A Continuous Lean. - Page 6

I Know You Think You Know It All.

Jun 3rd, 2015 | Categories: Books | by Michael Williams


Being good at Twitter isn’t something I would normally say about someone. Now this goes beyond understanding social media as a professional, and it’s more than being a “digital native” whatever that actually means. But when I think about Chris Black who’s new book I Know You Think You Know It All was inspired by his informative use of social media, I almost always come to the realization that this guy is just good at Twitter. Obviously Chris is good at many other things and not just some highly evolved Twitter jockey. If you know Chris in real life it is easy to see how his brand of quirkiness and humor translate so seamlessly to first Twitter’s punchy medium, but also to this humorous (and honestly, helpful) new book. I met with with Chris for a quick Q&A at one of my favorite haunts Lafayette to see if perhaps I do actually do know it all.

Michael Williams: How did this, or when did the idea for the book come about? … When did you first get the idea for something like this?

Chris Black: I didn’t have the idea, actually.  Powerhouse had the idea.

MW: Oh really?

CB: Powerhouse approached me about doing it, and I was obviously open to it.  Who doesn’t want to make a book, you know what I mean?  Especially if someone asks you.  But it was you know his, Wes from Powerhouse who’s my publisher, I think the idea stemmed from Twitter, you know.  That’s where he got the idea from.

MW: He saw your Twitter?

CB: Yeah, and him and I were friendly, and he followed me and his wife, who follows me too, and they like kinda talked about it is the story that I heard and then they asked me if I would do it, and I was like yeah man, whatever, you know.

MW: So were they thinking like you know you’re good at Twitter, obviously.  You’re a quasi social media professional.

CB: Very quasi.


Shopping Ojai | In the Field

May 29th, 2015 | Categories: California, Retail | by Michael Williams

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The little inland town of Ojai has popped up on my radar a lot over the past few years. Many of the creative folks who work for Patagonia in Ventura live up there and generally sing praise for Ojai. Word is the Malloy brothers (heros!) live on a farm in Ojai where they grow all sorts of edible earthy things when they aren’t making amazing films and commercials. If it sounds idyllic, that’s because it is.

More than that, Ojai is a town flirting with the idea of change. There seem to be a few opposing forces there in Ojai’s little inland paradise; the old guard who seem a bit more Santa Barbara, or Santa Fe for that matter, and then there’s a younger “cooler” flock of folks looking for quaint LA meets Austin, Texas vibes. It’s sort of a tale of LA hipsters versus old school hippies. There’s also (what seems like) more crystal healing in Ojai per capita than any place I’ve ever spent a weekend.

Though it’s not all just odd ball (sorry if you are into that kind of stuff) rock healing techniques in Ojai, there are definitely some interesting things worth seeing making the town a very worthy destination. There’s Bart’s Books, an incredible open air bookstore that will easily wreck an afternoon. The Ojai Rancho Inn is a sort of like what it would be like if the Ace hotel posted up in Don Draper’s motel room in Utah in the series finale of Mad Men. Ojai’s also got a few interesting shops that readers of this site would like including Summer Camp which occupies a former gas station (in the best possible way) and the standout new retail outpost In the Field. We discovered In the Field with the help of some local friends (though The New York Times had the scoop way back in November of 2014) and couldn’t have been happier to see such an excellent little desert style oasis.

The Souvenirs of War.

May 21st, 2015 | Categories: History, WWII | by ACL Editors


We’ve all heard the famous stories of soldiers who ran through Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at the close of World War Two, taking home his silverware, or Nazi banners, or even his personal photo albums. Yet, this pilfering was not unique to that one battalion, as there’s evidence of American soldiers across all ranks taking home their own personal keepsakes from the war. Most of the time these were standard battlefield ephemera – guns, badges, helmets, etc. but in Japan this desire to bring something back home actually led to the creation of a specific garment, the souvenir jacket, which soldiers would purchase from little stalls before making their way back to America.


Keeping Pratt Steampunk Since 1958.

May 15th, 2015 | Categories: Video | by Michael Williams

Just when you think every possible “content” story has already been unearthed, obsessed over and whirled around by a bunch of blogs — Dustin Cohen goes and tells the fascinating tale of Conrad Milster, Pratt Institute’s long time chief eccentric (and engineer). This brilliant story is about as interesting and touching as I have ever seen in a short little Vimeo. The take away, this man is incredible and New York certainly doesn’t make em like Conrad anymore. Much admiration both to him and Dustin for keeping things interesting around here.

In the Books | PUFSUN 2015

May 12th, 2015 | Categories: Pop Up Flea | by Michael Williams

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A visual tour of PUFSUN in NYC.

This past weekend we held the first Pop Up Flea of 2015. The event featured 40+ different brands offering up a great collection of gear for summer. From awesome swim and sportswear from Onia to Waltzing Matilda’s awesome hand-made leather sandals to all of the new 2015 novelties from TUDOR. Our spring / summer Pop Up Flea is all about discovering new brands and finding something interesting you might not have otherwise seen. With that in mind, Rancourt’s new collection of made-in-Maine sneakers (pictured below) could have been the best discovery of the weekend.

In addition to all of the commerce, Buaisou had a vat of natural Japanese indigo on-hand custom dying bags, tee shirts and all sorts of other good stuff. It’s amazing to see the process of indigo dying in person. It’s an amazing process and Buaisou is excellent at it. They also make and sell some great traditional clothing and accessories — it’s really something special.

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This weekend: Pop Up Flea NYC.

May 6th, 2015 | Categories: Pop Up Flea | by Michael Williams


This coming weekend the Pop Up Flea will be open for business in Chelsea with 40 well-made and interesting brands on offer. Join us to shop some great summertime goods from your old favorites and fresh faces. The full vendor list and details are below. Come and #ShopSmall with us Friday, Saturday and Sunday in NYC.

#PUFSUN on Instagram

123 West 18th Street (2nd Floor)
New York City

Friday, May 8th: 3pm to 8pm
Saturday, May 9th: 11am to 7pm
Sunday, May 10th: 12pm to 6pm

Free Entry. Open to the public. 


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The Greatest Generation | IWC Portugieser

May 4th, 2015 | Categories: Watches | by Michael Williams


Above, IWC’s excellent new IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days “75th Anniversary” edition.

If one were to ask me to name my list of favorite brands, inevitably IWC will be there right near the top. It’s the type of company who never stops to impress me with its combination of brains and good looks. The first real mechanical watch I ever owned was an IWC. That was a deliberate and hard fought experience. It took me five years to make it happen — a personal, career and aesthetic life challenge all-in-one. An IWC was something that I lusted after, saved for and eventually came to own. I still have that watch (Portuguese Automatic) and every time I wear it people remark how much they like it. Each time I put it on my wrist I am also reminded of the satisfaction of working hard to get something which I will own my entire life.

Needless to say considering my history, I have a deep connection with both IWC and the Portuguese family of watches. So when the news of the update to the Portuguese family (for the collection’s 75th anniversary) in January, I was a bit nervous for what was to come. Thankfully IWC didn’t disappoint and the new 2015 Portugieser collection managed to get even better. There’s a few subtle changes —smaller case diameters, adjusted case shapes— which add another level of refinement to this already stellar group of watches.


The handsome new 2015 Yacht Club has been sized down to 43.5mm.