Well, it’s been about two weeks or so since I’ve posted. The reason being, as some of you probably know, Miki and I were in my hometown of Brooklyn from 3/24 through yesterday. The purpose was mainly to reunite with friends, to introduce Miki to my friends and fam and show her around a NY not on the tour bus route, one very few Japanese or anyone without native friends in town get to experience, and to get a feel for how I and Brooklyn have changed and whether those changes were compatible.
Oh yeah, and a mini NYC Book tour as well.
Sounds like a lot was riding on this trip, right?
Well, what can I say? ALL went much MUCH better than expected! Miki and I had an amazing time.
Thought I’d share a few thoughts and pics from the trip.
A little background first:
This, in 10 years of living in Japan, was my 5th trip home, the first since 2010. The previous 4 trips were nice and all but had nothing on this one. In fact on the first two, still in the throes of passion for all things Japan, I couldn’t wait to get back to the life I was building here. The third trip was for the purpose of canvassing and casting my vote for Obama back in 2008. That trip was very short and very sweet and there was no time to think about “being home.” Spent most of it lost in thoughts comparing the America I had “abandoned” 4 years earlier, an America being strangled to death by the Bush doctrine and the post-9/11 blues, and the one I returned to, an America with an agenda for change, optimistic enough to elect the first black man to the top slot.
That visit occurred while this blog, Loco in Yokohama, was in its infancy, at that time obscure and unknown. But that event set a fire under my ass, made me much more aware of the power of words and ideas, for those were what carried Obama to the White House.
The following visit, in 2010, just happened to be a day before a hecka blizzard, so it was spent mostly in a state that could easily be classified as cabin fever.
That brings us to the 2014 trip I just returned from…
There was the Homecoming Party, a room filled with people from various stages and circles from my life. My childhood, the old neighborhood, former teachers, former co-workers, old friends and even their grown children in some cases…people who have known me! I felt like I was in an episode of “This is your life!” I hugged and kissed and felt more genuine joy in those three hours or so than I have felt in the 10 years I’ve spent in Japan combined. It was almost overwhelming.
Then there was the WBAI radio interview with Basir Mchawi! (starts at about 30 minutes in)
Check out the interview here: WBAI Interview
Then there was the reading / book signing at Sisters Uptown Bookstore, up in Harlem!
And there was the book reading / signing at Bluestockings Bookstore on the Lower East Side of Manhattan:
And then there were the after parties…
And then there was me and Miki, taking NY by storm!
It felt good to be in the driver’s seat again…I never drive in Japan!
Had to introduce Miki to IHOP!
Miki on the subway: only built 4 cuban linx (-;
A poster of me on the table lol I had forgotten all about that!
Miki hiding among the mannequins at Old Navy. Somehow she fits.
Loco and Miki in Dumbo
Took her down to my favorite bridge in Brooklyn, the Verrazano Narrows one wintry night!
Chilling at Prospect Park
In Park Slope…think this is where we’ll live (he said optimistically)
Grabbing some falafels at my favorite spot
And we just had to go to the new Barclays center to peep the now Brooklyn Nets (I felt simultaneously like a tour guide and a tourist!)
Miki at Coney Island as we took in a beautiful day at the beach…
And then there was the introduction to my mother, and to my other mother…would they hit it off?
Yeah, yappari, Miki is Mom(s) Approved (not that it would have made a big difference if they didn’t like her, but it’s nice to know they do!)
And finally, on the last night, we took a romantic stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge at 3am!
Anyway, that was the trip in as few pictures as I could illustrate it with without boring you guys to death.
And some news to make it worth getting this far.
Miki and I have come to a tentative decision:
Based on the reception we both received, and the potential opportunities to do even more, together and independently, and just the pure adventure of the thing, we think it’s perhaps time for us to say goodbye to this city we love, Yokohama, and relocate this love affair of ours to another city we both love: Brooklyn.
Naturally this can’t be done overnight, and will take a great deal of maneuvering, unraveling and disentangling, not to mention the expense which will be phenomenal, but the 1-2 year plan to move to the US (or in my case, move back) is in effect!
The future is looking mighty bright!
This is a hecka process, and there’ll certainly be more to follow so stay tuned!
PS: Miki said something to me that has had my brain in overdrive since hearing it.
She said, “I like you in New York even more!”
My thoughts on exactly what that means to me coming soon.