#126: Chad Senzel

Chad Senzel drops in to tell us about Vintage Gap Pocket Tees, Watermelon Slushies, Cashmere Sweaters, and more.

Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Chad Senzel to come on Perfectly Imperfect & redistribute his good taste.

Chad Senzel is a vintage dealer and collector who has made waves with his Clothing Rack at the corner of Ludlow and Canal in the Lower East Side, and for good reason. In the past few months his #streetrack has earned him spots in NYMag and The New York Times, as well as a profile from previous PI guest Molly Yelon for Seasons. Stop by his rack and expect to find a great mix of collectible and historically relevant t-shirts as well as loads of vintage designer to help you create a more sophisticated look. And keep an eye out for a showroom arrangement for 2022 Fashion Week in both New York and Paris this coming January. Chad has great taste and lucky for us, he’s here to tell us what he’s been into.

Without further ado

Chad Senzel (instagram)

👂 Roberta Flack’s First Take

I first heard “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” and somewhat instantly was enthralled. The rolling hi-hat entrances and always leads me to feel like a bigger beat is going to erupt, yet the song just rolls along and only gradually builds with grandeur towards the back quarter. Upon further listens, more songs have enchanted me and kept me listening on a regular basis. If you like this album, it’ll likely lead you towards Donny Hathaway’s self titled album, Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul and Bill Withers’ Just As I Am.

🏆 Vintage Gap pocket tees

Throughout the 90’s, Gap made a masterpiece of a pocket t-shirt. The ideal medium weight, soft 100% cotton, short boxy fit and made in a seemingly endless array of recessive colors that I’m sure brands are still showing to their dye houses as reference today. It’s perfect to me and the only blank t-shirt I wear - my collection probably hovers around 2 dozen right now. If the descriptors above sound appealing to you, I would suggest you seek some out. I’d tell you to come buy them from me but I hoard every one I get so you’ll have to go out and scavenge yourself.

📡 Radio ravioli with Olivia on WFMU 

WFMU is a guaranteed fun listen for whenever you’re in the mood for whimsical college radio, but I particularly love Radio Ravioli with Olivia every Monday from 3-6pm. Olivia consistently chooses an intentional mix of esoteric but enjoyable tracks and almost never anything that I’ve heard before. Further noteworthy, she has the voice of a goddess whom I want to read me bedtime stories. Come for the good tunes, stay for a soothing voice narrating the track selection (she’ll usually give a brief recap of her weekend too). Also, WFMU archives every single show on their website so you can listen to her old sets on your internet device whenever the mood strikes.

🔮 Wearing a cashmere sweater

If you were to poll a large swathe of people as to whether cashmere is over or underrated, I really have no clue what the consensus would be; but I think cashmere is underrated. I was not a sweater person for quite a while but have become one and culled a pretty decent collection of knitwear that I like to pull from when I want to dress to impress. Anyway, cotton sweaters are a bit too pedestrian, merino a tad too formal and while I love shetland, it can be a itchy and requires intentional layering. Cashmere balances all of the best elements of the aforementioned knits and feels delightful on the skin. I recommend you pick one up and not from Uniqlo (or insert other high street brand) - I like Ralph, Loro Piana, Malo. How pompous do I sound?

🥵 Watermelon slushie at bodega on corner of Essex and Canal

Not sure what this corner store is called but its asian owned in a neighborhood that’s becoming less and less so. This rec is a bit less relevant now as the temperature drops but their made-right-there-on-the-spot-watermelon-chunk-and-ice-slushies are an absolute reprieve on a hot summer day. Other fruits are available but the watermelon is the certified classic and the first I had, I’ve never strayed since. As a further cosign, Porches casually mentions the spot within the first few lines of his recent track “Watergetsinside”.

😎 People watching

Occasionally folks ask what my favorite thing about living in NYC is and the go-to response I’ve figured out is “the people”. But not talking to them, observing them. One of the beautiful things about NY is that you can really be somebody and simultaneously disappear all within the same day and all within a 1 mile radius. Take some time to just chill and watch the world go round on occasion (leaving your phone in your pocket is integral).

🍫 Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Cookies

I am a big fan of cookies, they’ve definitely been my go to sweet treat for a hot minute. When I’m able, I love to get the hockey puck shaped cookies from Levain but I don’t live in close enough proximity to any of their locations that that can be a regular endeavor. Uncle Eddie’s has been the best packaged cookie that I have found that miraculously tastes homemade and fresh even when I know it’s not. Available at Whole Foods. I’m not even vegan!!!

Follow Chad on Instagram

Find his clothing rack at Ludlow and Canal in the Lower East Side

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