Tag Archives: good fortune

Faith and begorrah

If you’ve ever had the good fortune to travel to Ireland, you might assume (incorrectly) that people who live amongst such rustic countryside and rich history wouldn’t be very forward-thinking.

Turns out they have quite a few things to teach us back here in the USA.

Ireland-Dingle

Congratulations, Emerald Isle, on your historic approval of same-sex marriage — the first country to do so by a national vote.

#equal

Fortunate

wpid-20141117_140437.jpgOver the years, I have collected fortunes from Chinese takeout that spoke to me and placed them in a pocket of my Franklin Planner.

(Yes, I still have a Franklin Planner….and a Google calendar, too.  Just covering my bases.)

I don’t know why these crumbling, yellowed fortunes caught my eye today, but they did. And you can probably see why I kept them around.

It’s a very feel-good collection.

On my trip to Tokyo in July, I received the very aptly named ‘Best Fortune’ in return for a dollar and a prayer at the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa.

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How’s that for positive thinking?

This fortune has earned a place of honor on the bulletin board above my desk, a very cheerful reminder of all the good things I have in my life.

And possibly more to come?

 

Tokyo, Day 4: Asakusa, Shibuya, Rippongi

After eating a hearty Japanese breakfast of green salad, rice and hot tea, I took the subway to the Asakusa district, which is home to Tokyo’s oldest attraction, the Senso-ji temple.

2014-07-27 09.03.45(I picked a good day to brave the trains.  Foot traffic was fairly light, and I found the signage and announcements clear and easy to understand.

And yes, the Tokyo subway is clean and quiet, except for the occasional screaming baby.)

2014-07-27 09.46.18The temple entrance is guarded by the gods of wind and thunder at the Kaminarimon Gate.  They didn’t seem that ferocious to me, and quite open to a selfie or two.

Once inside the gate, there was shopping galore, and I had the opportunity to get my fortune  — after saying a prayer and paying a small stipend.  I ended up getting “the very best fortune.”

So that’s cool.

2014-07-27 10.01.13The main hall is a five-story pagoda.  There’s a incense cauldron in front; people were rubbing the incense on themselves for good luck or simply waving the smoke toward themselves.

I opted for the latter.

2014-07-27 10.52.43Across the river from the temple is the Asahi Beer Hall. It’s golden plume, which is supposed to be beer foam, is a Tokyo landmark (although the locals call it the ‘golden turd’). I love that.

I was excited to visit the Taiko Drum Museum, but it wasn’t at the map location, and business owners nearby hadn’t heard of it.

Seems like they would have heard a drum…nevermind.

2014-07-27 11.57.21I jumped back on the subway and took the Ginza Line to the Shibuya district.

Shibuya Crossing is as new as Asakusa is old.  There are video screens and noise and thousands of people seemingly moving at once, but the chaos has a kind of order to it.

And remember the good-looking guy I saw yesterday plastered on buildings?

He was at Shibuya, too.  Gotta figure out who he is.

 

 

2014-07-27 12.38.50Hachiko the dog was there, too — well, the statute that is.

His master died in 1925, but the dog continued to go to the station to meet him until his own death some ten years later.

The pup was very popular; it was hard to get a shot.  I don’t know whose hand that is, but he is forever immortalized here on the Egg.

Lucky tourist.

After a stop back at the hotel for the standard wash, clothing change and nap — the heat really takes it out of you — I ended the day at the Roppingi Hills, a large shopping / arts / entertainment complex in the district where I am currently staying.

2014-07-27 16.38.09I visited the Mori Art Museum, an extraordinary contemporary art museum (with an even better store).

I’m told the  observatory has amazing city views, but it was closed because of the weather.  I found that odd…until it started storming.

It was slightly less sticky afterwards, so it was worth it.

I’m resting my feet and back until tomorrow.  Only one more morning of adventure and then the flight home to NYC!

 

Where there’s smoke

For people who celebrate Chinese New Year — or just heart Chinese food — today marks the official beginning of the Year of the Dragon.  According to legend, the dragon is a symbol of good fortune, intense power and authority.

That’s so hot.

But I have to wonder — what kind of dragon will 2012 be?

Will it be like the dragon in the first Shrek movie — ferocious and fire-breathing one moment, then a puddle of mush the next, all because of the attentions of a wise-cracking yet lovable Donkey?

(And how many months of the year will be fire-like, and how many mush?)

Or will 2012 be a dragon with a temperament more in keeping with the three beasts in the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire?  They also breathed fire and brimstone, but were initially restrained by bars and chains.  When they finally broke free, they fought till the death to vanquish their enemies.

Not sure I want to go up against a year like that.

No, I would prefer the Year of the Dragon to be more like Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon.  He was first misunderstood and underestimated, but man oh man — didn’t he end up being exactly the kind of dragon you wanted on your team when the going got tough.

Yep.  That’s the 2012 I’d like to see.