0016 Dill

Project: Alt Text

There is a particular narrow alleyway in a neighborhood on the outskirts of a large city in Japan that is dotted with small restaurants and bars. It’s all but empty on a warm Thursday afternoon in August.

There are four dark brown doors that each frame a single, large window painted with gently arched gold and black letters. The doors, well cared for, slide readily along their metal tracks, parting with little effort or noise.

Past the large copper still in the front corner and beyond the pile of discarded silver kegs on the floor, there is a long, dark, wooden bar. The doors are closed again, but light leaks in from the windows and mixes with the glow of the pendant lamps that are suspended from the ceiling by thick, black cords. The light reflects off the richly lacquered wood and brightens the room.

A few menus rest on that bar, the pages handwritten on card stock, wrapped in thin sheets of crinkled plastic. Small, rectangular wicker baskets hold stacks of paper napkins.

And there, after a sip of a wonderfully bitter, wheat-colored ale, appears a bright, white plate piled with golden yellow chips. The flecks of finely chopped dill, lightly sprinkled on top, are the only green found in a nearly empty, brown and gold room on a warm Thursday afternoon.

Golden yellow potato chips, dusted with bright green flecks of dill, sit on a white plate that rests on a wooden bar.