“Where are you going, sir?” An arm reached around me and gently shoved me forward, jolting me out of this weird little internal debate I was having with myself about whether or not monkeys would get any enjoyment out of chewing gum. I had been in the taxicab line at JFK for about a half an hour, and apparently, according to this man in some sort of official uniform, it was my turn.
“Brooklyn,” I mumbled. It was really early, and as far as my mind was concerned I had little business attempting to function in society at the moment, hence the monkeys/ chewing gum thing (Apparently they love it). I was hustled toward one of a lineup of cabs at the curb. Someone grabbed my bag and threw it in the trunk, I climbed in the back and before I knew it we were barreling off down the street like we had just lifted a Rembrandt from the Metropolitan.
Fifty bucks, four or five middle fingers and several detours later we arrived in Greenpoint, where I would spend the day and evening with a friend from college before heading over to set up the Agenda show in Manhattan the next morning.
Thinking in terms of efficiency and ultimately flawless logic, I decided to hop on the subway in the morning during rush hour to make my way to the show. Given the general lack of subways in Los Angeles I was immediately unaccustomed to this strange sort of science experiment that New Yorkers put up with every day. At each stop more and more people crammed themselves on, into spaces just simply not capable of accommodating their forms, however pliable they may have been. The general strategy here, I soon realized, was to avoid eye contact at all costs, rotate about a quarter turn and then go ahead and snuggle up to the nearest stranger like your first prom date. Deodorant was apparently either not a requirement or people needed a little more instruction on how to effectively apply it. I’m not saying LA is really any better, as apparently we seem to prefer this. To each their own, or whatever.
Wandering off the subway in SoHo, I made a bit of a pit stop at the Burton retail store to drop off some signage for our display there. They informed me that they’d already sold out of Turtle Shells and were ready to order some more. Not a bad way to start off the day. We shot the shit a little, mostly about snowboarding in Vermont, maple syrup, and monkeys chewing gum (you have to admit, it’s intriguing) and I bid them goodbye and went to go set up the booth.
Agenda’s generally a street wear type of show, but you never know what you’re going to find there. On the surface, it can look more than a little superficial; the majority of the population there is dressed from head to toe in the latest, most trendy shit to pop out of the toy machine. If there’s some new kind of cigarette, they’re smoking it; a new upper, they’re doing it, a new haircut, they’ve got it. As you can probably imagine, all of that can start to bleed into a running river of inability to grasp what’s actually good and real pretty goddamn quickly, but fortunately the show embodies some pretty good characteristics as well. It brings people of all shapes, colors, sizes, and backgrounds together and unites them over common interest. Nobody thinks twice about shaking your hand because of your race, sexual orientation, religion, whatever, but everyone maintains the idea that if you’re going to run with this crowd, you better own it. One guy I met there last year told me that he loved it because no matter who you were and what you wanted to do people would grant you the chance to explain to them what you were all about and why you could help them. That can be a valuable thing in this day and age of attention spans that are whittled down to a matter of seconds and people that seem the most interested in trying to train their pet llamas to do push-ups surrounded by Navy Seals in rocking chairs stroking tranquilized lap rabbits in an effort to go viral and cash out on Youtube. (If you actually do this and it works I expect royalties…see what I did there?).
At any rate, we were here to show our new stuff, most notably the Privates touch-control wireless headphones. Fortunately Agenda had picked up a coffee sponsor for the New York show, so before long my blood was a quarter dark roast and everybody I talked to sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks, so I was easily blabbering on right on about pretty much anything.
Everyone was stoked on the Privates’ touch-control interface that allows for track-skipping and volume-changing with the swipe of a finger. Keep an eye out for their debut early next month.
Before I knew it the show was up and I was sitting in JFK again, handicapped by a 2-hour flight delay and about halfway through my second $13 Jameson & ginger. The shroud of Agenda was gone, replaced by regular old society sitting around a rectangular bar outside of New York City, all eyes glued to a TV barking out the latest on a particular case in Florida.
Til next time.