Nostalgia for Nintendo: NES Comes Back with Old School Games

Although the world of gaming has progressed to more than a few pixels and numerous platforms, nobody forgets their first. Nostalgia for Nintendo must be strong enough among millennials as it’s warranted a comeback.

Nintendo is releasing a miniature replica of its NES console, originally manufactured in 1985. The NES Classic Edition fits in one hand with a classic controller, updated with an HDMI cable and AC adapter for modern TVs. It comes preloaded with 30 original games including Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and The Legend of Zelda.

“We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo’s original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place,” President Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo of America said in a statement.

The Nintendo NES Classic Edition is available November 11 for $59.99. Extra controllers will be $9.99.

Catching Up with 30 Rock’s Maulik Pancholy: Marriage, Tech Startups, & Hollywood’s Racism

As queer representation on television makes strides, another minority has begun to stake their claim in the industry. Like many Asian Americans, Maulik Pancholy has found himself at odds with Hollywood’s vision of the ideal male.

“I feel like whenever I’m given a script and it’s an Asian American character or a gay character, I’m so aware of how it’s being used,” he said. “Like, are we laughing at this character because of who they are or are we laughing along with them because of the things they’re putting out into the story?”

It’s a stigma in Hollywood that he once demonstrated in HBO’s The Comeback. He played one half of an Indian comedy duo who played into the stereotype in order to please a sitcom’s unoriginal vision.

Over coffee at Soho House in New York’s Meatpacking District, we met with the actor fresh from his run with the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of The Taming of the Shrew in Washington, DC. In true Shakespearean style, he played the leading lady, Katherina.

For the actor so accustomed to being cast as a token Indian or a gay cliché, it was empowering to go off the cuff for the part of a lifetime.

“There was something really fierce about getting to feel that power,” he said. “And I also think she’s one of Shakespeare’s great female roles. It’s a pretty controversial play, but I think at it’s core, she’s a pretty tough cookie and it was fun to play that.”

Now back in New York, Pancholy has begun to settle back into his life. He lives in the city with his husband, Ryan Corvaia, a chef and co-owner of an event company. Together for over a decade, they’re only in the first years of their marriage.

“We kind of just thought of [our wedding] as a big party where we’d invite all our friends and family,” he said. “Instead, having gone through it, I really understood why the practice of getting married has been around for so long. There’s something really beautiful about having a ton of friends and family witness your love for each other. It’s like an intangible shift.”

Maulik 2

The two were engaged in India, in front of the Taj Mahal, with friends and family around them.

“We reconnected with so many family members,” Pancholy said. “I have a ton of second cousins there, and these are cousins who are my age who I grew up with. We’d go to India for a month at a time and I’d spend weeks playing with them. Now they’re married and have families, and they’re starting their own businesses.”

Pancholy has even ventured into his own business after partnering with Rebtel, an app that hijacks local phone lines to offer unlimited international calling for low monthly rates. It was his friends and family in India that inspired him to make this career move. Staying in touch, he found that Indian telecom companies doubled their rates over the summer.

In addition to his new tech venture, he’s involved in an upcoming web series, New York is Dead as well as a few other projects in the works.

ListaPost Will Make You an Organized Instagram Connoisseur

Instagram has proven itself as the social outlet of choice for those operating in creative industries, especially in fashion. The platform functions as both a marketing tool and place to source inspiration, but Instagram isn’t without flaws; screen-capturing images and trying to locate them in an ever-expanding camera roll is one hell of a hassle.

ListaPost, a new app for iPhone and Android, allows you to index Instagram images and share curated libraries with anyone, anywhere. “We have eliminated the need to take screenshots, freeing up storage space on the user’s phone, while providing a tool that allows users to organize their favorite posts in one place and share them,” said ListaPost Founder Benjamin Nazarian.

Users can seamlessly save Instagram images into folders without disrupting the functionality of the app. These folders can then be shared among colleagues and friends, embedded into websites and emails, and shared via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Though the essence of the app is organization and curation, there’s an added bonus: “ListaPost gives you the power to tell a story by uploading multiple images in a singular post as a slideshow—recapping a major event [or] a campaign launch” Nazarian said. With regards to anything from meme compilations to editorial moodboards, ListaPost will be your new best friend.


Athos: The Future of Fitness Is Now

Gabriela (Re:Quest Models) and Mark Sopcik photographed by Fred P. Goris. Styling by Alyssa Shapiro

These compression shorts are made by a start-up called Athos and contain embedded EMG sensors that feed information on muscle effort and activation to an app on the user’s phone, allowing lab-quality monitoring of one’s own workout. The matching compression top launches this spring, alongside special partnerships with some of the country’s most elite trainers, like Stephen Cheuk, whose New York gym S10 is photographed here. Using Athos, Cheuk is able to instruct trainees on how to better activate the right muscles for the right exercise — plus tell if they’re cheating the movement.

Rapid arm movements with the rope create tension throughout the body, providing a concentrated arm workout and also strengthening the core and lower body.

Properly monitoring muscle activation during lunges ensures both legs receive a good workout.

At S10, Stephen Cheuk’s trainees focus on anabolic conditioning work. That means less jogging and more pushing the Prowler.

Few exercises build more muscle quickly than a squat — Athos allows trainers to ensure that the correct sequence of muscles is activated through the movement, essential to both increasing strength and maintaining safety.

Mark wears Athos shorts and his own shoes. Gabriela wear (from left) Athos capris, S10 sports bra, Nike Bonded Woven Bomber Jacket, Nike Flyknit Zoom Fit Agility sneakers; Athos capris, NikeLab x JFS cropped long-sleeved top, Nike Pro Fierce sports bra, Nike Flyknit Roshe Run sneakers

Grooming by Ashley Rebecca

This story appears in the spring 2015 issue of BlackBook Magazine on stands now


Love and Nature and the Drone is in the Air

Just in case if you haven’t heard of the flying device, the drone is a newly adopted filmmaking tool that flies like a kid’s toy helicopter attached with an HD camera and accompanied with almost an old-school video game remote control.  You control it. It flies. It films in HD. Cool, right? While I’ve seen my fair share of drone videos, whether it’s for fashion, experimenting, or just cinematic shots that a filmmaker may want to use, this one truly takes the cake. A cinematic porno with the drone! Next level… 

First of all, I want to say that Brandon LaGanke and John Calucci, the filmmakers who conceived and directed the idea, shall be acknowledged for doing something first of its kind. It’s a groundbreaking cinematic achievement and wildly exciting experiment. The best part? It depicts all sexual orientations. Love and nature and the drone is in the air. 


Diesel Black Gold Debuts Wearable Tech on the Runway

Apple might be, well, Apple, but many recent forays into Wearable Tech (or just “wearables,” because please, we’re on a first-name basis now), come backed with top designer creds. The latest example is the new Samsung Gear S wristband, which debuted on the runway at yesterday’s Diesel Black Gold show.

Diesel Black Gold Runway SS15 Featuring Exclusive Samsung Gear S Show Pieces

And while my notes on Diesel read: “sexed-up suiting, studs, and a dash of ‘90s grunge vis-a-vis lingerie influenced chemise dresses,” any ‘90s kid will tell you we didn’t have such magic in those days, micro-laptops on our wrists calculating our every move. If you want the best of both worlds: ‘90s throwback x 2014 capabilities but don’t want the futuristic flash of certain devices, the Diesel Black Gold edition might be a good pick. Creative director Andreas Melbostad picked leather in colors matching the new line to bring sophistication to this techcessory. (p.s. did I just coin that?!)

Images courtesy of Diesel Black Gold

Apple is Like, Yeah Whatever NYFW — It’s iWatch Time

“Yo Fashion Week, Imma let you finish…” — Apple

Excuse me fashion but get out of the spotlight. Tech would like to make an announcement. In case this week of intensive tweeting, instagramming, and constant phone charging hasn’t been enough for you, you can now prepare yourself for a slew of new Apple products and technologies, especially, the Apple Watch.

What does the watch do? As far as I can tell the question should be what doesn’t it do. The sharing options are endless: from your heartbeat to drawings to special-Apple-made emojis (yes, new emojis!), and even a walkie-talkie feature, this watch will make you equally social and punctual. Being that it’s NYFW, it’s of course important that the watch has a number of style variations from leather bands to metal, and looks more like, well, a watch, than many of the new, shiny “wearable tech” products we’ve been seeing.

Check it out:

Main image via @FrancaSozzani1 on Instagram

Google Buses: Gentrifying the Home of The Summer of Love

I was visiting San Francisco this past week. The freaky people used to run the show in the City By The Bay, but now when you cross the city limits, the town feels like it has a big, shiny, corporate tech sponsor. A stroll through San Francisco feels like walking through Palo Alto North; weeknights have become strangely silent. (Sh-sh-sh! You’ll wake the tech millionaires!) Hot hipster hippie girls have been replaced by those who know a lot about html. San Francisco has become a city filled with people who’d think riding a razor scooter around the office is the craziest thing you can ever do. 

Obviously, tech-titans like Twitter have moved to town, trumpeting the Bataan death march of low rent and the city’s artistic community.

A big symbol of the sea of gentrification and change are the regular Silicon Valley private buses that whisk people in the city to their high-paying tech jobs at giant companies like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. Much like an extension of junior high, each morning tech workers wait at designated bus stops so large metallic buses can provide them with the morning commute to billion-dollar Silicon Valley corporations. (Of course the buses are equipped with Wi-Fi to squeeze an extra few hours of work out of everyone.)

Yesterday, though, crunchy was added to the smooth:

A group of protesters surrounded and blocked a Google employee commuter bus for more than a half hour Monday morning at a Muni bus stop at 24th and Valencia streets in San Francisco’s Mission District. The buses have, for some, become a symbol of tech-fueled gentrification, economic inequality and soaring housing prices in the city.

The bus, which was headed to Google’s Mountain View campus, had riders on board. A dozen protesters stood around the bus with signs saying “Public $$$$, Private Gains,” “Stop Displacement Now,” “Fine $271, Total Fine $1 Billion,” and “Warning: Two-Tier System.”

San Francisco is currently going through a major eviction crisis; droves of artists are being driven from the town that fostered the Summer of Love, The Dead Kennedys, and The Beatnik Movement. Adding insult to injury, the Google buses have become a symbol of economic disparity and class warfare, slapping the city’s predominantly Latino neighborhood. (Though, in pure San Francisco irony, the buses do cut down in CO2 emissions.)

The revolution won’t be televised, but it will be live-streamed on your iPhone.