Sitting around a campfire, drinking beer and whiskey, cooking up brats, and trying to avoid the smoke that seems to only follow me is probably one of my favorite past times. I remember being 16 years old and driving my 1990 Toyota Camry to Stanza Lake is Sedalia, CO, without packing a damn thing, and doing almost exactly that. Yeah, yeah I was a little under the drinking age, but I was in nature, and I wasn’t hurting anyone. Except myself of course, because I forgot to bring anything except my sweatshirt. I woke up in the back of my car at about 2AM with blue lips and spasming like crazy. I was freezing. Luckily, a friend noticed and got a sleeping bag on me right quick so I wouldn’t, ya know, die out there.
I’ve never been to Cuba. I had a friend once living in Guatemala that said, “Come down here, then we’ll fly across to Cuba so you can avoid any interference from the US Government.” I almost did it, but alas, my toes have never dug into Cuban dirt. I had a lawyer friend at the time that strongly urged me to not see this idea through. But, dammit, the allure of the largest island in the Caribbean remains. It doesn’thelp that i have this slightly warped vision of what Cuba is like: Stuck in the past, killer old cars driving around everywhere, the sounds of flamenco and Buena Vista Social Club just coming from everywhere… (I can be idealistic, right? Or is this just ignorance?)
At some point in your life, run-of-the-mill coffee spots stop doing what they need to be doing for your soul and you want something more. Lemme start again by saying, this isn’t meant to be a pretentious rant of “this coffee is better than your coffee.” And run-of-the-mill has many different meanings. There’ll always be a place for mom and pop shops and diners. I am more getting at the Starbucks and carbon copiers of the world.
“Don’t grow up, it’s a trap,” gets thrown around a ton when you hit your 30’s. It inundates your Facebooks and creeps in more and more when your friends get married, buy a house in the suburbs and have a few kids. And hey, man, that’s cool. Life happens. But, don’t worry about this being a trap. The trap is only how you perceive “growing up.” Just because you’re leaving your 20’s doesn’t mean you have to get boring. But it does mean you have to adjust some things, like stepping up your home game.
Your girlfriend isn’t going to find the cinder-block and old skateboard shelving units as charming as you do. And it’s a safe bet you’re going to need to swap pinned-up posters for some framed prints. Then there’s the matter of adding plant-life to your abode. Finally, skip the cheap Yankee Candle crap for locally hand-poured wax. While this will require you to shell out the coinage for some decent accessories for your place, you can do it all in one fell swoop at Pigment, both online and in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego.
I got super-bummed out when I saw the new Echo Park restoration last Summer. It is such a beautiful improvement for the city of Los Angeles, don’t get me wrong, but even with all the hard work, pain-staking hours spent, and meticulous details observed, within just a few days, many people were already treatin git like their personal trashcan, synonymous with so much of LA. I don’t understand how someone can see a bed of waterlilies and think, “My empty Cheetos snak-pak would make a nice addition.” I just don’t get it. Fuckin’ loser people. Continue Reading
There’s nothing quite like reconnecting with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time. It’s sort of like skateboarding for the first time in 10 years; your feet want to do the same thing, but your legs and knees are like, “Wait. We need to get used to this again.” You can pick up a conversation seemingly where you left off with a friend you haven’t hung out with in a decade, but obviously it’s not the same. There are now kids, wives, new jobs, new cities, new lives, etc. Then you introduce a little booze into the situation and all of a sudden, you’re both 23 again pumping quarters into the jukebox at the L&L and singing all the Jets to Brazil and Promise Ring that you can find. It just feels better and how it should be after a couple of beers and shots of well whiskey.
While this isn;t so much like the Topo Designs X Woolrich collab, the two companies definitely go together when you look at it. Both enlist classic lines and remind us of gear our dads would use then pass along to us. While Woolrich has actually been doing this for years, Topo is stepping in for a new generation to leave gear for their kids. Continue Reading
It gets cold on the beach in Autumn at night. I know how ludicrous it sounds to say that the low 60’s is cold in the Fall, being from Colorado and all, but when you get used to the heat, a small change can throw you for a loop.
But there really is nothing better than knowing you can escape the heat (unless you;re inland or Valley-locked) and get away for a nice moonlit stroll on one of your favorite beaches. Personally, I like Coronado because… it’s Coronado. But all up and down the mostly-Southern California coast is brilliant too. Here’s a little “what to wear” if you happen to get out there for that walk and to get your feet wet in the uber-chilled Pacific waters under a glowing sky that will undoubtedly make you want to write like a song or a poem or some shit.
I remember like 3 years back when I first got some TOMS. I called em “ninja shoes,” cause, man, thems things were light, sneaky, and ninja-esque. Of course, there was the factor of good accounted into the situation that got me hooked on the brand initially. And TOMS hasn’t strayed whatsoever from their mission of making the world a better place.
I was unaware until recently that the second Thursday in October World Sight Day. This is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. That’s awesome. I couldn’t imagine not being able to see the waves crash and the sun set. So anything we can do to help perhaps restore the sight of those without… that’s a step in the right direction. Continue Reading
Sure. I have made no false pretense regarding my love of my little Penny Skateboard. It;s a solid little product that is fast, gets me around this weird little place called LA, and always has people asking, “Yo man. That board like so small. They make a grownup version?” Heh. Fuck off. But anyway. The small skateboard is what kicked all this off in the first place. “Yeah ride it like a wave, maaaaaaan.”