10 Office-Front Facades, Ginza

MJG Architecture 4 Comments

Ginza is the core amygdala in the tightly-twined morass of Tokyo’s brain, a nerve center firing off directional impulses telling people what to wear, how to look, what to buy, and who to be. Amongst the district’s densely packed grid of un-signposted streets some of the grandest global corporations can be found- De Beers, Mikimoto, Hermes and so on, parading their garlanded facades like buxom debutantes at the inaugural ball. Look a little harder though, down a few of the shadier backstreets, off the beaten track, and you’ll find the hidden gems of Ginza, the subtle impulses that cut through the brash vigor of the main street’s axonal storm, the places where the real business of Ginza is conducted. This …

10 Store-Front Facades, Ginza

MJG Architecture 6 Comments

Ginza is the bustling beating heart of high class fashion and commerce in Japan, a labyrinthine grid of broad and narrow streets bristling with corporate headquarters, flagship stores, and chic designer boutiques, sprawled over several square kilometers just a few stops from Tokyo station. Amongst its ultra-elite avenues and alleyways are some incredibly bold front-facade designs, ranging from tie-stores built out of solid glass bricks to port-hole crazy office towers. This is the first in a 2-part series- the second is ‘10 Office-Front Facades‘, coming soon.

The Giant Robot and the Myna Bird

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 5 Comments

The giant robot stalked the empty world, looking for its lost arm. It had fought in many wars, from the beginning to the end. In ancient Thrace it had brought down the gates of Thermopylae. In Samarkand it had crushed the Czar’s men underfoot. On the fields of the Somme it had walked the no-man’s land and razed the flags of the Third Reich. Towards the end had been the lasers. The large bombs; the A-bomb, and the B-bomb that followed it. Artillery that could shred its skin, and tanks that could push it over. Then there had been the mountains. The icy colds for so long, then the winds, and lightning. Somewhere along the way, its arm had been …

The Mad Ruins of Kentucky’s Waverley Hills Sanatorium

MJG Hospitals, USA, World Ruins 13 Comments

The Waverley Hills Sanatorium in Jefferson County, Kentucky, opened in 1910 in the thick of a Tuberculosis groundswell, then an incurable disease rife in the swampy backwaters of rural Loisville. The infected went to Waverley to be quarantined, and most likely to die- their bodies trundled out down the ‘Body Chute’ by night so as not to disturb the other patients. Described as one of America’s most haunted locations, Waverley boasts a total body count of around 60,000 over its 51 year life-span. It was shut down in 1961 as TB was gradually being eradicated, changed hands a number of times, and now the current owners hope to re-furbish and re-open it as a haunted hotel. Waverley Hills.

Final Fantasy: Dissidia Potions

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 5 Comments

Dissidia is the latest mano-a-mano fighting game in the Final Fantasy continuum, to be released by Square Enix on December 18th. It sounds totally cool. There is no chance I will buy it and play it. It features awesome heroes like ‘The Onion Knight’ whose special skill is emanating onion fumes so his enemies weep uncontrollably, ‘Zidane Tribal’ who kicks pig’s bladders at his enemies, and ‘Cecil Harvey’ who gives history lectures so dull they’re like a protective shield of ennui around his body. In cooperation with Suntory, Square Enix unleashed (not for the first time) the full power of their mystical ‘Potions’ on us. Here is one of the CHAOS-flavored ones: