Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jazz and John

These are a few photos that I have been meaning to put up for some time now. They are from way back in September from a great little jazz bar in Saitama City...about an hour and a half away from our place by train.

This guy here seemed to be the guy in charge at the bar.  He was nice.  After the music was finished he came over to chat with Karl and me.  He told us that we looked like a "very nice couple." It was sweet. Plus, he gave us cookies. Win!  The lady is a singer/pianist.  She did a great rendition of The Beatles "Oh! Darling," off of the album Abbey Road.

This photo was also taken at the jazz bar.  Three things you will always find in a bar in Japan: beer, cigarettes and edamame (soy beans).

I mentioned The Beatles above...Japan does have a thing for them, especially John Lennon.  Yoko Ono is a pretty good explanation for that.  We were lucky enough to be very close to the one and only John Lennon museum.  Even more so because after a ten year run, the museum was closing its doors on September, 2010.  Almost one month to the day after I arrived in Japan.  I was elated! Karl took me for my birthday, September 24th. *whew* Barely made the cut.

Unfortunately-but not surprisingly-photos were not allowed. At all. Period. No questions.  I was irritated, naturally, but I got over it and simply reveled in the moments I had in the presence of so many amazing pieces of musical history. Seeing John's childhood diary, his guitars, his Beatles outfits-including his Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band outfit. Zomg. (I am a huuuuge Beatles fan/geek.) But the highlight of the tour, I would have to say, was being able to sit at his white baby grand piano...the very one on which he recorded the song "Imagine."  I could run my fingers across the keys, but couldn't actually play as the action had been disabled. Understandably.  Despite that, it was a beautiful experience.  Really amazing.

I know this post is mostly about music, but I simply have to share some photos we took at the place we ate before enjoying the museum.  We happened upon this fantastic Italian restaurant.  How can I explain my love of Italian food...Well, my favorite Italian restaurant of all time-Va Bene-catered my and Karl's wedding. How's that for love? :) They did an absolutely outstanding job! If you are ever in the area (Duluth), go there. Seriously. You will not be disappointed. Anyway! We found this Italian restaurant that was very tasty...but here's the thing-the reason why it was so good was that it was actually Italian.  It didn't have raw eggs or seaweed on the pasta-as most Italian (Japanese) places do. I was delighted.  Plus the location was so much fun! We wanted to be seated in the non-smoking section so we were led to our own teeny-tiny private alcove...it was positively charming.

Delicious Pizza!

Me being absolutely delighted in the cute alcove. :) Isn't it adorable?!

Oh-and we had a view. So much fun!

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  1. Nice!!! I'm so glad you're able to enjoy authentic Italian goodness. (I, too, miss Va Bene!)