What do you do with your weekdays?
I work with a friend and my staff writer at The Spinoff in an office on K rd, overlooking Myer’s Park. It’s noisy, but lively. Then I go home and get a couple of hours with my kids before watching either super dumb or super smart (nothing in between) TV with my wife Niki.
What do you do with your weekends?
Spend time with family and friends. Play some basketball, to which I’m devoted if not addicted. I try and be one of those inner city gardening-types, but I don’t know how successful I am. Same goes for DIY. Honestly our main family activity, which brings us the most communal joy, is regular trips to an expired food warehouse, whose name I won’t reveal lest it be overrun. Says all you could possibly need to know about me.
What’s your go-to work attire?
It really varies. If I’ve got meetings or events where I’m trying to look like a person you’d want to do business with I’ll wear a blazer and chinos, or a suit. If I’m deep in the weeds of writing or editing I can wear the same jeans and t-shirt for days on end and barely notice. I don’t really have a coherent ‘personal style’, as such, but I’m learning to live with that.
Whose style do you admire?
I admire the way a bunch of people dress – mainly rappers. Back in the day Slick Rick and later Ghostface and Cam’ron wore the most outrageous clothes. Latterly I remember so vividly a friend showing me Trinidad James’ ‘All Gold Everything’ video and thinking he looked so wild and exciting. Now it’s almost routine for new rappers to dress super bold – A$AP Rocky and Young Thug, off the top of my head. I could never even begin to imagine adopting any element of it – but I admire the hell out of them.
What wardrobe item would you struggle to live without?
I’ve always been pretty obsessed with the way Bruce Springsteen dresses on the cover of Born in the USA. You can only see his butt, basically, but it’s that classic mid-’80s uniform of ultra-faded light blue jeans and crisp white tee. For about six years that’s been my dressing-without-thinking uniform.
What trend will you be exhausting this summer?
There’s a specific short-sleeved shirt I bought from Barkers a few weeks back, navy with a micro stylised floral print which I got instantly obsessed with. I wore it five days in a row, like some kind of mentally unstable person (it was still cold weather then – I’m pretty sure I didn’t smell). So yeah – short-sleeved shirts, tucked into shorts or jeans or whatever. That’s me.
Best accessory to any outfit?
I’ve been a one man Panama Hat revival for a few years now. I saw my uncle wearing one about ten years ago and thought it looked great. Got a legit one of my own, a gift from my mother, maybe three years back. I’m still self-conscious every time I wear it, mainly because no one is joining me, but I figure it’s something I’ll age into. When I’m 50 that thing will never leave my head.
What was your last purchase?
A pair of brown leather tassel loafers. I saw this singer Moses Sumney wearing some while I was reporting a story in LA. The fact he was a crazy handsome 6’6” black dude didn’t deter me from thinking I could pull off the same look...
If you weren’t a journalist what would you be?
Probably something else in that area. A publisher, an author, a documentary-maker. Or aspiring to be one, anyway.
What’s your biggest career achievement to date?
Earlier this year I won the Canon award for best magazine sports feature, and best magazine arts feature, for stories on Lorde and the sports media startup Coliseum respectively. I was really happy with both of those stories, and had been writing about sports and music for around ten years each – so it felt like some kind of culmination.
Favourite place in Auckland to go for coffee?
Atomic in Kingsland is my local, and I love it. I also work near Verona, which was the coolest place for coffee in the late ‘90s. It hasn’t changed a bit, from the music to the decor, but it feels like home.
Favourite place in Auckland to go for dinner?
I really love the Peach Pit on K rd. It’s halfway between a bar and restaurant, and used to be a full-blown bar called DOC that friends of mine ran. But the food is great, the staff are cool and it has that feeling of being a little secret only you and a few others are privy to – like home, again.
Favourite gig venue in NZ?
I think the Powerstation is pretty perfect – the perfect size to see artists just as they’re cresting off of their first or second album. Small enough to be intimate, big enough to feel momentous. I also love big full on pop shows at Vector, though. The venue is just serviceable, but it’s been a vehicle for so many of my favourite moments, so I love it.
Top tip for the NZ man?
I don’t really have one. Don’t be an asshole maybe?
When the sun’s out where would we find you?
My family has a place on the Coromandel which I’ve spent long portions of every summer since we moved to New Zealand. But I also love Auckland in high summer, when it empties out and feels like a ghost town.
Where do you splurge and where do you scrimp?
I splurge on beer (guilty of buying in to the craft beer hype completely – Garage Project, in which my uncle has a stake, particularly) and single malt. I scrimp on eating out – just work my way through Metro’s Cheap Eats. Works for me.
The last song you listened to?
The new Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé collaboration. A little underwhelmed, but I love those guys, so I’ll keep at it.
Sports documentaries. Particularly ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. They’re mostly exactly the same film, but I can’t get enough.
Lastly, if you could have a whisky with anyone, who would it be and why?
Probably Greg Popovich. He’s this famously taciturn NBA coach. His San Antonio Spurs are the reigning NBA champs. He’s maybe the best basketball coach, and a Russian history professor, and the most intimidating guy I’ve ever seen on TV. But I hear he really loves his wine – so I’d be curious to hear him loosened a little by some booze. So yeah – he’ll do.