Carter: Granddad’s Old Camera
I keep this 1960’s Zeiss Ikon camera out in the living room to remind me of one of my best friends growing up. My son, ZZ, is just as mesmerized by it as I was when I was his age. It’s a great object still making memories. Thanks, Heir Zeiss!
Carter: Signed Mr Rogers Photo
I’ll admit it. I liked Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood and still do in its latest re-adaption: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (they both have a penchant for cardigans). My brother got the autograph for me when I was in college. A kind gesture or a jab? Don’t really know.
Carter: Wine Tote
This funny little neoprene wine tote is the product that launched Built NY, a consumer brand I co-founded in 2003. I stopped counting the bags after Built sold some crazy number of 10,000,000, all of which were basically variants of this original design. We sold off the company a while back, as people do, but you can still find them at builtny.com.
Carter: Artillery Shell Casings
These are actually brass World War I artillery shell casings, of all things. My great-uncle, a wonderfully mad inventor who I’m named after, brought them back after the war. The unimaginably burdened servicemen in the trenches of WWI would toil and tinker away at ordinary objects creating this “trench art” in an attempt to pass the down time—swords into ploughshares.
Carter: Moby Dick
Two brilliantly illustrated copies of Moby Dick – my son’s and mine. His is by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver (illustrator); a must read if you’re 4, and mine a lucky 1930 Rockwell Kent illustrated first edition–a must read if you’re 14 or 44. My wife, son, and I read/re-read the book(s) over the summer; hers was a Macedonian translation (I’m still wondering whether a translation does justice to the original).
Carter: Coffee Cup
My friend, James Makins, made me this coffee cup. He’s an inspired potter here in NYC and I’ve managed to cobble together a collection of his work over the years. We use his cups everyday, though I’ve managed to break over half of them (shhhh) — “If you use them, you lose them.” Still it’s better than letting them collect dust in some lonely China cupboard. This particular cup and saucer is from his studio in Tokoname, Japan and is the only place I know you can find this clay. Hey, Jim, you owe me a phone call.
Frank: Amateur Tee
This reminds me of John Belushi’s “College” t-shirt from Animal House. It’s a super soft t-shirt from Tracksmith – a running brand that we helped launch as investors. The brand is all about the amateur spirit. Sure, the company is all about selling beautiful and lasting running staples, but it’s also very much about celebrating the heritage and love of the sport. In some ways, Carter and I like to think that we also embody this scrappy spirit. Building a marque consumer investment firm has been a labor of love that definitely requires this roll-up-the-sleeves attitude.
This is one of my favorite road bikes. It’s a handmade frame by master Italian builder Dario Pegoretti, called the Duende. Decades ago, he was one of the pioneers of TIG welded steel frames and is known for his pretty wild paint jobs. In spite of today’s preference for carbon road frames, the ride on a well-made steel frame is sublime. Everything on this frame, right down to the components (Campagnolo, Chris King, Enve), comes together in a physical (even spiritual) form that embodies what I love about cycling, design, and craftsmanship. Being on this bike gives me that much needed escape from the New York City life.
These are two of my favorite watches – and no, I don’t wear both watches at the same time like Diego Maradona. The Laco is a German watch that pays homage its deep history in aviation. It’s a practical, inexpensive watch; about the same price as an Apple watch (which is cheap for a mechanical watch). The Omega Speedmaster is another watch with loads of history behind it as the “first watch worn on the moon”. There’s no need to go into detail here — the Speedy has been written about on every watch blog and watch site known to man, but I like this particular model for the patina on the dial and the more modern clear caseback, which shows off the lovely movement. We have a “no manlets” policy in our office and this is the only man jewelry I wear.
Frank: Watering can
This is a watering can that my friend Paul Loebach designed. It’s a simple, yet handsome example of purposeful product design. I actually prefer it in copper, but Paul gave me this pre-production sample. To me, this can represents the bond and thread of friendship throughout the years. Paul and I have known each other since middle school as young skateboarders and BMX bikers in suburban Ohio and are now neighbors in Brooklyn.
Frank: Water Bottle
Here’s another water vessel. This is made by Lifefactory, another company that we invested in this past year. We’re particularly proud of what the company stand for in a crowded market place stuff. They make beautifully designed water bottles made from pharmaceutical grade glass and silicone from the U.S. and Europe, so you know that what touches your lips is not partially made from recycled television tubes or something like that (raw material supply chain is important). Think about all the crap that you buy that ends up just being landfill. Their products are exactly the opposite of that and I love them for it. I don’t use this as a bottle for my bike of course, but the photographer thought it looked good there.Buy Now$18.93
Frank: Rodney Mullen Signed Poster
To bring it back to my youth again, this is Rodney Mullen. He’s a legendary skateboarder and my idol as a youth. He was repping Swatch watches then, but who cares about that when the inventor of the ollie and kick-flip comes to your hometown! As a young teenager, skateboarding was a big part of my life and in many ways, set the stage for a lot of things to come. Being passionate about the things you do and taking some risks to do it has something to do with the attitude that skaters (and ex-skaters) have.