eclipse 月食


September 28th, there was an eclipse of the moon. We were walking by the UN. Having the moon together with the UN building was interesting and made it easy to compare the scale, but soon a cloud emerged and hid it. The next time when we saw the moon it was farther away from UN. Compared to an object on the earth it was a tiny spec in the photo. The images of just the moon show the detail of the eclipse.  The bright areas and dark areas switch more smoothly in reality and the dark part is slightly reddish – hence the name a “red’ moon. We got kinks in our necks searching for the moon and marveling over the shape.



Well, lets move the shooting location to have the moon between buildings on the earth. It was too hard to stop my hand from moving when the shutter was open. I put the camera on a handrail and secured it with my hand…… it did not work. The mysterious tail of light in the next image is not because of the movement of the moon but  the movement of the camera.



It was during the General Assembly of the United Nations so there were tons of steel fences installed along the sidewalks for crowd control determining how you could approach the UN. There were no cars running on first avenue – this big avenue was amazingly tranquil. A few people came out to the street to watch, we met our neighbors who were also searching for the moon. The police were watching for the moon with us too rather than guarding the street.

総会の会期中なので、群集整理のための大量の鉄のフェンスが歩道と車道の境に厳重にめぐらされている。車は一台も走っていない。大きな通りがガランとし て、異常な静けさ。月食を見ようと家から出てきた人々がチラホラといる。警戒中の警官たちのほうがずっとたくさんいる。彼らもすることがないので、空を見 上げている。


United Nation 70 years 国連70周年

The general assembly of the United Nations is in session again this year. This year Obama is going to give a speech, Putin too, and the Pope as well. We have been preparing psychologically.  For the people who live in the neighborhood this inconvenience from the traffic mess may be a special tax we pay to the United Nations. What? No No, the UN should pay tax to New York City…right?


On my way home by bicycle a lot of cars and bikes were blocked from going down the street.  A few police motorcycles are standing in the middle of the 7 lanes of traffic on the avenue. It is like a fire is going on there , but no firemen. So I dismounted and started walking the bike. Immediately a policeman  yelled at me, with a nasty tone “sir, you can not do that” I ignored it but then he yelled “sirrrr, sirrr!!” good thing is he did not say “Hey you!!” but the tone is exactly the same as “Hey you”. He successfully stopped me. I answered :”many pedestrians are crossing the intersection, what is wrong?”  He is getting mad… but he does not know the definition of pedestrian. If you dismount you are pedestrian. Just as a walker with a stroller is a pedestrian, walking a bike you are a pedestrian. It is obvious but his mission in this intense situation and backed by a sense of power- have stopped him from thinking rationally and transformed him into being outrageously aggressive. He must be a nice policeman if he is not in this situation, I can feel it.  I asked one of his colleagues who joined this messy conversation “what about this direction?”  He answered ” No problem” I looked up at the poor policeman, he shows his chagrin like a hunter who lost its prey. OK I will go in that direction!! while I am regretting not having said goodnight to him, a convoy of black SUV’s passed quietly and showily in front of the waiting people.  This must be Putin not Obama as the convoy was not crazy huge.

Now on to the main title, there is a something beautiful generated by this messy event. We happened to find a light show projected onto the UN building as we were walking in front of it during the assembly.

事務所から帰宅の途中、大量の自転車や車が信号の前で通行止めにあっている。白バイが列になって7車線の通りに仁王立ちしている。火事場見物のごとく、何だなんだ、何が起こってるんだと見守る自転車垣、車垣。一方、歩行者は平気でその信号を渡っているから、私も自転車を押して歩くことにした…。すぐに、これまた大量にいる警官の一人が「あんた、おい、お宅、そんなことはできないんだ」と、ご存知のいやらしい調子の声が飛んできた。無視すると、彼はますますいやらしい調子で、「おいお前だよ」と、私を呼び止るのに成功した。歩行者はみんな信号を渡ってるじゃない?と私が言うと、彼は、できないものはできないと言ってるんだ、と言う調子。自転車を押して歩けば、歩行者となることを彼は知らないらしい。乳母車を押すのが歩行者なら、自転車を押して歩くも歩行者であることは明らかなのだが…。この張り詰めた異常な状況では彼らの使命感と権力の裏打ちが合理的な思考を停止させて、ヒステリックな横暴さを作り上げるのかもしれない。こんな状況でなければ彼は善良な警官に違いない、なんとなくそれがわかる。加わってきた彼の同僚に、こっちの方向ならどうなの?と、聞いたら、問題ないよ、と言う。彼の方を見たら、獲物を逃がした口惜しさを満面にしている。なんだあ!と隣の通りに出ることにした。かれにGOOD BYE を言わなかったことを後悔していたら、黒塗りSUV車の大名行列がスルスルと、かつ轟轟と通りすぎた。オバマだったら、こんなもんじゃ絶対にないから、たぶんプーチンだったんだろう。通行止めが終わり、引き上げる警官たちがヤンヤの喝采を受けた。



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This year is the 70th year anniversary of the foundation of UN, you know. Although I think just 50 people saw it tonight. It is like our exclusive show. We are so moved partly because of this occasion running into this beautiful thing, but moreover, it shows hope that the world will definitely be better if every country shares these goals. Please take a look at the slide show below which is from the 15 minutes that we watched there.

今年は国連の70周年なのでそれを記念した企画らしい。この夜このショー を見たのは通りがけの50人くらいじゃないだろうか?数少ない特別な招待客になった気分だ。感動したのは偶然に綺麗なものを見つけたこともあるのだけれ ど、それ以上に、これらのゴールが世界中で共有されれば、本当に世界が良くなるという希望を見せてくれたからだ。15分ほどのショーをご覧あれ。

for everyone