Packing Tips & Product Review #2

It is surprisingly easy to push a duffel bag beyond the 55 pound mark and, because each flight’s restrictions are subject to the whims of the immediate employees, you never know when somebody is going to decide that your bag is too large to make it on the flight with you.  When you’re flying with more than one bag it’s crucial to have the right mix of items so that should a bag get lost you’re not without anything you need.  They say “never put all your shit in one duffel.”

This bag, the BaseCamp Duffel from The North Face, has quite a bit more interior space than the Poler Duffaluffagus (reviewed in this earlier post) and a much thicker & heavy-duty shell, which can be a bane and a blessing. You put more stuff in and you need an extra arm to carry it. Also, it’s not built for a skateboard so rolling it anywhere is out of the question. It is, however, sturdy as fuck and although it doesn’t pack down for stowing I can’t foresee it ever getting worn out from normal travelling use. It also has sealed seams and one interior mesh zip pocket.  Both great bags with different strengths.  

As far as packing goes, the clothes in this bag are ones that I generally wear less but need nonetheless.  Starting with a few pairs of shorts & jeans, topped with various t-shirts, button-ups, polos and boxers, then folded sweaters and pajamas, jackets, socks and shoes, capped off with my trusty down coat.  Click here for a full product breakdown.

Winter on the east coast this year has been between 19 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit so diversity and layering is key. The same principles apply to the organization inside because the bags are about the same shape - you build a strong foundation, alternating the rolling and folding of garments to leave spaces for putting junk here and there, pack it all in there tight and try to protect the most fragile items as best you can.

Enjoy, and travel light.

I always love to get presents and I just got a new package from the fine gentlemen at ALL OR NIL, a tony streetwear brand fresh and direct out of San Francisco.  Straight from the horse’s mouth, their designs are inspired by old school Americana, graphic minimalism, and overlooked 1990s industrial references. The boys are performing quite correctly on an independent level and this shirt garnered a lot of inquiries at AGENDA tradeshow in NYC this week. I’m personally honored to have been contacted by this brand, so be sure to check out their website and their tumblr.  
ALL OR NIL

I always love to get presents and I just got a new package from the fine gentlemen at ALL OR NIL, a tony streetwear brand fresh and direct out of San Francisco.  Straight from the horse’s mouth, their designs are inspired by old school Americana, graphic minimalism, and overlooked 1990s industrial references. The boys are performing quite correctly on an independent level and this shirt garnered a lot of inquiries at AGENDA tradeshow in NYC this week. I’m personally honored to have been contacted by this brand, so be sure to check out their website and their tumblr.  

ALL OR NIL

Packing Tips & Product Review #1

Organizing your clothes inside a duffel bag is an art form.  A lot of variables come into play, including the length of your trip, the destinations and forecasted weather patterns, your planned activities, the size of the bag & modes of transportation, and even accessibility. Each unit of luggage has to act like a cell, supporting you entirely should another unit get lost in transit but also being protective to its contents and light enough to carry in one arm. Luggage and backpacks have always been one of my favorite purchases (and not coincidentally one of my favorite categories to design) because luggage can incorporate utilitarianism into fashion and fashion into utilitarianism. Carrying a fresh bag garners as much interest as any item of clothing, as any fashionable lady can attest to.  This bag from Poler is no different.

I had a stepdad when I was younger who was a complete asshole and mentally unstable, a Vietnam veteran from Mississippi. The only thing I learned from him was how men in the military pack their bags.  Most items are rolled, as opposed to folded, purportedly to both save space and prevent items from wrinkling.  I’ve worked on it over the years and come up with a combination and an order that keeps everything protected and organized while maximizing interior volume and keeping your clothes fresh.  For the record, the contents of this bag (as mentioned in an earlier post) comprise half of my entire wardrobe and a majority of my material possessions.

I started with a single bath towel and laid some tough jeans on top, folded in half.  This lays a nice foundation for the bag’s length and width and protects the insides against spills & surfaces from the bottom.  Then comes t-shirts (strictly Polo, for the record) and underwear, each individually rolled to provide padded spaces for artifacts, electronics/chargers, cologne, etc. On top of that I lay a few button-up shirts, acting as a vertical barrier and ensuring that each item stays put. On top of that goes more rolled-up or folded shirts, a light hoodie, some tights and a baselayer.  Capping off the puzzle are some khakis, a light cotton jacket, a thick hoodie, some windproof gloves, and a tank-top - items I want quickest access to.  Click here for a full product inventory.

This new bag of mine, the Poler Duffaluffagus, has a lot of strong points.  It’s lightweight enough to pack and fold up into another bag without sacrificing much space. It has straps on the bottom to carry a skateboard, killing two birds with one stone - transforming the duffel into a rolling bag and freeing up your other hand for some other whatever.  It has hidden backpack straps built into the bottom, which are an excellent idea but unusable when a skateboard is attached.  The bag is structured in the right spots, utilizing stiff piping to add shape to an otherwise floppy material, and it has plenty of sturdy handles.  It’s also pretty minimalist on the inside.  It’s a great bag.

On top of all that, the “fuzzy camo” pattern is sick as fuck, the company is run by skaters, and the pricing is perfect.  If I could suggest amendments to the design I’d add at least one flat pocket (zippered or not) to the inside, maybe a keychain clip too.  I’d also say that the metal fasteners to which the shoulder-strap attaches are too slippery - I bought the bag about 5 days before I moved, and I could tell immediately that using the shoulder strap would be tricky.  This is a small detail but caused me a lot of stress during my trip, both when shouldering the bag and when pulling it on a skateboard through my entirely car-less trip from Richmond, CA to SFO then from JFK to Newark, NJ.  Although I plan to perform some sort of workaround for my next trip, I am otherwise completely satisfied with the purchase. It’s an excellent, high-quality and beautiful piece of luggage that shows an outstanding knowledge of the customer. I look forward to seeing what’s next from the brand.

Buen Viaje!





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.
•••

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.

•••


Worldly Possessions - Three of Three - Outerwear & Secondary Reserve
My tertiary bag (coming in hot behind a SAGxFTC backpack & a Poler duffaluffagus) is a medium-sized duffel bag from The North Face.  This is another company that I am happy to support, and I’ve even gone so far as to heavily pursue design work at their corporate HQ in San Leandro, CA.  Thanks to the kind folks there who helped me, even if nothing materialized of my applications & interviews.
This sub-sect of my wardrobe (again, one-half of the entirety) is basically the things I can do without, most of the time.  It’s currently housed at my friend’s house in Canarsie, Brooklyn, although I’ve swapped a few items out due to wintry necessity. 
That’s about it.
•••
• Crooks & Castles jacket - from Westfield Mall, SF.  a knit letterman jacket cut super-slim with a silver/black cheetah-print lining.  I normally don’t get down with streetwear and this has a huge, shitty embroidery on the entire back (a la streetwear, naturally), but it fits great and I personally can’t ever see the back of the jacket so I don’t give a fuck. It’s also an homage to the pieces of shit I went to high school with in Mississippi and California, both schools had the same mascot and the same purple & gold colors.  What are the chances?
• Penfield down coat - from DQM in the East Village, NYC. attaches to the Penfield hood (separate post). black-on-black tonal fern print with a ultramarine blue liner. the coat is light and warm, and down is crucial for winter.
• Banana Republic 1/4 zip sweater - one of the only Christmas sweaters I fuck with.  thanks, Mom!
• Banana Republic zip hoodie - for a few years after I got it, I was disappointed because I noticed the pockets on the side, along with the ribbing at the bottom and the side-seams, wearing out prematurely - large holes formed pretty quickly.  it wasn’t until I realized that the damage was from carrying a skateboard in either hand, then I started to really like the hoodie.  
• knit beanie - thrift store, San Diego, CA. thanks, Mom.
• Alfani tank-tops - wifebeaters. under a t-shirt in the summer or winter (for style or heat, either/or), or by itself in public for shits & giggles.
• United Colors of Benetton shorts - from Benetton boutique, Greenwich Village, NYC. great khakis for $20, no hesitation in chopping them when I needed a pair of shorts.
• tigerstripe cargo shorts - from Army Surplus Center in Berkeley, CA. I love these.  even with the built-in nylon cinch-straps I still need a belt (they slip, naturally) but whatever.  I’m not trying to run to anywhere, ever.
• Polo pajama pants - steezy PJs with pockets never hurt, and they’re part of an excellent airport outfit.  I like to prank my friends, either by surprising them by flying into their city and showing up at their house or by having them pick me up and I’m waiting for them wearing ridiculous clothing.  I flew to San Antonio, TX to visit a friend and he saw it coming so he waited in the car.  I was wearing a black shirt with green glow-in-the-dark skulls on it (see Juicy J in the “Stay Fly” video), these black & green Polo jammies, and some black & green Nike sneakers.  San Antonio’s airport is located in the center of several military bases, so I got a lot of weird looks - my friend was smart enough to wait in the car, refusing to come inside to meet me because he knew I was going to embarrass him.  Smart move.
• Ashbury Lil Wayne t-shirt - from Active Mailorder. it’s surprisingly hard to find t-shirts with rappers faces on them, I had to get it.
• Field Scout v-neck sweater - from Nordstrom, SF.  I had designed a sweater just like this (v-neck with a thick rib and kangaroo pocket) but it never got made, project didn’t go through.  I saw it in a store, though, 4 months later, so I copped it.  I feel good about that.
• Banana Republic v-neck sweater - from BR boutique, Herald Square NYC. I trust good merchandising when I see it - I walked into the shop and saw this sweater paired with the (following) gingham shirt on a mannequin. I was in and out in about 5 minutes.  One of my favorite shopping experiences ever.
• Banana Republic gingham l/s - see above. super slim cut, and it walks the fine line between formal & informal. I’ve worn this to interviews, on dates, holiday functions, or sometimes I wear it just to swag on em when I know everyone else is going to slack.
• Levi’s gingham l/s - from Levi’s, Union Square, SF. I bought this because I was going on a date and spilled hot-dog mustard on the other gingham shirt I was wearing (see above). The girl made fun of me a little bit for not buying a different style shirt, but I still like the shirt and I don’t talk to that girl anymore, feel me?
• UNDFTD jeans - from the UNDFTD shop, Las Vegas.  good jeans although they don’t stretch whatsoever. quite a nice shop with cool employees and a small selection of their own apparel along with hundreds of sneakers. the Silverlake shop can suck my dick, though, and I mean that.
• Alfani knit boxers
• Alfani woven boxers
• assorted socks
• Vans Era sneakers - why wear anything else? standard fare in California but in NYC they’re not as functional. wear em coke white cause they look much cleaner. I like to see them transition from pristine to polluted, coffee, beer, dirt, sweat, blood… like a tapestry to see where I’ve been walking.
• Vans Old Skool sneakers - one of the best skate shoes ever. heel bruises come easily but I don’t jump down shit. the canvas upper wears out quickly but duct-tape inside keeps ‘em going strong. I also like the AVE SK8-Lo immensely (for cushioning/tech advantages & full suede upper) but the toe blows out too quickly for me due to the shape of my foot & the shoe not matching up perfectly). The Old Skools are also easier to find.
• RedWings boots - from Dave’s of America, Union Square NYC. sturdy, warm, and long-lasting. I bought these on the same day as my Penfield coat (from Dave’s Quality Meats, NYC) and they were both $150. I realized that the charges in my online billing statement were almost identical and I tried to get my money back from both of these shops under the premise that I was charged twice for a single purchase.  It didn’t work.
• Vans OTW sneakers - a take on the half-cab, in maroon… I think these are fly as hell.  I’m not really interested in any shoe-companies besides Vans, for skate shoes or otherwise, and it’s nice to see that they’ve expanded the OTW line.  I don’t care to shop anywhere else, as most skate shoes nowadays are just variations on Vans models.  “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”  I would like to get a few pairs of those Nike SB Stefan Janoski’s, though - I see a lot of feet out there looking really comfortable, I hope mine are next.
•••

Worldly Possessions - Three of Three - Outerwear & Secondary Reserve

My tertiary bag (coming in hot behind a SAGxFTC backpack & a Poler duffaluffagus) is a medium-sized duffel bag from The North Face.  This is another company that I am happy to support, and I’ve even gone so far as to heavily pursue design work at their corporate HQ in San Leandro, CA.  Thanks to the kind folks there who helped me, even if nothing materialized of my applications & interviews.

This sub-sect of my wardrobe (again, one-half of the entirety) is basically the things I can do without, most of the time.  It’s currently housed at my friend’s house in Canarsie, Brooklyn, although I’ve swapped a few items out due to wintry necessity. 

That’s about it.

•••

• Crooks & Castles jacket - from Westfield Mall, SF.  a knit letterman jacket cut super-slim with a silver/black cheetah-print lining.  I normally don’t get down with streetwear and this has a huge, shitty embroidery on the entire back (a la streetwear, naturally), but it fits great and I personally can’t ever see the back of the jacket so I don’t give a fuck. It’s also an homage to the pieces of shit I went to high school with in Mississippi and California, both schools had the same mascot and the same purple & gold colors.  What are the chances?

• Penfield down coat - from DQM in the East Village, NYC. attaches to the Penfield hood (separate post). black-on-black tonal fern print with a ultramarine blue liner. the coat is light and warm, and down is crucial for winter.

• Banana Republic 1/4 zip sweater - one of the only Christmas sweaters I fuck with.  thanks, Mom!

• Banana Republic zip hoodie - for a few years after I got it, I was disappointed because I noticed the pockets on the side, along with the ribbing at the bottom and the side-seams, wearing out prematurely - large holes formed pretty quickly.  it wasn’t until I realized that the damage was from carrying a skateboard in either hand, then I started to really like the hoodie.  

• knit beanie - thrift store, San Diego, CA. thanks, Mom.

• Alfani tank-tops - wifebeaters. under a t-shirt in the summer or winter (for style or heat, either/or), or by itself in public for shits & giggles.

• United Colors of Benetton shorts - from Benetton boutique, Greenwich Village, NYC. great khakis for $20, no hesitation in chopping them when I needed a pair of shorts.

• tigerstripe cargo shorts - from Army Surplus Center in Berkeley, CA. I love these.  even with the built-in nylon cinch-straps I still need a belt (they slip, naturally) but whatever.  I’m not trying to run to anywhere, ever.

• Polo pajama pants - steezy PJs with pockets never hurt, and they’re part of an excellent airport outfit.  I like to prank my friends, either by surprising them by flying into their city and showing up at their house or by having them pick me up and I’m waiting for them wearing ridiculous clothing.  I flew to San Antonio, TX to visit a friend and he saw it coming so he waited in the car.  I was wearing a black shirt with green glow-in-the-dark skulls on it (see Juicy J in the “Stay Fly” video), these black & green Polo jammies, and some black & green Nike sneakers.  San Antonio’s airport is located in the center of several military bases, so I got a lot of weird looks - my friend was smart enough to wait in the car, refusing to come inside to meet me because he knew I was going to embarrass him.  Smart move.

• Ashbury Lil Wayne t-shirt - from Active Mailorder. it’s surprisingly hard to find t-shirts with rappers faces on them, I had to get it.

• Field Scout v-neck sweater - from Nordstrom, SF.  I had designed a sweater just like this (v-neck with a thick rib and kangaroo pocket) but it never got made, project didn’t go through.  I saw it in a store, though, 4 months later, so I copped it.  I feel good about that.

• Banana Republic v-neck sweater - from BR boutique, Herald Square NYC. I trust good merchandising when I see it - I walked into the shop and saw this sweater paired with the (following) gingham shirt on a mannequin. I was in and out in about 5 minutes.  One of my favorite shopping experiences ever.

• Banana Republic gingham l/s - see above. super slim cut, and it walks the fine line between formal & informal. I’ve worn this to interviews, on dates, holiday functions, or sometimes I wear it just to swag on em when I know everyone else is going to slack.

• Levi’s gingham l/s - from Levi’s, Union Square, SF. I bought this because I was going on a date and spilled hot-dog mustard on the other gingham shirt I was wearing (see above). The girl made fun of me a little bit for not buying a different style shirt, but I still like the shirt and I don’t talk to that girl anymore, feel me?

• UNDFTD jeans - from the UNDFTD shop, Las Vegas.  good jeans although they don’t stretch whatsoever. quite a nice shop with cool employees and a small selection of their own apparel along with hundreds of sneakers. the Silverlake shop can suck my dick, though, and I mean that.

• Alfani knit boxers

• Alfani woven boxers

• assorted socks

• Vans Era sneakers - why wear anything else? standard fare in California but in NYC they’re not as functional. wear em coke white cause they look much cleaner. I like to see them transition from pristine to polluted, coffee, beer, dirt, sweat, blood… like a tapestry to see where I’ve been walking.

• Vans Old Skool sneakers - one of the best skate shoes ever. heel bruises come easily but I don’t jump down shit. the canvas upper wears out quickly but duct-tape inside keeps ‘em going strong. I also like the AVE SK8-Lo immensely (for cushioning/tech advantages & full suede upper) but the toe blows out too quickly for me due to the shape of my foot & the shoe not matching up perfectly). The Old Skools are also easier to find.

• RedWings boots - from Dave’s of America, Union Square NYC. sturdy, warm, and long-lasting. I bought these on the same day as my Penfield coat (from Dave’s Quality Meats, NYC) and they were both $150. I realized that the charges in my online billing statement were almost identical and I tried to get my money back from both of these shops under the premise that I was charged twice for a single purchase.  It didn’t work.

• Vans OTW sneakers - a take on the half-cab, in maroon… I think these are fly as hell.  I’m not really interested in any shoe-companies besides Vans, for skate shoes or otherwise, and it’s nice to see that they’ve expanded the OTW line.  I don’t care to shop anywhere else, as most skate shoes nowadays are just variations on Vans models.  “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”  I would like to get a few pairs of those Nike SB Stefan Janoski’s, though - I see a lot of feet out there looking really comfortable, I hope mine are next.

•••