Oven Fresh Dreams: Where Dreams Are Made

You remember my friend Carlos J. EasyBake, right? He not only makes wonderful baked goods, but is also the purveyor of some damn sexy T-Shirts. Carlos has really been pumping out some awesome stuff with the Oven Fresh Dreams “Collaborate & Dream” Series. Oven Fresh Dreams isn’t a clothing brand per se, but OFD does collaborate with some of the best indie designers. You just need to look at his recent collaborations with Reuben Levi of GRITS Apparel, Nick Automatic and Filipino designer Chad Manzo to see how serious OFD really is. The latest OFD shirt is called Gritty Dreams and was a collaboration between a friend that he made while living in Houston, Texas.

“Levi (GRITS designer & owner) & I have been good friends for several months now. We met through mutual friends while I living in Houston. We instantly gained respect for each other during one of my weekly dinner parties. The “Gritty Dreams” collaboration shows the connection between the New York City & Houston lifestyles. It also symbolizes the bond I made with Levi & Houston. We are both dreamers, who know how to keep it trill & you can too!” – Carlos J. Easybake

The Oven Fresh Dreams X GRITS Apparel tee, Gritty Dreams comes in two colorways. The New York Knicks colorway (top) is available at Oven Fresh Dreams for $20, while the Houston Oilers (bottom) colorway is available over at GRITS Apparel for $25.

Below are two sneak peeks at some upcoming Oven Fresh Dreams pieces. The purple Star Wars / Legend of Zelda mashup was designed by Filipino artist Chad Manzo. Below that, is the second Oven Fresh Dreams X Nick Automatic collaboration tee. I’ve got their first collab tee, and trust me when I say that I want version 2.0.

I’ll keep you guys updated and let you all know when these two go on sale. Keep an eye out! Now, go bake stuff.

Sistine: Live and Let Live

You can say that at times I can be pretty jaded by overhyped emails notifying me of a new clothing brand or a just released seasonal line. I get a lot of these emails and most of the time, the hype isn’t worth the product. Sistine, a progressive streetwear and lifestyle brand based out of New York is different. I checked out their site and was blown away by their unique designs. It’s almost as if their T-Shirts deserve to be framed and hung on the wall of an Art Gallery in Manhattan.

Sistine’s winter collection is called Live and Let Live and it features 8 eclectic designs with a splash of pop. Imprint and I Am Not Young Enough To Know Everything are two of my favorites from the winter collection.

Imprint is inspired from Hermann Rorschach’s classic inkblot test. For the most part, I think psychoanalysis is utter bullshit but for some reason I’ve always been fascinated by the Rorschach inkblot test. It’s used by psychoanalysts as a tool to record and analyze a subject’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning using psychological interpretations. I’ve always wondered what I would say if presented with inkblot test.

I Am Not Young Enough To Know Everything is a quote from the great Oscar Wilde. It’s a reminder that the older you get the more you realize just how little you know.

I also have to mention a design from Sistine’s summer release. The shirt is called Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. The quote originally appeared on the back cover of the Whole Earth Catalogue in 1974. It’s memorable to me because Steve Jobs famously referenced this quote in his iconic 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. I live by those words.

If you love fashion and you dig art then I highly recommend that you checkout the rest of Sistine’s winter line. The shirts are priced on the high end at $36 a piece, but hey, can you really put a price on a well thought out piece of art? Nah, don’t think so.

When Silent Pandas Attack Rob Pruitt

Some of you might remember that about two weeks ago I posted a story about New York based artist Rob Pruitt ripping off the popular Threadless T-Shirt, When Pandas Attack. The tee was designed AJ Dimarucot and Jimmy Benedict (aka jimiyo), despite this, neither artists received attribution for the design nor did either provide Pruitt with permission to use the design.

Since then, the close knit T-Shirt community has been discussing this hot topic, with one forum thread on the popular T-Shirt site Emptees receiving 300+ posts regarding the topic.

Threadless, a popular Internet based T-Shirt company with a tight knit and vocal community decided to take things into their own hands. A handful of Threadless faithful made their way to Pruitt’s “Pattern and Degradation” gallery in West Village for a silent protest of sorts, with each member decked out in the original When Pandas Attack T-Shirt. Oh, and they also had a huge panda accompanying them. Threadless posted a few photos from the event and promises to share video. And guess what, Pruitt was at the gallery.

“Yesterday in NYC at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Threadless fans and staffers staged a silent attack against the use of a Threadless design, “When Pandas Attack” (which was originally a collab by Jimiyo and AJ Dimarucot). Rob Pruitt, the artist who allegedly misappropriated the design (to put it kindly) was actually in the gallery at the time, and was completely baffled. We’re sure the guy sneaking around in a panda suit helped our silent yet powerful cause too! Talk about art creating art creating one very confused “artist.”

Now you’re wondering why Threadless doesn’t just sue Pruitt for copyright infringement. It turns out that since Threadless is crowdsourced, they only keep the rights to the apparel, while the original artists hold the rights to the actual design. So therein lies the problem. AJ Dimarucot, one of the co-designers is based in the Philippines, which makes things quite complicated. he wants to take action, but because he lives so far away, it is difficult for him to do so. And Jimiyo has gone on record as being quite apathetic to the whole situation.

So what to do? Well, first off, we can start by showing Pruitt that he is wrong. If you live in New York:

  1. Show up to the gallery wearing you When Pandas Attack T-Shirt and ask Pruitt why he ripped off two artists without giving attribution or getting permission.
  2. If you don’t have a When Pandas Attack T-Shirt, then show up anyway, and question him and/or bug the staff or curators about the situation. Let people know that he ripped off this piece.
  3. Post about this story on your blog, or better yet, RT this post or link to it on your Facebook page so that when people Google Pruitts name, this and the other posts linked will also show up.

Stealing art is bad, even pandas know that.

When Pandas Attack

When Pandas Attack

When Pandas Attack

When Pandas Attack

When Pandas Attack

When Pandas Attack

Photos via Threadless’ Official Facebook Page.

A Visit To Jon Wye’s New York City Boutique

I’ve been a fan of Jon Wye since he first contacted me in 2008 when I was just starting out with this blog. He was one of the first guys that saw potential in my website and he even sent me one of his custom leather belts for me to check out and review. I was a newbie to the blog scene back then and so it was a bit more difficult to get products to review than it is for me now. Needless to say, I was blown away by his generosity and by the fact that he was excited by my site and what I was doing.

Since then, I’ve been following the Jon Wye brand and have provided updates here whenever possible. The most exciting news from Jon Wye recently was the opening of his brick and mortar shop in the Flatiron district of New York City. It’s a little boutique that is located inside The Limelight, an old church that has been converted into a three story market space for fledgling creatives and entrepreneurs.

Jon Wye is known for his custom made leather belts and his store has every variety that you could ever want. It’s an eclectic style that will appease anyone who is looking for complimentary accessories that do not comply with the status quo. Jon Wye is much more than the status quo, he is original and his products inspire creativity.

Unfortunately, neither Jon nor his right hand man, Jeff, was there when I stopped by. However, the nice young lady that was manning the store was quite nice. I told her that I knew Jon and that I had blogged about his products in the past. She was more than happy to allow me to snap photos of his shop and I was more than happy to snap away.

The shop itself is amazing. I shouldn’t be too surprised considering Jon has an impeccable eye for detail and perfection. It’s a small space but it is pretty grand. There’s a fireplace in the shop and also a cheeky little painting of Jon that graces you as you walk up the steps to his shop. And of course, you’ll find all of his T-Shirts and belts neatfully displayed against the walls. Located on the top floor, it is as if the Jon Wye shop is the centerpiece of The Limelight. When you first enter the old church and then look up, the bold red and yellow Jon Wye insignia just captures you.

If you are ever in New York City and have any interest in T-Shirts and/or quality leather products, then Jon Wye is a must stop destination. Tell him that I said hi!

Jon Wye
656 Avenue of the Americas
3rd Fl Limelight Marketplace
Manhattan, NY 10011
Neighborhood: Flatiron








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Toronto/New York Trip Day 5

Day 5 T-Shirt of Choice: FFB Raglan by Fur Face Boy

NYC Neighborhoods Visited: Theater District, City Hall, Brooklyn Bridge, Union Square, and TriBeCa.

Today was a big day and long day. We kicked it off by crossing one big and long bridge – the Brooklyn Bridge! Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. It is 5,989 feet (1825 m) long and 85 feet (26 m) wide and it connects Manhattan to Brooklyn. This was my second time crossing the bridge so I knew what to expect, but this was Michelle’s first time. I kind of wish that I had timed the length of time it took us to cross the bridge.

49 Street

Brooklyn Bridge

Once we reached Brooklyn, we headed straight for Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. After getting lost for a little bit, we finally found this little pizza gem on Old Fulton St. The establishment has quite a storied history:

“Patsy Grimaldi, the founder of Grimaldi’s, learned to make pizza at his uncle Patsy Lancieri’s pizzeria (trained under pizza patriarch Gennaro Lombardi of Lombardi’s Pizzeria) in 1941 at age ten. He eventually opened his own restaurant, Patsy’s Pizzeria, in Brooklyn. Grimaldi originally planned to build it in Manhattan. However, he believed that coal-fired brick ovens produced the best pizza, and it was illegal to build new coal ovens in Manhattan. As a result, he moved to the current location at South Ferry, Brooklyn.”

We ordered a small pizza with pepperoni, italian sausage and mushrooms. My first bite reminded just how much I loved this place the first time I visited in 2007. Grimaldi’s is awesome and it will be one of those place that I will always visit whenever I visit New York. The crust is perfectly thin, the meats were nice and fresh and spiced perfectly, and the cheese was thick and plentiful. Mouthgasm? Hell yes. The amazing part is that the amount of time it takes to cook a Grimaldi’s pizza in their over 100 year old brick oven is faster than it takes a Pizza Hut to cook a pie in their modern ovens. Whenever I eat pizza, I will think of Grimaldi’s. Grimaldi’s is the real deal. If you want good pizza, you must pay a visit to the mecca of pizza, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.




Once we had our fill of Grimaldi’s, we headed toward Union Square so that Michelle could make a stop at Trader Joe’s. What’s awesome about Union Square is it’s commanding and engaging intersection. People come to union square to relax, sit, people watch, mingle and even play chess. And since it’s surrounded by shops, it’s the perfect place for tourists who want to escape the madness of Times Square.

Saddled by bags of Trader Joe’s nuts, we headed back to the hotel for a little rest. We needed that rest so that we wouldn’t fall asleep during our broadway experience – American Idiot! In factor, American Idiot was the entire reason why we began planning this trip. I am a huge fan of Green Day so I had been dying to see this musical by Billy Joe Armstrong, featuring music from the iconic 2004 Album, American Idiot and select songs from their latest album, 21st Century Breakdown.

The St. James Theater is the home of American Idiot and lucky for us, Hotel Mela is located a measly 3 minute walk away. We left the hotel at 7:30 pm for an 8 pm show and arrived in our seats with ample time to spare and take in the inspiring interior of the St. James Theater. Once the curtains went up, the madness started and it was complete rock and roll for 90 minutes. Non-stop punk and non-stop Green Day for 90 minutes. I loved it. I loved every burning second of this musical. I loved it so much that I want to see it again. The songs came alive right before my eyes and I was in Green Day heaven. Did I say I loved it? I loved it.

American Idiot - St. James Theater

American Idiot - St. James Theater

After waiting around a bit for the stars of the show to meet and greet, we jetted off to TriBeCa to dine at Ninja Restaurant. I had been itching to go there ever since I first heard Dan Trachtenburg and the rest of the Totally Rad Show crew talk about it in one of their past episodes. I was sold when Dan mentioned that Ninjas appear out of nowhere. Awesome.

When you first arrive at the unassuming front door, you are greeted by a host in a small room with an elevator. I don’t want to spoil the experience for those of you planning to pay a vista to Ninja Restaurant, but, I will say that the Totally Rad Show guys swear right – Ninja do appear out of nowhere. Oh, and if given a chance, take the secret yet dangerous path. You’ll love it. Michelle and I found ourselves still talking about it the day after. It was that fun.

Ninja Restaurant

Ninja Restaurant

The food at the Ninja Restaurant was okay compared to the Ninja experience. We had the Four Elements sushi (California roll topped with tuna, salmon, yellowtail and eel) and the Spicy Tuna sushi to start. Being from Hawaii, we know good Sushi – this was just okay sushi. For the main entree, I had the Ninja Paella (orzo pasta with seasweed and miso marinated salmon, short-neck clams and veggies) and Michelle had the Poseidon’s Pot (a pot of mussels and calamari, steamed with white soy sauce and sake). The serving size of my entree was unexpectedly huge. Five large filets of salmon was the main attraction for my entree. The salmon was cooked well, but again, living in Hawaii, I’ve had better fish prepared and cooked much better. Still, the Ninja Restaurant is quite the experience. You’re even treated to a Ninja magic show prior to eating. Neat!

Toronto/New York Trip Day 3 + 4

Day 3 T-Shirt of Choice: Yeti Kong by Gama-Go

NYC Neighborhoods Visited: JFK Airport, Theater District, Midtown West, and Midtown East.

The third day of our vacation was more of a transition day than anything else. The day started early, very early. We woke up at around 6am and then left the hotel at around 7:30 am and caught the subway to the airport. The nearly 1.5 hour subway ride, really cut into our 9:35 am board time, especially since the trains had to be rerouted. In fact, after all the customs work, we just made it to our terminal with a few minutes to spare before the gate was closed. Whww, disaster averted!

The one hour flight was faster than it would take for us to catch the shuttle from JFK International Airport to our hotel in the Theater District. The shuttle ride was nearly 3 hours long, and at times, it felt like we were going in circles. When we reached Hotel Mela, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we were situated right in the heart of Times Square on 44th street. Times Square is literally a few steps away from our boutique hotel. Awesome!

Having missed breakfast, both me and Michelle were starved. On the recommendation of a few of my Twitter followers, we stopped at the Shake Shack on 44th street (how convenient!). The place was packed to the max. They say that this is the closest thing the East Coast has to In-N-Out. I had the ShakeShack Burger and Michelle had the ‘Shroom Burger. Both were out of this world good. They were both really, really, really good burgers. But at the end of the day, I still have to say that Hodad’s in San Diego is still my favorite burger destination on Earth. Still, a very good burger.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

After that we ventured around Times Square for a little bit and did some shopping. Michelle found a Sanrio Luxe store and she was engaged for a good 30 minutes. Sanrio, she loves to buy that stuff for her friends.

Bryant Park was filled to the brim with New Yorkers and tourists alike. Every nook and cranny of the park was being utilized for something, from the ping pong table to the carrousel to the petangue area. If I lived in New York, I could absolutely see myself copping a chair, coffee in hand  and reading a book for hours at a time.

Bryant Park

Once we had our fill of Bryant Park, we walked to both the Chrysler Building and then the Empire State Building. There’s something about the art deco design of The Empire State Building that draws me to it. I love the architecture of that building – it’s stunning, much like NYC.

Empire State Building

Before we headed back to Hotel Mela, we stopped by the flagship Macy’s store on 34th Street in Herald’s Square. This is the world’s largest department store, and with 10 extensive floors, I believe it. In fact, the first floor was so large that it alone was overwhelming for the two of us. In fact, overwhelming might be an understatement.

Day 4 T-Shirt of Choice: Easier Said Than Done by Ugmonk

NYC Neighborhoods Visited: Upper West Side, Central Park, Midtown West, Midtown East, Upper East Side, Theater District

We kicked off our morning by stopping at the famed Barney Greengrass for breakfast. This spot came highly recommend by Anthony Bourdain so it was a must visit. Located on the Lower West Side, Barney Greengrass is famous for their sturgeon and salmon, so you know what I had to get for breakfast – sturgeon and salmon! The dish that I ordered featured nice portions of both sturgeon and Nova Scotia salmon as well as big serving of scrambled eggs and a perfectly toasted bagel on the side. Both the sturgeon and the salmon are served cold. I’ve never eaten salmon with eggs for breakfast before, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Coupled with the bagel covered in cream cheese, this unique New York breakfast made for a pleasant surprise. After eating my meal I proclaimed that I could eat this dish every day for breakfast for the rest of my life and be happy.

Barney Greengrass

After the amazing breakfast at Barney Greengrass, we ventured off to explore Central Park. Explore might be an overstatement because Central Park is so large that it is almost impossible to explore its entirety in one visit. So we staked out 5 areas of Central Park that we had to see, including Belvedere Castle, Shakespeare Garden, Graywacke Arch, Bethesda Fountain, and Strawberry Fields. We spent about 3 hours inside of Central Park, but, we were able to see everything we wanted to see, and then some. My favorite area of the park by far was Bethesda Fountain – the size of this Central Park attraction is incredible.

One Million Acts of Kindness

While walking along the Lower West Side we spotted this awesome bus of kindness.

Central Park

That’s me at the top of Belvedere Castle and overlooking Central Park and the Lower East Side.

While exploring Central Park, we went from West to East, and by the end of the park we had reached the busiest area of 5th Avenue. Apple’s flagship glass cube store had an outrageous line outside. For what you ask? The iPhone 4. Yep, nearly a month after its release, people are still standing in crazy lines to get their hands on one. Nuts.

The big piano in FAO Schwartz was another must visit destination, but alas, there were just too many kids clamoring to jump on those giant piano keys. It’s okay though, I had a chance to play chopsticks ala Tom Hanks from Big, the last time I was there.

Leaving 5ht avenue, we made a stop at Dylan’s Candy Box. I’ve never been here before so when I stepped inside this over-the-top candy store, I was blown away. They seriously have every candy you could ever want. And that was just the first floor. I was dumbfounded when I found out that they had two more floors of candy loving goodness. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Dylan’s Candy Box is a must visit destination in New York City.

Dylan's Candy Box

Just a block from Dylan’s Candy Box was a restaurant that I had been wanting to visit for quite some time, Serendipity 3. Now, I’ve experienced the Serendipity magic once before in Las Vegas, but, there’s nothing like visiting the original. All I wanted was the Frozen Hot Chocolate but we ended up ordering some lunch as well. The Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (I changed my mind and went with Peanut Butter instead of straight up chocolate) was amazing. The only thing about Serendipity 3 is the ridiculous wait time. If you do decide to make a stop at Serendipity 3 I recommend that you check in and then venture off to Dylan’s Candy Box to burn some time. But whatever you do, order the Frozen Hot Chocolate.

Serendipity 3

Before I had my Frozen Hot Chocolate, I had a Ftatateeta’s Toast. It was pretty awesome.

Serendipity 3

By the time we finished up at Serendipity 3, it was about 4 pm. We decided to catch a taxi to Rockefeller Center to purchase tickets to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, especially since it was raining and we had done a lot of walking already during the day. We chose the Top of the Rock over the Empire State Building because both me and Michelle checked out the Empire the last time we were each here. After we grabbed our tickets, we headed back to our hotel to rest for a bit and freshen up for the evening.

At this point of the day, my feet were killing me! I can’t tell you how good it feels to kick off my shoes after a long day of walking and trekking. Needless to say, the two hour rest was much needed. Much needed! But there was still a few hours left in the day so we decided to make the best of it. Unfortunately, it started to rain so out came the umbrellas. The first stop was the Top of the Rock. For $20 you get a nice, 360 degree view of New York City, from three different levels. The brightly lit city is definitely something to gawk at. Ironically, the most obvious structure noticeable at the Top of the Rock is the Empire State Building.

Carmine’s was our dinner destination. It’s a family style Italian restaurant with very large portions. Michelle and I ordered the chicken marsala. For dessert, we headed back to the Shake Shack on 44th for the chocolate custard and chocolate shake. Decadence is our middle name.

After dinner we again explored Times Square. At night, Times Square is such a busy beast. Navigating the waves of people and yellow taxis is all part of the experience. And what an experience it has been so far!

Stop Honking

New York based art design firm, MyORB, recently released their Stop Honking tee in hopes of reducing the daily noise pollution caused by irate (and some not so irate) drivers. I visited New York three summers ago and I can tell you first hand that honking is part of the culture there. All of the honking initially came to me as quite a shock, considering that I am from Hawaii and honking is basically taboo here. If you honk in Hawaii you get labelled as the ass. Having said that, I rather enjoy honking here on the islands because I feel that, frankly, more people should honk when honking is necessary.

Stop Honking

The Stop Honking T-Shirts from MyORB is “meant to be worn as an active call for car drivers to stop honking.” However, I’m pretty sure that this tee will have an inverse effect. I guarantee that every lunatic driver that sees this shirt will do one thing, and that one thing is honk their horn. They’ll honk their horn with such vivid enthusiasm that the shirt will be relegated to the cultural bin of ineffective products. Still, cool concept and in the end, if you want to annoy honkers then this is the shirt to get. Stop Honking is available now from MyORB for $15.

Stop Honking

Via Josh Spear.

Only NY

Looking for an alternative to those I Heart NY tees? Look no further than the Manhattan based indie clotihng brand, Only NY. This NYC streetwear brand has been around since 1997 and heavily feature the Empire State in their designs. Below you’ll find a few of their typographic tees, but they also do graphic illustration designs as well. The tees range from in price from $25 to $32.

“ONLY NY INC. is an independent brand based out of the West side of Manhattan that offers quality goods, released in limited quantity. By combining innovative design with quality apparel, ONLY NY strives to create classic, timeless clothing. Since 1997 we have been heavily involved with NYC’s underground street culture. From years of skateboarding & writing graffiti, to sporting old school Polo and North Face, ONLY NY Embodies our roots and has been 10 years in the making. Our brand represents the hood to Park Ave. and everything in between. If you’re down with New York, your down with ONLY NY.”

Only New York

Only New York

Only New York

Only New York

Go Love Your Own City

I definitely have to pick up this tee for my sister because she absolutely insists on collecting as many “I Heart X” tees as cities I can visit. Her collection is growing at a rapid pace so much so that maybe a quarter of her closet is filled with this tourist staple. The Go Heart Your Own City tee was made for her! It’s printed on a 100% cotton tee and is an exclusive re-release by Reason Clothing. These are extremely limited and are numbered 1 to 48. The cost? Definitely not the standard tourist street price. A I Heart NY tee will set you back 5 bucks, this limited print will cost you $36. 

Go Love Your Own City by Reason Clothing

The Intern Shirt

I spotted this tee over at Direct Daily, a blog about direct marketing and engaging advertising. It was a T-Shirt that was passed out to interns at the prestigious New York based advertising agency JWT. The shirt featured silkscreened sweet stains and dirt and were given out at the beginning of the internship. It served as an eye opener to the interns as to how hard they were expected to work. It kind of reminds me of college hazing, but hey, I like it!

“JWT New York had a grueling 10-week summer internship for creatives. They were given daily projects and made to work long hours and weekends. To prepare them for the intense experience, they were given t-shirts with silkscreen-printed sweat stains and rips that resembled whip marks. “No interns were actualy harmed. Honest.”


JWT Intern