I’ve run and had a clothing brand in the past however this new one I just released I believe is something special. I started this idea in late October of last year. I knew that I wanted to branch out from my old brand and do something a little different but I didn’t know how. I wanted to achieve a new aesthetic and cater more to the punk style of fashion, and that’s when the name hit me, Disgusting. I loved it and began working and creating designs every day, Ever since then I’ve done a great job of marketing my T-shirts and hoodies and they’ve been getting a lot of love on social media. One day I got bored and had some shirts on deck so I said screw it and did a little surprise drop without any marketing or telling anyone that I was going to drop, within 4 days we had already sold over our expected amount which was 15 shirts. We ended up selling 33 and I know that isn’t a lot it’s pretty good for a first release. However, we didn’t even drop our real collection yet, I ended up setting the date to February 11th and just like that the day came I opened the site and orders began piling in. It was a wild feeling seeing that 1k in my Shopify store account, and it will be a wild feeling when I see 10k. I’m very excited about the future.
Month: February 2023
My Fifa team
Throughout these last few weeks, I’ve been building a team of elite soccer players in a game called Fifa. How it works is you play games against other players with your team and as you win you complete challenges and win coins and packs. Packs hide players within them, and there are different ranks for players. For example, a really good player would be ranked gold, which is the best, followed that silver, and then the worst is bronze. This game translates to real life as well and tracks players’ stats if they are doing well throughout the season their rating will go up, however, if their skill has dropped then so will their rating on Fifa. A few of my favorite players that I have been seeking for a while are Brazilian legends such as Neymar, and Roberto Carlos. However, there has been a youngster taking the scene by storm, a young Ukrainian by the name of Mykhailo Mudryk who recently got signed by one of the most prestigious soccer clubs in the world Chelsea. I’ve been seeking his 90-rated card for a very long time.
my humble restaurant reviews
If you get a chance to visit downtown Brooklyn NY, you must go to Celestine. Walk right past those long lines at the river cafe and vinegar hill house, and check out this terrific Mediterranean restaurant. It is right next to the bridge on the river, so the view is fabulous. The food is almost as good I promise. I got the mezze platter and wild mushroom gnocchi. I don’t even like mushrooms and I licked that bowl clean. But the mezze, oh my god, it tastes like an amazing home-cooked meal. Every single sauce was wonderful. Order it, I promise you won’t regret it. 11/10
Modern Pizza feels like a New Haven staple. If you’re having pizza for the first time on the east coast, chances are that it’ll be at the famous Modern Pizza. The good news is, you have a lot of delicious options! I’d opt for their Margarita, but I’m also a huge fan of their white spinach, which is crazy because I love tomato sauce. If you have the chance, try the calzones or bruschetta if it’s in season. These are two fantastic appetizers that present a couple of unique flavors.
Cafe Boku is my mom’s favorite restaurant. I’m no expert on their health club superfood stuff but I am an acai bowl connoisseur. I’ve been to every acai restaurant in America, but Ojai’s very own Cafe Boku is the definitive best. It’s what all the cute vegan spots in Manhattan think they are. First of all, their bowls are huge. They’re like $14 and you’re getting triple what that would get you anywhere else (that usually charge like $16). I recommend ordering their plain BoKU bowl and asking for some honey. When it comes to texture and granola: smoothie proportions, Boku does it best. Even if there was no flavor, just eating the bowls would be a pleasure. Also, their blue sky parfaits are incredible, but a little pricey.
(This is Celestine, it is a total dream at night)
Arturo Sandoval III is 6’5”. His nickname is Tury, pronounced 2-D, and he has helped define what art means to me. His hands are huge, almost clumsy looking, with a set of meaty fingers at their end. He’s a party animal at heart; having crashed three different Porsches between the ages of eighteen and thirty five. And he’s probably the only person who’s gotten my parents to stay out past midnight in the last twenty years.
It would certainly be unordinary, perhaps even extraordinary, for one, at first glance, to associate him with the finer things. Once, on his way to Grand Central Market for lunch from his office in that neighborhood, he was stopped and handed money on the misconception he was homeless. His favorite T-Shirt, depicting a crocodile holding a phone and a Floridian phone number underneath, is so hole filled some might argue the validity of calling it a T-shirt at all. Despite the unrefined appearance, Tury is a master artist.
His work has been used in Miami, New York, and Hong Kong in exhibits, parades, and concerts. He is the co-founder of an art collective known as Friends With You whose pieces are anything but 2-D, often sculptures, large inflatables, and plasticine cut out collages. The message of their work revolves around kindness, positivity, and joy.
Away from his Downtown office, his garage, now converted tinker space, paradoxical to his untamed personality, is perfectly organized. In this garage, Tury made a ceramic sculpture which has been the most influential piece of art I have been privileged enough to own or consume at all.
The sculpture is a fairly simple form, it stands about a foot tall and four inches wide. The shape is a gentle—in mathematical terms—frustum of a cone, which has been subtly choked about two thirds of the way up, it has a dome top and a ring handle above that. The outside perimeter of the ring is a little smaller than a tennis ball, the inside, a little larger than a grape. The whole piece is covered in an off-white lava glaze with yellow under it. For those unfamiliar, lava glaze creates a heavily textured surface on a piece, it is often compared to how lava rock looks, but this particular example reminds me more of the surface of the moon or some other extraterrestrial object.
Since it was gifted to me, this piece has remained inspirational for a few reasons. The first, is simply that as far as a piece of art goes it is beautifully crafted. When light shines from one side of it (how it’s displayed in my room) the light wraps across the surface in such a beautiful way that it changed the way I think about how my work interacts with its environment, through texture, pattern, and color. It also does something that I think defines some of the best ceramic pieces I’ve seen: it expresses the natural form of a clay body, demonstrating the essence of the material in combination with a modern and minimalist look and aesthetic. Conceptually, much of my work revolves around attaining this dichotomy within my pieces. To make something beautifully modern without compromising the identity of the clay itself.
But, I think its biggest influence on me is that it is simply a sculpture, it has no purpose other than to be looked at, truly just a piece of art. From the time I started ceramics in fourth grade, all the way until junior year, I believed that the ceramic pieces I created needed a function. I thought throwing a cup, bowl, or vase made more sense than making a sculptural piece. It wasn’t that I didn’t see the value of a sculpture or a piece of art, rather, I did not believe myself to be an artist, and so, my job was to make utilitarian items. This piece, along with encouragement from my ceramics teacher, allowed me to understand that ceramics didn’t just have to be about making simple cups but it truly could be an outlet to express my creativity.
Despite its simple appearance this piece of art changed the way I thought about and interacted with clay forms. It defined, above all, the value of creating a ceramic piece with the sole purpose of being a work of art.
Some of my Favorite Things Recently Pt. 2
1. People watching. I love to go to the coffee roasters downtown on a Sunday afternoon, order a hot drink, and pick out a seat at the bar facing the window. It’s the perfect view from which to watch scenes of life play out before me. Old people, young people, tourists, locals, skateboarders, shoppers, artists, and school children, are all going about their day; oblivious to my pair of eyes through the glass.
2. The song “Find My Way” by Frances & Simone. I saw them play live last weekend and have been streaming their one song released on Spotify nonstop. The harmonies are so beautiful.
3. This chai peanut/almond butter my mom discovered. SO SO GOOD. The other day I made a slice of toast, slathered it on, and topped it off with granny smith slices, cinnamon, and a drizzle of caramel – Michelin Star worthy.
4. Writing poetry in the shower. I trace stanzas in the fogged-up glass of the shower door, watching my words melt away, and it feels incredibly therapeutic. Take my word for it, this is the best use of the time you have spare while waiting to rinse the conditioner out of your hair.
5. Lists! This is no new development. I’ve always loved them, especially to-do lists. They provide organization, create a routine, let me plan out my day, help me manage my time, and hold me accountable for what I said I’d do. What’s more, checking off a task makes me feel so productive. Even if a task is a small feat, my to-do lists incentivize and reward.
my recent poems
“An Old Farmer’s Smile”
The dirge of a battered life
Wrinkles his weathered face,
A life of work and little grace,
But in his eyes, there is still a fire,
And his smile is warm, like summer mires.
He surveys his earthy prize,
It speaks of love and toil and pride,
Of hard-won peace that can’t be denied,
For the dirt and sweat of his daily chore,
So when you see that farmer smile,
Take a moment, stay a while,
For his happiness is worth a fortune,
And his simple smile, a true accomplishment.
“A Bird’s Last Look”
The bird takes flight, with a weary sigh
Against a sky of blue, he soars high
His eyes take in, the world below
So much to see, he doesn’t know
Where to go, what to do
With just one life,
So he dips and dives, on graceful wing
A dance of life, a symphony to sing.
And as the sun sets in the west
The bird slows down, his time at rest
One final look, at what he’s known
Before he’s gone, and off he’s flown.
The Art of Trying New Things
There is no one I feel more sorry for than those who live life without ever branching out. Those who stick to what they know and play it safe.
I don’t know a lot about how I want to live but I do believe in trying new things. To me, it’s about discovering what life has to offer, pushing boundaries, and most importantly, growing as a person.
I have my finger in a lot of pies. I’ve dabbled in crochet, tested my skills at the piano, and even explored my artistic side through painting and ceramics. I’ve learned discipline through martial arts and ballet. I’ve challenged myself physically through volleyball, basketball, and cross country. My most recent passion has been chess. Every new experience has taught me something valuable. Whether it’s patience, perseverance, or just a new appreciation for the world around me, I’ve come out the other side a little wiser and a little better.
Trying new things can be scary, I won’t deny that. But the rewards are worth it. You might find a new hobby, a new skill, or a new friend. The point is, you can only improve yourself or find new opportunities by stepping out of your comfort zone. So don’t be afraid to try new things. Embrace this art and see where it takes you. Life is an endless canvas, and it’s up to you to paint the picture.
little spanish farmstead
The other day I saw a video documenting a woman’s year restoring an abandoned smallholding in eastern Spain all alone. She left her husband in the city to live simply in the countryside. The 4-acre property and the house had no furniture, running water, tools, or heating. And this woman, from scratch, completely transformed it into a full-fledged smallholding. Anyway, the whole video is watching this process: thrifting the furniture & decor, painting the walls, landscaping a whole garden, and doing some handiwork. She meets a whole new community of people like her and builds a big tipi outside for guests and visitors to stay.
What an incredible difference she made in just one year, and to think she went out there on her own, knowing so little, and gained all the skills she needed. She absolutely deserves all the fruits of her labor.
Now she spends her days hanging out with stray cats, gardening, building things all on her own, and raising animals, instead of working 9-5 just to get by. The energy is so positive I can’t help but think this is the way we’re meant to live: healthy, happy, eating the best food, and loving life.
Head in the Clouds
When I was little, my best friend would carpool to school together every day. Only we spent the greater portion of the car ride arguing over what we’d be doing in the car rather than actually doing anything. She wanted to listen to music, likely Katy Perry, or whatever else was playing on the radio. I, meanwhile, stubbornly insisted that I required complete silence in order to pursue my favorite activity – daydreaming.
To this day, I might still consider zoning out as one of the best pastimes. Only I don’t need dead silence anymore. I can daydream just about anytime, anywhere, in anyone’s company, and amidst any sort of noise. It’s an extraordinary talent really. At least I think so. My vision blurs out of focus, the thoughts pooled inside my head begin to unravel, and I’ve never felt more at peace.
The older I get, the less time I have to indulge in this luxury. As a junior in high school, it’s not something I can usually afford to do anymore. If I start to space out in class, I remind myself that I’ll miss the lecture; if I start to space out outside of class, I remind myself I could be studying, catching up on social media or current events, or doing something “productive.”
I wish daydreaming was considered productive because I feel like it is a form of self-care. One of the few times that I actually feel good about zoning out, is at the end of my physical therapy sessions when I do electric stimulation and am given an ice pack. It’s almost the opposite of meditation. In meditation, you try to block all internal dialogue and focus on your outside senses, and daydreaming is the vice-versa. I lay there, my back pain fading away, and my thoughts racing in.