Research and Exploration








One of my favourite aspects of a foreign holiday is the excitement of discovering new things and having new experiences. Mrs P and I were riveted to this  Guardian video a few nights ago about an area of Tokyo formerly known as Piss Alley (don’t ask!), now called Memory Lane. It’s really worth a look, and while I don’t expect to be eating grilled salamander or drinking any viper wine when I’m there, I do intend to be more than a little adventurous with my eating habits! The link is here: Memory Lane

I’ve also been on Google Street View looking at the area around The Pickwick Hotel in San Francisco. When I read that it was mentioned in the Dashiell Hammett novel, The Maltese Falcon, there was just no other option for me. If you’ve seen the film (and if not, why not?), you may remember Bogart’s character, Sam Spade, giving Wilmer the gunsel, a hard time in the lobby. The hotel has a Twitter account (@PickwickHotel) and tweets quite a bit about local events, which is very handy as I’ve already noted a few galleries and museums I’d like to visit. The hotel is directly opposite the offices of the San Francisco Chronicle, so I’ll not have far to walk for my morning paper!

Another of my recent discoveries about my destinations is Why Men Must Sit Down To Pee, a very enlightening post on about Westerners travelling to Japan by @currawong, an Aussie living in Japan. It’s so useful, I’ll be printing out the post and carrying it around with me!

Lonely Planet’s site has many useful tips, as you would expect. This one on Tokyo’s train system should prove invaluable too: How To Navigate Tokyo’s Train System

Finally, today I spent some time looking for some decent walking shoes. My current favourites are North Face Hedgehogs but I’ve no intention of paying Surf Mountain’s crazy prices for them. I’m still looking! Since my last post, I’ve added a cable release for the X100 and a Lowe Pro Passport bag to my list of “must haves”. Never ending!


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