Solid Colognes

In the eighth grade, wearing designer cologne became a thing. Almost like a trend of some sorts. It’s as if the phrase “bro, do you even cologne?” could have existed if that gives you anymore insight to what I mean. To anyone else outside that time frame, cologne is something that your dad wore or it’s just a part of life.

With this weird trend came the practice of carrying whole bottles of cologne with you to school. Why? So that you can freshen up after PE, show it off, or to cover up the cigarette smell? Honestly, I had no idea. You just did it because someone else was doing it. Of course the inevitable happened to me when I dropped my backpack. My recently purchased bottle of Tommy Hilfiger cologne, which was sitting in the front pocket came spilling out. And there you have it. Now every time I smell this particular brand of cologne, I am reminded of my Jansport backpack along with my TI-86 graphing calculator.

If I had only known about solid colognes, I could have avoided this. Solid colognes are concentrated fragrances that are made out of a wax-based substance. Supposedly the fragrance can last a whole day with only a small dab on your neck. No more broken glass, no more spills, and no need to spray. It’s also nice that you can carry it on with you on a flight. NICE.

Fulton & Roark have some nice ones in a pretty solid case.


Otter Wax also has their Spruce solid cologne.

Austin, TX

It all started with THIS. Did you watch it? I implore that you watch it before you continue. Trust me, you’ll understand the motivation behind three grown men to travel 1,300 miles for a piece of BBQ.

I guess even before the VIDEO, there was God. During a fast with my church, I stumbled upon the aforementioned video of Aaron Franklin one lonesome, hungry night. I watched the first, then the related videos popped up. So I clicked, and clicked, and clicked, until there were no more videos. A Franklin BBQ video drought. Being a self-promoting Millennial, I did the next best thing and shared the video on my FB wall. My buddy Shuffles who was also fasting at the time was caught up in the glory. Then came Jared with his casual comment, “So when are we planning a Texas trip so we can eat some of this?”. The rest was history. And I kid you not, two months TO THE DAY, we were in line for Franklin BBQ. Quite poetic I must say. It’s one for the books.

So off to Austin we went. It is the most West-Coast friendly town in Texas, with it’s hybrid country-hipsters, repurposed artisan buildings/businesses/homes, SXSW, and live music. It’s a version of Portland. The version where PBRs are replaced with Lone Stars, jerky over granola, and coffee with…coffee. They say that at least 100 people move into Austin everyday like some hipster Promised Land. Another thing that makes Austin unique are their food trailers. They are definitely inspired by LA’s food trucks, but what they do in Austin is to park several trailers that are more permanent than trucks in these lots with picnic tables. In my short time there, I was able to break down Downtown Austin into four distinct locations: Sixth St., Dirty Sixth, Rainey St., and South Congress (SOCO).

SIXTH ST//DIRTY SIXTH

Sixth St. was our first destination being the most known area for people visiting. It’s literally a street of bars (some with rooftop patios, which Shuffles seemed to love) to cater to nearby UT students. When we were there early in the evening, it was pretty dead, but we walked through it again around 11P and what a difference a few hours makes. The streets were blocked off and there were just tons of people walking up and down, going from bar to bar. A lot of bachelorette parties going on too for some reason. Dirty Sixth is what one of our shuttle driver’s called the part of Sixth St. on the East side of town. We did walk down that way and I could see why it would be called that. A lot less crowded, less unique, and more dive-y. Still an okay place to hang out.

Jackalope – Go for the burgers, but don’t forget to admire the pictures of boobies that surround you (odd).
Easy Tiger – Pretty much everything I could want: beers, pretzels, cheese, jerky, cookies, ping pong, and a river. I would settle down right next to this place if I moved out here.
Tears of Joy – Hot sauce city, and the tears came flowing for Jared.











RAINEY ST.

It’s a bit south of Sixth St. and it’s the young professional’s answer to the college-bound Sixth St. Apparently the City of Austin rezoned that whole area to be a part of the central business district to promote growth around their convention center. The rezoning included several neighborhoods. What you’re then left with is a neighborhood of homes that are all now unique bars, lounges, and beer gardens. It felt like a huge row of house parties and is one of the most unique things I have seen.

Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden – HUGE selection of beers on tap and a great menu of sausages. Did I mention they have poutine?
The Container Bar – I’ve always been intrigued by those homes made out of shipping containers. The container bar is exactly that. If my place by Easy Tiger doesn’t pan out, this would be my next choice of residence.

SOUTH CONGRESS

Congress St. is a main street in Austin that goes through the Austin Capitol Building. Once you get south past the Colorado River, it turns into SOCO and is a street of businesses that have been renovated into newer businesses. They do try to keep that retro feel. This was probably my favorite part of Austin. It has a good mix of bars, restaurants, stores, cafes, and dessert places. Would also recommend staying at the Hotel San Jose in that area. I did not, but it had the feel of an Ace Hotel, and like I said, it’s in an awesome part of Austin.

Gourdough’s – Donut trailer. Big donuts with massive amounts of various toppings at a reasonable price. I got the Carney, which is Apple Pie filling, cream cheese icing, caramel & dry roasted peanuts on top of donut. C’mon somebody.
Jo’s Coffee – Good coffee, but even more famous for their “I love you so much” graffiti on the side of their building. Supposedly a girlfriend of one of the owner’s put that there after a fight. Unfortunately, the current one there is a replica as the original was tagged over.
Amy’s Ice Creams – Get the Mexican Vanilla.
TOMS Roasting Co. – TOM converted a house into a store/cafe.







Finally, Franklin BBQ. Get in line by 9A. Bring a book, coffee, Bloody Marys. They’ll start coming through asking how much meat you plan on getting. This is so that they can give someone a heads up if they might not get food. Rent chairs for $5 from Chair Guy. They open at 11A (closed on Mondays). Don’t be deceived by how fast you start moving in line. You WILL eat at the estimated time they give you. I would recommend ordering everything a la carte by the pound rather than buying the plates or sandwiches. No time for sides anyway. Between the three of us, we decided to get 2 lbs of brisket, 2 lbs of ribs, and a link. Was it worth the 5 hour wait? Yes. It pretty much set my standards of BBQ. I mean, it has to. Aaron Franklin slow cooks these in a smoker for 8-10 hours. The brisket melts in your mouth and the ribs fall off the bone. Dat smoke ring doe.







Austin was great. Would come back. Did not get a group shot, but we all did take one of each other walking.

Martenero Watches

Just stumbled across this watch company. Martenero looks upon classic designs for their watches, and will only make 1000 of each model. That design will then be forever gone. They are made in the USA, and you can customize the colors of the dial and face. You also get to choose both a leather strap and a Nato strap. This is all included in a very affordable price point of $485.


Via Gear Patrol

Rishi’s Beer Adventure

My buddy Rishi’s birthday was this past week, so his awesome wife organized a brewery crawl through LA. It was a nice, casual time out exploring LA and trying beers. Ate dinner at Mohawk Bend, and slept with much rest. I guess that’s what would’ve happened if Das Boot didn’t come interrupting. Dat Das Boot! But Rishi didn’t fall asleep, so I guess we did something right. Happy birthday buddy.

First stop was Smog City out in Torrance. Try their Chipshot Coffee Porter. They got the coffee part right. Their Grape Ape IPA was confusing though. Did not taste like grape, nor was it purple.



Next up was Angel City in the Arts District. The building they are in used to be an old cable factory, and apparently it’s haunted. But what’s even cooler is that they paid for our beers. Yep. Just put it all on Angel City’s tab. I guess those are some of the perks of being the son of someone who knows the owner. Thanks Rishi. Get the Berliner Weisse if on tap. It’s a sour so you were warned. The girls seemed to enjoy the Watermelon Wheat. It tasted like this one fruit…the name escapes me. And if you want one more, the White Nite is their golden stout. It tastes like a stout, but does not look it. It’s confusing. Believe it our not, they roast rice and use that to get that smokey/coffee finish that’s prevalent in stouts.



Brenton explaining the difference between an alelager and a lagerale. I learned so much. Also, dat hand.


We were also able to check out the roof. Many hipster eyes were looking on in envy as we stepped on to that elevator.









Then it was on to Mohawk Bend. Get the pizza. Followed by our official last stop, Eagle Rock Brewery. Get the beer.

However, the night did not end. Das Boot came calling. Unfortunately, pictures would not do it justice and therefore I have none, but we did finish it. There were witnesses. Mostly everyone called it a night after that since it would have been irresponsible to stay up. Knowing that the next day was the start of daylight saving time, and church service was beckoning, it was the right call.

What a great night! Rishi became a man, I now know which alelager to drink with pizza, and I surprisingly did not spend a lot of money.