They Live by Night – Tokyo

 From Dangerous Minds:

 

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Kabukichō is the red light district in Shinjuku, a commercial and administrative ward in central Tokyo. Apparently Kabukichō took its name from plans to build a kabuki theater in the district sometime in 1940s. This never happened. Instead the area became a busy red light world of nightclubs, hostess clubs and love hotels. It’s estimated there are some 3,000 such enterprises operating in Kabukichō today. At night, the busy neon-lit streets thrive with the curious and the criminal—around a thousand yakuza are said to operate in the area. All this relentless activity gave Kabukichō its nickname as the “Sleepless Town” (眠らない街).

Among the curious drawn to Kabukichō was photographer Watanabe Katsumi (1941-2006). During the 1960s and 1970s, this seemingly quiet and unassuming character prowled the streets camera in hand offering to take pictures of the sharp-suited yakuza, the pimps, the prostitutes and the drag queens who lived and worked in and among this red light district’s narrow streets. Watanabe thought of Kabukichō as his theater and the men and women who posed for him as his actors.

He approached each of his subjects and offered to take their picture.  He took the pictures quickly. But whatever he said to make each individual sufficiently relaxed worked. His photographs captured something unguarded and utterly spontaneous about his subjects. The next night he would return, deliver three prints of each photograph for 200 yen—roughly around a dollar back then. This was how he made his living.

In 1973, the first volume of Watanabe Katsumi’s photographs The Gangs of Kabukichō was published. This book was reissued in 2006, details here.

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Via American Suburb X and Vintage Everyday.

Desert stories

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The desert of the 50’s, small shops and vacation/retirement homes.

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Cholla Forest Pinto Basin Joshua Tree National Monument 1947 by Harlow Jones

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Modern homestead in Wonder Valley
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5 acres of desert land for $15,000 in Lander’s CA. got me intrigued enough to check it out for myself, and to read Kim Stringfellow’s fun and interesting book:  Jack Rabbit Homestead http://www.kimstringfellow.com/portfolio_page/jackrabbit-homestead/

What I found on part of the land:

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Remnants of previous life: ceramics, huge TV, vinyl records identify these artifacts to be around  40 years old….

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Famous tourist attraction and new-age mecca, The Integratron has a story rooted in science fiction and mysticism from the 1950’s:DSCN0076

One of many sources that tell the story of the man who built it, etc.  http://www.labyrinthina.com/amazing-integratron-at-giant-rock.html.

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We lay on the floor and listen to vibrating crystals..if you love sci fi mystery and/or have ASMR this is the place for you!

Landscaping around The Integratron:DSCN0077

Many artists have moved to the desert so they can own an affordable home and do their art, most become inspired by the feeling of the land and decide to stay permanently.TowerHomestead800Pie for the People wall muralbbkit2katie2kitchwallbuilt_in_the_desert_tx700Desert-Arts

The Oasis of Mara can be seen in the distance in this mid-century photo:TheOasisOfMara-29Palms

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Yucca Valley consignment store holds many strange items.
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Miscellaneous abandoned homesteads scattered throughout the California desert. photo credit: Kim Stringfellow from

http://www.kimstringfellow.com/portfolio_page/jackrabbit-homestead/

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