Friday, September 29

Outfit 06.09.29.

Finally it stopped raining today. All that rain just made me tired. I'm not a farmer my man!! I don't need so much f-ing rain!!!! Even better, the temp started to lossen it's grip on the thermameter.To show my graditude for the positive change in the climate, I brought out some oldies, but goodies outfit-wise.

The t-shirt comes from a shopping excursion in Tokyo about 6 years ago. At the time I was looking at a lot of Japanese magazines. I kept seeing these simple, but boldly designed t-shirts by WWF. No...not the same organization that included Rowdy Rowdy Piper and Big John Studd. The one that tries to protect all those cute animals. It has held up well over the years...but it is getting visibly tired. It has become a second tier t-shirt sadly, but still too good for the old Queen's wear bin.

Shoes. Got these in Tokyo on a different trip. Maybe 5 years ago. I got them at Field in Shinjuku...the old location if it matters to anyone. I clearly remember that I was having a serious problem finding a pair of kix to get before returning to NYC. It was strange...that had not happened before...or since. But...when I did finally see these New Balance 577s, I was sure they had been waiting there just for me. The staff told me they were a Field Store exclusive. And I have yet to see them on any other knuckle head maybe its true.

I love the combo of navy and tan suede. I wore these into the ground. After some work a few weekends they look better than they have in years. They are not really flashy...but I think they are bringing it.

side note: There is a potential problem on the horizon. I am running out of kicks of my own to in the outfit showcases. Sadly, I can't buy every sneaker that I love to add to my roll ain't that deep. But saying that....there are plans for one big purchase in the very near future.

ps. Speaking of new things. If I can, I would love to get my hands on these....but I'm afraid it might be too big of a stretch! A brotha can dream....can't he!?!?

[source & source]

Wednesday, September 27

Penguin 70 + a bit more...

I like short stories and I don't like them at all. I like them because they are so concise and usually give you a brief, but meaningful glimpse at a world. The best ones usually leave you with a nice punch at the end. I love that punch....I wait for it like a kid and his after dinner cookie. But I also kinda hate short stories because they make it look so damn easy. Twenty pages? I could write 20 pages. I could write that shit in a couple days. Ahhhh, but that is where I am wrong. They can write twenty great pages...I can write 20 crap pages. Damn you short story tease!!!

I have a tiny collection of these short story editions. They were released as a part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Penguin. You know, that was the logo on those classics you didn't read in high school and barely tried to read in college.

The four I have read so far have been sublime. Exactly what you want from a short story. If you can find these in your area....I would pick them up!!

ps. No outfit or nice sneaker pics today. It was raining like crazy all day. Stupid rain!

pss. In my trawling of the wide wide wide tonight I came across this fantastic overhaul.


No extra words needed. Via Jalopnik and Carscoop

Monday, September 25

Tidbits #02

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I go shopping a lot. As much as the girl next door. It is too bad actually, I almost never go to galleries or zoos, or parks, or museums. Oh well. My weekends usually consist of eating, shopping, and relaxing.

Today's shopping adventure was a big one. I decided to go all out: to Aoyama, Harajuku, and Shibuya. Maybe these are comparable to Soho, LES, and the East Village in NYC respectively. If you travel to Tokyo and you want to go shopping, this is where every guide book will tell you to go; ground zero of the street fashion world.

For Bathing Ape fans this is the center of the universe. A funny thing about Bape fanatics. They end up looking kinda silly when they all get together in their top gear. Like uniforms:


Besides that I was also able to check in at a handful of other nice shops. I saw lots of hot kicks. Nothing that forced me to hand over my cash, but nice never-the-less. I also saw some nice outfits, but again, nothing super amazing.

My outfit did get a couple of looks, but maybe it was just cause it was so ugly. Who knows? My choices for today:

Lastly, I have a shout out of sorts. I was watching the movie Brick last night on DVD. (Thanks big sis!) Not a terrible movie. I enjoyed some of it, but overall it was trying too hard for me. But I would recommend it to noir fans or people who like high school movies. Whatever, on to my point.....I was watching it the second time with the director commentary on, and low and behold, I saw something I recognized:

My brother's band Silent Drive has 2 members that are also in the band Bane. Nice people. I can't be the first person to notice this. But it was surprising non-the-less. If I was the first to I get a prize or anything? I like prizes!

ps. Again, as the eagle-eyed readers might have noticed I am starting to put some links up on the left. I am putting up the cream of the crop so far as I have found. If you think you have a better one.....let me know!


Saturday, September 23

Outfit 06.09.19. (late)

A bit slow off the blocks on this post. It is an outfit post from earlier this week. Usually I do those on the day I wear the outfit, but I was too busy with the books and the cars!! Oh well, better late than never. (I hope you will agree.)

This is an outfit that has been in my mind for a while. I am sure I have worn this particular ensemble before, but it must have been ages ago. Like 5 years ago or more the way I reckon it. Shirt first:

I bought this t-shirt on a trip to Japan many years before I moved here. I have always been into LEGO. I mean from way back in the day. I still have pics of some of my best creations. So when I started seeing LEGO clothing I about blew my stack! I was on a mission to get as much as I could. The best shop I ever found is the old Vacuum Records shop. (link to a review of the shop circa 2000) Anyways, they carried a fantastic collection of LEGO, Playmobil, Star Wars toys and clothing merchandise among other hot shit. I love this t-shirt.

Shoes: It was on my second trip to Japan in 1999 that I spotted these in a magazine. It then became the main objective of my trip to track these down. And, with some help, I was successful. I still dig these to death, with the solid red and blue suede, punched up to the next level with the 3M reflective "N" and heal. Expensive, but totally worth it.

These shoes have experienced a rebirth of sorts in the past month. It was a family wide effort; one sister to find them in the basement, another sister to box them up and airmail them to me. Props to the sisters! After a weekend of tender loving care; including cleaning, re-lacing, replacing the insoles, and bleaching the white midsoles...I have my shoes back. I’m quite pleased with the results. Although, I have been having a hard time lace-wise. I have tried two different shades of red and blue both, but I have yet to find a perfect match. Therefore, I went with the gray to accent the “N”. I think it is a real nice look.

Keep your kicks clean!

Thursday, September 21

As seen in Tokyo today...

Ok. You go out and buy a $75,000 full sized luxury sedan, great. You even have the guts to choose the more challenging design of the BMW 7 series over the plain-jane old Merc S class, wonderful. But then you do this:

Why? Who is that M badge glued to your car trying to impress? The whole point of the M badge is that it is a subtle indication of the beast of an engine you have under the bonnet. But you must know that it is not the only indication of a true M car. And anyone who cares to notice such small details of car spotting will detect your fraud in a heartbeat. Notice the differences between these two cars. Notice any differnce beween the back ends of the right or left side car???

Or how about any differnces between the side views:


It is small, but on the left in both pairs you have a standard 5 series BMW, and on the right you have the Porsche spanking M5. They are tiny differences that only a car freak would notice. Bottom line: don't stick an aftermarket M badge on you car. The only people that might be impressed...are the exact same people that will know you are faking the funk!

Again...I ask why? This is all besides the larger point that BMW never even put out a M7!

People are stupid.

ps. I have been having this internal argument for many years. By chance, the fellas @ Jalopnik had the same argument in a recent podcast. Props to them for beating me to the punch! But rest assured I didn't just steal their idea.

Tuesday, September 19

The Promise of Happiness

On my travels this past weekend I was able to enjoy some solid reading time. Reading on the train is the way to go. No doubt.

I read "The Promise of Happiness" by Justin Cartwright. I bought it mostly because of the cover. It is always said that you can't judge a book by its cover...but...I'm not so sure about that. I have some contradictory evidence. This book could be exhibit A: great cover, great book. Anyways, I liked the cover and his name sounded vaguely familiar. I might have come across his name in an issue of Arena magazine. Who knows? Whatever the reason...I'm really glad I bought it. It was so good.

It was one of those books where you get attached to the characters within a chapter or two. In this case, it is a family going through a rough patch. (Truth be told this is something I know a bit about.) Such solid and complex characters. No one is a stereotype or just there to fill a role. Each member of the family has their own issues to work through individually AND as a fully functioning member of the family unit.

They all don't make the choices that you or I would make...but at least you can understand their choice. And as the title suggests, they all take their lead from their wounded and lost father, believing in the promise of a possible happiness.

A wonderful book and wonderfully understated writer. It is easy to recommend this to anyone who has a family. And especially to those people who think there is always a chance for a better future.

Monday, September 18

Out of Tokyo

As you may or may not know I vacated the city this past weekend. I spent some time visiting some family outside of Kyoto. A nice time was had by all. And as per usual, I had some amazing food!

This slab of beef will set you back about ¥3500. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life. These pictures do not do it justice, it was huge! I tried to take a picture of it after it was done cooking, when it was all juicy, with butter melting on it. But, I had to eat it. Like NOW! It tasted like candy, melting in my mouth! I will definitely be paying that butcher a visit the next time I'm in the neighborhood.

Topic change:

So in Japan it seems there is a subculture connected to every transportation mode out there. It's great...but a bit perplexing at times as well. Do we really need souped-up Merc A class cars? How about people carriers and vans? Do we need tricked out vehicles for mom and dad to putz around the town on the weekend? Well, apparently the answer is yes. And to go along with that nonsense come these toys.

The display case was pretty snazzy. You press that button and those 4 mini-vans would slide back & forth, lights a-flashing! Just what you need to attracted the kiddies! And to top it off they had all these separate kits to make your remote control van even better. I don’t mean to knock it really, it’s just, for me have always been aspirational. I bought and wanted toys so I could imagine what it was like driving a Ford GT or flying a jet or whatever. I know that I never longed to have a van, that's for damn sure. But, hey, maybe I’m the weird one. Who knows? Irregardless!!! I was able to get a bit of enjoyment just from seeing it, so I guess it can’t be all bad.

And then, tonight we were treated to a pink sunset in Tokyo. Photos can't really match reality in some cases.

Friday, September 15


Today I bring you odds and ends. I hope they will excite and delight.

First off, it is finally cooling down in Tokyo. It was downright chilly the other day. That means I'll be able to break out my jackets soon! You know I loves me some jackets! Today finally the rain let us have a break! It was like 3 days straight. That's no business. Cause as everyone knows, you can't wear killer kix in the rain. To celebrate the sun today, I wore my new Air Stabs again. Man.....I am lovin those things. Love the purple and they are super comfortable to boot! (Way more comfortable than than my Air Max 1s.) I might even be so bold to say they are the most comfortable Air Max. But, that may be just the purple talking!

Next on the list is the hot ride I saw today. I tried to snap a picture, but it was not up to even the most relaxed of standards. Instead I bring you some professional pics of the same car.

The Ford GT. The best American supercar around. It's is so good, that even the Euro car mags can't bash it like every other American car. Way to go Ford. It proves that every once in a while, America CAN build a good car. I always loved the original racer one, especially in the old colors. The new one lives up to it's predecessor. Not an easy thing to do. How can you not love the orange and blue???


OK, enough about cars.

Since I bought the Air Stabs, I thought I could chill for a while. Save some money, buy some other things, but no....I found these are to be released in the near future. I not sure how I'm gonna swing it, but these are to....die....for:


That is all for today. I'm off to Kyoto for the long weekend. I hope it continues to be cool and dry. On a scale of 1 to 10....rain is the worst!

ps. a little Ice-T for you.

Monday, September 11

Outfit 06.09.11.

This t-shirt came from my brother. I saw him sporting this bad-ass shirt on one of my visits to my family in Boston. Now a word about my brother: he is a difficult case. I'm swear that he spends almost no time thinking about his clothes. I don’t think he buys a lot of clothes and he hates shopping. On the other hand, he does get a lot of free clothes from his band’s sponsors and friends. And over the years I have hooked him up with some nice t-shirts and shoes. But still, every time I see him he is rockin’ some ill gear. I know that he just grabs whatever is around, but clothes look good on him. It's kinda annoying actually. Anyways...he shows up wearing some Easy-E on his chest. It looked real nice. Come to find out he got it for free. I quickly demanded he hook me up with one. And he came through for me. I don't wear this one very often because it's a little hardcore for an old man like me, but I do like it a lot.

Now on to these gems. I got them this weekend. I had been keeping an eye on these through various sneaker sites, waiting for a confirmed release date. It was Saturday, but sadly I had to work. So, Sunday morning, bright & early I jumped on the train up to Mita Sneakers and picked up a pair. I was a tiny bit worried they would be sold out....but it looked like I had nothing to worry about.

These Air Stabs are part of“Nike Air You Breathe”pack. It features three designers coordinating a shoe and some matching apparel. All of the products are killing it. I was really drawn to the Air Max 360 and the wind-breaker that goes with it, but for now I am happy with my Stabs. If I can, I might pick up one of these t-shirts, but only time will tell. [more info & pics]

Purple is the new black.

ps. My ipod project is no more. I had been holding off posting more "Chronicles of the ipod" while I looked for a way to include audio clips in my posts. Of course I was still listening to a lot of tracks and being very careful not to blow it. My goal was to go through all 2300 tracks on the random setting. On Saturday night on my way home, I looked down at my ipod to see what track number I was on, thinking I would see some where around 800-900 of 2300. But no. I saw 33 0f 2300. Fiddlesticks. I must of let the battery die at some point. Extremely disappointing. I will have to look for a new way to dish out the tunes.

Trad & Tech

Japan has always offered a conflicting image: at the same time it embraces every and all new technological advance it holds the historical traditions in high regard. When considering these opposites some images come into my mind. The most obvious is this: an older woman perfectly turned out in a gorgeous kimono talking on the newest mobile phone. Every time I am confronted by this image I want to appreciate it. It is truly a sight to see.

This week I stumbled across a new poster image for the two sides of Japan.

I'm dying to know what he was doing on the Internets. I mean, I know that a monk is a person just like everyone else, but come on!!! This guy isn't out praying for something, or trying to raise money for his temple, no no no, this guy is checking on the latest events!!! Amazing!!! I was stopped dead in my tracks and had to throw it into reverse to snap a couple pics. I know they are not the greatest quality....but I had to hurry. I was scared he would notice and start yelling at me. Like, somehow I was blowing his cover. Who knows.....

Thursday, September 7

The New York Trilogy

This time I read something a bit more intellectual than my last book. I just finished it today. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. was a well written book. I'm sure it was of the highest quality. Sadly reading it was a bit less than enjoyable. I enjoyed some parts of it for sure. But I also struggled with it. I always felt like I was understanding only a fraction of what was happening. It was like looking at the ocean surface: you know that there is a LOT of stuff going on down there...but you can't make it all out. It was frustrating on that level, and I just felt not smart enough. But in addition to that, the characters made choices that hurt themselves ...over and over again. I will go through a lot of hardship with the promise or even the hope of redemption. I hate stories that just keep getting darker and darker with no hope. All three stories, or the one story with three parts, did this. It is a testament to his skill as a writer that I didn't throw the book down in despair.

All of this sounds really uncomplimentary ...I didn't hate this book. I laughed a bunch of times and there were some of the most amazing single sentences that I have ever some across. It is just that I had a hard time reading it. I am glad I finished it, and at the end a lot of stuff was being brought together. Lots of loose strings being tied off. But I still felt like I was missing a major point. That is not the best feeling to have as you finish a book. Maybe I will read it again in 10 years and be able to penetrate the mysteries. Here's to hoping!

Monday, September 4

Shopping and Lambo On the Brain

Part #1.

Another beautiful day here in Tokyo, a bit too hot for my taste....but what can you do. I went out shopping today, as I am known to do. I was out looking far and wide for shoes and clothes. I went out yonder to Chiba and then back to Tokyo to hit Ueno. I saw a lot of good stuff, but nothing forced the wallet out of my bag. This pair of classic 180s for ¥6,000 was close, as were these Air Max 03s for round ¥11,000, but these Air Stabs were by far the closest for about ¥8,500. I held back though....I'm not sure why. I hope I don't regret it.

Part #2.

Anyways, while I was out today I didn't see too many great shoes or cars. But for some reason this was the car on my brain.

It's the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. I have no idea why I was thinking about this car. Maybe my brain was trying to tell me that it was the perfect car for the day. Who knows, killer car regardless. I have seen it love in the wild a few times in Tokyo. It looks razor sharp and the sound is amazing. From all the reviews I have read, the drop top is even better than the coupe.

If that is not hardcore enough for you, try this:

I like this Hamann treatment of the Lambo. It's hitting it....but not too hard. Sometimes I really dig their tuning decisions, other times not some much. This one is spot on. I say job well done!

View Top Gear drive and review of the Gallardo Spyder here.

[image source]