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Dangerous Curves

May 6, 2010

…in Tokyo. (From the wonderful Satorialist that keeps me on my toes)

Who is she? 

Victorian lace speaks of a delicate sensibility. Military jacket adds a bold streak. Glossy 1950s hair sweeps with sensual waves. Black aviators whispers of dangerous liaisons. Nude decorative nails makes a feminine statement. The icy Starbucks drink cooly says that she’s not too cool to be mainstream.

And that tiny trace of a gold necklace…whimsical beyond belief and stunningly modern at the same time, also probably worth more than the entire outfit combined.

And those lips.

She may shop in Harajuku, but resides in Ginza. Doll-faced but wild. Bright but naïve. She never knew what she wanted and didn’t care to find out. Her smile is your weakness and lace is her choice of weapon.  

Some day I will have all that (minus the starbucks), and walk with this:

Some day, in my own little spy thriller, I will be dangerous with curves in Tokyo.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2010 1:47 PM

    I really love this post so descriptive of the aesthetic reactions so often experienced in my second favorite city in the world! Just terrific. I hope I get to read your own little spy thriller some day.

    Grace: me too.

  2. May 6, 2010 2:01 PM

    Lovely. Both the image and your words resonate with my own notions of Tokyo, in my subconscious a city that looms large, a city where some part of me roams while I sit at my 9-to-5, longing for escape. Certainly a city ripe for living the life of a romantic or of a lethal super-spy, or both.

    I’ve not yet been there, but I travel there at every opportunity in novels and films. My concept of it is surely at least as much fantasy as reality, but I think perhaps Tokyo, more than most cities, lends itself to such fantasy. Images of Shinjuku Crossing, huge and almost alive with neon stimulation, always quicken my pulse.

    I especially love the line, “She never knew what she wanted and didn’t care to find out.” You’ve made her a character I would very much like to know more about.

    Grace: I’ve been to Tokyo, more than once, and each time it is all too short. The city is like your dreams and nightmares combined. I’ve never felt more alive and alone at the same time anywhere else.

    You should go.

  3. May 6, 2010 3:04 PM

    I love Tokyo – the train ride from Narrita to Shinjuku and then walking out into a cityscape that I had only seen in science fiction is one of the most treasured moments of my life. The whole country is just incredible, beautiful and the best kind of confusing.

    I love your writing, it’s always a pleasure stopping by.

    Grace: I love that train ride, always so peaceful even though beyond the glass pane the whole city is just whipping by silently, gracefully, somewhat hauntingly. Ah…now you have me nostalgic. Thanks for sharing, and stopping by.

  4. May 6, 2010 4:50 PM

    Grace: I’ve never felt more alive and alone at the same time anywhere else.

    What an astute statement! You get that sense of being alive and being alone more astutely when you’ve stayed there for a while. I’d also add that you can feel ennui there one day, only to discover new places to go, do, and see the next.

    Man, you’re making me miss my second home, Grace.

    And the women who inhabit it. ;-)

    Grace: Yeah. You’re not the only one. You all want to be that green straw.

  5. May 6, 2010 5:51 PM

    Yummy…in case you’re wondering, I’m talking about both that drink and those lips :) As usual you verbalize what you see with natural abilities.

    Grace: Saucy! That’s a first from you :)

  6. May 6, 2010 7:38 PM

    I have a feeling she’s not even going to drink that Starbucks… ^^

    Grace: Wouldn’t you like to know?

  7. May 6, 2010 11:37 PM

    I trained to be a barista, and I don’t even know what the letters on the side of that cup mean. And it’s not because the initials are for the Japanese name of the drink, for there is no “C” in the Japanese alphabet.

    Also, I was hoping these comments would concern themselves with Tokyo and foreign cultures, but it seems that since my comment, the responses here have gone into the toilet, for which I apologize.

    But those lips ARE something. :-)

  8. May 7, 2010 9:03 AM

    Someday, somehow I’ll be dangerous in Florence :)

    Grace: Florence…that’ll be easy :)

  9. May 7, 2010 8:39 PM

    @Khairy

    The following thought from me is…. how many calories does that drink have?

    I have had a little interest in clothes, Grace, but I was surprised about myself during my trip in US. I really wanted to look good to others. Probably because people really mattered to me unlike before. I was worried about my attire before I met Roger during private screening…. but, thank god, he was as casual as I was. I wish I had photographed our moment, but I was too flabbergasted to think about that while being with him.

    Oh, and thank you for leaving the comment in my site. You’re the first.

    Grace: SeongYong you looked good all the time at Ebertfest. I was going to mention that to you.

  10. homecomeexpat permalink
    May 7, 2010 11:14 PM

    Wow, now you’re making my itchy feet crave the embrace of travel again Grace …

    After years and years of being that family member; the one that has tripped from place to place around the globe, while the rest got married, mortgages, settled, trying for kids, etc, etc … I came home, to settle down, to have a career … but yet, now I feel the siren call ever more strongly, despite not being back for not even a year …

    I have stood in the central downtown forests of so many mega-cities, seeing the dangerous girls and women swarm past me … and as a femme, albeit queer, woman, maybe I have come close to being her myself from time to time (starbucks in hand, naturally *smile*) … but the wonderful juxtapositions of their beautiful humanity with the concrete, brick, and steel jungles around them, I miss it …

    Grace: wanderlust is the most potent natural high…and once you catch the itch, it never stops. I know what you mean.

  11. May 8, 2010 5:25 PM

    I love this blog entry! And kneel at the alter of your pop-cultural observations. It gives voice to my own thoughts about that shot – only in words far better than I’d have been to come up with. :-)

    P.S. the lips have been photoshop’d.

    Grace: seriously?!? It’s from the Satorialist site who focuses on real photos of real people…how can you tell?

  12. May 9, 2010 4:04 PM

    I’m pretty sure I saw actual lips like that in Japan, so even if this photo was photoshopped (and again, how can you tell?), there are many more women out their with lips like hers. Well, maybe not many, but more than just her.

    Concerning wanderlust, mine started in high school. I had gone to Bermuda on a research field trip in eighth grade, but it wasn’t until I visited France in my junior year of high school than my wanderlust began. It has brought me to France, Sweden, and England for extended stays (the last for a semester abroad), brief jaunts to Italy, Monaco, Switzerland, and Germany (on a college band trip), and three years in Japan (with a side trip to visit one of my best friends in Australia, though she is originally from the UK). I suppose it also led to my move out here in Seattle from the East Coast. And there are still so many places that I want to see….

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