A Week in NYC

It’s been a minute since we hit New York solely for an editorial run, but after a few weeks of planning, we decided to hit the road. So one cold-ass January Sunday, Greg Washington (Creative Director), Paolo Azarraga (Photographer) and I (writer guy) packed up and headed for the city of dreams.

Our friends at Honda graciously offered an opportunity to experience the 2013 Acura RDX and with more than 1,500 KM to and from NYC, this seemed liked the perfect time to test this bad boy out.

With an estimated 8 1/2 hour drive to get to NYC, we left super early to ensure we got there at a respectable time.

For the most part, winter in Toronto hadn’t been as severe as years past, but sure enough, when we reached the highway, Mother Nature decided to pay us a visit and remind us all who actually runs the show. Although this photo doesn’t do it justice, believe me when I tell you, the wind was pretty damn strong, and the snow was all over the place. Shout out to Acura for weathering the storm.

The Acura RDX got us far without having to stop at a gas station, but by the time we reached Syracuse it was time to re-up the tank. What you can’t tell from this picture was how cold it was outside. It was so windy that one of the garbage bins flew across the freeway. Unfortunately, we brought the weather from Canada with us. Brick City.

Locked and loaded. Respect to XM Satellite radio.

The drive up to the city never gets old and seeing a hint of NYC’s famous buildings is something you can never get tired of.

Almost 9 hours later, we finally made it.

On our first night in the city, we settled at the Ace Hotel where they personally invited us to stay at their quarters.

Located in midtown Manhattan, their lobby is a terrific spot to catch a drink, read a book or get lost in your computer. What’s better, is that the Ace Hotel encourages local neighborhood folks to come in and hang out. Are you not a guest, but in need of Internet? No problem, the folks at Ace Hotel offer Wi-Fi, free of charge.

The attention to detail is what makes the Ace Hotel dope. From the artwork, typography, to the fixtures, it’s all consistent and plays well off the brand.

When we got there, we cracked open a bottle of whiskey and toasted to, well, making it there alive.

No, this photo wasn’t planned. It just so happened Greg had a camera handy and precisely at the time we brought our glasses together for a toast… and his finger just happened to be on the trigger. All natural, bro. It’s worth mentioning that Paolo has a tendency to bite his bottom lip in photos. From the looks of it, he went in on this one. Your move, ladies.

What’s a recap without your cool-guy-boy-band shot? Yours truly with my main man, Jeedub. Been in the trenches with this guy for 7 years now and nothing pushes us harder than dropping dope shit on Inqmind.

Whenever we’re in the city, we’re always on our grind and having free time is usually not the case, but not this night. So what better way to enjoy the short time we had than by hitting up Times Square. From the looks of it, clearly Sunday is not the day of rest.

“Catch me if you can.” – NYC cab driver to customer trying to fetch a ride to Brooklyn

What’s he shooting? Is it a bird, is it a plane?

Well, actually…it’s my Asian mug mobbin’ the screen in Times Square. Sincere apology goes out to the lady I’m crushing. Deeper apologies goes out to the lady on my right who looks unimpressed.

(Sir) Lady Liberty counting her stack. Get that paper, Big L.

I’m up early in the morning, doing this for y’all. Don’t read too much into the open bottle of Jack Daniel’s. The cap was left off from the night before. You believe me, right?

Our first day at work brought us to the studio of menswear designer Robert Geller. He shared with us some humbling words of coming up in a cut-throat industry and walked us through his F/W 2013 collection. Let me tell you, he has some goodies coming up this year and you may want to start saving some of your money. Just saying.

The greatest part of working on Inqmind is the people that we connect with on a daily basis. A few years ago, a Ryerson University fashion major by the name of Brittany Elliott interned for us. She is now kicking ass at ZOI Agency in NYC, but before she moved, she put us in line with another Toronto native, Mayan Rajendran. He worked for the ‘beast and is now flexing his muscles helping us create some dope content. This is his, “I’m f*cking around face.” Generally he is stuntin’ like this.

While walking by a street corner in the city, these guys stopped us and motioned to take a photo of them. They then threw up some gang signs and yelled out “East New York!” Shout out to the fur jacket. Bigger shout out goes out to PETA.

Before the day ended, we stopped by to visit our pals at Cool Hunting where we met with founding partner Evan Orenstenand account manager Emily Brickner.

Prepping up for day 2… ergonomically (in)correct. In case you were wondering, on day 2 we transplanted ourselves to Aloft Hotel in Brooklyn, where we’re guests of this self-service hotel.

Yes, even Mr. Washington takes selfies. But his selfies are shot with a Nikon DSLR. Fuck your iPhone.

Day 2 brought us to the home of fellow Canadian, Brendan Fallis. Mad props for scoring an NYC pad with a backyard. Bawsin’.

Shout out to Mayan’s diabolical laugh, and my pearly whites.

Don’t let those taxidermy animals fool you, Brendan Fallis (DJ/Entrepreneur/Manager) is a downright super nice guy. What do you expect, dude is Canadian!

Respect to the framed photo of Chief Keef hanging at the bottom of the stairs.

Geno Sims (A$AP Mob, Strategic Manager) hit us up a few months back and showed Inqmind some love. We were going back and forth about doing a piece on A$AP Mob, so it was dope to finally make this happen.

We met up at the Mob’s stomping grounds in Harlem, which they then pointed out to us that this was the same location where A$AP Rocky’s “Purple Swag” was recorded.

Shout out to A$AP Illz, A$AP Ferg, and the entire crew for showing us love. They’re a bunch of hard workers and good people, no doubt.

Later that night we met with our dev wizard, Karl Stanton. This is the man behind the back-end architecture of Inqmind, and he is the brains behind the build-out of our engine. He was actually a reader of the magazine from way back, like 2005. It was in 2010 when we eventually connected during our search for an NY cameraman (shout out to Dale Coachman), and since then, he has been maintaining the oil in Inqmind’s engine. Coding (and scotch) is his dirty little secret and the big homie is mean with it. Inqmind wouldn’t be what it is today without this guy. He’s another reason why Aussie’s kick ass!

Last year on January 24th, we relaunched the Inquiringmind brand. To celebrate our one year anniversary, we quietly raised a few glasses at the local pub. Respect to NYC’s version of a double whiskey on the rocks (right).

Due to all the fashion trade shows happening that week, a lot of buyers were in the city, including our friends from Toronto menswear shop, Nomad. Later that evening, a few of the fellas went for some wings and beer. Although, I’m still not sure if that is a wing or a drumstick. We’re still waiting on the results from the laboratory.

The next day we headed to the Behance office. Behance is a social platform geared toward the creative community, with the intent to connect their work with people and brands, worldwide. We’ve been pals with the folks at Behance for quite some time now and made it a point to make a pit-stop at their headquarters. Besides being an awesome group of people, they are doing some neat things in the creative industry. Since 2006, their elusive goal has always been to organize the creative world.

Sticking to the core of that mission is the former Behance President and co-founder, Scott Belsky. He was featured in Fast Company’s “Top 100 Creative People in Business” and most recently merged his company with Adobe. He now serves as Adobe’s VP of Community, where Behance will play an important role in Adobe’s Social Strategy.

On our last day in the city, we had to hit up La Esquina for some good ol’ spanish grub…

…where we just happened to bump into one of New York’s legendary street photographers Ricky Powell.

Afterwards, we headed to Soho to speak with film director Jake Davis, who just happend to be repping the 416 Dream Crew.

Pictured here is us chatting with Jake’s manager, Chris Black. Besides managing Mr. Davis and a slew of other projects, Black also runs a kick-ass Twitter feed that links the most intriguing articles on the Web and probably blows 99.99% of other Twitter accounts out there. If you don’t know, well… follow.

We also chatted with Ronnie Fieg and Sam Ben-Avraham. Together, they form the duo behind sneaker emporium Kith NYC. After chatting with these two, I’ve realized how much the feeling of obsession plays into Fieg’s work and how Avraham’s belief in Fieg creates for a successful operation.

Our last meeting was with Queens hip hop crew, Worlds Fair. These guys bring a unique angle to the table. Comprised of 10 emcees, they’re a mix of a new school style and 90s east coast hip hop. Trust us when we say this: they are dope and all around good people. One of the most enjoyable interviews we have done. Make sure to look out for more from them in the coming months. Big shout out to Dana for opening up her doors for us!

Although our NYC trip was just about over, that didn’t mean we couldn’t stop by Schott NYC’s factory in New Jersey. Our pal, Jennifer, kindly offered some time to talk with some folks within the company. 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of Schott, and you can expect some exciting stuff from this iconic company throughout the year.

Shortly after our stop at Schott’s factory, we made the long drive back to Toronto. We have a lot of neat things planned, so we look forward to doing what we love–creating content for you to enjoy in our little corner of the Web. Keep your eyes peeled, it’s gonna get fun.