New York. Los Angeles. London. Paris. Shanghai. Tokyo.

What do all these places have in common? Not sure really.


I split my time catching up with old friends and wandering around parts of the city by myself, from the industrial areas of Brooklyn to the busy streets of Soho and its tryhard influencers. While neither of these places were uncharted territory for me, walking through the bustling city grid and navigating the robust MTA network was a nice departure from the comparatively barebones infrastructure of downtown Seattle. While I’d drop by Saina’s office for the occasional midday meetup and lunch, most of my guiding stars were based off the general direction of interesting architecture, boutique shops, and recommended cafes per the Internet, of course.

Cafe List, chonologically:

  • CaféCafé (Thank you Josh) - Soho
  • Black Fox Coffee - Financial District
  • Voyager Espresso - Fulton Street Subway
  • Grace Street Coffee - Koreatown
  • Sey Coffee - East Williamsburg
  • Box Kite Coffee - Upper West Side
  • +A few other chain coffee places for a cheap hit of caffeine

Conclusion: While my preferences lean towards pour overs and the fruity light roasts of African coffees, New York is still an amazing coffee city with options on options nonetheless. From the cash only bodega coffees to the high-brow specialty roasters to the corporate Blue Bottles and Starbucks, there’s something for every coffee drinker. Personally, my experiences lead to Sey coming out on top (albeit with a higher price tag -$6 for the Ethiopian) followed by Black Fox and Box Kite. Voyager came as a disappointment possibly because I only visited after seeing the supposedly spaceship-like interior in a design blog, though I did get a free cookie  since they were near closing time.

mmmMMmwhatcha SeeEEey

While I don’t consider traveling to be a hobby nor a personality trait, it is something I truly enjoy as I’ve moved around and traveled quite a bit in my short years on this earth. The transition from sightseeing to simply slowing down to enjoy the time - whether by means of reconnecting with friends or savoring a few delicious meals - has been a welcome one in my travel preferences. Of course there’s a time to indulge in high adrenaline vacation thrills, but this trip was certainly one of R&R. Til next time.

On a side note, while my previous trips to the city had always been in the heat of late August, my PTO came at a relatively mild stretch of cloudy and somewhat humid weather, not much different than the weather we had been experiencing in Seattle. This weather, paired with my ever growing interest in technical gear and clothing, created the perfect opportunity to put my newfound “high-quality mnmlst essentials” ethos to the test. I was able to condense my 5 day pack into one 20L North Face backpack and a 34L Carhartt duffel. A stop by the DSPTCH store resulted in the purchase of a Dyneema Musette, an ultralightweight and water resistant material that packs perfectly flat - perfect for daily EDC.

If you’ve gotten this far, I’m sure you’re wondering why would you even bring this up Aaron this is so dumb no one cares about what’s in your man purse. To that I say yes, but it won’t be dumb when you don’t have a tactical spork to pry out that last bit of spam during the impending apocalypse will it you idiot.

please don’t mug me

Also I went to the wrong airport for my departure flight but made it to JFK from EWR in record time. Lesson learned.

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