Summer Wristwatch

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I have a couple of wristwatches with metal bracelets that I rotate during the cooler months. But for several reasons, I don’t enjoy wearing metal on my wrist in warmer weather.  One reason is that I sweat when it is hot outside. Feeling a metal watch sliming around on my sweaty wrist is just kind of nasty. Another is that metal watches can be heavy. In the summer months, cycling becomes my primary mode of local transportation. New York City streets are not the smoothest surfaces. Those rough streets send all kinds of vibrations up through bicycle frames. There have been instances where I received a bruise on the back of my left hand, from the spot where the crown of a metal watch was repeatedly hammering into it during my evening commute. Watches with nylon bracelets just look more summery too (in my opinion anyway). Hence, I prefer to use a lighter watch with a nylon bracelet during the warmer months.

My preferred summer watch of yore was a Nixon Sentry. Summer before last I found out the hard way that my Sentry was not waterproof. I have been looking for a replacement ever since its demise (the colorway that I like is no longer made). With the summer months again approaching, I was pretty excited to see this 1st PAT-RN collaboration with Timex show up in my reader feed this morning. It actually reminds me of the very first wristwatch that I ever owned. Gifted from my dad when I was 7 or 8 years old, it was also a Timex with an olive nylon bracelet . The watch needed to be manually wound up every morning and had the kind of glow in the dark material later determined to cause cancer, haha. The simplicity in styling and reversible nylon bracelet on this 1ST PAT-RN collab is exactly what I was looking for in a summer watch. It also happens to be extremely budget friendly. Needless to say, I snatched one up immediately. Unfortunately it ships from Northern Ireland, so I still have have to wait a few days to try it on. They are available for purchase here.

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SRAM’s Super Bike Friendly Office in Chi Town

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Even thought I don’t consider myself a hardcore cyclist (I don’t own any spandex), I do appreciate the culture. Of course there are a lot of aspects about it that can rub people the wrong way. Despite one’s opinion about cycling culture, I think that most could agree that SRAM’s office in Chicago (by Perkins + Will) looks like a pretty amazing space to work. It seems to be a true marriage of form and function. Video tour below, or more looks here.

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De La Weekend (Armory Week Edition)

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It was Armory week in NYC. I didn’t actually go to the Armory show this year. Nor did I go to Scope or Pulse, which I have really liked in past years. I did, however, go to Art of Paper for the first time ever. Mostly I went because it was at Pier 36, which is walkable from our apt. There was some decent work. Nothing blew me away. I have included images of a few of my favorites.

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The light was very nice when we left. Here are some snaps from the walk home along the East River.

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Lastly, I borrowed this old 35mm beaut (below) from my amigo over the weekend. I bought a bunch of film on Amazon today. Should be loaded up ready to snap by the end of the week. Very excited about it.

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Roland Sands KH9 Pani

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I have seen a lot of super customized Panigales. The Roland Sands KH9 probably one of the most unique to date, IMO (besides this one). It seems like the custom bikes that Roland Sands puts out usually steer clear of the sport bike genre. But with this bike, it is clear that even a sport model customized by RS is left dripping in style. Their client apparently has a drag race car, which they styled the bike after. According to the RS blog, they also took some inspo from one of the Jeff Koons BMW art cars. Even though this isn’t my personal taste, I have to admit that it is a beautiful work of art. More looks on the RS blog.

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“Maker” Videos

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I had a good laugh about this one. Core77, rounded up some of the latest vintage of parody “Maker” videos. They summed up things when they contrasted the helpful and informative variety of instructional videos against a possibly more pretentious less helpful type of the genre, saying:

But there’s another breed of maker videos, often on Vimeo, that we think of as “I’m a Maker, and Here’s My Story” spots. You know the type: They start with piano chords, dolly shots of dusty workbenches, a voiceover. These videos can excel when they reveal an uncommon craft like Ben Harris’ traditional boat building, or they strike a chord with Core77 readers for featuring an industrial designer who quit the profession in order to build things, like Ben Cramp. But other times they can devolve into overly-romanticized studies in well-worn tropes.

The flannel on flannel and father who leaves to join the pro bowling tour really struck a chord with me. Watch below:

De La Weekend (Springtime in Feb Edition)

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Sunday was one of those few days that I was able to talk B into a quick portrait session. The weather was super warm for February, and the afternoon light was awesome. We were shooting with the 50mm f/1.2L, wide open. I love the way that it naturally vignettes. Buttery.

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De La Weekend (Super X Gonz Edition)

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We hit a little Soiree Friday night at the Super store on Howard. The event was for the launch of custom model of sunnies designed by skateboarding legend Mark Gonzales. He was there autographing copies of a ‘zine that he published in connection with the event. A bunch of our friends were also in attendance. I brought along the range finder and got a few snaps. Made for quite an enjoyable evening.

A pretty funny story (possibly only funny to me) about my first encounter with the Gonz: Tenish years ago, I used to frequent the skate park in Riverside Park. It was the only public park on the island with a (barely) vert ramp. One Saturday morning I arrived at the park right as it had opened. The only thing required for admission was to have a helmet with you, and sign your name on a piece of paper. An NYC Parks worker was the gatekeeper. I picked up the pen to sign in, and noticed that I would be number 2 on the list, right below “Mark Gonzales.” Assuming that some punk kid had signed in as the Gonz, I snickered to myself and for a split moment considered signing “Tony Hawk” or something instead of writing my real name. When I walked up the stairs onto the deck of the halfpipe, Gonz was up there. I remember him wearing bright green corduroy pants and no pads. We skated together for like 2 hours. It is probably my most memorable session that I ever had on that ramp.

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Probably my favorite shot of the night (below).

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And one flick from Saturday:

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De La Weekend (Below Freezing Edition)

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It felt like winter, over the weekend. I don’t believe that the temperature managed to get above freezing. It is generally pretty quiet on weekend mornings in FiDi even when the weather is nice. Add in some arctic temperatures, and it turns into a ghost town. Mostly I just wanted to post the photo of these two cuties all bundled up on Lola’s Saturday morning walk.

Bike Rack and Bench Built the Old Fashioned Way (from scratch)

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Anyone will tell you that keeping a bike in a NYC apartment can be kind of tricky. They have such awkward dimensions that it seems like they are always in the way. Two bikes? Forget it. There are a lot of options for hanging bikes. Most of them are fairly unsightly (i.e. a large vinyl covered hook that screws into the wall or ceiling). Have also seen people use those tension rod racks. They seem really good from the perspective that they don’t require putting any holes in the wall/ceiling, but in my opinion are more fit for a dorm room than an apartment occupied by two gainfully employed adults. I have been trying to figure out a solution that isn’t hideous, basically since last August when we moved into this place. There are a lot of cool wooden shelf/racks that mount on the wall. But I wasn’t super keen on getting two separate racks. Also, the ones that I liked the most seemed pretty pricey for something that I could make by myself if I had the stuff and time.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a relatively minor surgical procedure on my ankle that severely limited my ability to get around for the short term. I decided to take advantage of the extra time that I would be spending stuck inside of my apartment, and broke out the power tools. I took some measurements and sketched out a quick design for a rack that would support most its own weight, and hold two bikes. I made a list of lumber, and my GF drove us to Home Depot to pick up supplies. I cut all of the parts and assembled the rack in an afternoon. I should mention that we also built a bench. More on that in a bit. We spent the next couple of days sanding, painting and staining. As a finishing touch, I added raw leather to leading edge of the wood that receives the bike frame. It isn’t perfect. But I really like it. I have posted the plans/instructions here, for anyone who would like to build their own.

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Couldn’t help but include Lola in a couple of the shots.

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The bench is basically the same story. My GF was looking at some benches on one of those super hipstery looking furniture websites and saw a bench made from reclaimed pirate ship wood or some BS like that. The makers were asking $500+ for the bench. Again, something that could be so easily built if I had the lumber and 20 minutes to spare. The bench is made from an 8′ 2×8 that I cut in half and joined with bevel cut 2x4s (if I did it again I would probably use 2x2s instead). The hairpin legs were purchased from some dude in Philly who makes them and sells them on Etsy. We stained the pine with a walnut stain. Boom– reclaimed/upcycled pirate ship hipster wood!

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More Lola

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