22
Jul 14

TIMEPIECES: worn&wound’s Watch Fold

worn&wound's Watch Fold.  Buy 8,000 of them now!  Image from http://shop.wornandwound.com.

worn&wound’s Watch Fold. Buy 8,000 of them now! Image from http://shop.wornandwound.com.

It’s official – we’re the worst Internet friends.

The guys from worn&wound sent us information about their latest watch fold on April 27 and we’ve only gotten around to advertising it on the site now.

Hopefully, because of this article, each person that reads the information on worn&wound’s newest watch fold will be so enthralled by their latest product they will purchase like 8… thousand of them by tomorrow.

Or 8 will do.

BAM! Your timepiece will be comfy-cozy with a change of straps... to fit your mood.  Watch Fold image from http://shop.wornandwound.com.

BAM! Your timepiece will be comfy-cozy with a change of straps… to fit your mood. Watch Fold image from http://shop.wornandwound.com.

So here’s the skinny on the Watch Fold:

  • It can hold a watch (mind: blown)
  • It can also hold a few straps or sunglasses
  • It’s built from 18oz filter twill canvas
  • It’s lined with ultra suede throughout and trimmed with heavyweight Italian leather
  • The watch fold is available only from worn&wound’s online shop for $79.00

We here at ESM dig it, much like all of the other products the guys from worn&wound make.

The watch fold is perfect for those weekend getaways when you want to bring your Jaeger-LeCoultre or Cartier as your go-to for your night-time accoutrement.

This shit can hold sunnies too, yo!  Watch Fold image from http://shop.wornandwound.com.

This shit can hold sunnies too, yo! Watch Fold image from http://shop.wornandwound.com.

Here’s the official note from Justin Hargett at worn&wound:

Unsatisfied with the standard watch pouch, we decided to reinvent one in our image. Using the same classic American outerwear aesthetic that inspired our highly popular Watch Rolls, we upgraded the basic materials and added a layer of padding for peace of mind. The Watch Fold is capable of holding much more than just a single watch; it’s a rugged new carry-all for a pair of sunglasses, or anything else you need to have on the go.

And it’s all made right here in our hometown of New York City.

The Watch Fold, along with the rest of the worn&wound line, is available for sale in worn&wound’s official shop: http://shop.wornandwound.com/.

For more information about the team behind worn&wound: http://shop.wornandwound.com/pages/about-us.

 


21
Jul 14

DREAM GARAGE: Ferrari 458 Spider with PUR Wheels

SR Auto Group's Black Ferrari 458 Spider on PUR Wheels.  Image from http://www.srautogroup.com/2014/03/13/an-impressive-knight/.

SR Auto Group’s Black Ferrari 458 Spider on PUR Wheels. Image from http://www.srautogroup.com/2014/03/13/an-impressive-knight/.

For all of us that are obsessively on Instagram, we’re used to three words on Monday: Monday morning motivation.

Because – you know – it’s Monday.

For most folks it’s hard to get out of bed, they need something to get their day started and they need something to aspire to.

Monday.

Monday morning motivation.  Like you needed it.  Ferrari 458 Spider on PUR Wheels by SR Auto Group.  Image from http://www.srautogroup.com/2014/03/13/an-impressive-knight/.

Monday morning motivation. Like you needed it. Ferrari 458 Spider on PUR Wheels by SR Auto Group. Image from http://www.srautogroup.com/2014/03/13/an-impressive-knight/.

So we’re just doing our part in inspiring the world by featuring this ultra rad black Ferrari 458 Spider with red interior customized by SR Auto Group (up in Canada) on PUR RS06 wheels (21×9 front and 22×12 rear in Brilliant Silver) and lowered on Novitec lowering springs.

Is that enough to get you out of bed?

We thought so.

Gotta put in those hours to reap these kinds of rewards.  Ferrari 458 Spider from SR Auto Group looking damn good.  Image from http://www.srautogroup.com/2014/03/13/an-impressive-knight/.

Gotta put in those hours to reap these kinds of rewards. Ferrari 458 Spider from SR Auto Group looking damn good. Image from http://www.srautogroup.com/2014/03/13/an-impressive-knight/.

For the more photos and the entire article, you can check out SR Auto Group’s official website at http://www.srautogroup.com.


20
Jul 14

CLASSIC TV: Rush on USA Network

You know a TV show is going to be awesome when the first 5 minutes shows the main character doing blow with a beautiful blonde woman; the blonde woman eventually having a cardiac arrest; realizing the main character is actually a doctor who had to use a defibrillator to revive the aforementioned beautiful blonde woman; and the main character having to bring the blonde woman to a hospital where his best friend works.

And the rest of the show?

Oh you know, the usual – girlfriend who is beaten by a professional baseball player, gang members who need bullets removed and high profile producers who think their penis has been broken.

The latest show we at ESM are hooked on: Rush from USA Networks.  Image from http://www.usanetwork.com/rush.

The latest show we at ESM are hooked on: Rush from USA Networks. Image from http://www.usanetwork.com/rush.

Introducing Rush, the latest of awesome TV from USA Networks – based on a brilliant doctor who for some reason is no longer working in a hospital and deals with rich, cash-paying clients who appreciates the main characters lack of morality and utmost discretion.

Oh, and did we mention he has a substance abuse problem?

Think “Royal Pains” meets “Less Than Zero“.

So far we’ve watched only one episode and aside from the storyline, we’re big fans of the “easy on the eyes” female characters, the main character’s taste in nice suits, and especially the Mercedes-Benz 230 SL the main character drives.

Here’s the official description from USA Network’s official site:

USA’s new original series RUSH stars Tom Ellis (“Miranda”) as renegade physician Dr. William P. Rush, a “medical fixer” who privately caters to the elite of Los Angeles for a hefty price tag… but he didn’t always practice this type of medicine.

A few short years ago, Rush was a top attending surgeon at a prominent LA hospital. Working alongside his father, Dr. Warren Rush (Harry Hamlin), and his best friend, Alex (Larenz Tate), Rush’s career was on a promising track. On top of that, he was in love with his beautiful colleague Sarah Peterson (Odette Annable). But one fateful night, his world came crashing down. His position at the hospital was terminated, his relationship with his father combusted, and Sarah left him. Through everything, Alex was the only one to stay by his side. Shortly after, Rush began a private doctor service, treating his less-than-squeaky-clean clientele with no judgment or attachment.

The series picks up six years later, Rush’s unorthodox business thriving with the help of his savvy assistant Eve (Sarah Habel). And with Sarah in Los Angeles once again, Rush tries everything in his charming bad boy arsenal to get her back. It’s challenging to pursue an ex while on a strict regimen of substance abuse and navigating the medical needs of actors, gangsters, life coaches, bounty hunters, musicians, and other troubled inhabitants of Los Angeles. When Alex risks his career to help Rush out of a bind, their friendship is put to the test. To set things right, Rush opens a door he wanted to keep shut; reaching out to a well-respected physician – his estranged father.

If you’ve got Video on Demand or can check out USA Network online, we would suggest checking this show out… STAT.

You can also check out some additional videos on USA Network about Tom Ellis – the actor who plays the main character on Rush.


05
May 14

STYLE: Prizmic & Brill

It’s odd what you find when you go out there and travel.

Over the last 12 months, our passports have been stamped so often they are almost out of pages to stamp; our luggage has gone through so many airports and airlines they have airline stickers all over their once pristine bodies; and our memory banks are now filled with countless images of people and places that have changed our lives.

And every once in a while, we will stumble upon some really, really, really, really cool shit.

Just a small collection of Prizmic & Brill's beautiful wares.  We'll take the trunks and cabinets please.  Image from http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.

Just a small collection of Prizmic & Brill’s beautiful wares. We’ll take the trunks and cabinets please. Image from http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.

Amazingly enough, the latest treasure we found was in a high-end mall we frequent in Manila (in the Philippines, in case you didn’t know) in a tiny shop surrounded by other local furniture stores.

It’s called Prizmic & Brill (actually the whole name is P&B Valises et Compagnie, Inc.) and the name is a little bit of a mouthful (and a little unusual) for one whose main outlet is found in Southeast Asia.

The store is rarely open (at least it seemed that way), but today we were fortunate enough to catch them and peruse their wares.

These images don't do their trunks and furniture justice.  We would have these items in our office in a heartbeat.  Image from http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.

These images don’t do their trunks and furniture justice. We would have these items in our office in a heartbeat. Image from http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.

First thing we noticed?  Their handmade trunks.

This TV Trunk is OG, hand crafted and makes you feel like you're on Safari.  So gangster.  Image from http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.

This TV Trunk is OG, hand crafted and makes you feel like you’re on Safari. So gangster. Image from http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.

Second thing we fell in love with? Their luggage.

Sometimes they would craft drawers to look like luggage:

Imagine the stories you could tell when people ask you about this piece of furniture.  Image from http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.

Imagine the stories you could tell when people ask you about this piece of furniture. Image from http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.

And sometimes they would have stainless steel frames which held pieces of luggage that looked like drawers (unfortunately we couldn’t find any pictures online of these).

All of their products are pretty amazing and we here at ESM wouldn’t mind having a piece or two in our homes and offices.

Here’s a little more information about the company from one of their websites:

The dream we had to fulfill was to become the furniture company that matured into the beauty of a woman that lives and breathes self-confidence. To become the she that births every new product with the excitement and wonderment that a new life brings. Yes…to be a factory of distinction. This life is the creation of a vision seen by two day dreamers…the founders of PRIZMIC & BRILL VALISES AND COMPANIES.

The young Matthew Sven Brill, a New York born designer and philanthropist, hugged his best friend, Vinko Mario Prizmic 27 years ago and announced emphatically, “We are going to make our dreams come true. I will probably, no- forget “probably”- I WILL make the most amazing furniture and you WILL write the most amazing books…and, we ARE doing that now.” One only has to see and touch the furniture and products designed and manufactured by Matthew Sven Brill and Carol Nicdao Brill – to feel the soul of PRIZMIC & BRILL VALISES AND COMPANIES. And so we make our mark…

Prizmic & Brill have also provided furniture for some world class safari companies:

As well some high-end hotels in Southeast Asia like The Peninsula in Hong Kong:

Looks like this trunk was made for the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  Image from http://prizmicbrill.com.

Looks like this trunk was made for the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Image from http://prizmicbrill.com.

The only downside?  Even though their store is located in Manila, their prices aren’t that cheap.  One regular sized drawer cost a little over $2,000.  And they would only be able to ship it from port-to-port, so you would have to figure out the taxes and any other import logistics.

We even thought of buying the luggage and using it as a carry-on, but not so sure if that was a great idea.

But totally worth it if you could figure it all out.

For more information on Prizmic & Brill, you can check out their official site at http://prizmicbrill.com, their blog at http://prizmicandbrill.blogspot.com/, their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prizmic-Brill/133347996704781, their Twitter page at https://twitter.com/PrizmicBrill, and their Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/prizmicbrill/.


03
Apr 14

STYLE: Absolute Bespoke

Not much is going to get us out of ESM hybernation, but the minute we saw this Instagram account, we knew we had to write about it.

Whaaaaat?!?! We had to do a double take on Instagram with this shit.  Check out the color combo, waistcoat and fit.  Image from http://www.absolutebespoke.com/index.html.

Whaaaaat?!?! We had to do a double take on Instagram with this shit. Check out the color combo, waistcoat and fit. Image from http://www.absolutebespoke.com/index.html.

Introducing Absolute Bespoke.  According to their official website, they’re “A firm established in Madrid with representations in Miami, New York, Mexico, London and Bogota” where you can make “A scheduled service who design and create unique pieces using the finest fabrics in the world.”

Based on the images they’ve put out there, it looks like they do one thing – make some of the dopest clothes in the universe.

Yes, the entire universe.

Here are some of our favorites:

The “I’m a Badass Mofo in a Double-Breasted Suit with Dark Blue Accoutrements”

Image from http://www.absolutebespoke.com/index.html.

Image from http://www.absolutebespoke.com/index.html.

The “I Wear All White and I’m Not Even a Drug Lord” Outfit

Only the biggest, baddest (and coincidentally the most OCD) gangster fashionistas wear white three piece suits.  We'd wear it on a Tuesday.  Image from http://www.absolutebespoke.com/index.html.

Only the biggest, baddest (and coincidentally the most OCD) gangster fashionistas wear white three piece suits. We’d wear it on a Tuesday. Image from http://www.absolutebespoke.com/index.html.

The “I’m The Cleaner” Outfit

Love the suit.  Love the Panny.  Love the gloves.  Very Hitman.  Very ESM.  Image from http://www.absolutebespoke.com/index.html.

Love the suit. Love the Panny. Love the gloves. Very Hitman. Very ESM. Image from http://www.absolutebespoke.com/index.html.

Pretty unbelievable style, if you ask us.

Now the only question is, how much does it all cost to look this good?  You can find out for yourself by reaching out to them on the contact page of their website.

And totally let us know the damage; we’d love to find out how to join this club.


31
Jan 14

STYLE: Checkmate, Suitsupply Spring 2014

Not going to lie, the suits from Suitsupply during Winter 2013 wasn’t exactly getting us up in arms ready to throw down $600 on a new suit (we did, however, love the tuxedo options they had for New Year).

Our favorite time of year to check out Suitsupply is in the Spring and Summer when the lightweight textiles come out with brighter colors.

We just had a chance to check out the gear for Spring 2014 on Suitsupply.com and we’re getting excited for the warmer weather.

Here are two of our favorites, which coincidentally have check designs on them:

Madison Light Brown Check

Image from http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/suits/madison-light-brown-check/P3835.html.

Image from http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/suits/madison-light-brown-check/P3835.html.

Love the double-breasted jacket, wide lapels, light colored pattern and brown color.  We’d even match up everything down to the tie, pocket square and shoes.  The only thing we would change is the sunglasses (to a pair of Tom Ford Snowdons).

You can purchase the Light Brown Check Madison suit from Suitsupply here.

Hudson Blue Check

Image from http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/suits/hudson-blue-check/P3836.html.

Image from http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/suits/hudson-blue-check/P3836.html.

We don’t normally rockbow ties on a regular work day, but we’d make an exception with this particular suit.  We’d keep it simple with a white button up and a pair of brown suede slip-ons.  Okay fine, we wouldn’t put on a bowtie unless we absolutely needed to.

You can purchase the Hudson Blue Check suit from Suitsupply here.


19
Jan 14

FOOD & DINING: Mamou – A Home Kitchen

Mamou is the best restaurant in Manila.  Yeah, we said it.  Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

Mamou is the best restaurant in Manila. Yeah, we said it. Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

After having lived in the beautiful city of Manila, Philippines for the past 7 months, I have come to a definitive conclusion:

Mamou is the best restaurant in Manila.

I know, I know it’s a pretty bold statement.  Especially when there are a whole slew of up and coming restaurants sprouting up throughout the city touting gastronomic advances in Manila cuisine.

Yeah, take advice from this guy.  He's eaten in Mamou so much the staff treats him like Norm from Cheers.

Yeah, take advice from this guy. He’s eaten in Mamou so much the staff treats him like Norm from Cheers.

But take it from a guy who has eaten there 5 times in the last 5 days – if you’re ever in Manila, you should definitely check this place out and try it for yourself.

I have almost successfully gone through the entire menu and have found 90% of everything on there to be ridiculously good.

The Steak

Filipinos don't really care too much about cholesterol.  Mamou's steak sits in olive oil and has little crispy bits on top.  Amazeballs.

Filipinos don’t really care too much about cholesterol. Mamou’s steak sits in olive oil and has little crispy bits on top. Amazeballs.

A good steak is pretty hard to come by in the Philippines.

You typically have to cruise over to a nice hotel and pay an arm and a leg for a mediocre cut of steak.  At Mamou, however, you’ll be pleasantly surprised; from their cheapest cut of meat to their most expensive, you will find their entrees to satisfy even the most selective of carnivores.  In fact, it’s been ranked by some to be the top 3 in the Manila and is what Mamou is generally known for.

The Open-Faced Roast Beef and Foie Gras Sandwich

Coming from California where Foie Gras is illegal, I always take a second look at any menu item that has foie gras in it.

Much like Foie Gras is illegal in California, this sandwich should be illegal because of how rich it is.  Until then, try it out and taste heaven before your arteries clog by about 2%.  Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

Much like Foie Gras is illegal in California, this sandwich should be illegal because of how rich it is. Until then, try it out and taste heaven before your arteries clog by about 2%. Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had shitty foie gras dishes, but I am always down to try any form of foie preparation.  Especially when someone’s got the ‘nads to put foie on an open-faced roast beef sandwich.  With a shit-ton of gravy.

Needless to say, if you have an existing heart condition, this wouldn’t be the right dish for you.

For those that can, I would highly recommend doing it once in your lifetime.

The Healdsburg’s Harvest Salad

One of my wife's favorite dishes.  They even bring us out extra dressing because it is so. Damn. Good.

One of my wife’s favorite dishes. They even bring us out extra dressing because it is so. Damn. Good.

Much like steaks, good salads in the Philippines are hard to come by.  I have come to the personal conclusion that unless it comes loaded with fat and pork, most Filipino restaurants won’t make it an essential part of their menu.  One really takes fresh, tasty salads for granted until they leave the States.

Maine Lobster Tails with Pia’s Garlic Noodles

Lobster's fresh and the garlic noodles are tasty.  Who could ask for anything more?  Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

Lobster’s fresh and the garlic noodles are tasty. Who could ask for anything more? Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

This is a fairly new addition to the menu.  If you’re a fan of Lobster and garlic (who isn’t?), this would be the go-to dish.  The noodles go really well with the freshly cooked Maine (yep, Maine) lobsters.

Truffle Pasta

Now truffle pasta isn’t a new gig.  I’ve seen it in other restaurants in the states and the simple fact that truffles are in the sauce makes any pasta dish amazing.  So when we ordered the truffle pasta and saw the actual dish, I wasn’t looking to be blown away.

Doesn't look like much.  But wait until you put it in your mouth.  Waitaminute...  Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

Doesn’t look like much. But wait until you put it in your mouth. Waitaminute… Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

But holy shitballs, the truffle pasta in Mamou is one of the best I’ve ever had.  It’s even better than the truffle pasta I tried in the states that had gigantic slices of truffles sitting on top of it.  If I were to guess, they use some serious, whole cream infused with fresh truffles.

If you dare, pair this up with a fat steak so you can get knocked the F out from fullness.

The Cheesecake

It's so light and fluffy I wanna die!  Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

It’s so light and fluffy I wanna die! Image from https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.

Dude, had we not been given a free dessert for eating in Mamou so damn much, we would have missed one of the most amazing things on their menu – the cheesecake.

Again, coming from the States, I have had some pretty amazing cheesecakes in my day.  But the one from Mamou is light, airy, not too sweet and the perfect end to what is probably one of the most decadent meals you’ve had in a long time.

The Service

No offense to the Philippines, but unless you personally know the owner or server, getting amazing, 5-star service at a restaurant here is few and far between.

I can count on one hand where my wife and I have had service that was at par with the high-end service in the States and Mamou is one of those places.

After speaking with one of the owners (Annie – who is there every day), she clued us in on their philosophy: the staff should treat everyone that walks through the door like family.

They do.  And it totally works.

Like I said, if you’re ever in Manila, please make sure to check out Mamou and try one of the dishes I listed out above.

You definitely will not regret it.

Just make sure to make reservations ahead of time so you can get in.  For dinner, they have two seating times at 6:30 and 8:30.  I would recommend doing the earlier one because the 8:30 slot gets filled up pretty quick.

For more information on Mamou – A Home Kitchen, you can check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mamouahomekitchen.


16
Jan 14

RUN DPE: Bentley Continental GT with Wald Black Bison Body Kit

Orange wrapped Bentley Continental GT with 22" DPE Wheels.

Orange wrapped Bentley Continental GT with 22″ DPE Wheels.

Few cars scream the words “luxury” more than the Bentley Continental GT.

Since its inception in 2003, everyone from multi-millionaires to wanna-be multi-millionaire rappers have been repping the Continental GT as a testament to their success.

The 22" SP20 DPE Wheels on this car look clean enough to eat off of.

The 22″ SP20 DPE Wheels on this car look clean enough to eat off of.

Even though they’re a dime-a-dozen in high income cities like Beverly Hills, New York and Miami, you still have to respect the fact that owning a brand new GT Speed Convertible will set you back about $260k while buying one from 2004 will cost about $67,000+.

Not to mention the gas, service and upkeep costs.

Would you change your black Continental GT to orange?  Ballsy move, but it worked pretty well in this case.  DPE Wheels adding the exclamation point to the sentence.

Would you change your black Continental GT to orange? Ballsy move, but it worked pretty well in this case. DPE Wheels adding the exclamation point to the sentence.

But how do those who own a Bentley Continental GT separate themselves from every other Tom, Dick and Harry out there?

Closer look at the 22" SP20 DPE Wheels.

Closer look at the 22″ SP20 DPE Wheels.

Our friends from DPE Wheels have offered up an interesting possibility – throw on a Wald Black Bison body kit, lower the car and drop some 22″ DPE SP20 Brushed Aluminum wheels with a polished lip.

Oh, and add a gloss orange vinyl wrap by Foilacar Manila for kicks (the car used to be black).

Good choices all around.  High five to the owner of this fine vehicle!

Good choices all around. High five to the owner of this fine vehicle!

We’re pretty smitten by the end result and we’re pretty sure the owner (Raymond Ronquillo according to Jojo from DPE Wheels) is stoked about it too.

For more information on DPE Wheels, you can check out their official site at http://www.dpe-wheels.com/.


15
Jan 14

TRAVEL: Bali, Indonesia

At a cliff side temple in Uluwatu wearing a traditional sarong which we had to wear.  Can't beat the views in Bali, Indonesia.

At a cliff side temple in Uluwatu wearing a traditional sarong which we had to wear. Can’t beat the views in Bali, Indonesia.

As I mentioned in my last article, I’ve been spending the last 7 months doing a lot of traveling in Asia since I have been working out of my company’s Manila (in the Philippines for those of you who are geographically in the dark) office.

One of the first (and most memorable) cities I had the honor of visiting was Bali in Indonesia.

For anyone who surfs, Bali is one of the best countries to visit for a surf holiday because it gets a lot of swell from Indian Ocean storms.

For anyone from Australia, Bali is a cheap flight and vacation.  You’ll be surprised to see how many people from Oz visit Bali on a regular basis and eventually try to figure out how to live there part of the year.

For me, I decided to get in a little bit of a surf (although it was off season when I went) and vacation with my wife.

In a nutshell, Bali is a wonderful place to visit.

The people are kind, the surf is awesome, the spending is minimal (relatively), the food is good, the hotels are beautiful….

I can literally go on for days.

Our Hotel

Let’s start off with the hotel we stayed in – The Kayana Villas in Semanyak.  The hotel consists of only 24 private villas, so you can consider it a boutique hotel.  There are two types of villas you can get, one with a pool and one without.

Guess which one we picked:

That's right playa!  We get the villa with its own private pool!  The only way to go when you stay at The Kayana Villas, Semanyak Bali.

That’s right playa! We get the villa with its own private pool! The only way to go when you stay at The Kayana Villas, Semanyak Bali.

At about $250 a night, these rooms are totally worth the price.  Especially since each room has its own private butler.

Luxury in full effect.

Here’s a little video I posted on Instagram at the time: http://instagram.com/p/hNNlcBDeHA/

Other benefits of this hotel:

  • It’s located right next to the W and Potato Head (two of the most awesome spots in Bali)
  • They give free shuttle rides downtown
  • Service is awesome
  • You feel like you are secluded from the rest of the world when you’re in room

The Surf

If you’re a surfer or even thought about surfing, Bali should be one of your go-to destinations.

Lined along the beach are shops where you can eat, chill and relax before or after a surf.  Turtle Island, Bali, Indonesia.

Lined along the beach are shops where you can eat, chill and relax before or after a surf. Turtle Island, Bali, Indonesia.

Unfortunately I went in the off season, so the more famous spots weren’t working and I had to go to the other side of the island.  We ended up at a break on Turtle Island and quite frankly, it was one of the best waves I have surfed.

It also pays to hire a surf guide for the day.  For about $90, you get a surf guide, a lifeguard and a blocker (yep, a blocker) to take you to spots that are going off that day.

Here’s me and my surf guide Hankee getting ready to paddle out:

We had to walk through some reef before paddling.  Needless to say, everyone's feet was pretty torn up by the time we got back.  Surfing Turtle Island, Bali, Indonesia.

We had to walk through some reef before paddling. Needless to say, everyone’s feet was pretty torn up by the time we got back. Surfing Turtle Island, Bali, Indonesia.

Since I was out of surf shape, I only lasted for about 2 hours before I called it quits.  The paddle out was pretty far so I wanted to make sure I had enough juice to make it back to the beach.

Nightlife

Since I have A.D.D. when it comes to vacations, I always need to go to places that have some semblance of a nightlife.

In Bali, there are plenty of places to go out.

Ku De Ta is one of the more famous upscale locations located right on the beach and they serve amazing food and drinks:

Ku De Ta in Bali, Indonesia.  Good food, good location, great drinks, right on the beach.  What more can one ask for?

Ku De Ta in Bali, Indonesia. Good food, good location, great drinks, right on the beach. What more can one ask for?

We found another hidden little gem downtown called La Favela which was an eclectic mix of South American design and Bali swag:

A grainy picture inside La Favela - a hidden gem of a restaurant/bar in Semanyak, Bali, Indonesia.

A grainy picture inside La Favela – a hidden gem of a restaurant/bar in Semanyak, Bali, Indonesia.

One of our other favorite places to spend day drinking until sunset was Potato Head.

Potato Head Beach Club.  Bali, Indonesia.

Potato Head Beach Club. Bali, Indonesia.

The building is an amazing piece of architecture from the outside, surrounded by a huge wall of window blinds/frames (it will make sense if you saw it in person) which encloses two restaurants, a pool and a beach club.

Can't complain when you're chilling by the pool in Bali and the sunset looks like this.  Potato Head is one of the best places to hang when the sun goes down.  Bali, Indonesia.

Can’t complain when you’re chilling by the pool in Bali and the sunset looks like this. Potato Head is one of the best places to hang when the sun goes down. Bali, Indonesia.

My wife and I spent most of our sunsets there hanging out, drinking and feeling awesome.

Food/Restaurants

For folks that can’t handle Asian or spicy food, my recommendation would be to take it easy when trying food in Bali (aka Bali Belly).

But for those that love that shit, get ready for an attack on your gastronomic senses.

Grilled seafood at a beach restaurant in Bali, Indonesia.

Grilled seafood at a beach restaurant in Bali, Indonesia.

One of our most memorable meals was after doing a tour in Uluwatu.  Our guide took us to this amazing restaurant on the beach where we ate grilled seafood until our stomachs were ready to explode.

Check out this video I posted on Instagram to see the view.

Touristy, yes.  But we didn’t care.

Monkeys

Yep. Monkeys, bro.

One of the coolest things to do in Bali is to go into the Monkey forest where wild monkeys just hang out and kick it.

They just wait for dumb tourists like me to feed them bananas:

Monkey sneak attack.  Bali, Indonesia.

Monkey sneak attack. Bali, Indonesia.

Pretty cool experience regardless.

And Other Things

Other things that were cool in Bali?  All the amazing furniture and design.

For anyone on the creative side of the spectrum, Bali will inspire you to create and think of things on a totally different level.

You’ll probably want to get a shipping container for all the furniture you’re going to want to import after your trip to Bali.

Just Go

For anyone looking to have an amazing vacation where you can expand your mind, meet new people and do some amazing things, I would highly recommend checking out Bali.

Although the plane tickets from the U.S. are pricey, once you get there you will be spending about 1/4 of what you would in the States for meals and expenses.

Trust me, it will be worth it.


14
Jan 14

FEATURE: 2014, Introspection and ManofTheWorld.com

2014.  Maybe it's time to take things back a notch.  Think about things and where we're headed.  Boracay Island, Philippines.

2014. Maybe it’s time to take things back a notch. Think about things and where we’re headed. Boracay Island, Philippines.

It’s 2014.

To be honest, I haven’t been spending a lot of time thinking about ESM.  I’ve spent the last 7 months working in Asia, traveling, thinking and enjoying life.  I figured it would take something pretty drastic for me to get back to writing for ESM.

Part of the reason I have been so uninspired with ESM lately probably has to do with a lack of direction.

I started ESM back in 2009 with some big dreams – maybe it will become a huge online magazine, maybe it will become published, maybe it will become a TV show… And this was the main driver for the site.  We were going to publish the coolest shit out there, write about how to be awesome and be the baddest kids on the block.

I remember one of the guys I was working with at the time asked me one basic question: “In one sentence, describe what makes ESM different?”

I had a ton of answers but none of them succinctly answered his simple question.

Over the years, we’ve gone through ups and downs.  I’ve met some amazing people through my desire to find the coolest products and services out there.  I’ve lost 20 lbs. trying to “Become Bond“.

Two things in life aren't easy: 1) to Become Bond in 6 months and 2) the first week of P90X.  Luigi passed out on the floor after a workout.

Two things in life aren’t easy: 1) to Become Bond in 6 months and 2) the first week of P90X. Luigi passed out on the floor after a workout.

And still the question had not been answered.

We’ve also had some amazing writers contribute to the site.  Some of my personal favorites were the always entertaining Becca Talbott (“The Handsomely Heeled“), the car genius Stirling Matheson (“ESM’s Gentleman Racer” who had one of the most amazing cover letters on the planet) and men’s fashion encyclopedia Grant Harris (“The Style Maverick“) who seems to be making some significant waves with his style consultation services out East.  Other contributors were good friends who just happened to see the potential in what we were doing.

And still, the question had not been answered.

We tried to go the regular route and find sponsors for the site.  If you had been following our site for a while, you can see it was unsuccessful.  We felt some sponsors weren’t in-line with our creative direction and some of the sponsors we did want weren’t feeling what we had to say.

And still, the question had not been answered.

We tried selling products on our site as well to supplement what we were doing.  Unfortunately, the items we picked was too expensive for anyone to want to buy online from a blog.  To date, the only person that bought something from the site was me.

And still, the question had not been answered.

Now, 5 years later, I was feeling a little burned out.  For 3 years I made it my life’s mission to try and post or write one article a day every day.  For any blog owners out there, you know that this is a mission in itself.  To be honest, during that time there were days I was just reaching for topics to write about and was putting out content simply for the sake of putting out content.

And still, the question had not been answered.

I’ve been thinking about the original question my friend asked me 5 years ago and it has been pervading my thoughts over the last 6 months especially when I thought about ESM.

I’ve been thinking about scrapping it altogether.  I’ve been thinking about reformatting it to something else.  I’ve even been thinking about not doing shit and letting it sit there.

Until this morning when I saw the Instagram account for http://www.manoftheworld.com/.

One of the best Instagram accounts out there (in our humble opinion).

One of the best Instagram accounts out there (in our humble opinion).

It was inspiring.  It was motivational.  It was everything I loved in one place.  It was everything I wanted to be.

It even had surfing!

Just to be clear, Man of The World’s Instagram account didn’t make me want to duplicate ESM into what MOTW was already doing.

I know ESM isn’t going to be the next GQ or Esquire.  I know we’re not car experts like the guys from The Smoking Tire or Drive.  We’re not big, badass, multi-millionaire ballers like the folks from Rich Kids of Instagram or Ridiculous Lifestyle. We’re not watch experts like the guys from Hodinkee or Watch Anish.  We don’t have the professional knowledge base nor the bankroll to compete with what those guys are doing.

So what is ESM?

Essential Style for Men is and has always been my personal journey to becoming the man I want to be:

  • I want to be a man who is accomplished.
  • I want to be a man who has traveled the world.
  • I want to be a man who dresses well.
  • I want to be a man who leaves a legacy.
  • I want to be a man who is philanthropic.
  • I want to be a man who understands both the finer things in life as well as life’s simple pleasures.
  • I want to be a man who lives life to his fullest.
  • I want to be a man worthy of being a picture on Man of the World’s Instagram account.

More importantly, I want to do it all in style.

So in line with this, we’ve dialed back ESM’s design to the very first design I used when I first put up ESM.  It’s simple, clear and elegant. It helps focus on the content over anything else.

So here’s to the next 5 years of ESM.  Hopefully it inspires you to be the man you want to be as well!


02
Dec 13

ESM ICON: Paul Walker

Image from http://screencrush.com/fast-furious-6-poster-paul-walker/.

Image from http://screencrush.com/fast-furious-6-poster-paul-walker/.

RIP Paul Walker.

Before getting into this article, I wanted to make something clear: I wasn’t fortunate enough to know Mr. Walker personally; this piece is just an cathartic exercise from a big fan who is trying to deal with such a tragic loss just like everyone else.

I can only imagine what it must be like to be one of his close friends or family when the news broke – it breaks my heart to read the posts from the people who are a part of the Fast & Furious franchise such as Vin Diesel, Ludacris and especially Tyrese.

I found out about the news yesterday on my last day of my vacation in Bali.  Probably like all the other people in the world, I found the news hard to believe and difficult to process.  The rest of my vacation I spent every chance I could trying to read as much as possible about the event; first to verify whether or not it was true, then to see what happened, and finally to see how everyone else was dealing with the tragedy.

As I was reading all the outpouring of love and thoughts from fans throughout the world, I also reminisced about the time I saw The Fast & The Furious (the first movie in the franchise).  The movie was a sleeper cult classic for everyone who happened to be in the import car scene at the time.  Although the import culture was pretty big by 2001 when it was released, the movie brought the import scene front and center for the world to enjoy.

Moreover, Paul Walker turned the typical protagonist character on its head.  Who would have thought there was going to be a movie where a white guy was the one trying to get in with the cool kids who were Asian and Latino (and whatever Vin Diesel is)?

What was even better was that Paul Walker seemed like a genuine individual that any gear head could hang with.  For those in the know, Paul Walker became a huge part of the car culture, regularly attended events and even owned the Nissan Skyline that was used in the first race sequence of 2 Fast 2 Furious.

And for the next 13 years – just like clockwork – the world (me included) religiously watched and enjoyed all the Fast & Furious movies to make the movie franchise ridiculously successful.

And here we are today. 

I keep reading all the automotive enthusiast sites, blogs, Facebook pages, Instagram and Twitter accounts and it seems like Paul Walker’s death just sucker-punched everyone in the gut and we’re all collectively having a hard time getting up.

So all I can do now to help cope with the loss is write an article claiming him as an ESM Icon.  Sure he wasn’t the best dressed of the bunch (although he did have a spread in GQ once upon a time) but he’s got waay more things going for him that will offset how casually he dressed on the regular:

  • He was one of the main stars of the Fast & Furious franchise (duh)
  • He was extremely philanthropic (he actually went to to Constitución, Chile to offer his help and support to the people injured in the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck on February 27 AND he flew with his humanitarian aid team, REACH OUT Worldwide, to Haiti to lend a helping hand to the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims AND was trying to raise money for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan at the time of his death)
  • He was the penultimate car guy
  • His role in Takers was pretty good

And especially this:

(C’mon dudes, he should have gotten some sort of award just for hanging with Jessica Alba in this movie.)

But in all seriousness, Mr. Paul Walker, you will be missed by gearheads, automotive enthusiasts and Fast & Furious fans everywhere.

I know there are a thousand and one articles that are probably being written about Paul Walker right now, but it doesn’t matter to me.  This article is ESM’s ode to one of the coolest dudes on the planet we wished we could have met and hung out with in our lifetime.  Unfortunately (and sadly) we will never get a chance to do that.

At this point, the only thing that can help us cope with our feeling of sadness is a quote from Paul Walker that can help us understand his life:

“If one day the speed kills me, do not cry
because I was smiling.”

Much like all the other car guys out there, I’m going to get into my car, drive around and waste an entire tank of gas in his honor.

Image from https://www.facebook.com/FastandFurious.

Image from https://www.facebook.com/FastandFurious.

So rest in peace Paul Walker, you will be missed by a lot of people all over the world.

I am pretty sure God’s got a tricked out Skyline waiting for you at the pearly gates with an unlimited tank of racing fuel for you to enjoy.  He’s probably got a second car for your boy Roger Rodas so you guys can roll out together.


13
Nov 13

DREAM GARAGE: 2014 Ducati Monster 1200s

NEWS UPDATE: The news you are about read is 9 days old.

If you’re a hardcore Ducatista, you know the folks over at Ducati have just introduced the latest for the top end of the Monster line – the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200s.

It looks amazing.  In fact it was voted “Most Beautiful Bike of Show” on the closing day of the EICMA 2013 International Motorcycle Show in Milan.

The 2014 Ducati Monster 1200s.

The 2014 Ducati Monster 1200s.

What we especially like about the latest design is the new location for the license plate (no more need for a fender eliminator), the location of the speedo (no more need to do some janky workaround to bring it closer to the headlight), the way the handlebars look like they are attached much closer to the triple (kind of like the ones that Radical Ducati make) and the new riding position (which is adjustable).

On the performance end… well, 1200cc and 145hp sums it all up.

Here’s an excerpt from the official press release from Ducati:

2014 DUCATI MONSTER

Monster instinct

Twenty-one years on from the Monster’s first unveiling, Ducati now introduce the iconic model’s latest generation with the 2014 Monster 1200 and 1200 S powered by the formidable, Superbike-derived 1198 Testastretta 11° DS engine. The brand new flagship of the family presents an entirely new chassis and muscular styling designed with premium components fully integrated with Ducati’s latest technologies.

Evoking the exciting memories of past models such as the powerhouse S4R and S4RS, the 2014 Monster 1200 also boasts an exclusive S model with 145hp and a ride-enhancing 92ft-lb of high-accelerating torque, wrapped beautifully in a spec-impressive chassis that tips the scales at 182kg (401lb) dry weight.

High-spec brakes, suspension, single-sided swingarm and lightweight wheels combine with Ducati’s best- yet ergonomics to offer the Italian manufacturer’s most attractive Monster ever. Super comfortable and introducing an innovative adjustable seat height, the model also combines 8-level traction control, 3-level ABS and 3-level Ride-by-Wire into Ducati’s user-friendly, press-button Riding Modes.

The 2014 Monster 1200 and Monster 1200 S use next generation technologies to create an enhanced rider/motorcycle relationship, delivering a high-adrenaline experience while constantly reassuring with the feeling of complete control and ergonomic integration…

While the Monster 1200 is presented in Ducati red with red frame and black wheels, the Monster 1200 S offers Ducati red with red frame and glossy black wheels in addition to the striking scheme of white with bronze-coloured frame and glossy black wheels.

Introducing the new Monster 1200 and Monster 1200 S

The Monster’s worldwide success and well-earned image as the unchallenged icon of naked motorcycles is the result of investing over 20 years of Ducati engineering, design and styling experience. It is an investment in time, constantly rewarded by being the motorcycle of choice for motorcycle connoisseurs and celebrities, from actors and musicians to Formula 1 drivers and top athletes. The Monster has always been a statement on two wheels, an expression that created a cult following and, above all, a premium lifestyle motorcycle easily accessible to everyone.

The new Monster 1200 and Monster 1200 S present the next generation of this famous family, combining genuine Monster tradition with Ducati’s latest technical solutions to engineer a modern and mature masterpiece. From the super-smooth refinement of the second generation Testastretta 11° DS engine and its Panigale-style direct attachment to the frame, to stunning and industry benchmark TFT instrumentation and best-ever ergonomics, this iconic motorcycle now mixes authentic sport character with lifestyle sophistication.

The new Monster’s larger fuel tank presents an even more muscular image, emphasised by a narrow waistline and an incredibly compact headlamp that creates the overall silhouette of a powerful bull ready to charge. The clean and minimal handlebar area continues the naked icon’s essential character, while attention to detail like the tinted, transparent master cylinder reservoirs add a distinct quality to component finish.

So what does this all mean?

On a personal level, since my 2011 Ducati 796 Monster got stolen out of my garage 2 months ago, it means that I don’t have to decide between the Streetfighter and the Diavel (because I really prefer the Monster styling).

It also means I really have something to look forward to when I am ready to buy a new bike.  If I got the 1200s, all I would have to do is throw on some CRG bar end mirrors and I am ready to roll.

We love everything about the backend of the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200s.  No more fender eliminator kit!!

We love everything about the backend of the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200s. No more fender eliminator kit!!

Maybe this is just karma working its way through the universe.

For more information on the new 2014 Ducati Monster 1200s, you can check out Ducati’s official website at http://www.ducati.com.