By the time you read this, Tokyo will be back to business after the New Year's break and the people and traffic will have returned to choke the city's streets. But the pollution that hangs like a lid over the greater metropolis will take a few days longer to return. Blue is the color of the New Year sky in Tokyo. It is also the favorite color of Any, the owner of Blue Garden, which remained open every night (including Jan. 1) throughout the break. Any, like me, wouldn't dream of leaving the city during o-shogatsu.

Born in India into a family with connections throughout the Asian subcontinent, Any found himself at 4 years old in the care of an aunt in Korea. At 13, he was entrusted to a sister in Yokohama. From the age of 17, he started hanging out and doing odd jobs at Club X, a DJ bar in Shinjuku where his sister worked. Three years ago, at age 23, he opened Blue Garden, with a little help from his new Japanese family. He and his wife also own a small karaoke sunakku a couple of blocks away from both the Garden and the recently closed Cafe Ole, the demise of which now makes the Garden the last friendly outpost in Kabukicho.

Then along came Yappy, a long-haired, bearlike Japanese boy from Osaka. He wandered in one night a year or so ago and ended up joining Any as the manager of Blue Garden. Yappy's scant 22 years on the planet hardly seem sufficient to have formed the young man who will invariably greet you from behind the bar. He is clearly committed to the mo' fun party plan -- as are most of the Garden's customers. Though some of the Ole crowd have relocated here, Any and Yappy's personal inner circle form the core of their clientele.