Feel The Heat

Kit is a really cool way to discover and learn about products that exist around the world.  It comes out of Expa, who seems to be producing some really nice stuff lately. I'm a big fan of Reserve, Spot, and Kit. It's not only the products themselves, but the simple, yet bold design, that really stands out, unified across Expa's companies. I love the unique character that makes each company stand out, the branding and design is really well thought out and executed.  

Read this great review to learn more about Kit, and learn about the products I use to spice up my life, and food with my "Spice Kit" below.   You can follow me on kit as well at http://kit.com/christian

App Review: Coffee

Coffee is a thoughtfully designed iPhone app for coffee lovers that not only shows you where to get coffee in select cities, but also includes beautiful photographs.

Good design & coffee go hand-in-hand for me. Sure, a coffee shop that is cluttered, messy, and not clean is not appealing, but if they are known for making a great coffee, it won't keep me away.  But lets be honest, that is rarely the case with great coffee, because good Baristas, Managers, and Owners know that this is just as important as serving a great brew. 

I don't need a coffee app. I have Foursquare, Spot and I am crazy about coffee, and put a lot of effort into knowing where to get coffee in both New York City, and in cities I am traveling to. In fact, when I'm traveling, knowing where to get good coffee is the first thing I research. However, sometimes knowing too much and having so many choices can cause decision anxiety. This Coffee app is so clean, simple, and does exactly what it needs to with no bells and whistles that I just had to check it out. So here's short review to share with you.

When you open the app, you see a list of coffee shops in your current city, sorted by nearby to furthest away, along with micro icons on the right side, identifying core features of the coffee shop. Places in Bold are the founder's Eva and Stefan's top picks. You can toggle between list and map view. 

Selecting a place from the list will open up a detailed screen for that coffee shop, which displays only the information you really need to know. Name of Shop, Neighborhood, Estimated Walk Time, an option to Share and Get Directions,  and a few beautiful photographs.

Micro Icons identify core features of the shop, such as:

  • Free Wifi
  • Food
  • Alternate Brewing Methods Available
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • as well as if the shop is New

There is a good selection of cities to start off, and an option suggest new ones via the settings screen. The iTunes profile for the app mentions there are in-app purchases, where it costs $1.99 for additional cities, but when I open the app, those cities are included. My guess is that the in-app purchases were removed, and this just needs to be updated.

Overall, I think this is a really great app. It serves a single purpose, and does it well. 

If you love coffee, and more importantly, if you also enjoy photography and good design, and don't mind spending $3.99 then I would highly recommend checking it out. 

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Bonus: Eva & Stefan also have some well curated city guides on their site, Trotter Mag

 

Beach Life

Last weekend we headed out west for a long weekend in LA.  I'm not much a fan of suburban LA, but the beach towns are incredible.  

Here are a few shots from Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach.

Snapshots in the snow

After reading some great reviews, I recently picked up a Ricoh GRII to have as a carry-everywhere pocket camera.  

I took a few shots when it snowed a couple of weeks ago, here are a few images I thought I would share. 

 


What I'm Watching on YouTube

Since YouTube launched in 2005, just barely over 10 years ago, it's been the de-facto home of video content on the internet. It's been the single best platform for so many people to publish their videos and share their stories, or make people laugh, or educate and so much more. 

I've always loved finding and watching videos on YouTube, but lately I feel like YouTube is entering another era thats surging with high quality content.  I want to share what I'm watching, because to me, this content is more interesting than most commercial/main stream TV being released. 

Gary Vaynerchuk

https://www.youtube.com/user/GaryVaynerchuk

The cursing, the intensity, and the all out hustle. Gary defines what it takes to be successful. He is the social media king. His videos will leave you hungry and motivated. 

From Wine Library TV to his new VLOG style youtube series, The Daily Vee, where Gary brings the camera into his daily life to show you just how hard he hustles. Can you say, #Earningit ?

DailyVee:  http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfA33-E9P7FA-A72QKBw3noWuQbaVXqSD

The #AskGaryVee Show: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfA33-E9P7FC0AoARnMLvgFgESJe4_Ngs

Casey Neistat

https://www.youtube.com/user/caseyneistat

Casey Neistat has been making movies and telling stories for a good part of his life, but you may have only recently learned about him as he just recently decided to focus on creating content on YouTube, through the means of a daily VLOG. Along with several hit viral videos, including his latest, "SNOWBOARDING WITH THE NYPD" , he would be hard to miss.

Casey also founded and runs Beme,  a mobile video app which lets you share video "honestly". That is, no display to see what you're filming, and no opportunity to edit.  

Possessing some of the same traits as Gary Vaynerchuk, Casey is a high output, intense individual who hustles day in and day out. 

If youre one of the few who has not heard of him or seen his videos, go check him out now.  

Others

Chase Jarvis

https://www.youtube.com/user/achaser123

VICE

 https://youtube.com/user/vice

Eater

https://www.youtube.com/eater

 

I hope you enjoy these if you didn't already know about them. 

Let me know in the comments what you're watching, and if theres anything you think I should be checking out. 

 

Thanks for your attention

-ck

 

 

Thanks, Jonas.

I have a love/hate relationship with snow. 

It's cold, wet, you have to really prepare yourself when going outside, but damn, it also makes things really beautiful. 

On Friday night as we watched Netflix, patiently waiting for the storm to get underway in manhattan,  I found myself in bed before the snow really began to fall, which meant I'd be waking up to a winder wonderland. 

We woke up to snow stacked up on our window sills, and on-top of the air conditioner, falling fast with strong winds gusting and blowing it all around. After a fresh coffee and some breakfast, It would be time to mentally prepare to go outside and take some photos. 

New York City is already one of the most amazing and beautiful cities in the world, and when you fill it with snow, and a slight emptiness than is rarely ever seen, it becomes even more amazing. 

The first trip was to walk through our neighborhood to the park (Washington Square) and gauge what would be next depending on the conditions outside. 

A Snow Covered Washington Square Park

It was everything I had imagined, while there were a bunch of people out (this is New York city after-all) the sometimes quiet and empty areas of the city shined, covered in fresh snow, untouched, or otherwise with a few footprints that would soon be covered by more snow, looked and felt surreal. 

 

Empty Paths in a snow covered Washington Square Park

A true winter wonderland. Washington Square Park is one of the magical places in New York City, where life can really be noticed amongst the environment in front of you. 

The Arch

Everyone sees something to capture

From here, we took a stroll down 5th avenue and headed back home. 

I would later come back out and attempt to hike downtown or even to times square, as I thought there would be some really cool shots to take there, but after walking a few blocks in the intense wind and snow, I made it only a few blocks before turning around, picking up a 6 pack of beer and heading home. 

Broadway

Thanks, Jonas. 

Until Next time. 

-ck

2016 Goals: 5 Things I Want to do this Year

Everyone should have goals, long term, short term, immediate, it doesn't matter. I think this is very important for personal as well as professional development,  

One of my goals is to start blogging. I've tried so many times in the past, cycled through so many domains, numerous platforms and a number of "This is My First..." posts. There are a few topics I have in mind that I would like to try and write about, so I'm not sure where this will end up, and how many people will enjoy it, so I'm just going to try to get into the habit of writing first, then worry about shaping the direction of the blog later.  The 4-5 things I know i will write about are Photography, Internet Infrastructure/Technology, Coffee, and New York City.  With that, lets move on to the short list of goals I want to set for myself for the upcoming year. 

What I want to do more of or start doing

1. Read 1 Book a month 

2. Incorporate Meditation into Daily Routine

3. Digital De-clutter. 1 Screen of apps, Use iphone less, Remove Facebook app

4. Take More Photographs 

5.  Be more positive

I dont think this list should be too hard to tackle, and the results should surely be positive. I'll be sure to try and write about my progress. 

Be sure to follow me on twitter for more real-time updates and conversation, and instagram and tumblr to see all the photos I post.

Happy 2016 to everyone

Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 Black Chrome

Since getting into photography, my first lens ever was a 50mm. I made a commitment to myself to only shoot that single prime lens for 1yr, as I entered, what would later become one of the best hobbies I've ever had. Shooting a 50mm prime lens allowed me to slow down and get to know my lens and not become obsessed with gear, or worrying about other lenses. This is the first best decision I will have made, since getting into photography. One lens, One year. 

I was shooting with a Sony A7 and quickly became annoyed with Sony's short release cycle, meaning short after I picked up my A7, the A7II was announced. I had been using an adapter for M-Mount lenses on the A7, and had a Voigtlander Nokton 50mm 1.5, and soon after purchased a Leica Summicron 50mm f/2.

I was talking to a friend while in Fukuoka, Japan, and he had a Leica M 240. I held it, shot it, and fell in love with it. I loved the concept of a rangefinder, the quality build of the Leica M, and the simplistic minimal design.  The fact it created a bit more challenge when shooting was really one thing I valued. No auto-focus, no cheating. 

I learned about Ken Hansen from reading Steve Huff. (Thanks Steve!) and I made the switch to the Leica M System in April 2015 after speaking with Ken Hansen, and eventually meeting him in NYC to pickup my slightly used M-P. 

Fast forward to around March 2015, when Leica announced two new special edition lenses. The Summilux 35mm and 50mm Black Chrome. They took an amazing lens, and made it more amazing with a few small aesthetic tweaks. It was expensive, and it looked great, but I didn't have to have it. That is until the same friend with the M240 picked one up at Leica Store in Los Angeles and raved about. I trust his opinion and judgment when it comes to photography, so I did some more research, stopped in the Leica Store Soho, and got on the waiting list. 

I was 3rd in line, with no hope in sight. I started calling all the Leica store's around, and finally hit the jackpot when contacting the Leica Store Washington DC.  

I received the lens towards the end of may, began shooting with it, and have barely removed it from my camera, aside from occasionally to clean.

It's a solid lens, with perfect weight, its clean lines and red lettering make it a perfect fit with my M-P. The focusing is so smooth, and as fast as it is, can actually be difficult to nail those super sharp images wide open. 

I'm not going to go through the technical details or engineering of this lens, as plenty of that has been done, since this is really just a special edition of the Summilux 50mm f/1.2 ASPH. It feels great

I don't know how hard they are to find now, since only 500 of each the 50mm and 35mm were produced, but if you ever have the opportunity and means to pick one up, and you love 50mm lenses, don't event hesitate, just get it.