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Posts tagged ‘Maria Teresa Gow’

Birthdays in 2012

This year has been extremely busy for me and that is why I haven’t been updating my blog as often as I would have wanted. But now that I have a little bit more time on my hands I can finally sort out through hundreds of photos that I took at various events and post some of them here. This one is about birthday parties that took place this year.

First, there was Shelly’s birthday right after Golden week. It was a beautiful party at an upscale private dining place in Nishi Azabu organized by her agency. There were a DJ and champagne tower and funny games and lots and lots of guests. ^-^

One of the guests was Rola – the current IT model/talent. She was very bubbly and funny and at times silly but that’s what sells in Japan so she was doing a great job.

I took this photo when girls were playing the game “Who knows Shelly the best!” They were getting Shelly dollar every time they answered a question correctly.

This guy won the main prize – a pair of tickets to Disneyland. Nice!

Then, there was Gow’s birthday party/live performance at Ginza Roots. It was also amazing, very posh and so so crowded. Gow has a lot of friends. Whenever we go out together, somebody always stops us on the street to say Hello to her.

Many of her talented friends performed for her that night including Girls’ talk, David, Mathew from Fox TV, beatboxer Kazu and a band of musicians.

Gow sang too – of course she was the best of them all.


At parties like this I meet a lot of people that I don’t normally see like Natalie and Clara. We used to work together on various TV shows and modeling jobs..

For my birthday this year I didn’t have any party. I hate throwing parties for myself and I hate asking my friends to do it for me. Instead, I had a romantic date with my husband and it was all I could wish for. It was one of the biggest storms that day with all the TV stations advising people to stay indoors. Instead of taking the advice, we rented a car and drove to the ocean. Crazy I know but it was so damn romantic. The stormy ocean is beautiful, rain is beautiful plus it always rains on my birthday so it was nothing new. ^-^

After spending half a day at the beach, we drove back to the city to Odaiba to watch “Bourne legacy” coz this movie series has a special place in our hearts. We both love it because it takes place in Europe and it is real with old-fashioned phones and logistics and operations – no sci-fi bullshit like virtual screens and immediate satelite access and people who just happen to conveniently know stuff “just because” like in other Hollywood movies. Of course I didn’t like it that much without Matt Damon in it but I enjoyed it anyway.

After the movie, we got back into our car and drove home. Only instead of heading towards the rainbow bridge, my husband stopped in front of Tokyo Nikko hotel where he secretly booked a room with the view to the bay as a surprise to me. I always wanted to stay at that hotel because it has this huge windows overlooking the best of Tokyo’s skyline and my favorite park is right in front of it. I was so happy to finally realize that dream.

The room was amazing. From our balcony I could watch the storm unraveling in the bay. It was breathtaking.

We had champagne and chocolate cake and I got yet another flower bouquet. It was amazing.

In the morning, the bay looked so peaceful after the storm. I woke up early and just sat on the balcony half naked watching the sunset and eating my chocolate cake. ^-^

We had breakfast in my favorite park in front of hotel and then headed home. It was the perfect birthday date.

Last week it was Laura’s birthday. Unfortunately I couldn’t be at her birthday party but I met her a couple of days ago for a private birthday date in Odaiba. I am so happy she loved the dress I gave her. I was having my doubts especially after all the friends I sought advice from confirmed that it wasn’t her style.. A little black dress won’t hurt anyone’s wardrobe even if one prefers to wear color most of the time. ^-^

By the way, these are the pics I took with my new Sony. I absolutely love how sharp they are. I didn’t even use any surface to station my camera on when taking these photos. These are just snaps I took while walking – simply amazing. ^-^

Those lazy hazy crazy days of summer

This August I barely had time to relax. The weather was great so we used every opportunity possible to go out and have fun. ^-^

First of all, I went to see Gow’s live performance in Yoyogi park. Her band Genez had two new songs – as always very powerful lyrics from Michael and energetic performance from Gow chan.

After live, we hang out a bit at the festival before I headed to the river to see Hanabi – fireworks with my Russian girlfriends.

Tamagawa hanabi is the only one I managed to see this year. In Tokyo and I assume in other cities too, Summer is celebrated with a series of fireworks beautiful and intricate, each having its own theme.

It’s one of the biggest and most famous fireworks in Tokyo. It is started from two different locations on the river and shot simultaneously in duration of 1 hour. Quite a spectacle – every time I am so amazed and feel myself completely overwhelmed with joy like a little child. The only downside of such events is the unbelievable amount of people. Because of a “crowd on top of a crowd” phenomenon that is Tokyo’s entertainment scene, couple of police buses as well as local volunteers were assigned to work the event’s logistics making it impossible to enjoy – every 10 or so seconds they would announce into the loudspeaker something like “Move along, don’t take pictures, people behind you would get annoyed. Move along, don’t step on each other, be polite. Move along, fireworks is gonna end in 15 minutes, 14 minutes, 13 minutes…and you wouldn’t be able to go back to the station, it would take 40 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour..” – so annoying. I couldn’t take video of a beautiful hanabi and hanabi sound because of those loud announcements. After it was finished, as promised I couldn’t get back to the station so I had to take a little detour and walk 30 minutes to a neighbor station with less people. Oh, and I never got the chance to meet my Russian girlfriends – their car was blocked by police so they had to park temporarily and watch hanabi from the other side of the river. ^-^

Then, there was Brazilian festival – a Yoyogi park event dedicated to all things Brazil.

There was food, music, dancing, beauty pageant, Samba and Capoeira performances, Havaianas and braids stations, hot guys and girls in little bikinis – all you can imagine to see at a Brazil festa. Portuguese was spoken everywhere – I had no idea there were this many Brazilian living in Japan. Most of them looked half Japanese so I assume their community has been here for quite a while.

The food was so delicious. I tried Bauru sandwich and fried chicken hearts and 100% fresh Acai berry juice. The juice was disgusting but very good for health so I drank it all. ^-^ And I really enjoyed Capoeira performances – all the jumping and twisting in the air while meticulously calculating the next move of the partner so that they don’t hit each other – really tricky!

This is me, Diana, Gow and Hitomi trying to escape the heat and hit-ons from anything but shy Brazilian guys.

After that I went to see soccer game with Serezha – a birthday boy who tricked everyone into not celebrating his birthday this year. His friend from work got second row seat tickets to a national game Japan – Paraguay! I have never seen a game this close before – it was really amazing. It was the first time I could see the faces of the players and not just their blurred figures.

There was an army of photographers in front of us with huge camera lens – it was so funny to watch them because they all looked like tiny assassins with their riffles on the target. During the half time they all moved in one organized line to the other side of the field.

The second half of the game was very intense. Japan got a goal so Paraguay team went aggressive trying to even the score. Fortunately the score stayed 1:0 till the end of the game.

Soccer fans were so organized too (like everything and everyone is in Japan). They have cheering groups with leaders, flag bearers, time keepers etc. They gather once or twice a month and create new tunes for each player, then practice singing and clapping. My friend from work is one of the leaders from the cheering team in Chiba – he explained a lot about how it works. They organize events that help them raise money to go abroad for cheering. They get special ticket quotas and always sit together. Some teams have very rich sponsors that take care of everything. ^-^

I took a picture of Honda when he was passing by. Serezha mentioned that ever since Honda started to play for Russian team, he became looking like Russian. Immediately I noticed that – his facial expression and body gestures – I could totally see Russian in him. Plus he is blond now. ^-^ I wonder if it’s something he did out of stress of living abroad. I would lie if I didn’t admit that at some point in my life in Japan I wanted to dye my hair black to fit in more..

After the game, we went clubbing with Dima. It was a pretty tough schedule : Brazilian festival, soccer game and clubbing – all in one day. But Dima insisted (as always) so we gave in.

After three or four Heinekens, Serezha went nuts. He was dancing like crazy – I have never seen him like that. He and Tamara were serving each other on the dance floor – it was so funny.

Then, there was Vincent’s first live performance in Shinjuku and a trip to Enoshima but more about it in the next post. ^-^

Nepalese festival in Hibiya park

Last week, Gow invited me to Nepalese festival in Hibiya park – a very colorful and fragrant event presenting food, music, local businesses and live performances of Nepalese people living in Tokyo. I loved the food the most – butter chicken curry with nan is one of the few dishes I am ready to eat on a daily basis and they sold plenty of it. There was also a lot of food I have never seen before – like this deep fried bread with spices.

The market sold lots of traditional ornaments and costumes and home decoration thingies. I particularly liked Kalimba – a percussion instrument that produces a very beautiful and pure sound. It is also called thumb piano and although originated in South Africa is now common in Nepal too (apparently!).

Here is how it sounds :

Since the festival took place in Hibiya park, we decided to walk around and see the Japanese garden as well. There, I was attacked by a huge black crow and an army of ants and mosquitoes. We also saw a flying carp and a couple of lazy turtles. ^-^

And since I am obsessed with yeah milkshakes! but also swings, I dragged Gow to the garden’s playground and we spent half an hour swinging like 5 year olds. ^-^

Gow’s gig at AI Tokyo


Gow and Michael have finally joined together in an official project called Genez. With their debute this year they are now busy promoting an upcoming album. Their first promo event at AI Tokyo was super cool. Gow went through a dramatic makeover cutting her long tresses  into Rihanna style short one sided bob – looks really sexy. She was also wearing a dress and heels – a totally new look for her. I thought she looks much more sophisticated that way (yes, girl you do).  The new album is in J-hip-hop style with elements of enka, pop and reggae. I really enjoyed watching them together, they perform in an absolute sync and I really liked that. The songs are not completed yet so I can’t wait to hear the rest.

AI Tokyo

After event we went out for some dancing. Here are the pics! :)


Strawberry daiquiri

Gow’s birthday party

Organizing a secret birthday party for a friend is a great challenge that tests your life experience and social skills. Obviously I am yet to learn a lot. I wanted to make a perfect party for Gow and in my opinion didn’t do all that well. I have a big respect to all “kanji” who organize countless “nomikai” in my company. Gathering people in an organized event is painful, at least for me.

Anyway, I was more lucky than last year and could gather more people but they all showed up at the last minute and of course the place got too small for such party. We couldn’t move around and ended up talking to the people who sat next to us…I wish I thought this through and reserved an open space cafe or bar…Sitting at the table is not so exciting…

There was no space for presents and no way of opening them in front of everyone…I planned a great greeting card present with pictures of all the participants glued to it..Each participant was supposed to carry a heart shaped balloon with their names written on it and then write a message to Gow under the picture…The markers didn’t write on balloons, they took all the free space left, I forgot the glue at home and we ended up using scotch tape…It was the worst card I have ever made..It travelled without any supervision from hands to hands and the balance of free space and contents was horrible…

I’m so grateful that Gow knows how to have fun in any kind of situations and doesn’t care about such things..However me as organizer, I felt terrible…Even the “Happy birthday” hat that I got for her was a bad idea because she wore hippie style ribbon on her head..

The party itself was a lot of fun because many of Gow’s friends could come and there were some people that I haven’t seen for a year. ^-^ After the dinner we went to karaoke which Gow had to book for herself because I didn’t plan nijikai…Another miss..Overall, I was relieved that Gow was happy and stayed with her friends till late but the feeling of dissatisfaction is hunting me…I could do so much better for my girl!

Yokohama sunday

 Yokohama park

Every time I go to Yokohama I am amazed by how much this city attracts me by its architecure, parks, attractions, beaches…If I ever have to move out of Tokyo center I would prefer to live in Yokohama instead, as the foreign community is strong there and everything is just as convinient.


in the grass

On Sunday Gow took me to one of the Yokohama’s parks and then to our favourite spot by the ocean next to Seaside paradise. Later on, we had dinner at a new restaurant in China town opened by her friend. The food was great and I had lots of fun that day! ^-^



Chinese restaurant


Cashew nuts chicken

It’s a dance Gow!

Yay! Gow has released new album called “It’s a dance shuffle” with two Japanese guys Nikk and Mao. They are ok but I really think Gow should do solos..Her voice is so solid and powerful and doesn’t need any Johnny’s kinda guys on the background..Of course it’s harder to break through when it’s just you – gaijin but still, such guys will never be considered seriously and in my opinion they are just holding her back..She is planning to release another album this year so I’m really looking forward to that too.

Gow’s CD

I really like her lyrics this time, very personal, almost like poems.. The album is sold in Tower records just like last year. There is even Gow’s section with two of her albums in it. Yay!

Gow’s CD jacket

My brother is a big fan of Gow and this year he got to hear her new songs before they were released thanks to Gow’s little Christmas present! ^-^

Summer heat


A week ago me and Gow took a stroll in a Tatemonoen open air museum. It was a very hot day with cicadas screaming bloody hell and ice tea going hot in a matter of seconds. My friend Hiro took our pictures so here we are. ^-^ Japanese summer is beautiful but very very humid so unless your hair is absolutely straight you’re gonna suffer from Diana Ross syndrom throughout October every year..




Last night Gow chan invited me to view my first sakura this year in Wadabori park in Asagaya. We spent more than 20 minutes looking for a place but it was worth it because the sakura trees were so tall and all lighten up by lanterns. It was also warm comparing with my first sakura viewing last year where I still wore my down jacket. I really enjoyed it because the warm spring wind gives me such tranquillity and easiness and anticipation of great things to happen! ^-^


Snowflake & gypsy

Me and Gow chan had a shooting yesterday. I had this beautiful white makeup with Swarovski stones that made me look like a frozen snowflake! I really liked it coz I have never tried anything like that before. Gow chan had disco gypsy kind of look which was so perfect for her! Can’t wait to see the pictures!!!!ヾ(@^▽^@)ノ

Nat and Gow modeling as Snowflake and gypsy

Some decades later, here is the final picture.