exploring what it means to be the modern man.

want // top grooming from nordstrom anniversary sale.

Posted on July 25th, 2016

Though Nordstrom.com isn’t my go-to for the latest designers and style, I shop there for their breadth of product and continue to shop because of its unbeatable customer service.

Their legendary Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is in full swing and here are my top grooming picks:

Jack Black is a brand I trust, and I have used their Cool Moisture Body Lotion for a while now, especially after being out in the sun. It isn’t sticky or film-y, and leaves my body feeling cool.

I have super sensitive skin and I have used so many SPFs that make my skin break out. Supergoop is now the only sunscreen I use.

Thanks to Equinox, I am hooked on Kiehls Creme de Corps. I put it on after the gym and I don’t know how I survived previous winters without it.

When I don’t have my Le Labo, Tuscan Leather, Coqui Coqui or Jo Malone on me, I know Armani has got me covered. The trio bundle of Armani Code, Acqua di Giò and Acqua di Giò Profumo are perfect for travel.

I used to use the original Clarisonic for a facial-like cleansing, until the Mia came out. Compact and super easy to use, it usually travels with me wherever I go.

jetset // the one store you need to visit in madrid.

Posted on July 24th, 2016

Cale Velarde in Malasaña is host to several of the cities vintage shops, but the curation isn’t as great as I’d hoped it would be. My friend Becca and I roamed through the neighborhood and walked into AMEN on Calle San Andrés, a “concept store” that just opened up two weeks prior after hosting a party for the NikeLab x Olivier Rousteing collaboration. The black and white store is Rocio’s vision come to life, a launchpad for up and coming designers from all over Europe. I discovered Black Kaviar, a streetwear brand based out of Paris, and finally got to try on a pair of Quay Tell Me Whys and it fit perfectly. Say hi to Rocio when you visit, and tell me your favorite pieces!



style journal // effortless travel.

Posted on July 22nd, 2016

Time flies.. I can’t believe my month in Valencia is over and it’s time to move on to the next stop. It was a tough month of countless adjustments, but thankfully I have sound advice that continues to ground me, new friends to lean on, and travel hacks that make life, and travel, a bit easier for all of the new destinations to come.

Up until recently, I used to fly with my Calvin Klein luggage set that I bought in college. They got me through several years, but I knew I needed an upgrade for my year + long travel. I am so glad I did because one of the things that has made travel easier has been my Hartmann Glider™ Ratio.

Hartmann created their StrideAlign™ technology with one goal in mind: to ease the demands of travel. In the first month and a half, I have journeyed to and from nine total airports, and the Extended Journey and Long Journey Ratios have made each trip effortless. They literally glide across every surface, and so far, they live up to their name. One month down of airports, train and subway stations, taxi lines, Uber waits, 11 more months to go! Crossed fingers that it only gets easier from here, and more effortless travel tips lined up.

Photography by Becca Kang

Thank you Hartmann for partnering on this post!

jetset // first month travel musings.

Posted on July 21st, 2016


I’ve been away for a month and a half and started to keep a running list of travel and life advice from friends and family, and things I’ve realized in my short time in Valencia.

1. Be patient. Be patient. Be patient.
There is no country as convenient as the US, and especially NYC. I had the hardest time adjusting to the slower speed of Valencia, Spain, and Europe in general, along with language barriers, cultural differences and the lack of customer service overall. I found myself wondering why the waiter wouldn’t come take our check and kick us out to turn the table, or why the salesperson would not let me pay for toothpaste at 7:01pm. “I closed one minute ago!” she yelled at me in Spanish.

1+ month in, I have become more patient than I have ever been (though some friends may argue that I’m still the same). I wait in lines without huffing, I do not get (as) frustrated when a cafe doesn’t take credit cards, and I definitely continue to use my amazing sign language skills.

2. Lose your old sense of time and routine. Find a new one.
I am a creature of habit and routine. Call me an old soul, an old man, or rigid, but my habits and routines work for me. My NYC routine: 5:30am wake up, make breakfast/lunch/green juice, 7am gym, 8:30am-7 work, then dinner with friends, catch up with my roommate, or read, and bed by 11pm latest.

My friend Brandon’s only piece of advice is: Lose all sense of time. Enjoy the freedom of exploring, wandering, discovering places and things you normally wouldn’t when stuck to a routine. And then slowly start to build a new routine that suits you now, in your new surroundings.

3. People watch, meet the locals.
I love people watching everywhere I go. Meeting locals, however, isn’t easy for me. Despite language and cultural barriers, I definitely want to meet more natives in the countries I am traveling.

4. Get lost.
Back at home, I loved getting lost and finding new ways home. It’s one way to avoid traffic and tourists, but also to find new places I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. I did that in Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon and stumbled across hidden plazas, tucked-away shops, and super local haunts that made my visits that much more enriching.

5. Stay active, stay fit.
As a traveler, walking everywhere is easy. But I wanted to, at the minimum, maintain my body, with the goal of gaining muscle mass and being the most fit I’ve been. As I do in every city I travel to, I ran through Valencia to see the sights, find landmarks and get a sense of where everything was. I found a gym around the corner from my apartment and finally got in a routine of four (mostly weight training) workouts a week, and brought resistance and Pilates bands to my Barcelona and Sardegna side trips.


6. Document everything. And take lots of photos.

7. Pack less/send stuff home.
8. Break your comfort zone.
9. Be kind to yourself.
10. Remember who you are.

More to come, and why I’ve shared these specifically.

[[ taken at Bluebell Cafe in Valencia, by Becca Kang ]]

jetset // where to go in valencia.

Posted on July 13th, 2016

It is crazy that I am already saying goodbye Valencia, the City of Arts & Sciences, delicious restaurants, fun bars, new shops and awesome people that sustained me for a month. Below is my itinerary for visitors:

A must-visit is Umbracle. During the day, visitors can stroll the “park.” At night, it doubles as a terrace club that opens late and stays open until the sun comes up. There are levels with different music. Not my typical thing or scene, but when in Spain! It was fun to go with a group of people and check out the nightlife.

Askua apparently has the best meat in Valencia. As a pescaterian, I didn’t try it but it comes very highly recommended.

Riff is mediterranean food by German chef Bernd H. Knöller, which has 1 Michelin star under its belt.

Ricard Camarena is very famous also boasts 1 Michelin star.

Komori is a Japanese-European fusion restaurant inside the Westin Hotel, fairly good when it comes to asian food.

Quique da Costa is 100km from Valencia but has 3 Michelin stars, so if you’re on a Michelin quest, add it to your travels!

Valen & Cia is what the Spanish call “Gastrotapas,” aka trendy.

Jockey Valencia opened recently and the place to go to on Friday or Saturday nights.

Paella was born in Valencia, and Duna is the place to go on a Saturday or Sunday beach day. Go for lunch over dinner. Every restaurant has paella on the menu but not all paella is made equal. Arroz Negro and paella with lobster and monkfish are my top favorites.

Abadia de Espí is delicious and located in the center of Valencia.

Get lost in Barrio del Carmen for some good Saturday, Sunday afternoon spots, and go out to Cafe Bolseria for a night out. My friends and I went there on our last Saturday and danced non-stop for hours.

The beach is a must-visit while in Valencia. Go to La Más Bonita to have breakfast or a coffee in a hidden place looking over the ocean.

At Panorama, the views and the drinks are better than the menu but is worth the visit if ocean views are your Instagram’s bread and butter.

If you’re having major cravings for Mexican food, Taqueria La Llorona in Rusafa is the best there is in Valencia. Order the guacamole, pescado tacos and chilaquiles. I wish the service matched the food though. There is a lot of waiting, so order your margarita as soon as you walk in. And make sure you call to confirm a reservation!

If you’re craving pizza, try Pink Flamingo and La Finestra.

Malmo, Copenhagen and Oslo are three amazing vegetarian and vegan restaurants. You have to try at least one of them.

Bluebell Cafe in Rusafa was an amazing find by JY. The cafe is a sign of the rise of Rusafa and how the creative/ex-pat community is making their mark on the city. Get all of the avocado toasts, green juices, flat whites and delicious cakes.

Guayoyo is also a fantastic cafe in Rusafa, blocks from Bluebell. I worked from here for a few days and tried most of the juices and snacks.

*Thank you for your recommendations, Carlos and Megan!