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Space Ninety 8: Welcome to the Gorbals

Ilan Hall, winner of Top Chef season 2, star of Knife Fight, and owner of the wildly popular downtown LA restaurant The Gorbals is a long-time friend of Urban Outfitters. Who better, then, to open up a restaurant (and open-air rooftop bar) at our new Brooklyn concept store Space Ninety 8? In Hall’s hands, food is fun, fresh, often irreverent (bacon wrapped matzo balls, anyone?), and always yummy. We caught up with the Long Island native, who has returned home to the East Coast to open The Gorbals’ new Williamsburg outpost, to talk trending ingredients, supermarket sushi, and what we can expect to see on his new menu.

Hi Ilan! Tell us about the concept for The Gorbals at Space Ninety 8.
I like to make food that’s a little bit cheeky, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the end of the day is delicious. We started out the concept for our restaurant in LA with it being based in traditional Jewish food, with elements of pork sprinkled in! I try to keep that attitude in my food. Not that every dish has to have, like, shrimp and hummus—I don’t want to do it for the sake of doing it—but I like food to be fun. Some of it will be a little bit weird and maybe a bit challenging for people, but for the most part I want it to be tasty and really satisfying and for people to maybe eat things they haven’t eaten before. As a chef you want to open people’s eyes to new ingredients or things that are new to them.

So, you’re going beyond the Kale we see on many a Williamsburg menu?
I’m sick of kale for the sake of kale! I think there are so many great vegetables available, I don’t know why kale has had such a boom in popularity. It’s a good green… I just think that the idea of food trends is kind of ridiculous. We’re not going to have a kale salad on our menu, because everyone has a kale salad on their menu. I think that, being a chef, you need to utilize everything that you can. There are no rules. There’s so many types of greens you can use—different types of watercress, chickweed… I sort of want to stay away from bigger trends because it’s easy to get sucked into them. But maybe that’s a bad business decision! Who knows?

What can we expect to see on the menu?
I’m maybe about a third of the way through working on the menu. I’m trying to use things that are really seasonal and maybe a little bit more obscure. Not obscure but, like, less common fish. Most people don’t put bluefish on their menu—bluefish is one of my favorite fish. I’d rather use a skate cheek than a skate wing. I’d rather use a monkfish liver or a monkfish tail. There are so many great parts of an animal, and you don’t have to always use the basic filet. There’s this farm really close to where I grew up on Long Island in Glen Cove that, in the spring and summer, has amazing produce. We’re opening at the best possible time for New York [produce]. There’s peas, ramps, spring garlic, fava beans, soft shell crab, Bouchout mussels from Maine.

How did you approach the design of the space?
Within Space 98 I really wanted to keep the aesthetic of the restaurant soulfully connected to my restaurant in Los Angeles. It’s a bit more rough and rustic in LA, we have this giant 18ft communal table. Here, the focal point is our grill, once that’s fired up it will be the hearth, and heart, of the restaurant. I wanted to go a little bit more polished in terms of the furniture here. A friend made the tables, they’re a bit midcentury-ish. We got the legs from a metal-smith in southern California and and our plates are all organic and rough. I wanted to adapt to the space and have some plants and for it to be more put-together. When we opened up the restaurant in Los Angeles, we opened it with no money, all of our chairs we got at a secondhand place. I’m a father now—it’s time to grow up a little bit! At Space Ninety 8 we had the opportunity to do something that was really beautiful that wouldn’t take away from the old building. I think we did a pretty good job!

How did you come to open The Gorbals inside Space Ninety 8?
I’ve had a relationship with Urban Outfitters for a few years. I’ve done some charity events and some cooking things and hosted a lot of parties for them at my restaurant in LA. I was talking to someone about possibly doing some consulting work on a café here that Urban was thinking of opening and then I said, “That would be a great place for a restaurant!” And now, a year and a half later, we’re in the restaurant. It’s been a dream of mine to come back to New York and Williamsburg is the epicenter of new restaurants right now; it’s where people are doing exciting things, lots of late-night things. It’s similar to the push in New York around 2004 when all these new places were opening up in the East Village and Gramercy Park area—Momofuku and Casa Mono—and it all keeps moving East. We’ve been open in Los Angeles for almost five years, so it was time to come home.

Have you been shopping in the store yet?
I think my wife bought me some jeans! The space is beautiful, they really did a great job. It’s quite lovely. I love the renewal shop downstairs on the first floor, that’s my favorite. You just opened a bar on the roof deck, too.

What’s your poison?
I like to order very simple things at the bar. I like Irish whisky, I like single malt scotch. Lagavulin is my everyday scotch—I don’t like subtle scotch, I like something really smoky, really peaty. I drink gin; I’ll have a gin and tonic. If I’m ordering a cocktail I’ll usually have something that’s gin and a bit bitter.

How does the New York dining scene differ from LA?
New York people are very adamant about what they want, they have very high expectations of service and quality—you can’t really get anything by New Yorkers! New York is one of the most critical food scenes. Everyone works in their first six months towards that New York Times review. I’m not nervous, I just want to offer the best possible product that I can. I want it to be fun; I want people to have a good time when they’re here! Because when I’m cooking, even if it’s stressful or very busy, I still try and have fun, and I want my employees to have fun. That’s why we have an open kitchen—I want our cooks to be part of the party. I want everything to come together in an enjoyable way.

Where do you like to eat in New York?
I love going to Chinatown, I love going to Flushing. In Chinatown I love Great NY Noodletown—they have this balance of simplicity and super-powerful flavors. I have friends with some great restaurants. Casa Mono where I used to work is still probably, pound for pound, my favorite restaurant in New York. It’s tiny and the quality of food they put out is amazing. My friend Dale Talde opened two places in Park Slope—Talde is a really amazing restaurant. It just hits you in the heart, it’s really tasty and sort of Asian with no direct focus. My friend Damon Weiss is the chef at Lafaytte and he’s doing amazing French food on a very large scale. Edi and the Wolf in the East Village is amazing; [it has] Austrain roots—I like food from all over. Every time I have a meal, I’m inspired. I love places in the [Williamsburg] neighborhood: St. Anselm, Café Mogador. I love eating wherever I can, all the time.

What’s your food guilty pleasure?
Supermarket sushi! It’s gross! But there’s something about it. Like, a step below Wholefoods sushi, but not bodega sushi. I don’t know why. It’s gross in theory, and it’s gross in actuality too [laughs]. Because I’ve eaten sushi at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo at 6am and I’ve had some of the best and… that’s just not acceptable!

Summer in the City: Herald Square Coffee Chat

In anticipation of the opening of our newest store in New York City's Herald Square, we chatted over coffee–-and about coffee–-with some of the people bringing the store to life. One of the permanent fixtures in the new shop is Intelligentsia Coffee, sourcing, developing, roasting and delivering the best coffee in the world. Founded in Chicago in 1995, the company works diligently alongside their growers to produce coffees that are unlike any others and exclusive to Intelligentsia. After a successful NYC coffee bar launch in 2013, Intelligentsia will open its second NYC location in Herald Square on June 7, 2014. While we anxiously await Intelligentsia's new coffee bar at Herald Square, we visited its first NYC location at The High Line Hotel.

Read the full Summer in the City: Herald Square Coffee Chat feature

Let's Bike Austin: Our Guide to the Best Stops in Town

In our new feature On The Road: Let's Bike Austin, we took a trip to one of our favorite southern cities, where we put together a cycle gang of creative locals and toured downtown, hopping off at their go-to pitstops along the way. 

We documented the trip: Jotting down directions and taking notes to create an official Austin Bike Map, perfectly curated by our fellow cyclists. So follow their route and see the sights — the Austinite way!

1. El Chilito:  2219 Manor Drive // Tel. 512.382.3797
First stop: El Chilito's Tacos and Café. Start your day here with the best breakfast tacos in town. There are vegan options and an organic coffee bar, where you can start the day with a fresh cup of joe served hot or on ice. If you're not on wheels, we suggest trying out their delicious frozen mimosas and sangrias to cool off from the hot morning sun (please don't drink and ride). 
UO TIP: Don't worry if you wake up too late: Breakfast is served all day!

2. Iglesia La Luz Del Mundo: 1120 East 3rd Street // 512.472.1851
After breakfast, head south and make sure to stop by Iglesia La Luz Del Mundo. In English, its name translates to "The Light of the World." While seemingly small, the church has an international following of around five million with 3,500 established places of worship around the world, making this short pitstop a true hidden gem!
UO TIP: Our favorite part about this little church is its unique architectural style. At night, the Light of the World sign is lit up!

3. Farewell Books: 913 East Cesar Chavez // 512.473.2665
This progressive bookshop sells cool new (and used) books, zines, tees and more with topics ranging from architecture, counter culture, fashion, film, photography and beyond. They also have an art gallery featuring a variety of openings year-round, most recently displaying the works of Massachusetts-based artist Emma Kohlmann.
UO TIP: Need a boost of energy? Stop by Flat Track Coffee in the back!

4. Fast Folks Cyclery: 1105 East 6th // 512.524.8260
Flat tire? Wonky rim? Rusty chain? Take a break at Fast Folks Cyclery, an independent full-service bike shop, for all your riding needs. This shop is animal friendly—we've spotted puppies, piglets, and cats (#samsoncat)—and if you're lucky, you might get to wear the Fairdale Box on your head. P.S. Is it just us or does working here look like the coolest place ever?
UO TIP: Safety first! The shop motto may be "Live Fast or Die Trying" but if you don't have a helmet, here's the perfect place to pick one up.

5. Franklin BBQ: 900 East 11th // 512.653.1187
Briskets and ribs and sausage, OH MY! Franklin BBQ is our #1 pick for your lunchtime pitstop! The two-hour line is well worth the wait—just keep your eyes closed in the meantime to keep from drooling all over yourself.
UO TIP: They open at 11AM and close when they sell out, so don't wait too long to get there!

6. Alamo Drafthouse Ritz: 320 East 6th Street // 512.861.7020
Catch an afternoon matinee at Austin’s best movie theatre. With daily themes (like Terror Tuesdays, Weird Wednesdays and Quote-Alongs) you'll be able to catch a ton of really fun films at a super low price.
UO TIP: Don't forget to check out the Calendar!

7. The White Horse: 500 Comal Street // 512.553.6756
Pop-in here for tacos and two-stepping! There's live music seven days a week, a giant dance floor, pool tables and… get ready for it… WHISKEY ON TAP! We don't blame you if your trip stops here—it's a great place to stay all night.
UO TIP: Make a quick trip to the bathroom to pat the sweat off your face because The White Horse has a photo booth! 

8. South Congress: South Congress Avenue // 512.474.5171
Hop off your bike for a bit to walk this hip strip, checking out the local stores, restaurants and venues. First Thursdays are the best time to see this Avenue at its best. It's an all-ages party with stores open late, special sales, and free drinks (or drink specials) for those who are 21+. There's something here for everyone!
UO TIP:  Head here at sunset for beautiful skyline views.

9. Prototype Vintage Design: 1700 1/2 South Congress Avenue (entrance on Milton Street) // 512. 447.7686
Plain on the outside, insane on the inside! Prototype is the go-to vintage store for Austin’s stylish set. Every blogger, vintage shopper and clothing lover has walked through these doors, scoring one-of-a-kind pieces with a southern twang. Even their website is freakin' perfect! Check it out for news, look books, and to get the scoop on the adorable trio who owns the store.
UO TIP: Bring some extra cash. It's impossible, I repeat, impossible, to leave the store without buying something.

10. Uncommon Objects: 1512 South Congress Avenue // 512.442.4000
Don’t miss this store full of wild antiques. They have everything and anything your brain can dream up. It's the ultimate store for home décor, rare knickknacks and gifts for your friends. Even Yoko Ono makes sure to stop here when she visits Austin!
UO TIP: Don't be afraid to dig around the store and take your time—this place is full of hidden treasures that are not noticeable at first glance.

11. The Mohawk: 912 Red River Street // 512.666.0877
Catch a show at Austin’s best music venue. Some of biggest acts have preformed at this outside venue that has been renovated out of recycled materials. With a main floor and a balcony view, you can see your favorite artist up-close and personal.
UO TIP: Go all out and get ready to have the best night of your life—just be prepared for crowd-surfers!

12. East Side King @ Hole in the Wall:  2538 Guadalupe // 512.363.5365
Fuel up at Top Chef winner Paul Qui's ramen trailer around the side of the Hole in the Wall. Hole in the Wall's venue has a full bar and a local's-only feel to it, but the friendly folks inside will make you feel right at home. 
UO TIP: This spot is right across the street from the University of Texas at Austin's beautiful campus and only a few blocks away from our UT Urban Outfitters store! If you've been biking all day, this is the perfect time to stop in for a change of clothes before your final stop…

13. Ego's: 510 South Congress Avenue // 512.474.7091
All roads end here: A Dive-y karaoke bar with a huge songbook. Once a pretty low-key place, Ego's has made a name for itself in Austin as the go-to karaoke spot in town. It gets super packed on the weekends so if you can, try a weeknight for a smaller crowd!
UO TIP: Get there early and have your song list ready to go. This will guarantee you get a spot on the list... or maybe even two.

Happenings: Urban Outfitters heads to Tallahassee

In case you haven't heard, we just opened up a brand new store in Tallahassee, FL (717 S. Woodward Ave.), and we're so excited to be a new member of the community. We've been exploring like crazy, and Sweet Pea Cafe (832 W. Tharpe St.) has quickly become one of our favorite lunch spots in the neighborhood. The cafe specializes in vegan sandwiches and brunch options, and has awesome specials that change daily.

In honor of the new store opening, they're featuring the Urban Burger, a black bean burger with "cheese," onion, lettuce, tomato and Million Island Dressing. To make it even more delicious, the burger also comes with a 15% off ticket for your next UO purchase. The Urban Burger special runs until February 9, and to check out the rest of Sweet Pea Cafe's rotating specials (with delightfully punny names), head to their Facebook page.
(Photograph by Bloom)

For even more from Sweet Pea Cafe, make sure you head out to the UO Marketplace (717 S. Woodward Ave.) Friday, February 7th, from 12-6PM. They'll be serving up food alongside other local vendors Anhaica Bag Works and Wax and Wane.

Behind-The-Scenes: Jesse Medlin

Meet Jesse Medlin, our NYC-based senior display coordinator who can cook up a mean beet sauce for the ladies and will give the best homemade gifts this holiday season—the sweetest being a hug! Interview by Ally Mullen

Introduce yourself...
I am known as Manbaby or Beetle around the halls of Urban Outfitters. I live in Brooklyn and help out the visual teams in our flagship store on 14th & 6th in Manhattan, and the Canadian flagship store in Toronto on Younge and Dundass. I also help with special projects and concept development for the visual team at home office. On top of that, I recently started buying vintage clothing for the Urban Renewal brand, which has been a really cool addition to all the other stuff I do.

How have you incorporated the holidays into your stores display?
We have some really talented people in our stores, so they do most of the heavy lifting around the holidays. I like to help the visual teams I work with keep it fun and interesting for the local shoppers. We strive to inspire people to have fun through our holiday displays, otherwise what's the point?

What gifts from UO are you hoping to receive this holiday season?
1. Timberland Mt. Washington Chelsea Boot

And where will you be celebrating Christmas? 
I'm headed back to Tennessee for the holidays. I get to spend quality time with the family eating like a pig, being lazy, and watching cartoons with my younger cousins. I also have a tradition of spending a couple days with old friends, drinking too much, and going to as many thrift stores around Nashville as possible.

Do you like to cook? If so, what's your signature dish?
I make a pasta sauce out of beets during the winter months that is usually a big hit with friends. It turns the noodles pink, which the ladies always dig. 

When it comes to gift-giving, do you prefer to buy them or create something handmade?
Dang, I guess it all just depends on the receiving party. To me it's more about being thoughtful and giving someone the right gift rather than making vs. buying something. Plus, I live in NYC which is crazy expensive and I'm not a baller by any means, so most friends get a beer, a shot, and a hug. 

Brag a bit and tell us about the best handmade gifts you've given...
The last thing I made for a gift was a custom shoe-denim-sweater cabinet for my wife. She was pretty stoked on that one. I made stash boxes for my friends once, and filled them with a bottle of hot sauce I made myself and a customized swiss army knife. My friend Justin is really into spray paint, so I made him a custom storage cabinet that was built and painted to look like a Krylon paint can. I used to make a lot of silkscreens, so I've printed custom pillows, shirts, and posters for friends in the past. Oh, and I have a button maker, so I've made buttons for people as well. Everyone loves a good button.

Where can we find you online?
Nowhere at the moment but I will rep #gleepglopbycars

Nom Nom November: Sue Chan of Momofuku

Momofuku brand director Sue Chan's world is filled with rotisserie duck, popcorn cake, Lucky Peach and all the wonderful things that seem to spill out of the minds of David Chang and Co. Also, she wrote her university thesis on food deserts! Here she tells us about her entree into the food world and shares a favorite Thanksgiving recipe.

Tell us a little about yourself…
I was born in Taiwan, I grew up in Southern California, and then moved to New York for college. Every step of the way, food was a big part of my life. In Taiwan, I would go to the Night Markets with my parents. In the suburbs of Southern California, I watched an incredible amount of Sara Moulton and Martha Stewart. Chino Farms was our local farmer's market. In college, I wrote my thesis on food deserts in New York City, and I spent five weeks as an extern at The Spotted Pig. Five years ago, I started at Momofuku as an Office Assistant. After six months, I became Dave [Chang's] assistant. Now, I'm the brand director for Momofuku.

How would you describe the world of Momofuku?
We're a big family. Dave and his business partner, Drew Salmon, put their employees first before profit or sales. It is also a world that has grown in the past two years to include locations in Sydney and Toronto.

Is David Chang as weird and wonderful to work with as he appears?
Dave has played a lot of roles in my time at Momofuku: Boss, mentor, brother. It's all been weird and wonderful in the best of ways. The biggest lesson I've learned from him is to challenge the status quo.

Are you involved with Lucky Peach? (We love that magazine!)
I love Lucky Peach, too! And, I love the guys behind it even more: Peter Meehan and Chris Ying. Peter is my intellectual shaman. I hope my sons grow up to be like them. My team oversees their publicity and events, so we get to work with them on a daily basis.

What is your idea of the perfect meal?
Any meal is made perfect with good company.

Winter is upon us…how do you stay cozy?
I drink a lot of tea in the winter. Dave's friend, Tina Chai, introduced me to Fortnum & Mason's Jasmine Green Tea.

Where are your favorite places to eat out?
I'm drawn to restaurants with simple food, an interesting wine list, and a warm, casual atmosphere. Right now, Estela is my new obsession. It's the kind of place where you bump into all of the friends that you want to see. I also love Marlow & Sons, especially for their Chicken Liver Pate with a glass of wine from their natural wine list. You also can't go wrong with a restaurant from Alex Raji. I order the Uni Panini every time I visit El Quinto Pino.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
I like to cook anything that I can find at the farmers market.

Tell us about the Toklas Society for Women in Food and Hospitality you're involved in. It sounds like an amazing project.
There are so many badass women in the food world who are often not in the spotlight, and are still doing incredible work. Through events and digital content, we provide a platform where they can tell their story and talk about their professional experiences. We hope these stories will inspire, educate and promote personal as well as professional growth for other women in the industry.

Saturday nights or Sunday mornings?
Saturday nights.

Milk Bar or Ssäm Bar?
Both, because you can have it all at Ssäm Bar: First, the whole rotisserie duck, followed by Christina Tosi's Milk Bar Popcorn Cake.

Kimchi Apple Salad from the Momofuku Cookbook

This recipe is pretty easy, and it's super versatile for any style of holiday party. For a smaller dinner party, make individual servings, which is always impressive and a big hit. For a cocktail party, make them into canapes by serving bite site portions in a Chinese soup spoon. If you are cooking for a buffet or a potluck, double the recipe and plate everything on one large platter.

Nom Nom November: Gather Journal

Gather Journal, a James Beard Award-winning indie publication dedicated to good food and good conversation, is a feast for the eyes and the appetite. On the eve of the magazine's issue four launch, we talked to editor and co-founder Fiorella Valdesolo, and asked her to share a recipe from the cozy, Cocoon-themed issue, perfect for your Thanksgiving table. 

How did you get involved in the wonderful world of food?
I am a longtime lover and appreciator of all things food-related, but a relative newbie to the so-called food world. My entry point was through Gather Journal, a biannual recipe-driven magazine that I co-founded with my friend, the amazing Michele Outland, in the summer of 2012. The response since our launch has been greater than we could have ever imagined and we are having such a blast dreaming up the content for each issue. Our latest edition, the fall / winter 2014 "Cocoon" issue, is released on November 15th.

What is your idea of the perfect meal?
I can always get down with a bloody steak, oysters and a great bottle of red, but usually the best meals have everything to do with the company; if I'm sharing food with the people I love, that's pretty perfect.

What do you like to cook at home?
I'm first generation Italian and my repertoire at home definitely reflects that. There's a lot of carb love in my house.

Where to you love to go out to eat?
That list is constantly evolving but some of my favorite spots in and around the city right now are Battersby, Locanda Vini e Olii, Nightingale 9, Saraghina, Calliope, Buvette, Ganso (the Chez Jose pop-up in Williamsburg), and breakfast at Fort Defiance.

Sweet tooth or salt fiend?
Salt, salt, salt.

Your guilty food pleasure?
Anything deep fried.

Tell us about the new issue of Gather
The theme for the new fall / winter 2014 edition is Cocoon, and we explore every incarnation of the word—there are recipes that impart a warm, cozy, cocoon-like feeling, and those that visually mimic its wrapped and bundled form. We explore the idea of metamorphosis and renewal through the lens of food; devote a chapter to all things delicate, soft and silken, pay homage to the everlasting appeal of comfort food, and get up close and personal with butchery casings in a weird and wonderful way.

What is your most memorable food experience?
Gosh, that's a tough one. The few times I've managed to score a reservation at the Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare I'm blown away by the food. I had an incredible meal at this tiny, inexpensive restaurant in a village in Piedmont, Italy. Also, anything my nonna cooks is always memorable.

Winter is upon us! How are you keeping cozy this season?
An oversize cableknit Nili Lotan sweater, No. 6 shearling clog boots, and plenty of whiskey and ramen.

Serves 8 - 10

The season’s bounty is on glorious display in this moist cake of juicy, nestled-together pear halves, and currants, figs, and cranberries that have taken a nice, long whiskey bath. We like to think of it as a lazy, fall fruit cake—short on effort, long on pleasure.

1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp dried currants
4 dried figs
1 cinnamon stick
1⁄2 cup rye whiskey or bourbon
1 & 3⁄4 sticks butter, softened, divided
3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 pears, halved and cored
1 & 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1⁄2 cup whole milk

1. Simmer cranberries, currants, and figs in whiskey with cinnamon stick 5 minutes then let stand 1 hour or overnight. Drain, reserving liquid. Slice figs in half.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter sides of a 9-inch cake pan. Smear a layer of butter using 3⁄4 of a stick on bottom of pan. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Arrange pears, cut sides down, and dried fruit over sugar.

3. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Beat granulated sugar and remaining butter with an electric mixer until pale and light. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla and reserved whiskey. On low speed, beat in half of flour mixture, then milk, then remaining flour. Gently spread batter over fruit.

5. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in its pan set on a rack 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate to cool completely.

Homebody: Wesley Bird

DENY Designs is a constantly changing collective of talented artists, one of whom is Wesley Bird. Since Wesley's cozy DENY textiles are currently being sold online at Urban Outfitters, we decided to find out a little more about her and what she does to keep cozy during the winter months. —Katie

Photos courtesy of Wesley Bird

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Wesley Bird and I'm currently dwelling in West L.A.! I am a full-time designer by day and an ultra-doodler, obsessive letterer and illustrator by night. I'm madly obsessed with my Yorkie (Tom Sawyer), my apartment, and black leather jackets.

Which design from your DENY x UO collab is your favorite?
Hmmm, this is hard... I feel attached to them all equally! But since I have to pick a favorite, probably the Saltwood Shower Curtain or the True Sign Throw Pillow.

Who are three of your favorite artists?
Top of my list will always be Steven Harrington. He is beyond rad and fully inspires me, not just through his art but his insane work ethic. Dan Cassaro and KAWS easily make up my top three.

What are some things you do to make your own homes cozier in the colder months?
CANDLES EVERYWHERE! I'll probably end up torching my apartment one of these days. And tons of fur blankets. And as weird as this may sound, Lava Lamps.

Photos courtesy of Wesley Bird

Any amazing thrift shops or flea markets near you?
I feel super lucky because I live close to tons of really great ones in L.A. The Rose Bowl Flea is pretty much the jackpot of all fleas. Good friends of mine have scored the most amazing treasures there. And this isn't really a thrift shop or flea, but there is the tiniest little shop on the side of the road on the way to the Grand Canyon from Cali called The Skull Shack. It's exactly what it sounds like: tons of really amazing and different sun-bleached skulls. It's one of my favorite discoveries.

Where are some of your favorite cozy spots in your city?
I love the Fall/Winter here! It's so foggy in the mornings. Urth Caffe, Intelligentsia Coffee, and Groundworks are my favorite cozy drink spots. I'm also obsessed with galleries and museums, so I hit those when it's cold outside. Known Gallery on Fairfax is always a good choice.

When you’re curled up at home for the night, what do you like to do?
I'm a homebody, so coming home at the end of a long work day is the greatest feeling in the world! I snuggle up next to my dog and drink tea and sketch with reruns of Sons of Anarchy on the TV. Throw in some homemade pizza and we're golden.

What’s your favorite comfort food?
Dark chocolate with sea salt. I've recently started to make my own at home and play with adding different ingredients. This week I made a batch with blackberries and honey. It's safe to say I might be addicted…



Are you a feminist? Do you like food? Do you enjoy the intersection of the two? Well, then you're going to want to submit to the new print zine Vag Appetit! The zine wants whatever you have related to feminism and food, from poetry to illustration to essays and more! The zine's also running a Tumblr for submitted videos (no longer than 3 minutes) so get your feminist brains cookin', and send any submissions you have to by October 15! —Hazel

Danielle Guizio

Oh damn, the always lovely Danielle Guizio has been creeping around inside my brain. How else would she know where my mind wanders when I'm staring into cyberspace? Her All Day I Dream About Burritos Crop has my stomach growling, my mouth watering, and has made me realize that I truly don't know which one of my not-so-strange additions are stronger: shopping or burritos?! Luckily, this shirt doesn't make me choose. Oh, nom nom nom. 

(The cutoff version for those who prefer to show off the side boob instead of the mid-drift!)

Check out the rest of her summer collection here, and make sure to read the descriptions for each item—they'll give you a good glimpse into the killer sense of humor the girl behind the line has! -Ally

Hanson: Mmmhops Beer

Hanson, apparently the most good-natured band on the planet, released a beer this weekend in conjuction with Hangover 3 called "Mmmhops." Let that sink in, because it's most definitely the greatest beer name that's ever existed. Hopefully this beer takes off and becomes a staple of college parties everywhere. How great would it be to see a keg of Mmmhops at the Alpha Nu Nu Pi Chi party instead of plain ol' Bud Light? If you're of age and curious to try the beer, it looks like Mmmhops is in production and will be available to the public soon. Perfect to sip out by the pool while listening to your Middle of Nowhere CD on a boombox and wearing those daisy barrettes you love so much. —Katie

Making Time Memorial Day Weekend RAD-B-Q

Hey Philly! It's that time of year. YES, that time of year, where warm weather, good music, and the infamous #fishbowls all come together to form the Making Time Memorial Day Weekend Rad-B-Q at Bamboo Bar (927 N. Delaware)! So grab your bathing suits (UGHH girl, no, you're NOT look too fat to go swimming) and get ready for a night of dancing, sweating your ass off and cannonballing.

Now, no RBQ would be complete without some killer munchies, so the babes of PYT are going to be on the grill, cooking up some delish burgs (yes, there's a veggie option) and Little Baby's will be keeping you chill, with more ice cream than your face can handle. 

Let's make this night the start to the best sumer of our lives. #HereComesTheSun and we couldn't be more psyched about it! See you there, bitch. -Ally

How To Use Twinkies

(via Gothamist)

Twinkies are coming back this summer, everyone! Praise and glory be. Stoners everywhere are shedding tears of joy. Even if you've never actually wrapped your mouth around a Twinkie, you know that they embody the American spirit, and what better time for them to return than the summer, the most American of all times? Memorial Day! Fourth of July! Labor Day! Stars and stripes, y'all. If you're sober and still a little unsure about whether or not you actually want to consume the questionable (but delicious) snack cakes, then here are some other uses for them to keep your summer rockin'. —Katie

Eat 100 and see what effects the tasty treats have on your body. Maybe they're the secret to everlasting youth. You won't know until you experiment.

Throw Them
You don't need a reason for this. Just think about how satisfying it would be to lob these things at a brick wall.

You can turn Twinkies into art and if you don't believe me, then just look at the beautiful creations made by artist Nancy Peppin. Shit is serious.

Apparently you can submerge a Twinkie in Mountain Dew and it will not dissolve or fall apart. It just floats. Since Mountain Dew is the most questionable beverage of all time (7,000 pounds of sugar and glowing green), this is pretty good testament to Twinkie's staying power. It could be the most indestructible pet ever
—the new pet rock, if you will.

Best Food Box Subscriptions

There are a million subscription boxes out in the world right now, so it's hard to figure out where to start, but what better place than FOOD? I mean, who wouldn't want a box of snacks delivered directly to their doorstep every month? You can't really go wrong with that one. There's a fun box o' food for every taste out there, and here are some of the best ones. —Katie

Graze looks like it's one of the best boxes out there. It's only $5, so like, YES PLZ, and every box is filled with delicious, healthy snacks. Sadly, you need an invitation code to sign up right now, but if you stalk your friends who were lucky enough to sign up for Graze and receive an invite code, then you might be able to get your hands on one.

Love With Food
The Love With Food box is also pretty cheap, and it's fancy gourmet samples, which is totes fun to get in the mail. It's a great way to try that $20 tea you've had your eye on without actually spending $20 on tea.

(via Chic Vegan)
Vegan Cuts
At $19.95 a month, the Vegan Cuts box is a little bit pricier than the previous two, but it's full of great vegan snacks. Since vegan products aren't found everywhere, it's a good way to try some stuff that may not be available locally. Plus, if you share this box with a pal, it's only $10 a month!

Bespoke Post
Cheating with this one a little because Bespoke Post isn't all food, but the food it does have looks b o m b. The Bespoke Post box is actually curated for men, but it's not filled with Axe Body Spray; the boxes revolve around booze, food and accessories, so they're something that people of both genders would be interested in. At $45 it's the most expensive listed, but the boxes, filled with coffee grinders and weekender bags, definitely seem worth it.

Jubilee Music & Arts Festival Los Angeles

Taking place June 7 and 8 in Los Angeles is the Jubilee Music & Arts Festival, which will feature The Drums, Black Lips, Free Energy, and so many more. This year, for its fourth year as a festival, the event will take place in L.A.'s very own arts district. As a resident of Los Angeles, Jubilee seems pretty cool! Aside from the music, there will be lots of local food, comedy, literary readings, and vendors. I'm mega excited for this, (mainly because of The Drums), but what a great way to celebrate our local culture! Tickets are on sale here. - Maddie


My High Times by Spruce

I'm no stranger to Mary Jane. In fact, she was one of my best friend in college—even though I had to pay a lot of money to hang out with her everyday.  Even so, she was really fun, and we spent a lot of nights together, up late making weird faces into my Macbook Photo Booth. One thing we sucked at, however, was cooking. Instead of trying to make anything remotely edible, we'd eat wraps laced with ranch dressing, chips dipped in ketchup, and the occasional attempt at a marshmallow and Rice Crispies mix in the microwave.

Since graduating from college, and loosing touch with my good old friend Mary, I got a little bit better at cooking (or at least the guys I dated did).  With my new-found abilities, I thought I'd give her a call to try out a few new recipes.  With the help of this friendly little journal called My High Times, I can now say I know how to cook with Mary Jane—all you need is some TLC, 20+ hours and a meal involving lots of LOLs.  Check out the book for a step-by-step guide to cooking with your BFF with recipes including Cannabutter and peanut butter cookies!

Now, my friends, it's time for you to try it out on your own and incorporate your new knowledge with all the cookbooks you can find that use butter. Make it, cook it, eat it and then scribble away in your journal to remember how amazing this weekend was (even if it was all a haze). Now that's some food for thought.

No cookbooks in sight or too in a daze to find one? See our selection below, and run to your closest Urban to make some treats in time for Saturday! —Ally

High Time Cannabis Cookbook by Elise McDonough
The first-ever cookbook from the kings of cannabis, High Times Magazine. Includes 50+ delicious recipes, complete with easy-to-follow instructions

Love: Fries By Love Food Editors
Delicious fry recipes, from hand-cut to triple-fried. Complete with topping tips & dip tricks!

Cox, Cookies, And Cake By Patrick Cox & Eric Lanlard
Bring the attitude of Cox Cookies and Cakes to your kitchen with 80 edgy recipes, from bejeweled cupcakes to classic Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Coachella: Day Negative-One

The Thursday before Coachella is basically one long pre-game to get ready for three days of festival fun. Driving in from Los Angeles, we made some requisite stops at In-N-Out, where a burger, fries and a shake officially announced to our stomachs that we had arrived in California.

The Cabazon Dinosaurs. We weren't going to pay to get in, but then the promise of 'robotic dinosaurs' made us pony up the $7.95 admission fee really fast. Check out our Vine for shots of them in action. 

After that, our first 'official' Coachella stop was the Filter Yacht Club Kick-Off Party, which featured live sets from St. Lucia and Penguin Prison in a dreamy setting around a small lake (idea: next year guys, remote control boat races?) and some DJs who won us over by showing a fondness for Stevie Nicks. 

We also bonded with Filter's online editor, Bailey Pennick, who became our new BFF when she showed off her 'Bluth Company' iphone case. There's always money in the banana stand, right, Bailey?—Kate

Charli XCX's "What I Like" Video

If Tumblr girls got together to hang out in a hotel room, it would look just like English singer Charli XCX's latest video for her cute pop love-song "What I Like." Cheesy pizza, grey-hounds in sweaters, bubbles, Emoji and more are all present in this video in addition to some major fashion inspiration. School girl kilts with gigantic platforms and candy bracelet accessories? I'm all about it. - Hazel

Good Snacks

It's Earth Day this month so you'll probably be spending a lot of time in the great outdoors, inhaling the fresh spring air, rolling around in fresh-cut grass, and hanging out with your old college friend Mary Jane. Since you'll probably work up an appetite while you're toking on the beauty of nature, you should take the time to look at some delicious snacks to keep you fortified. That spring air is gonna make you really hungry. —Katie

Doritos Locos Tacos
Did you hear about these Doritos? They're Locos Tacos flavored Doritos. It's like the ultimate mind-fuck. I have a feeling the board room over at Doritos was probably a little smoky on the day they thought up these bad boys, and I'm sure the proposition for this one was laced with "duuuude" more times than we could count.

Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco
Obviously I'm not going to mention the chip offspring of these delicious tacos and not the tacos themselves. Full disclosure: I actually haven't gotten the chance to try one of these, so they might not be that delicious, but something tells me that when you're driving through Taco Bell's drive-thru at 2AM with four friends giggling in the backseat, you're not gonna be that discerning.

Burger King Triple Stacker
The BK Triple Stacker is the best thing ever because they aren't trying to fuck around with any lettuce or tomatoes on this monster. This one is just meat on meat. Because America! When you're looking to snack, and snack hard, you might as well go all out. You know you're just gonna end up dipping an entire bag of Hot Cheetos in cream cheese later anyway.

Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" Potato Chips
Kind of gross, kind of delightful, these chips' flavors are perfect for "enhanced" snacking.

Mr. Garth-Culti-Vader "Weed Waffles & Fried Chicken"

"This is what happens when you get way too high and watch the Food Network Channel all the time." Instant classic. -Ally