As each day passes since the horrific crisis in Japan hit, another story surfaces of friends directly affected by it all. Our Abbot Kinney neighbors Keiko and Taku Shinomoto, the owners of Tortoise General Store, were there when it took place and, thankfully, safe, according to their staff in the Venice shop. It was the "worst one minute of their lives," according to a newsletter the store sent out this week and, not surprisingly, they are still frightened by the on-going aftershocks.
Our thoughts go out to them. Tortoise is not only one of our favorite stores in L.A. Keiko and Taku are very lovely people and we wish them a safe and sane time while they remain in their native country.
TGS is donating 3 percent of store sales through month's end. Mikiko Ideno, their floral arrangement teacher, is assisting by making mini bouquets at the weekends sold for $20 a pop. Our manager Rafael picked up this pretty posy Saturday.
One hundred percent of proceeds from these efforts and several more listed on their blog benefit an initiative by Shigeru Ban, an innovative Japanese architect. He has gathered a team to build temporary partitions using recycled cardboard tubes, providing privacy to citizens crammed in evacuation centers. There are some 450,000 evacuees right now, packed into school gyms, community centers and other public spaces. Even a bit of privacy during these trying times in Japan can provide some solice to these poor folks.
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