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Japanese Manhole Covers

Art hits the streets of Japan, making more of the dreary brick city sidewalks.



Of all the small things American design made beautiful, manhole covers weren't one of them. Sure, there's a quiet, functional simplicity to our home grown covers, but the Japanese—playing their role in the great trans-Pacific cultural dialectic—have manhole covers that put ours to shame.



Painted Japanese manhole covers are more simple than you might think: Sure, the colors pop, but the designs remind one far more of Pennsylvania Dutch hex art or something out of Game of Thrones than an ultra-futuristic, anime-style design…though there's a bit of that, too. 



Women We Love: Françoise Hardy

An icon of the 60’s, Miss Hardy still holds our heart in her hands.



You don’t need to know a lot about Françoise Hardy to know why we love her. The picture above should give you an idea. She is effortlessly beautiful, and equally as talented. Françoise was initially recognized for her voice, but it her beauty, well, that made her an international sensation.



Combining a wallflower’s demeanor, the sultry syntax of a Parisian, and the looks of the girl next door, Hardy’s rise to celebrity was still unexpected. Raised in postwar Paris, Françoise grew up in a broken home. With her parents separated and her father rarely present, she watched her mother struggle to provide food for her siblings and her. Ironically, though, it was a gift from her father eventually spearhead her career.



DIVERSIONS + TUNES: April 11th, 2014

From 83 Must-DO’s to a video from Space this week’s Diversions + Tunes has it all.



1. MOST INSANE TRUCK EVER BUILT: …and the four year old who calls the shots (and the Dad who lets her). / Wired



2. 83 THINGS EVERY MAN SHOULD DO BEFORE HE DIES: Like #43: Kill Your Own Dinner. Agreed. / Esquire



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Escape the Urban Swamp

NYC is a great place—and a great place to get away from. Kevin Kunstadt explains.



Looking at his work, it’s easy to see that Kevin Kunstadt lives for the grandiose. The NYC-based landscape photographer’s portfolio spans regions of the world where it’s still possible to gain some perspective—the Southwest USA, the Dolomites of Italy, the wilderness of Alaska…the list of expansive landscapes goes on.



Refusing to shy away from massive vistas isn’t exactly an accident for Kunstadt. For those, like him, who grew up in a city environment, the desire to escape is a recurring phenomenon. This peaks during the warmer months, when the urban sprawl of the northeast can best be described as urban swamp.



TASTEMAKER: Megan Collins

The brains (and beauty) behind Style Girlfriend—this chick has your best style in mind.



“A trusted lady friend.” - Esquire



Megan Collins delivers the good news of what to wear, how to live, and how to act (“confidence is contagious”). She’s an honest voice from the opposite sex, and her perspective is spot on. On Style Girlfriend, she and her style advisors give their take on menswear (and beyond), and it’s a fair weathervane for what’s good in your closet and life.



We asked her to cull the Huckberry shops and pull her favorite picks. And, as a bonus, she generously tossed in some style wisdom along the way.



Hot Air for a Cold Cause

Hot air balloons + the North Pole = a hard lesson learned.



It’s not entirely clear who first discovered the North Pole. It may have been Americans Peary or Cook, as early as the first decade of the 1900’s. It may have been unnoted Inuit explorers. Or it may have been the first undisputed trek to the pole by famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in 1926 (also the first to reach the South Pole).



But years before any of these, in 1897, Swedish explorer S.A. Andree along with a crew of two others, took off in a hot air balloon in a bid to make Sweden the first nation to visit the North Pole. It was a plan so fantastical it now seems the stuff of a Jules Verne novel.



WEEKLY POCKET DUMP: 2014.04.09

A CRKT M16, Boker K-Bit, and Nixon Timeteller P are kings of this dump.



Drop what your carrying, organize it into right angles, zoom out, snap a pic, and share. That's your Pocket Dump. Every week, we'll curate a selection of the best EDC pocket dumps from our friends at Everyday Carry



There's a few links to our favorite products in the dump, and then a link to see the whole lineup. Enjoy, and carry on.



Man and Camera

A weekend warrior takes to the mountains and backwoods of Canada.



Luke Gram is the type of photographer we would all like to be. Young, outdoorsy, and blessed with the ability to frame a shot, he is making the best of his weekends in the Canadian wilderness—capturing casual camp vibes with every exposure.



Luke’s photography is squeezed in between brief moments of free time. "I’m totally a weekend warrior for trips, which is actually why I find I appreciate them so much. I don’t get much time off between working up north in the summers and being a full-time student during the winter months, so I try to seize every free day I have and make the most of it."



Down on the River

In four months, Scott Mestrezat rode a paddleboard the entire length of the Missouri.



"Trying to explain what made me want to do this trip is still the hardest question to answer," Scott reflects. He's recently completed a trip riding a stand-up paddleboard down the length of the Missouri River. He's the first to complete the journey (via SUP), and he spent a third of his year (four months), moving slowly with the currents and fickle changes of the waters.



He documented his trip in an inspiring short film, and he recounts his adventure below. For original adventures done (and documented) right, Scott sits at the top of the pile. We caught up with him to talk life on the river.



Four in Four

Drive by night, shoot by day—three friends hit four states in four days.



Julian Bialowas, Shara Esbenshade and Wes Walker (of TRUE MVMNT) had an idea for a long weekend—four states, four sunsets, four sunrises, and a handful of National Parks. Beyond that, not much was planned. They ended up logging 1,600 miles and capturing some incredibly diverse and striking images. The trio rolled with their gear, slept in the car, traded times driving, and reached some of the best vistas of the American Southwest. 



For our eyes, the sleepless nights paid off.



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