I really felt down over the loss of superstar Prince. I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting him every time Udo Artists brought him here for concerts and hosted parties for him in Roppongi as well as one birthday blast at Hilton Tokyo in his honor. He was always nice, and as I was in the fashion business back then, I really enjoyed seeing his original fashions, which I heard he designed himself. They really were cool. Got to know him better when Udo called me once and ask if I could help them out with something.
PARK HYATT, SAYONARA PHILIPPE, WELCOME HERVE
On the hotel scene, I picked up Dewi Sukarno, who lives near me, and we joined the many VIPs in the ballroom at the beautiful Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku. The occasion was a Sayonara for Philippe Roux, who’s been GM there for seven—and—a—half years, and a welcome for his replacement, Herve Mazella. My sincerest thanks to Philippe for his friendship and support while he was in Japan. He, his lovely wife Sachilco, and his family are now settling in Chicago where he has an executive position at Hyatt’s headquarters. Prior to his new job as the luxury hotel’s GM, Herve was the GM at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
IRISH NATIONAL DAY — HOTEL OKURA
Going through all the ﬂyers I collected about the many events that happened to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. Believe me, I really learned how busy Irish Ambassador Anne Barrington and her staff must have been to make it all happen — which they really did. One of the highlights of the celebrations was the great party Anne and her husband, artist Ed Milano, hosted at Okura’s Ascot Room to celebrate March 17 Anne and her husband are a popular couple and the venue was wall—to—wall people with most of the Irish I know and many of their Japanese friends. The Japanese, especially the younger ones, have really become infatuated with Ireland and I saw many mostly wearing green at all the St. Pat’s events I was able to get to.
MEDIA PARTY AT THE IMPERIAL
I’m not a member of the foreign press club, so I really don’t have the opportunity to see a lot of friends working in the media here all that much. That’s one of the main reasons I always enjoy the annual media party at the legendary Imperial. The evening event was hosted by the hotel’s international, personable, and very outgoing President JGM Hideya Sadayasu. The party was held in the hotel’s popular Hikari room, and the hotel staff really went all out to make the room beautiful and the variety of Japanese and international food in the buffet delicious.
This weekend, Yoyogi is having what’s sure to be a crowded, noisy, and colorful Samba festival. Our Latin friends really know how to dance. If you like Tex-Mex food, try some of the tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more at 440 Broadway, the small van by Baskin Robbins at the National Azabu supermarket. lt’s open Monday through Thursday and Kensuke, the guy who runs the place, really knows how to cook, and prices are very reasonable. I’d also like to mention my Sri Lankan friend Ravi has a van nearby on Sundays only where he sells his award-winning curry. For your information, the Segafredo just across the street from National Azabu may close for a week or so in June for a renovation. National Azabu celebrated their 54th anniversary on April 24 with a busy food festival. Famous clown Rene Boseman entertained the kids and everyone enjoyed Benito’s paella and the many other food favorites available that day. Our sincerest congratulations to Banjiro Uernura, who among other things started the popular store, and his family and staff who work hard to make it a favorite for foreigners as well as Japanese.