tag:k7v.in,2013:/posts Go Flip Yourself. 2020-06-30T10:41:42Z Kevin Straszburger tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/1566544 2020-06-30T04:19:57Z 2020-06-30T10:41:42Z About writing

I quickly mentioned the usual resolutions I'm taking every year in my reading list from 2019 here. The one I had the hardest time to figure out has always been the same: writing.

Photo by Anders Nord

Looking at the publishing dates on this blog now frustrates me. The longest streak - with at least one post a month - was from July 2014 to May 2015 [11 months in a row - not bad actually to build a routine] but then, it collapsed. Few posts here & there along the end of 2015 and early 2016 and... nothing until 4 years later: April 2020. I can't even explain how something like this happened. Not a big deal by itself, I can quickly find tons of excuses - mostly related to time, ressources & energy - but still, I haven't succeed to publish anything here.

The interesting thing is: I wrote a lot during these years. As a matter of fact, by the pure amount of words typed a day, I'm surely more of a writer than most of the people in history. All of us probably, typing thousands of words a day through email, slack, different chats & DMs services, few experiments on Medium one day, few tweets and so on so forth. I know I wrote a lot of long-form content actually on our skateboarding mag [it was mostly interviews though]. Still I miss something entirely different: writing my raw-thoughts [no editing, no second read] here on my own blog, my own space on the World Wide Web.

Each year I wondered: why are you still putting that resolution on your list? I felt frustrated. I still am today actually. Even though one way to look at 2020 would be: kudos kev, you succeed to hit the 'publish' button few times this year, you made the hardest part, you awakened your muscle, now you just have to keep it going. Another voice in my head is still shouting: boom, you're a loser, it's still a painful process, you haven't progressed one slice, you're still staring at your screen for too long and you don't really know how to organize your thoughts in a proper manner; I could go on for hours. Fortunately I choose easily the first angle.

This year, I realised that the fist step in order to get back successfully to writing was: giving myself enough time to do it. Like literally I started to block slots in my calendar, on a weekly recurring basis, just to stop everything else, to think, pause, think again, and from there, start to open a draft here and write. I don't mind the outcome [a pusblished article per se], I just celebrate the time to think with no distraction and nothing else to take care about. I knew this. I read a lot about how to form new habits. I succeed re: reading, playing sport, sleeping and so on but somehow, always neglected the same formula for writing. I suspect the medium made it harder. I'm writing on the same computer I'm working with, browsing the web, digging into my feedly, having so much stuff one click away; it was harder to commit compare to sport where once I'm outside on my board for instance, or in a ring with my pair of gloves on, nothing else matters.

Now that I successfully published few posts this year, I can already feel the whole process being easier, my mind fitter, my whole body focusing more on the enjoying part of it rather than the challenges. I know what the next trap is: setting up the expectations too high and getting discouraged. So I'll keep it easy for the rest of the year [way enough challenges this year anyway]; and I'll slowly increase my pace going forward.

2 more things I'd like to add right now. One is my own personal reasons to write:

  • this blog acts as a personal record of my thoughts; it felt great to go back to few stuff I wrote 5 years ago for instance; it was like a true time-machine in my own mind -- exhilerating
  • writing is like fitness for your brain: it helps me organize my thoughts, articulate them better, in one word: it helps me think; it improves my communication skills as well
  • I got convinced very early on to write publicly online [10 years ago by Tristan]; it makes me learn 100x more / faster thanks to others; people react, comment, share, criticize and by doing so, they make me think more deeply, dive deeper, understand more nuances, they literally teach me some stuff
  • over the years, I also met awesome new people -- outside of my 'regular background' growing up let's say

Second is a collection of stuff I read recently about writing that I felt relevant.

  • Why write by my friend Gian. Very well articulated. I can't agree more. By the way, we both write in a language that isn't our mother tongue.
  • 'Like all skills, we improve with practice and with feedback.' by Seth about The simple cure for writer's block

To be continued

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/1559279 2020-06-14T15:16:52Z 2020-06-14T15:34:42Z Black Lives Matter

I'm enraged by the current situation. I'm deeply sad that we are still guilty of such injustice. I'm concerned by the lack of empathy. I sometimes wonder wether we're truly able to be humanist - as a society.

Now I'm obsessed with one thing everyday when I look at my 1 year-old son: what can I do exactly / what should I show him / how to make sure he's actively & fully part of something much better. I believe my wife and I are capable of such a thing. Actually, we have to succeed. 

Below are first thoughts we had, we'll go through some iterations for sure, we'll need to confront this against reality, to adapt and progress. I read a lot of good intentions these past few weeks but haven't gone through much things towards babies, kids & education as a whole. How school should start tomorrow to teach differently for instance? I haven't read anything impactful on the topic so far; which saddens me. How everyone at home should start right now to raise awareness among the whole family? The list goes on.

I do think that education is key here. After all, as parents [but not only, as grand-parents as well, as godfathers, friends, brothers & sisters, aunts & uncles, teachers, etc.] we do set up examples & give some backgrounds & context for generations to come. My son isn't born racist. I see him today treat 100% equally his black & white friends at kindergarten. If we're not active & intentional though, I'm afraid he might become at some point. Because it's sneaky, it's part of our culture. Let's pause. Writing this hurts me. I want us to change. Then, I want his generation to finally experience a real humanist & peaceful world.

I'd love to know your thoughts on the topic, your realisations too, your own blindspots, your actions. It'll obviously be a continuous work-in-progress on our end.

In no particular order:

  • we want our son to develop strong ties with some black kids; since I don't believe we could force any specific friendship or love; we could influence his environment though; and that's where it becomes a number game at the end. Few areas we're thinking about: geography [which type of neighborhood, city, country are we living in], school, social activities [like personally I met most of my black friends through boxing].
  • this applies to ourselves as well; today our son is playing with a black friend because we met her parents and became friends with them. Though we realised we don't have a lot. Let's be more intentional with this.
  • speak out against anything racist we will hear - always; coming from anyone; 'jokes' included; no matter the context: family, professional, etc. And let's be radical about it.
  • get deeply involved in the historical lessons our kids will get along the way; and always provide few other angles. I remember how enlightening it was for me during my years in Singapore to read & learn about World War II through a South-East Asian angle, it felt like a totally different event [and it was a humbling experience].
  • be extra-careful with the set of aspirational examples he'll get growing up [like these athletes, artists, leaders, entrepreneurs, etc.] - this one looks challenging and will also depend on the geography I think but this is very impactful. Growing up in France in the 90's I realise: highest politicians = all white; leaders in biggest corporations = all white; black people? hmmm... few in the soccer team, few artists here & there - this is bad because it doesn't reflect the reality of the french society.

Photo by Kadir Celep - we used to live in this neighborhood in Berlin

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/1543657 2020-05-13T04:53:02Z 2020-06-14T10:33:27Z The dinner party of our dreams

I think we bought this book few years ago, while randomly wandering around Berlin. It's called Me, You, Us by Lisa Currie. With such a title, baseline & cover, obviously it caught our eye [& easily convinced us].

We decided to slowly fill it up recently - we set a routine like one page a week more or less and I've to say: this is really fun. One of the latest page was titled: the dinner party of our dreams and the goal was to create the 'guest list'. So the way we approached it was: 'okay we already experienced the most amazing dinner of our lives: our wedding one. Period. But if we got the superpower to invite everyone we wanted right now, what would that guest list look like'.

I want to share it here for few reasons: (a) I'm a deep fan of the 'tell me what you eat/buy/watch, I'll tell you who you are' things so I find that fun here to see what that guest list could tell about me, us, at this moment of our lives (b) because obviously we change over time I wanted to keep it here and be able to get back to it in few years, see who else I might invite (c) I'd find it interesting if some of you would share yours in the comment [or send it to me directly as you prefer].

Here it goes:

  • there are both of us
  • Jesus
  • Magellan
  • Freud
  • Maria Montessori
  • Marie Curie
  • Yuval Harari
  • 2 of our friends
  • Dolores Abernathy

Yep, that's what we could call a fantasy kind of dinner.

Looking at our list right now, I could quickly extract few themes that I know are currently running wild in our own minds and that we find particularly interesting: adventure, myth, cult, education, science, psychology, subconscious, friendship, love, history, rebellion, freedom, change, exploration.

I do think it reflects us. Let's see how it evolves.

Zeng Fanzhi -- The Last Supper, 2001

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/1533160 2020-04-20T04:01:20Z 2020-04-21T02:12:22Z Love, family and invention

There is a surprising thing I don't succeed to achieve nowadays: listening to podcasts [probably among some other stuff but I'd need to think more about it]. I now realise how much that activity is tight to my commute, be it on a bike or in a bus / subway or just walking [yep, these are my only ways of commuting, no car policy at home -- some Uber rides sometimes but it's only a handful of them a month generally speaking].

Anyway, one of the last one I listened to was a discussion between Andy McCune & David Perell in the North Star Podcast. Okay I'll try to insert it directly at the bottom of this post [yep, be cool, I'm just coming back to this].

One thing struck me -- if you wanna jump right into it, it's happening at 1h37min -- Andy referred to it as something he heard 'from a friend the other night': Love, family and invention. Like his friend would have said 'if I have love, family and I've invented something, that's all I need'.

He explained it as:
- love: feeling you have people who you see, who warm your heart, who make you hair stick up [...] you see them and it's like life is whole when you're with them
- family: people that you trust, people that you know that no matter what happens they're always gonna be with you
- invention: feeling that you're an individual, that you were put on this planet for a reason

And he finally wondered wether 'what if those were just the 3 things to strive for'. I do think there is a kind of wisdom to this. I'm not entirely sure about that 'invention' part - I mean, I'm not sure about that word and if it translates the whole feeling, but I get the point. I like the fact they put creativity in that word, and beyond creativity, they include curation also. At least, that broadens the concept but it doesn't feel enough. It's maybe something more around 'building'. Like, to me, it seems less about if I've invented something rather than if I've built something. This word sounds more team-oriented as well. I'm happy to be a 'cog in the wheel' when that wheel is building some heavy stuff for society. I'm less into individuality actually [maybe that's a cultural difference]. In that regard I can't recomend enough Marc's latest essay: It's time to build. I digress.

Bottom line, thanks to Andy & David for that discussion, I enjoyed it a lot. And in a world that looks more and more complex to the most of us, getting your happiness down to such 3 'basics' [whatever the 3rd word and nuance you pick up] resonates a lot.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/1530297 2020-04-13T04:44:07Z 2020-04-13T04:44:07Z What I've read in 2019

I played with the same sort of resolutions the past few years and it always looks liks this: 

  • spend more time with closed friends
  • talk more to the family
  • read more
  • go back to writing
  • more sport

I've tried to be more specific in 2019 and pretty much succeeded in 4 out of these 5 points. Yep, you could easily guess it by looking at the publishing dates on this blog, I haven't written for a while but hey, it's not what I want to talk about this time.

One thing I've nailed down is my reading habit. I told myself last year to read at least 1 book a month [total being 12 at the end of the year - yep I know, I'm good at maths indeed]. I finally read 21 books in total. It made me very happy so I decided to read at least 2 books a month in 2020 [spoiler: I'm heavily on track].

Below's the list [from the first one I read to the last]:

  1. Papa pour la premiere fois [fr]
  2. J'accouche bientot: que faire de la douleur? [fr]
  3. Les gens heureux lisent et boivent du cafe [fr]
  4. Le journal de moi... papa [fr]
  5. Men, Love & Birth [en]
  6. Revenir a Lisbonne [fr]
  7. Barbarian Days: a surfing life [en]
  8. Ce qu'il reste de nos reves [fr]
  9. L'ecologie en bas de chez moi [fr]
  10. Une colere noire: Lettre a mon fils [fr]
  11. Petite Poucette [fr]
  12. L'alchimiste [fr]
  13. L'espionne [fr]
  14. Le tour du monde du roi Zibeline [fr]
  15. Check-point [fr]
  16. L'aventure, le choix d'une vie [fr]
  17. Le rugissant [fr]
  18. Hotel International [fr]
  19. Le grand roman des maths [fr]
  20. Montessori a la maison [fr]
  21. Electrochoc [fr]

Yep there is something funny indeed looking at this list: 5 books are related to birth & parenthood. Quite easy to guess what we went through last year haha. I also realise that I actually read a lot in french - only 2 books were in english - way more than I would have thought first [and this is probably due to the fact I read in english mainly everyday on the web]. 6 books are novels, which isn't bad for someone who never read this type initially [this is changing though]. My family always makes fun of me because they think I only read biographies but this represents only 5 books last year. There is actually one main topic included in most of these titles [parenthood aside]: travel. It's in 10 of these books [including the highest grade I gave]. 2 books are related to music.

I use a french website called SensCritique to keep track of what I read and rate everything [out of 10]. Average of these 21 books is 6.33. I gave two 9/10: J'accouche bientot & Le tour du monde du roi Zibeline. And I gave two 2/10: Papa pour la premiere fois & Le journal de moi... papa. I'm really disappointed so far in everything written for dads anyway. It's like the only angle for men if you want to tackle parenthood somehow is to treat them like dummies. I've no doubt there are great stuff out there but I still have to dig.

So, my top 3 recommendations from last year would be [parenthood aside of course]: (1) Le tour du monde du roi Zibeline (2) L'alchimiste (3) Le grand roman des maths.

Enjoy.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/1024389 2016-04-03T17:53:40Z 2019-11-29T10:33:05Z Sex, Rock'n'Roll, Gangs, Stars, Surfing... here's Sunset Boulevard ]]> Kevin Straszburger tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/1010998 2016-03-10T20:56:21Z 2020-03-29T16:49:40Z Neon Noir Art

I just discovered Kate Hush today and... I'm in love with her work. That one above was like a slap in my face! Don't even know why... the bloody hands maybe... or the hair... the retro-bathroom Idk.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/950445 2015-12-17T16:22:12Z 2016-02-14T21:25:54Z Max Schaaf | This Time

Max Schaaf | This Time from Mark Choiniere on Vimeo.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/951353 2015-12-16T21:33:06Z 2016-02-14T21:26:13Z Ali Boulala

pic by Boonphotography

Epicly Later'd is conseidered by many of us like one of the most authentic and relevant skateboard documentaries. The show is produced by Patrick O'Dell and published on Vice.

Latest episode features Ali Boulala. All the 4 parts are online now and this is a must-watch by everyone, not only skateboarders. As Patrick said: "This is a heavy episode, and I want to thank Ali for his honesty".

You dig into Ali's personality right in the introduction. Ali's words: "When I like something a little bit I only wanna do that all the time everyday. If you do one thing only then eventually you get good at it. And that's what happens with skateboarding. I could not not do it all the time everyday because I'm an addict.".

Via these 4 parts you discover the rise and fall of Ali. From the Original Baker Boy to Being a Piss Drunk to The Crash That Ruined Everything to The Life After Skateboarding. Although Ali's story could be viewed as tragic (and like Erik Ellington said: "he has seen the worst") it might serve now as an example for the younger generation and save some lives. RIP Shane.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/950437 2015-12-15T15:01:38Z 2016-02-14T21:26:25Z Off-the-grid lifestyle

This following sentence resonates with me: "People talk about chucking their jobs. They say they will leave behind the madness of the city and hit the road. [...] But nobody ever does it. Nobody. Except for one guy."

"He [Foster Huntington] is an outdoorsman entrepreneur who has invented his own career. The treehouses serve as his home and as an alluring backdrop for advertisements for himself."

You can read the full story here: Escape to Bro-topia.

Meanwhile, enjoy the video. Pretty inspiring.

The Cinder Cone from Farm League on Vimeo.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/947985 2015-12-11T20:27:05Z 2020-04-01T06:52:12Z DTLA

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/947982 2015-12-11T20:24:23Z 2020-04-01T06:53:02Z Nice

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/947970 2015-12-11T19:41:22Z 2016-02-14T20:51:45Z Lille

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/947969 2015-12-11T19:27:38Z 2016-02-14T21:26:39Z Everyone / style is welcome in Berlin!
"ist mir egal" = I don't care :) Proud to be based in this city!

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/898211 2015-08-27T09:24:08Z 2016-02-14T21:26:52Z A new model?
If you wanna digg a bit deeper, here's their website: Kalu Yala. Enjoy!

Kalu Yala - Building a New World in the Panamanian Jungle from What Took You So Long? on Vimeo.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/895727 2015-08-20T09:17:11Z 2016-02-14T21:27:39Z LA from a drone

Los Angeles from Ian Wood on Vimeo.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/895461 2015-08-19T16:43:58Z 2016-02-14T20:51:57Z Street art in Berlin

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/895459 2015-08-19T16:40:58Z 2016-02-14T20:52:19Z Walking around Berlin ]]> Kevin Straszburger tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/895457 2015-08-19T16:35:30Z 2020-04-01T06:53:34Z Few days in France

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/895452 2015-08-19T16:30:10Z 2016-02-14T20:52:56Z Alex Tower

This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

"The Fernsehturm (English: Berlin TV Tower) is a television tower in central Berlin, Germany.

Close to Alexanderplatz in Berlin, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the administration of the German Democratic Republic. It was intended as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany."

Here is the article if you wanna read more.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/862476 2015-05-28T22:42:46Z 2016-02-14T21:27:52Z A sound decision

A Sound Decision from brian frank on Vimeo.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/860503 2015-05-24T19:02:25Z 2016-02-14T20:53:07Z A walk in Arts District, Los Angeles

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/860082 2015-05-23T05:04:29Z 2016-02-14T21:28:04Z Island Hopping in the Philippines

Island Hopping in the Philippines from Benjamin Dowie on Vimeo.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/840702 2015-04-15T07:38:09Z 2015-04-15T17:23:13Z About independance - or control - or... I don't know

"So open your eyes
And hope the rest of us do
Check your mileage
And turn off
The autopilot
Cuz you're driving in autopilot
Woah"
- Doggod, "Autopilot"

I have this feeling too many times: most of us run our lives like in an autopilot mode. We all tend to like the same thing at the same time. In a sense most of humans are predictable. Pretty scary for me when I put things that way. It reminds me a startup idea by engineers I heard a while ago. They analyse someone behaviors, tastes and so on, and they come up w/ an algorithm that predicts (and pretty well) what you're gonna do next.

Wow. In fact the more I think about it the more I'm scared. And not really by the fact that we're 'analyzed' all the time; I mean it's probably a price to pay if we look for efficiency and speed; but I'm scared by the fact that our deep human nature is that easy predictable. Damn! Can you imagine that a second?

It makes probably sense in some ways. We're lazy by nature. One objective of our brain is to find the best comfort zone possible. Why? That's its way to optimize our chance to survive. At the end of the day one of the main goal of our brain is to survive. So we create patterns, routines. You enter the shop, you say 'hi', you look at the price, you order, you pay, you say 'thank you' and 'goodbye', you leave. That sequence is easy, this is secure, so you repeat it all the time exactly like that, and at the end this becomes predictable. What if sometimes you break it? Like you change one parameter. It becomes instantaneously scary. The funny thing is that one: each time you try to go out of your comfort zone you'll love it for sure! Trust me it will have wonderful effects on your brain, your inner yourself, your body itself. I loved that article by James Altucher on the subject. He tried to ask for a special price in a Starbuck. Go read it and discover how he felt at the end.

I'm afraid that most of us, humans, share the same kinda comfort zone. Which leads at the end to the same things, the same goals, the same tastes, ideas, views and so on. It's probably intensified by the media, advertising cos, fashion, trends whatever we call it but by a group of institutions and people who have a great influence on what we think. I don't blame them. I blame us. We're too easy to be influenced. We lack curiosity first and a true open-minded approach and finally, we lost our deep sense of critics.

The result? We eat what we're told to eat. We think what we're told to think. And here comes the end of the world... but it's not a problem, we found a new pair of jeans in sales. Let's go and buy it no?

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/835675 2015-04-04T11:22:28Z 2020-04-01T07:03:39Z Primitive writings #3 - this will last

"And we continue growin', one day at a time"
- 2Pac, "One Day at a Time"

April 2nd. No April 3rd. I'm quietly sit down in a kinda small restaurant / coffee shop near my place in Berlin. There is a great atmosphere; I love that place actually. It's called 'Bitte!' and it's located on Glogauer Straße 6 in Kreuzberg. Here is their Facebook page. It serves Mediterranean style food; I came to have a lunch there earlier today and I can tell you it was great. I ate a spinach w/ feta pie and my friend got a plate of roasted potatoes w/ goat cheese. We both loved it. Oh and on an important note: the meal costs only 3. something €. Ok it's Berlin but still, this is cheap. And homemade, and above all: really super good so. This is a must see (or a must-eat) believe me.

That being said the place is beautiful. Small but simple, like raw. There are only minimal furnitures like wood tables and benches, few flowers and cactus here and there, few boards on the wall and people are super nice. The place seems to be run by young women. We talked to one of them and she comes from Greece (we guessed that one right due to the accent in english and because of the mediterranean thing).

Anyway I love that kinda stories where you can come from somewhere else to a big city and only few years after you're able to launch your own restaurant / coffee shop. That's a dream to tell. When things like that are possible in a society that's great. And we should all encourage that type of entrepreneurship, exploration, discovery etc.

They have few books on a shelve. I borrowed one: The Monocle Guide to Good Business. Wow I knew the Monocle Magazine (and I kinda loved it already) but the book's great. Well it's published by a publishing house that I generally love too: Gestalten (based in Berlin too by the way). The last book I bought from them for instance (only few weeks ago) was The Outsiders. Amazing book too I couldn't advise it to you enough. Back to Le Monocle, let's order that book. I want it at home and especially wanna take time to explore and digg deeper into each one of the company they mention.

The Monocle Guide to Good Business (Extended Version) from Gestalten on Vimeo.

I'm really more than excited by one thing nowadays: people who do things that last! The kinda ambition where the company will be there in few centuries, still independent, to claim proudly 'Since 2014'. It could be seen or perceived as obvious from the outside but I can tell you that from where I come from (well those past few years only in fact) it's an important shift. My (still short) professional experience was mainly made by web-based startup. And let's say that long-term-ish thoughts are not a major part of their founders DNA. It's not a critic (well it could be but it will be part of another writing session) but it's a fact. You try to build something, you try to grow, and normally you end up by selling it. Well those are the success factors that will be celebrated by the industry: a launch, a round of funding, an acquisition. And the key is that word: speed!

Slowness isn't part of the value chain. The funny thing is that one: slowness is less and less part of any value-chain; of any industry, world, culture you name it. Well except maybe Luxury (w/ a big L). On my mind that's the essence itself of what luxury is: time!

Well, I honestly plan to live in that world for the next 60 years. I start to think I have time. And I wanna take that time to make things right; really right.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/835667 2015-04-04T10:25:02Z 2016-02-14T21:28:16Z Super-Modified: Behance's first ever book

Super-Modified: Scott Belsky and Colleagues on Behance’s First-Ever Book from Gestalten on Vimeo.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/821900 2015-03-10T01:47:29Z 2015-03-10T01:51:34Z What's wrong with... our fantasies??

"You ready?
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no"
- Beyonce, "Crazy in Love"


I won't talk about the movie. Well let's say that if you're curious about it (and you didn't watch it - which seems hard these days) you can check the IMDB page and I'll tell you one thing on my side: I find its note of 4.2 really better than I thought myself so frankly in few words: don't even spend time watching it...

The movie is one thing; and honestly it wouldn't be the first time that Hollywood ruins completely a huge book (in a sense where the book is fantastic and the movie is just poor emotionally speaking).

No I wanna talk about the story itself here. This is consequently related to the book itself (I should put an 's' in fact); written by E L James. I was very angry first but then I read a bit about her; and I watched this interview below and at the end of the day I thought 'well the woman isn't bad or cruel; and I mean she's a writer; after all she (only) writes stories; that's cool in some ways'. So let's be light first and celebrate life right!


BUT... I'm angry (a bit; still). I mean what's fuckin' wrong with us? We're in 2000 and our fantasies are about: being protected!! Like 'oh a new car; oh let's have a tour w/ the helicopter; oh and the glider too; cool restaurant; wow what's a modern-design-penthouse; you're so rich; the world is yours and so fuckin' on...

Yep it makes me angry. Do you know why? Because as an artist and especially as a teenager-target one; you actually have the responsibility to shape the dreams and the fantasies of an entire new generation. And what are these dreams here? Let's have a fuckin' ton of money to buy this and that. And if you have not... well... shame on you!

So congrats! This way 90% of the people outside consider themselves unhappy cause they think that happiness is directly correlated to their wealth.

I've a challenge for you artists out there. Please try to 'paint' for once the perfect; the huge; the awesome; the erotic-pornographic one; romance of 2 'simple' peeps; not the poor and the rich too please; just the simple ones; and the challenge is: make us all dream about that story; w/o stars cars planes champagne you name it. Simple, in a sense I'd say: light; as life should be.
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/821180 2015-03-08T21:28:14Z 2015-03-10T00:36:52Z Primitive writings #2

"I'm the 7 in the center of the sun, I keep shining
My inner light would turn my baby's tear drop to small diamond"
- Wu-Tang Clan, "Sunlight"


March something. I don't know. I'm sure we are on a Saturday cause we had to leave our room from the hostel this morning but I don't have a clue which date it is. Let's check it out; ok we're March 7th apparently. Sunny day here in Berlin; which is good; especially since we arrived cause we probably didn't have that much of a chance; everyday was cloudy. Anyway today is good. First thing that crossed my mind now when I wake up and discover a blue sky is: let's go skate today!

Bad luck today because I've to visit a flat at 4:30p in another neighborhood. Argh worst timing possible in a day if I wanted to skate. I can't go before or I'll be pretty sweat and broken for the visit (which is not the best tactic possible if  I want the flat); and I can't go after cause at the time I'll be back at the (other) hostel to grab my skate sunset will be there. Bad organization. I've to pay more attention next time. Well funny thing is I start to use more and more the weather app of my phone. I've never used it before. Well in Spore it was easy: hot, humid, maybe it'll rain (ie in this case don't be under it or you'll be completely and entirely wet) but no worries it won't last. Then LA: even easier cause it's a blue sky and a mega sunlight everyday. Perfect for skateboarding and no need to plan your session according to the weather. In fact the beauty is: you don't give a thing to the weather at all. Really different here. I start to check frenetically the weather app several times a day; and I check the entire week to come! I'll get used to it I hope. Well the good news is: we're in March so the weather could only be better and better. And I'm never too far from LA neither.

Interesting cause it's noon and some peeps in my team have a visit planned at noon. From where I sit I can see them. They're waiting in front of the entry door of the building. We arrived together actually and it was 11:30a. Haha they wait there in front of the door from half an hour! Strange behavior for me. I hate waiting first (probably like everyone else). But the second thing is: if you visit a flat in a new city and you arrived 30min in advance; take the opportunity to walk around and discover your possible future neighborhood. Look at the people, walk, enter into shops, order a coffee etc. Especially since on my mind the location is worth more than half when I judge an apartment. Anyway; their style; their flat so I don't care; it's just a funny situation from my point of view.

I'm sit down at a terrace of cool kinda coffee. I say 'kinda' cause it's not a coffee shop per se. It's more like a mix b/w a tiny bio-supermarket and a bio-restaurant. I think the flowers shop just next to it is owned by them too. So the atmosphere is cool. I ordered a bio juice pretty original and apparently it's locally sourced (and it's super good!). I've to ask the brand. But the context is beautiful. Nice terrace w/ wood tables and chairs, a lot of flowers, crates, some straw... The atmosphere is b/w a farm and your beautiful garden. It doesn't look like super original for Berlin in fact. I've the feeling that I've seen other places like this one in the city. But for sure I haven't seen a lot them somewhere else.

In Paris, London, LA, Spore, Barcelona... the type of coffee shops where people meet and tend to like are way more hipster-like. Funny cause you start to see those type of coffee shops everywhere around the world and... they all look the same! You have a lot of them of course here; but I've also seen stuff like that in more exotic cities like Bangkok, Jakarta, Mexico, Oaxaca...
Well they're a bit right for sure when they say that city centers around the world tend to all look the same; with the same coffee chains (welcome Starbuck); fastfoods (welcome McDonald, Burger King and cie.); hipster-like shops; fashion brands (welcome Levis, Zara, H&M and cie... + their luxury part w/ Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Dior and so on). Which unfortunately leads to the same people.

My friends got into the building and I've just seen them on the balcony at the top. Hmm the flat seems good; well, high at least, and big cause I've seen them on two different balconies. I hope it's good inside. I look forward to listening to them about it.

It's a beautiful day.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/819943 2015-03-06T04:27:21Z 2015-03-06T04:27:21Z Primitive writings #1

"Bitch, bring Softpacks oder Shisha
Chille mit' ner Messe-Hostess von der IFA"
- Shindy, "Nikotin & Alkohol"

March 5th. I'm in Berlin. I finally found a shisha bar. I don't know its name oh yep Marrakech I think but written in a german way it should be 'Marrakesch'. I like the oriental atmosphere; the smell especially. It reminds me the one I used to go (hell a lot!) when I lived in Paris 9th district. I always liked shisha bars; 'lounge' as they say; I don't know why they put that word 'lounge' everywhere; it's funny. It's probably due to the sofa all around; maybe because it's kinda bars where you just lay down on the sofa in this sort of way where you're half sleeping half dreaming. It's not hard wood chairs where you have to sit straight. 

Anyway the 'Apfel' shisha I ordered is good. I have my fresh mint tea but it's too hot to be drunk. I never succeed to drink too hot beverages I've to wait. So I'm thinking and dreaming mostly; look outside too. I picked up the sit near the large window in order to contemplate the street outside. I always loved contemplate people going through their lives like this. It's night already cause it's 7:15p here. It's raining; something common for a place like Berlin at this period of the year as far as I understood it. People are funny outside; they seem to be in a rush; there are a lot of traffic jam; probably due to the time; peeps leave work and go back home massively I guess. I don't speak german yet so I dont understand the words in front of me like 'Feinkost' 'Reinigung Reinigung' 'Bucher'; well I know Bucher in fact; it means Books. I love bookstores I've to go there at the end of the week (we're Wednesday, well, I think).

Weird I'm not sure which day we are in. We work all the time so I'm pretty lost in the week. And we don't sleep that much nowadays so the schedule in the day is a bit special; I didn't have lunch per se and I'm not hungry for a dinner. Anyway I also think that smoking make me loose the appetite. I've to keep that in mind; being more tactic regarding the time I smoke and the time I've to go out to eat. Hmm I've to ask this 'lounge' bar when they close too. I'm alone. (nb: it's 4:42a and I checked; we're b/w thursday and friday; well technically we're Friday super early)

Peeps in my team don't like shisha apparently; they don't smoke also. They're probably right. I came with my current book consequently. I used to read one book a week back in the great old days; probably succeed to keep that pace for years; I'm particularly proud of this timing during my time in Spore. I'm reading a Bret Easton Ellis book named Lunar Park; in french unfortunately. It was a gift for my GF but she doesn't like it. Well funny enough she didn't give it a try yet so she only supposes she doesn't like it; I've to force her to try at least.

On my side it's the third book I read from that author. I discovered him when I was in school and read 'Moins que zero' in french... dont know the title in english; oh here it is: Less than Zero; I felt in love at first sight; then I instantly bought the second one named Imperial Bedrooms. And bang; another love. I didn't know LA at that time but I thought about those books a lot when I was there last year. I love that city; it's completely different from what I know but I love it. Interesting fact is that I spend most of the year 2014 there and... I don't have my driving licence; yep it means that (a) you can enjoy that city w/o a car and (b) you can even live it w/o a car. Most people don't think it's possible. The thing in my case is that I love cycling so it didn't bother me to ride for an hour to go somewhere. And when you go out at night Uber is the perfect friend there; reliable pretty cheap (I mean compared to cabs elsewhere) and the experience is pretty good so at the end of the day I'm not convinced a car is absolutely necessary in LA.

Well back in Berlin; back to this 'Marrakesch' 'lounge' bar. It's funny cause they're a lot of peeps around me who seem to come from arabic country but they speak german b/w each other. I guess it's normal but still it's funny to notice. As a french guy who lived in Asia and the US I didn't get used to that mix. In this type of environment I truly and sincerely love our world. So many places, people, languages and everyone live among each other; I'm optimistic in this kinda atmosphere. It makes me think humans are great.
Argh I hate typing on my phone, it's horrible, I make a lot of typo. Note for later: bring your laptop to write! Especially since writing is one of my goal for this year 2015; I already wrote about that.

Haha cool; the guy next to me starts to sing in arabic. I love that sound; that music; wave! I've really the feeling to be somewhere else now. It's still common life outside. Oh I'm impressed for few days w/ one thing here: there are a lot of bikes despite the weather, this freaking cold weather I should say. It's like more than a hundred bikes which passed by in front of me since I started typing this (ie 10min. max right). 

I see 5 cars packed in front of me. In that order: BMW, BMW, Mercedes, Mercedes, Audi. Welcome in Germany!

Yippee my tea is getting colder so I can start drinking it. It's good; it doesn't taste like real traditional one tho but still, it's pleasant. Let's enjoy it and go back to the book. Oh I have to ask for new charcoail.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/819093 2015-03-04T22:03:52Z 2016-02-14T20:53:24Z You write my name

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Kevin Straszburger