The Shuttle Lands on Planet Japan

Nick to Nam.

After breakfast in the room, the city below not yet aglow, we cabbed the short 710 Yen to Tokyo Eke and N boarded the train to Narita.  I thought of course of other fathers and sons parting ways and how lucky we were that the war was over.  The American war, they say in Nam, but any war will do.  Mind, I didn’t feel lucky trudging back on the JR to the hotel.

So I did what I often do to combat stress: I ran.  I ran six miles and felt a measure of relief from the transcendence of physicality.  Yikes!

Later, that same morning, I made my way to Park Hyatt Tokyo for lunch with Rie at Kozue: Can you say kaiseki?  Delicious, as always.  Then a Japanese whisky tasting @ NY Grill for a long piece I’m doing for the Slow Food Quarterly in Italy: The stuff challenges the idea of terroir.  How do they create something so closely associated with soil and cellars and tradition…and get it exactly right?  I think it must have to do with the unconscious Shinto thing of getting inside a space to see from inside it what goes on outside it.  Huh?  Wha’?  Or maybe it’s just genius at refinement.

A ride to Narita at 3:05 and the shuttle took my pass.  I’d cashed in AA points accrued for years and found myself in 1C to Chicago.  “A Streetcar Named Desire,” was available and a big gin and after that final embrace in the movie and an empty glass, I dozed off.  Waking up 90 minutes from The Windy City.

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