Tap This – 8 July 2011

07/08/2011 at 6:10 am

Welcome to back to the weekly column “Tap This,”  where our editors report on their top picks of the week.

Untapped New Orleans  editor  Daniel lived in Japan from 2005 to 2010, and he’s been back for the summer of 2011 volunteering in Tohoku, working, and eating lots of good Japanese food. This week’s Tap This comes live from Tokyo…

What I’m Reading:  Paul Waley’s Tokyo: City of Stories, a bubble-era history of the city that focuses on its origins.  I’ve learned so far that the Yaesu area (immediately east of Tokyo Station) was named for the Dutch sailor  Jan Joosten van Lodensteijn  who became involved in Shogunate trade with South East Asia and was given a house in the area after the boat he was on wrecked off the coast of Kyushu in 1600. The closest that the Japanese could get to a pronunciation of his surname was “Yayosu,”  which eventually became Yaesu.

What I’m Listening to: WWOZ in New Orleans and  KEXP in Seattle. From WWOZ I’ve discovered ragtime pianist Butch Thompson and Evan Christopher, the heir apparent for clarinet king of New Orleans. KEXP has introduced me to Washed Out and The Morning Benders.

What I’m Eating:  I’ve been eating a lot of ramen with Tokyo-based ramen blogger Brian Macduckston. We put together a video review series called Collabo-Ramen.

Most Untapped thing I did this week: For the Fourth of July I had beers at Dry-Dock,  a cozy standing bar in Shimbashi. Sato-san, the “Dock Master,”  has been trying to serve Dry Dock Brewing’s beer for a while, and thanks to the Nagano Trading Company, he finally got a pallet of the beer shipped over from Colorado.

Most Untapped thing I’ll be doing next week: Next Sunday I’m going to make pizza at my buddy Teppey’s place. He lives in a communal apartment with a bunch of other families, so we’ll be cooking for about twenty folks. Five Minute Sauce!

What I’m Wearing: It’s been hot in Tokyo. When I’m not at work in a quick-dry Uniqlo polo shirt, I’m wearing a Daniel Johnston  tank top I bought for 400 yen while volunteering in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture – there is still hope!

What I’m Using: The Japanese tweet-o-sphere has been excited about the potential of Google+, and so far it’s been fun to sort out. It will be interesting to see how it grows and whether or not groups, websites, and blogs will be able to set up shop in Circles.


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