Saturday, July 19, 2008
It's been another busy month. I've been in Chicago, Tokyo, Hong Kong, San Francisco and just got back to homebase in New York. If you feel so inclined, check the photos here.
Tokyo has leapfrogged over Copenhagen and Buenos Aires as my favorite global city. After a few recent visits, I'm starting to get a better feel for everything and can't help but be amazed at how efficiently things run. The Japanese have an incredible eye for detail -- ranging from how your coffee is presented, to general infrastructure, to the incredible new mixed-use Marunouchi development under construction around Tokyo station. Also, as anyone who's spent any time in Japan has undoubtedly seen, the city is full of incredibly innovative retail at a density I've never seen. I can't help but wonder why some of my favorites (Beams, Tomorrowland, United Arrows) haven't been exported to other markets. If you have NRT on your itinerary in the coming weeks or months, shoot me an and I'll be happy to give you some tips and insights. Also, I'd love any other ideas for my next trip.
Despite an unfortunate bout of food poisoning, Hong Kong was an inspiring experience as well. I divided my time between the chaos of Causeway Bay and the spiraling, Blade Runner-styled architecture of Central. I found it to be a city of really interesting contrasts. You could buy a pair of Tod's loafers two blocks away from open air markets where fish hearts were still beating on the table. Yet, despite this, the city runs incredibly well: a slick transport hub brings you from HKG into the Central station in around 20 minutes, and the subway system (cheap at less than a dollar a ride) is clean and reliable.
After two days turnaround in New York, I was off again to San Francisco to moderate a panel at the PSFK conference. The topic was San Francisco culture as it pertained to business, culture, and technology. I'm pleased to say it went incredibly well. Core77 had some nice things to say here.
A few things I enjoyed over the past month-- some old, some new:
Sven Weisemann- Floating Dub
Mono Junk- Channel B
The Staple Singers- Uncloudy Day
Marz- Wir Sind Hier
Benga- Diary of An Afro Warrior
The Post-American World- Fareed Zakaria
Falling Man- Don DeLillo
The Blair Years- The Alastair Campbell Diaries
Buying In- Rob Walker
Places, things or people that are great in general:
Sushi-Dai at Tsukiji fish market
IFC building in HK
Thomas and the incredible staff at the Landmark Mandarin in HK for helping coordinate a 3:30 am hospital visit for my brother. (He's now A-OK).
The view of SF from A. Rietz's balcony
Jin Ju Korean Restaurant in Chicago