#105: Benjamin Edgar
Benjamin Edgar on CitiBike eBikes, Moscot Glasses, Malin Goetz Advanced Renewal Moisturizer, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Benjamin Edgar to come on Perfectly Imperfect & redistribute his good taste.
Benjamin Edgar is a Chicago-based designer who has been a constant source of inspiration for us over the years, but most importantly he’s a man who shares our same deep love for Internet Blue (#0000FF). His work includes starting the environmentally-conscious Boxed Water, the person-to-person education service th-oughts.com, the industrial design project "An Object Company”, and THE BRILLIANCE!, a culture blog he runs along with Chuck Anderson and Virgil Abloh. Benjamin has great taste and lucky for us, he’s here to talk about what he’s been into.
Without further ado
🏙️ 🚲 🔌 CitiBike eBikes
Well, CitiBike in NYC and Divvy in Chicago, I split my time between the two as of late. I fell in love with the regular CitiBikes quite a few years ago here in NYC when it clicked with me just how much faster they were to get around the city than taking an Uber (which now feel about as enjoyable as being on a zoom call) or taking the train. The eBike situation changed everything. My friend Joe Holder refers to the pedal assist function they have as positive use of "strategic laziness" which I love. Not only do they help get you to a meeting far less sweaty and winded than a normal bike, they're incredibly fun. I use them for both functional transport and leisure. When the temp is just right, there is nothing more enjoyable than a ride (on alucky one that is completely free of rattles) from downtown up to Central Park, around the park, then back while listening to whatever audiobook I might be finishing that week. I just wish they were even faster, though, I've had my friends describe my riding style as "insane" so maybe that's not a great idea.
I wore contacts for well over a decade before on a whim I bought a pair of the "Frankie" model while on a stay in NYC so that I could see the TV in my hotel room without needing to fall asleep in my contacts and effectively just never wore contacts again. My daily driver is a pair of the Lemontosh in Havana with a barely blue tint. It makes, at least to me, the hereditary dark circles under my eyes seem less visible and makes everything around me look as though it's that tinted blue that all old episodes of Top Gear had. I have gradient, clear, jet black, etc and always want another pair.
📚 💻 Audible App
I'm at about 2 books a month now it seems. It feels true that you don't retain as much while listening as opposed to reading, I find they match with walks, drives, and especially my many daily bike rides incredibly well. If I enjoy a book I'll often listen to it twice. Some of my favorites are: Love and Other Ways of Dying, Boom (the art market one), How to See, and most recently Into the Magic Shop.
I was a rather die-hard anti RSS internet guy for quite some time. I wanted to soak in the design of the site - likely a left-over behavior from the magazine culture days. Reality is, once you properly load whatever RSS reader you prefer, it's kinda hard to even figure out how to go back. It helps me consume all the information of the day quickly and with effectively no advertising or unneeded visual distraction and it syncs across all my devices, etc. I find the Reeder app itself to be incredibly elegant in it's subtle attention to detail and one-handed use. Real nerd stuff.
I suppose it's somewhat tacky to list your own product in something like this isn't it? But of all the objects I've made - this one likely gets used the most on a daily basis. A good tote bag you use often becomes almost like a favorite bar or restaurant. But instead of a respite for yourself, it's a respite for your items that you can depend on. My favorite feature is the slightly padded and structured suede bottom that helps give the bag a bit of shape and allows me to throw my laptop in without a case.
I've been a skincare head for...I suppose since I was about 7 and my mom had my start using Oil of Olay. I'm incredibly thankful for the habit having been prompted at such a young age. I recently switched from their classic vitamin E facial moisturizer to this more serum like one. It always makes me look like I had a slightly more restful night than I actually did. I've had a deep affection for the Malin & Goetz brand ever since the two founders agreed to do an interview in 2005 (!) on a blog I started with my friend Chuck Anderson and later Virgil Abloh called THE BRILLIANCE. Interviewing founders of a skincare company on a blog was quite odd to our readers, and the founders too I'd imagine, back then.
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