I’ve always been a complete nutcase about sneakers, and somehow I managed to birth a sneakerhead who, at this point, has completely exceeded my obsession with them. So, whenever he does something amazing, going to Stadium Goods is the reward - that’s the prize. The cool thing about Stadium Goods is you’re walking in there thinking, “what can we find today?” It’s not like you’re going in there with expectations - that makes the whole experience so much more interesting. Additionally, this guy outgrows sneakers every 30 days so it’s also a good place to unload some of those. He’s at that age. It’s always interesting to see what he chooses versus what I pick out for myself.
The other thing is, while I do know the owners really well, Stadium Goods is a cool enough experience that we’ll stop by whether they’re there or not. I love it. It’s near the station, too, so the convenience helps.
Man, Añejo. I fell in love with that place at their first location on the west side in the 40s. The first time I was there was because I had a meeting with one of the guys - the head chef - and then I just kept going back! By myself, with my family, my friends...Añejo feels like a local bar but the food and drinks are just a step up. The vibes were good, the music was good - I don’t know, I’m sitting there drinking a jalapeño margarita, listening to Marc Anthony, eating guacamole with pomegranate seeds in it - it’s all hitting.
So, I wind up becoming friends with the guy and end up doing a book with him later, so when he opened the Tribeca location I kind of jumped in on that one. I’m there all the time. I’ll go with my peoples or we’ll do staff parties in there, all of that. And they have lockers on site, too, right? So you can buy a bottle of something and if you don’t finish it, they’ll put it in your locker for whenever you come back. What more could you ask for?
Brooklyn Wax Company
Brooklyn Wax Company makes these candles - oh my god, they’re so damn cute. I have seven of them at home but you’ll notice I don’t have any here at the station because people steal. I’m surrounded by thieves. I’m kidding. But my candles do tend to mysteriously disappear.
I don’t know how they do it, but they’ll slice a bottle of, say, Hennessy or anything else, really, and fill it up with an amazing scented candle. So they make really great, personal gifts, especially for the people in your life who have everything. You can just take their favorite bottle, hopefully empty, and turn it into something that means a lot to them. I have a few Ace of Spades bottles (because my name starts with an A) that I’ve had them make candles out of. Plus, they let you pick the scent out. Brooklyn Wax Company. Perfect.
Bonus: The Butcher’s Daughter
First of all, how great of a name is that for a place that doesn’t serve anything from the butcher? It’s the greatest thing ever. They have these spicy kale salads that I’m absolutely obsessed with. These things are perfect for any day after I have those spicy margaritas at Añejo and I feel like I need to eat a little better. They have an avocado toast that I like and their juice game is nice, but that kale salad...if I’m in the mood for that, nothing else will satisfy that craving. It’s an incredible salad. I’ll go through phases where I’m eating something from the Butcher’s Daughter every day of the month.
Why is it important to support independent businesses?
That’s how you keep control of everything. That’s how you keep it true to how things are supposed to be. A sneaker store, for instance, you want to make sure that the person running that shop is really about that life, that he or she gets the culture. That’s not to say that a big retailer can’t merchandise a sneaker the right way, but with small businesses you get that personality, you get to support something that goes back into your community. You help the people around you. There’s a feeling of shared responsibility and ownership when you support an independent business.
Also, when something is smaller and privately owned, people tend to put so much more into it. Because it’s their life, right? If they don’t care about it, who else will? So you get those guarantees, as well.