のエゴが小さくなっていると良いのですが!笑 警察のヘリコプター5機に囲まれてヘリコプターで鎌倉へ向かったオバマ大統領。子供の頃の思い出の抹茶アイスを楽しんだことを願います。

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My solo exhibition has ended 個展終了しました

My exhibition has ended finally, and it was such a busy week indeed! So many people came to my show, and I was so happy to see the familiar faces and some new faces who seemed to enjoy my new work. Some of my collectors and fans have been coming to my exhibitions for the last 18 years, and I am so grateful for their warm support. Despite the severe recession in Japan I sold well (Thank you, thank you!), and I was told that many had truly enjoyed my new line of work!

東京の個展は無事終了しました。なんとも忙しい一週間でした!沢山の方々が個展へいらして下さいました。毎年お馴染みのお顔、新しいお顔、、、多くの皆さんが私の新しい作品を楽しんで下さったようで嬉しいです。中には18年前から私の個展へ通い続けてくださっている方々もいます。そんな温かいご支援に心から感謝しています!大不況の日本ですが、沢山絵がお嫁に行けました。笑 新作を楽しんでいただけて本当に嬉しいです!

The series of my `Praying Matryoshka Dolls` were a big hit, too! The smalls and medium ones were sold on the fist day. I received so many requests to paint more... so I will definitely have to consider doing so. In that case, I may have to order a big box of dolls from Russia. That would be a challenge since a small box took many weeks to get to the states!!!

「祈りのマトリョーシカ人形」はヒットだったようです。沢山の方々から可愛い!と褒めていただきました。小さいものと中くらいのサイズのものは初日に出てしまいました。そして「もっと作ってほしい」というリクエストも沢山。そう言われると描きたくなる私です。笑 次回はロシアから巨大なボックスで人形をオーダーしないとならないかも?それはたいへんだ~ だって、小さい箱でさえ何週間もかかったんですから、、。笑

Friday, November 5, 2010

My solo exhibition in Tokyo

My 17th-year-solo exhibition at Isetan Art Gallery began on the national holiday in Tokyo. So many friends and collectors came to the opening, and we had so much fun! My parents were there as my biggest supporters! I was told by many that my new body of work definitely show how I have been inspired by the beauty of the Southern California. The exhibition ends on November 9, and Nov. 6 and 7 are book signing and I will give a gallery talk as well. Looking forward to seeing you there!

藤田 理麻 新作絵画展 ~私のお気に入り~ : 新宿店 : 伊勢丹 店舗情報

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