I walked out of my hotel this morning with both my belt undone and my fly down. Ready to conquer the day.
Taking a small break from gallery hopping, I spent my third of five days in NYC in search of new clothing and delicious food. I was not disappointed.
Googling "Best Breakfast in New York" yields about 5,000,000,000 results, so I simply opened Maps and searched "Breakfast", and selected that which was in closest proximity. It just so happens there's a cute little spot called Penelope's right around the corner from where I'm staying. Eating somewhere with an old fashioned female name is a failsafe way to a good breakfast spot: Penelope's, Lucy's, Sophies etc.
General rule of thumb: if it has a lineup, it's for good reason. Penelope's was great. Delicious mocha, the chorizo and egg breakfast sandwich (below) was just the right portion. That's another thing that has surprised me so far; I have yet to have what is widely considered "American sized" portions. If anything, everything has been smaller than what you get back home.
(the disco ball is a nice touch)
My trusty New Balance runners have walked many of miles over the last two days, so it was time I found them some back up. I wandered my way towards Broadway, where every other cross street was a name made famous by Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, and many others.
Broadway hosts an impressive variety of fashion-forward boutiques, both big box and NY exclusive. This is where I need to spend my time, and money, especially if I want to be like Fonzie (and what's Fonzie like, Yolanda? Cool).
Any skateboarder past or present will tell you that the seminal skateshop in New York, and maybe even the world, would be Supreme. When I arrived at 274 Lafayette street, I was surprised to see an entourage of security guards/bouncers, and a lineup almost down the entire block, eagerly waiting to step into the 500 square foot retail store. Keep in mind, this was half an hour before they opened, on a Monday.
After realizing that I'm way too old to justifiably wear anything from Supreme, I walked out the store empty handed on route to my next destination when I noticed a familiar silhouette.
Context: ever since I first heard "Betterman" by Pearl Jam back in 1994, I became a mega fan, having seen them 13 times (if you include solo shows). I know every lyric, I know every drum beat, Christ, I know their shoe sizes. So when I saw this guy standing with his back towards the Supreme lineup, I knew who it was and had to go say hello.
"Jeff, I'm excited to see you guys tonight" I said, withholding my giddiness. This was Jeff Ament, bassist and founding member of Pearl Jam, and the very band that I flew 4,700 km's for, Temple of the Dog. He was super genuine, took off his glasses when he spoke with me, and we chatted for a minute or so before I felt like letting him get on with his day. He is a skateboarding fan much like myself, and also over the age of 21, so he probably similarly felt that Supreme was out of his league. Like I've said before, I'm not one to take selfies, but I asked if he would take a picture with me, and he said yes. This was a pretty cool moment, one that may take some time to sink in.
After that interaction, I most certainly had a little hop in my step. I suddenly forgot what the hell I was doing for the rest of the afternoon, so I regrouped and Googled my way to Kith.
If you are a man, and you want to own a cool pair of shoes, you have to visit Kith. Having spent the majority of my working life in retail, Kith has raised the bar with creating a unique customer experience unlike anywhere I've ever been before. The staff are clearly encouraged to show their personalities. While you wait to get a custom-designed Kith sweater or t-shirt, you can grab a cereal-themed milkshake. Sticking with my pledge to purchase ethically manufactured clothing and shoes, I picked up a pair of Filling Pieces sneakers, handmade in Portugal.
In keeping with the tradition of posting photos of my dinner, here is an obligatory photo of my authentic Italian Mozzarella and Sausage pizza.
I can't really put down in words what my experience was like at the Temple of the Dog show. All I will say is it is amazing to think that a band that technically never existed in the first place, and only released 10 songs 25 years ago, and has never performed those songs live before, can sell out Madison Square Garden in minutes.
But like I've said before, this was the soundtrack to my childhood, and still remains in heavy rotation to this day. For the 25,000 or so people packed in MSG tonight, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
It was an honour to watch Jeff, Stone, Chris, Matt, and Mike pay tribute to Andy Wood.