It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Nalata Nalata homewares shop based in New York. I’ve found that once you decide to appreciate quality in one area (clothing for me), that this appreciation naturally tends to extend itself into other areas of your life. I’ve often referred to the Nalata shop as the “HAVEN of housewares.” I’ve ordered from them many times and have never been disappointed. So it was a delightful surprise when they announced they would be opening a physical pop-up shop in Manhattan, NY over the holiday season. For those of you in the area, be sure to check them out! Their doors open in a couple weeks time.
Team HAVEN is currently in Tokyo doing the next round of buying for SS14. While here, I’ve discovered a few indispensable items that will make your daily commute/work/stay that much easier. Most of these are readily available at the plethora of convenience stores on every street. So here they are: Daniel’s Tokyo Essentials.
Soft Bank Pocket Wifi (aka wifi egg). Get this upon landing at the Soft Bank in Narita airport. It’s probably the most essential thing on the list and will save you from ridiculous roaming rates.
iPhone 4 (yes I still use a 4) with Google Maps. Google, not Apple Maps. Download it separately from the app store. Super essential
Coin Pouch by HeadPorter. Coins are VERY useful in Japan. You’ll need them to take the train all the time. Keep them in a coin pouch so they aren’t always jingling in your pocket all day.
Daily tote by Bedwin & The Heartbreakers x HeadPorter. You will be doing A LOT of walking all day. And you don’t want to be stuck carrying around shopping bags all day if you end up buying something. Plus if you are heading to and from meetings, you’ll need something to carry your laptop or papers in.
Rainbow Boss Coffee. Actually all the Boss Coffees are delicious and are much better than the lesser brands out there. Readily available in the Boss Coffee vending machines on the street. Plus its endorsed by Tommy Lee Jones! Tommy Lee Jones don’t just lend his likeness to anything!
Asahi Beer mini can. This little baby is great for getting a nice day buzz going without taking it too far. Essential when you have a short break between meetings and need to unwind a little. Readily available at convenience stores.
Super Ukon No Chikara. Drinking with business partners is common in Japan. Take one of these babies beforehand to minimize the hangover the next day. I’ve been taking them for years and swear by them.
Pocari Sweat Ion Supply Drink. Japan’s version of Gatorade I suppose. Take this the morning after if you forgot to take an Ukon the night before. It will get you up and going in no time!
Frisk breath mints (with NexusVII frisk case). Going to meetings and pounding the pavement all day usually means you don’t have time to go back to your hotel and brush your teeth after every meal. Take some mints with you.
Calorie Mate. A nutritionally balanced source of energy. It tastes like a semi-sweet chocolate biscuit. I quite prefer it to any energy or protein bar. And the packaging is dope. If it’s good enough for Solid Snake, it’s good enough for me.
McDonald’s Shaka Shaka Chicken. Pretty much the ultimate after-bar food. It’s actually real chicken too. Not like the chicken that McDonald’s serves in North America. And it’s only 100 Yen!
Reporting from Tokyo!
The great thing about travelling to a place over and over is that you really get to know some great places to eat after awhile. If you like food as much as I do and you find yourself travelling to New York in the near future, check out these four spots. You won’t regret it.
Roberta’s (Bushwick, Brookyln)
Keep your eyes peeled for this tagged-up metal door. It’s easy to miss for sure. This place is a pizzeria/radio station. Great spot for lunch with a few people as most of their dishes are sharing plates. Make sure to order a pizza and sit on the patio if you want to check out the radio station.
Five Leaves (Brookyln)
Apparently Heath Ledger’s restaurant. I guess the story goes that before the actor died he had plans to open this restaurant in his Brooklyn neighbourhood. I’m glad they still went ahead with the plans after his passing because this place is seriously good…and healthy! I went here for breakfast with my brother before our daily meetings. But I’m willing to bet lunch and dinner are equally good. Mostly organic/vegetarian/vegan type fare. Usually those types of places SUCK, but not this one. Give it a try
Red Rooster (Harlem)
To be honest, this was the first time I’ve even ventured into Harlem. And I’m sure glad I did, because Red Rooster is not to be missed. You could describe it as a fancy southern American throwback restaurant. Think vintage prohibition-era dining and decor. Make sure to order yourself a cocktail; they’re some of the best I’ve had. And I’m into cocktails.
Freeman’s (Lower East Side, New York)
Ok, so technically this one isn’t in Harlem or Brooklyn but you should still check it out. Located in Freeman’s Alley in the Lower East Side, Freemans consists of a “Sporting” goods store, barbershop, and a restaurant. Kind of a rustic, outdoorsey vibe to the whole place. They are known for serving unique game meat and simple dishes. The food is great and not at all fancy or pretentious. And the atmosphere is worth the trip alone.
Hope you guys enjoy these spots as much as I did. God dayum, just looking at these photos makes me want to go back to New York and eat again.
I’m off to Tokyo next week for another round of exhibitions and will report back with some Tokyo eats in a bit. Until then.