I leave work and get a pizza. At this moment, captured in time, I am a caricature of a white collar worker who has clocked in a 9-to-5. (But more like 9-to-11: It's hard work working a day job, trying to keep up with the Internet, socializing on Gchat, watching FIFA tutorials and contributing content on a semi-regular basis). I am standing up, eating a slice of pepperoni pizza with zero regard toward to how hot the cheese is. It's the same mistake I've been making for twenty-odd years and still don't heed the visual cues of steam coming off mozzarella or the fact that I've never not burnt the roof of my mouth on a slice. Trying to cool it off by blowing on it has always seemed futile. I know that this of pizza is not optimal eating temperature, but I bite it anyway. And my mouth is burnt again.
Food is an essential luxury. It's needed for basic survival, for our bodies to assimilate and turn into energy. It can come from a plant, an animal or a machine. Many people have different theories on which kind are the best.
Lately, I've found myself less interested in purchasing clothes and more interested in purchasing experiences, namely ones provided by food. Ideally, I'd throw money wastefully in both realms, but something's gotta be sacrificed in order for me to throw a couple bread crumbs to my very meager retirement fund.
I feel the twilight of my youth fading quickly and one day I'm going to wake up in, like, 2020 and stare at my closet and try and remember that one time I lived in New York City, but the only souvenir I'll have is a pair of Jordans and a John Elliott bomber. I'll stare at photos and not remark over the great night I had with my friends, but lambast myself for my outfit selection. There's going to be a time when we look at tailored athleticwear as a funny era in menswear and even though I'm a card carrying member, I'd like to not define my twenties by solely side-zips and tapered widths.
The flipside and irony of all this is that food is seemingly finite. You eat it, you digest it and then you get rid of it. Some Hiroki Nakamura patchwork lasts significantly longer than, say, a Danny Bowien burrito. Thomas Keller wagyu won't keep you warm at night, but a Han Kjobenhavn topcoat literally will.
But there's something that feels a little different when dropping a couple hunnids on a good meal rather than some dope jawnz. It feels—how do I say this?—a little more pure. They give out last meals on death row, but they don't send you to the firing line in a Thom Browne suit. Nobody wants to die from exposure while waiting for a Supreme drop, but I'd be relatively okay with dying after I ate at Sukiyabashi Jiro.
At the end of the day, food is always a good look. It's classic, timeless.
Here are some things that are better to do with your discretionary income:
-That dinner party hosted by the couple who thinks they're cooler than you are because they have art on their wall. They probably can do dope things with winter fruits like butternut squash and chard.
-Your best friend's 28th birthday where he bitter-sweetly celebrates his mediocrity because he hasn't died.
-Let's Build Fam™ lunches with an idol who you hope one day becomes a rival.
-Try and make a gluten free breakfast for endgame wifey. Fail. Order bagels instead and charm her with your resourcefulness.
-Drink a lot and take your molly comedown pity party to a 24-hour diner.
-Drive thru because In-N-Out Burger LMAO.
-Hit the ramen bar alone and make friends with the chef.
Our relationship with food changes throughout life, but it always remains a social currency. During our formative years, we'd use lunch as status. Pizza Lunchables meant you were an alpha. If your mom was dope, she'd hook it up with cookies and chips, valuable trading units when you're trying to barter in the schoolyard black market. In our adolescence, we'd just skip meals entirely and hoard our lunch money. Today, as a young adult, you can brunch your way up the top of the social ladder. As an Old, you plan regular family meals to bring your loved ones together, or so I've been told.
At the end of the day, food is always a good look. It's classic, timeless. Fried chicken, New York strip, mint chocolate chip ice cream, chanterelle mushroom potage, hot pastrami sandwiches, kale fried rice, matzah ball soup, pork adobo, carne asada burritos, carbonara, Texas chili, McNuggets, gruyere cheese gougeres, miso ramen, chocolate milkshakes, escargot, spam, mapo tofu, bolognese, veal picatta, Domino's pizza, Totino's, Roberta's, 2 Bros' and shrimp scampi are never going out of style. Those things are going to be dope for the rest of your life.
I was walking home the other night, after an evening of drinking low-grade poison with my friends and popped into my local bodega. Actually, it was the bodega two blocks away because the one closest to my apartment fancies itself as, well, fancy (read: they have almond milk) and wouldn't carry the meal I was in the mood for at that particular hour: a microwavable cheeseburger.
In case you didn't know, there is nothing special about a microwavable cheeseburger. It's marginally worse than a McDonald's cheeseburger and marginally better than a White Castle cheeseburger. Its current street price is about $2.50, but sometimes you can get it for a buck if you microwave it yourself. It was crudely wrapped in tin foil and the cheese was probably only edible by technicality. However, at that moment, it was the dopest thing I had ever owned, Jordans and John Elliott included.
Nickolaus Sugai is eating good out here. Follow him on Twitter here.