Worldly Possessions - One of Three - Artifacts & Ephemera
I tend to move a lot. Changing residences, in my eyes, is as easy as packing for a trip and getting on an airplane. I’ve always had a habit of living minimally as this not only facilitates a nomadic lifestyle, it allows for a level of freedom that I deserve.
I think everybody truly deserves to get what they want, and to live the life that they dreamed of, but it’s often a double-edged sword and most folks simply aren’t willing to take the bad along with the good. A common belief is that ups can exist without downs, but experience has proven otherwise. I’ve recently moved back to a place I never thought I would return to, for a reason I never thought I’d get to pursue, and I couldn’t be happier at this moment in time.
This capsule collection of posts is purposed to describe the few things that I do own, and where I got them and why. I have an excellent memory and everything has a story. I aim to live my life the way I want to, and to do so in the slickest way possible - meaning I want everything to go off without a hitch. Like someone bombing a hill in San Francisco, you have only a few options when you’re at maximum velocity and a new obstacle materializes - you can go over, around, or through because the idea of stopping is the scariest and most difficult. I’ve always admired ascetic monks and their principles, and I strive to paint a fine blurry line between the materialism of a modern design professional and the spiritual fulfillment that comes with living for your art.
Since I moved to the USA at the tender age of 11, I’ve dreamed of being a professional skateboarder. I’ve had some time to grow since then and I’ve come to understand what about that lifestyle I really desire, and most importantly why I keep returning to skateboarding as my favorite art form.
The items you see in these three posts are literally everything I own, and they were taken during the process of relocation. I’ve moved around 40 times in my 26 years, from different apartments to different cities to different countries to different continents, and back again. I am an expert when it comes to what I need and what I don’t and I’m sensitive when it comes to brands, but I maintain that it’s not for the typical reasons.
I respect products of the finest quality, and while this usually comes with a price-tag, the logo on the packaging or the people associated with the brand can more or less suck a dick - no disrespect, but a quality product shouldn’t need an advertising campaign. I can only afford to make purchases on occasion, so I have to know that what I’m buying will give me exactly what I need for as long as possible. I greatly value my possessions, whether or not they are considered valuable… there are so few of them that I truly have to.
The less you have, the less there is to lose.
• Martha Stewart Living hand towel - better safe than sorry.
• New Era Yankees hat - from New Era shop, NYC. for where I’m going to.
• New Era Blue Jays hat - from New Era shop, TO. for where I’ve come from.
• Craft beanie - Originally for cycling, it fits like a du-rag and has a highly protective, windproof front panel. Also, it fits under any other cap or beanie or you can wear it by itself for that “thug tech” look.
• RVCA beanie - from RVCA shop, Haight St. SF. Summerweight & soft as hell.
• Chocolate skateboard - from 510, Berkeley CA. loose Independent trucks, 53mm Spitfire wheels. the board is 8” wide, flat as hell, almost symmetrical and has a blunt shape. I like both the graphic and the construction a lot. (I also have a soft spot for Alien Workshop.)
• A+R cruiser board - Independent trucks, 58mm ZipZinger wheels. This board has flat-black chalkboard paint as a base, so that you can write temporary messages on it (like your own phone number to show to girls on the street or some silly catch-phrases - my favorite is “Fuck You!”).
• Pressed & framed flowers - A gift for a girl.
• $0.75 - Three quarters, in case I need to call home. I’m sure that payphones still exist but they’re never in the right spot. This is symbolic, anyways.
• Brand new socks - I never leave home without them. I once rush-packed for a week-long skate trip to Orange County and once I arrived I realized I only had the socks and underwear I was wearing.
• Nike Livestrong windbreaker - from DQM, East Village NYC. Fits under anything, packable, relatively water-resistant and can substitute for a much heavier layer in the right climate. Its’s made of ripstop polyester with reflective trim, the purchase supports a good cause, and the cut is perfect. I left the store three times and came back three times in 5 minutes because of indecision (and the price tag) but I’ve been consistently happy with it, aside from the reflective portions slowly flaking off.
• 10Deep tank top - from Active Rideshop at The Spectrum, Irvine, CA. tigerstripe, to match my tigerstripe cargo shorts. Ever heard of an “airplane outfit”?
• Cheap sunglasses - Much more fun to buy than expensive sunglasses, and much more fun to lose as well. When I fell recently I broke my knuckle and split open my chin, and I also lost my Ray-Ban sunglasses so this is an homage and a reminder not to drink alcohol.
• Turbo Baggage bombproof document case - custom designed. A perfect home for items like birth certificates, multiple passports, cards, checks, notebooks, stamps/envelopes, and my Square card reader. Somebody once took my passport for a nice walk in waist-deep water, that’s not happening again.
• Throwing Stars - the real deal, although these are dull from playing inside my apartment.
• Thimble - ceramic, from Ocean City, NJ. A gift I received from a girl.
• Assorted pins - these were purchased during a military display & airship in San Diego. one says “A” and the other has a picture of a frightened nude girl wrapped in a towel and it says “Surprise Attack!”
• Carmex - kinda gross, but it’s good stuff.
• Spinning top - Quite perfectly balanced & made of dense metal, on the right surface you can achieve quite a nice “Inception” effect as this thing spins forever and has no distinct markings. I found this in the gutter somewhere.
• Movado watch - A fine graduation gift I received. I have since fallen on it while skating home from the bar. The glass face broke.
• Apple remote - for the truly lazy geek.
• Assorted cards (credit, school ID, gym ID & gift)
• Backup Medicine (epipen, dayquil, razor blades, etc.)
• Swiss Army knife - from my Polish family… apparently a knife is a very symbolic gift. this is indispensible.
• Tom Ford “Black Orchid” cologne - from the Tom Ford boutique, Las Vegas NV. another excellent shopping experience here, not surprisingly after another shitty shopping experience at the Louis Vuitton store next door. this stuff smells like money. the shop employees here are immaculately dressed, more helpful than a server in a fine restaurant, and trusting. I was wearing a white t-shirt, camo cargo shorts and chuck taylors that day, and I walked through LV feeling like I was being tracked by government agents. I walked into the Tom Ford shop and went straight to the back to see the sunglasses and cologne. the guy helping me out unlocked all the sunglasses cases for me (at $750/pop this is significant) and walked away, telling me to “have fun.” I ended up going with this cologne after spending some time perusing, and when I told him what I wanted, he spent 15 minutes preparing a package for me that included a booklet about all their other perfumes, information about the company, other ephemera, and it was all gift-wrapped even though the purchase was for myself. another excellent example of customer service, and another brand I am happy to be able to patronize. before I forget, fuck Louis Vuitton.
• $100 USD - the last of it. Would you move to New York with only $100 in your pocket?
• Airport-safe liquid container - for hair grease
• Prada “Amber Pour Homme” cologne - from Bloomingdale’s, SOHO NYC. this stuff smells like summer. there’s not much I can say about Prada that hasn’t already been said before.
• Simon Says stress ball/beanbag - my half-assed attempt to rehabilitate a broken knuckle & injured hand (another result of skating home from the bar, although a separate occasion.)
• Beaded bracelet - Blessed. I received this while visiting a buddhist temple in Taichung, Taiwan. Apparently it’s good luck, and it looks a lot like the diamond bracelets a lot of rappers wear nowadays. win-win! xie-xie!
• E-Z-Split blunt splitter - Hangs from a keychain. Ingenious. Even cooler than a bottle-opener but not as physically necessary.
• Matches - Either for lighting that first cigarette after a long flight or for burning in the bathroom when you’re at someone else’s house.
• Immediate medicine - earplugs, ibuprofen, melatonin, claritin, dayquil
• iPod shuffle connector / Apple wall plug / Bic lighter - all white everything!
• commercial real estate analysis CDs - a gift from a friend. to quote one of the master swordsmen of the 36 chambers of the wu-tang clan, “you need to diversify your bonds, nigga.” I mean it’s either that or keep working your job forever… So, how do you like the desk you’re sitting at?
• Western Digital external HD - design files & work, music, movies. at 160GB this shit is pretty outdated, but it’s high-quality and trustworthy.
• Rapha water bottle - from NAHBS, Richmond VA. BPA free and the classiest of the classy when it comes to cycling gear, to boot. be that as it may, Cedar Cycling is gunning for that British money. believe that.
• Molton Brown black pepper shave gel - the only one worth shaving with. actually, one of the only men’s skin-care brands even worth mentioning. catch up!
• Apple in-ear headphones - I have broken, sweated through, worn out or lost the rubber buds to maybe 8 pairs of these in the last three years and Apple employees have, without fail, replaced each and every pair. truly a fine example of customer service, and it’s always a pleasure to spend money at this store. I always know what I’m getting.
• Glass pipe - from Shisha International Smoke Shop, West Village, NYC. comes complete with sparkles & rastafarian colorway. hella nor-cal.
• A big bag of weed - from the middle of nowhere, Humboldt, CA. buyer direct! this that good good.
• 3-piece skate tool - the slimmest I’ve found yet, although the leverage leaves something to be desired.
• Brylcreem - It smells minty, looks good and washes out in hot water. My barber laughed when I told him I use this, he said that it was quite popular when he started cutting hair in 1952.
• Cedar Cycling stickers - from Oakland, CA. pay attention now so you can act like you know.
• “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - it’s about a man who tells a girl that he loves her, and she marries someone else. 50 years later her husband dies, and the man is waiting for her to tell her, once again, how he feels.
• DMC ruled hardcover notebook - from Westfield Mall, SF. for work purposes only. sturdy as hell.
• Hulk Hogan bookmark - I found this in the garbage somewhere… it’s older than I am.
• Pearl Izumi “Cyclone” gloves - tactile & wind resistant.
• Individual flossers - don’t get caught slipping.
• Elephant miniature - a good luck charm from my grandmother, RIP.
• iPod shuffle - it’s OK to fall on this or scrape it, and its always nice to save some of your phone’s battery.
• Assorted pens & pencils - the staples. Everybody has their favorite pens, I believe. I prefer Uniball Vision 0.5mm & 0.7mm over any other pen I’ve ever used.
• iPhone 4 - Much like the swiss army knife, indispensable.
• Gillette razor - Somewhat superfluous (it’s winter in NYC and I’ve grown a beard) but good to have nonetheless.
• Colgate Toothbrush
• Nike stretch belt
• Huf belt
• Element shoelace belt
• Trojan condoms
• Personal cards (BART, debit, zipcar, health insurance, driver’s license)
• Dun.Wel leather card holder - Handmade by yours truly. Also, one extra dollar that I found. Every penny counts.