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My final image from 2009 is a photo taken on the platform of Sendagaya Station. It’s the closest station to my house, and I am always surpised at how many wonderful scenes — to my eyes, at least — have presented themselves there.

Although there isn’t really anything out of the ordinary to the place, it always reminds me that beauty can happen anywhere. As long as we’re on look-out, and even when we’re not. Cheers, and a Happy New Year to all.

slope gallery sendagaya

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There really isn’t a lot happening in my neighborhood — culturally speaking. Sendagaya to most people is just the expanse on the map between the shopping districts of Harajuku and Shinjuku, and it only draws visitors only when there are sports events and mega-concerts at the nearby stadiums or so-called “family sales.”

There aren’t many families here, but there are lots of small- and medium-sized apparel firms, most quite hip. At the end of each fashion season they hold these semi-private sell-offs of stuff that would otherwise go to the incinerator.

This place on a slope, I seem to remember, used to belong to a fashion business. The last time I passed by, though, I was surprised to see that it had been turned into a gallery. Naturally enough it’s called Slope Gallery, and deals in books too. It’s first show was of photos of New York City by Tomonori Tanaka.

The website says the gallery’s focus is on surfing, skateboarding, bikes and boards — style signifiers, if you will, reaching out to nearby Harajuku. So I shouldn’t have been surprised to find it here: It’s part of the fashion business after all.