#102: Shy's Burgers and Frys

Shyan Zakeri and Alex David drop in to tell us about 1733 Ripstop Bags, Best Friends, Colter Wall's Music, Small Caña glasses, and more.

Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Shyan Zakeri and Alex David to come on Perfectly Imperfect & redistribute their good taste.

Shyan and Alex are the dudes behind Shy’s Burgers and Frys, a burger operation run from a flat top grill on their balcony that’s focused around an unpretentious four(ish) item menu and high-quality ingredients. Stop by their Williamsburg apartment, yell your order up to the balcony, and a few minutes later NYC’s coolest burger will be lowered down in a little red bucket along with a Miracle Seltzer or Pony-sized beer— what more could you need? They’ve since expanded from their friends & family events to bigger pop-ups at art shows, Cactus Store NYC, Grimm Brewery, and events such as the Throwing Fits BBQ, and coming up on August 22nd they’ll be at Flynn McGarry’s Gem. Shyan and Alex have great taste and lucky for us, they’re here to talk about what they’ve been into.

Without further ado

Shyan Zakeri  (instagram)

📺 Twitch.tv

Hear me out. Twitch is synonymous with gaming - mainly advertiser friendly content targeted at teens and children. But for me, its real value lies in the illegal streaming of movies and television. No cable, no problem. There’s Bobygamesdotcom who’s Calm Crazy About Movies series started my love affair with Jerry Lewis. An expert on pre-code Hollywood, and forgotten gems from the 50s, and 60s - a wealth of knowledge on everything from von Sternberg to slapstick. Who needs film school? If you like cult horror, sci-fi, and anime - look to Bakoon who streams almost every night. The real shit that got me through quarantine though? Non-stop Anthony Bourdain from my man Pedro from Brazil, who started this channel in March 2020. It’s fucking Tony, man. 24/7. What more is there to say? 

RIP Moviepassed aka Hollywood Entertainment

🌮 LA Taco

The legacy of Jonathan Gold lives on at LA Taco. There is no better place to understand Los Angeles than this bastion of independent food journalism helmed by Javier Cabral. Soul bound with city, this is the source code. If you’ve recently moved there, read LA Taco. There is no other alternative. A champion for the city’s street vendors and the food they make -  there’s real heart in the writing, real fire. Come for the food guides, stay for the local policy coverage. Love Los Angeles? Buy a membership and support street-level, groundbreaking journalism. Honor the taco.

🪙 Frank Heath

Part How To with John Wilson, Part Channel 5, part Longmont Potion Castle…I got introduced to the work of Frank Heath last year by my much smarter friend Noa Ryan so I’ll just let her speak on it:

“There’s a sad, funny comfort in Frank Heath’s multimedia work, which is generally about humanity, bureaucracy, and the end of the world (and the “end of the world”). It’s equal parts playful and careful, joining research, make-believe and aesthetic acuity in what end up feeling like gestures of tenderness towards the tragicomedy of human affairs and longings. If you are looking for cynicism you won’t find it here, but you might end up liking the alternative :)”

PS: If you have a link for Crypts of Civilization or Last Will and Testament hit my line.

🏠 Living & Eating - John Pawson, and Annie Bell

It’s hard for me to earnestly recommend a cookbook this expensive (It’s out of print!), but Pawson’s first book, a rec of a rec via the New Yorker’s Helen Rosner, is singularly outstanding. Yes, yes...A cookbook from an Englishman? The thing is, it’s decidedly un-British, continental in all the best ways, modern in its disposition, and prescient in it’s cookbook design. As a very goofy dude, operating a very unsexy business, Pawson’s work is a godsend. He approaches food in a holistic way - less so a manifesto, more so a journey through his mind. First, the kitchen from its bones - counterspace, appliances, hobs, things of that nature. He is an architect after all. The ideal oven size? At least 900mm by the way. Alongside the 200+ recipes in the book you’ll find some real elite food writing provided by Annie Bell. Brilliant and beautiful prose that you shouldn’t gloss over. 

Pawson recently released his second cookbook earlier this year titled Home Farm Cooking. I haven’t read it, but I reckon you should buy that instead. Don’t shell out hundreds of dollars on a cookbook unless you’re a collector or got money to burn. Live well. 

🧳 Bags from 1733

I’m a ripstop addict. I love workwear. I love technical fabrics. I would buy a ripstop suit if I could. (Anyone have a link?). I also live in New York and use a tote bag. Summer showers and cotton totes don’t mix, and they don’t do too well in winter either. The answer? Seventeen. Thirty. Three. (Not to be confused with all time British technical-ware brand 6876). Chicago outfit, real good product. If you need to move something in the city or take it out of town, they got you. All weather conditions. I’d like them to make me an apron, so if you guys see this...let’s talk. Keep this in mind: I won’t name any names, but watch out for imitators. Buy original. 

👬👬👬 Bonus: My Best Friends

I recommend Oliver Levitt, Gabe Wells, AJ Marcus, Ezra Miller, and Caleb Miller. Some of the best people I know. Our fatal flaw? Our original sin? We like each other too much. Truly, madly, deeply. We love hanging out, foreal. They’re very much a centering force in my life and I would be lost without them.

Alex David (instagram)

🔪 Milwaukee Fastback Utility Knife

I try to keep a knife on me at all times… People like to make fun of it but everyone who has spent any time w me has found themselves needing it at some point. Shyan has caught me without one a few times recently and he freaks out every time. Be an adult, start carrying your own. This is the knife I carry when I’m at the shop… My buddy Fritz got me hooked. No other utility knife opens easily with one hand.

💧 Yeti Half Gallon Jug

This is a contentious item for a New York CIty lifestyle-- In fact it makes zero sense. It’s large and a pain in the ass to carry, but it’s the best water bottle I’ve ever had and I love her. 2 a day keeps u feeling good. 

🍞🐟 Tunafish Sandwich on Thursday Afternoons (After the Shrink)

Maybe for you it’s not a tunasand at 1:45 on Thursdays, but I think you gotta have one good ritual. I am in no way a planner or a routine guy, but I do get a tuna sandwich every Thursday after I see the shrink. Sometimes it’s from Katz’s, sometimes it's on a bagel at Russ and Daughters, but I’ve been switching it up. A few weeks ago I had one w Shy from Rolo’s and it was pretty damn good. This week I did Frankel’s and it was excellent. Open to recs. Hop on the Tunafish Thursdays train, we’re happy to have you.

🍺 Small Caña glass

A lot of places serve their beer in one of several small glasses (probably somewhere between 5-7oz). You know when you're like ⅔ through a pint and the beer has become lukewarm? Why don't you just have a cute little glass of beer instead? Get a few for your house-- the fridge is close by and you can refill as often as you want. 

🐴 🎶 Colter Wall

Colter Wall is a cowboy from Saskatchewan and makes music that’ll at the very least make you feel like you’re out of the city, but will probably have you looking for a way Upstate (or further) ASAP. He’s cool, he totally walks it like he talks it and spends most of his time ranching and cowboying. If you’re into Townes, Prine, Gillian Welch-- the sort of americana folk (I don’t really know how to categorize it) you’ll probably enjoy his stuff. Songs of the Plains is the album of his I probably listen to most.

Follow Shyan Zakeri and Alex David on Instagram.

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