An Editorial Daycathlon with Gillette
Ten stops in the average day of CH editor David Graver
I do not grow facial hair like an average adult—and I'm not sure I ever will. Patches emerge over extended days, still leaving broad strips of hair-free skin. During a regular day of desk sides, edit meetings, gallery visits and after-work cocktails (with generally 10 stops every single day) it's increasingly important that I start my day with a shave. It's not only normalizing, it's preparedness for what feels like decathlon-long days.
The notion of an editorial decathlon is on our brain as Gillette has partnered with Olympic Decathlete Ashton Eaton in advance of Rio 2016. Precision is necessary in a decathlon. It's also necessary when one's day feels like a decathlon—or a "day-cathlon." With precision as a mutual need, like Eaton, I've started using the new Gillette Fusion ProShield. It's all one wants from a razor—with lubrication built-in before and after the blades, which feature Gillette's thinnest, finest edges yet—and the refills are delivered directly to my door. A quick, comfortable (due to everything from a MicroComb to the blade coating), and precise shave—coupled with a coffee and the subway being generally on time—means my morning gets the timely kick-off necessary for a great day.
After leaving my East Village apartment, my second stop of the day is Think Coffee on the Bowery. It sits between my apartment and the express subway stop at Broadway/Lafayette. I go there for a few reasons: it's independently owned, the coffee is good, there are plenty of large windows and I still compete for mayorship of the place on Swarm (formerly Foursquare). Visiting Think isn't only for coffee; it allows me to accomplish two things. I use the Fantastical app to review the entirety of my schedule for the day, across all calendars (team, work and personal). I also bullet point my tasks for the day inside of the Behance Action Method notebook. I've tried many to do list apps but the physical act of writing out what I need to do—and later crossing it all out—motivates me. That said, this portion of my day allows for a precise execution of everything that follows.
My third stop is CH HQ, located between Flatiron and Chelsea. Here, I kick off a trifecta of activities. First: emails. By the time I arrive to work I have an inbox of roughly 80 new messages. I spend a fair amount of my day conversing with artists, artisans, makers, distillers, and people in PR. I try to knock out all emails in the morning, but like most, I am constantly interrupted during the day when something pops onto my screen that warrants a quicker than normal response. As a rough estimate, I engage with about 200 people per day—a fairly daunting task. Second: edit meeting. Our on-site team constantly touches base regarding what we are working on, when it will publish, and how it will be supported by what we receive from our list of global contributors. Further, we have to keep an eye on events (everything from art fairs to international design weeks to restaurant and hotel openings) and ascertain how we will tackle it all. Finally, I can write. I do, in fact, spend hours each day writing and editing. It also might be my favorite part of the day, where I am sprinting through anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand words.
Lunch marks an opportunity to see what's going on in the outside world, and with the array of food options in New York—a place like Quality Eats (where a few members of our team venture together) makes for a nice exploration with a substantial amount of food. Sometimes, I go it alone. Other times, I'm entertaining or being entertained. That said, lunch is a luxury and everything from planning a destination in advance to selecting a location near our office allows for a more prepared and precise day. Time is a constraint and must be treated with vigilance.
Post-lunch, I venture west of our office to Chelsea galleries. I frequently hit up Joshua Liner Gallery. The motivation here is two-fold: I'm constantly looking for stories about artists and it's an inspiring privilege to be able to pop into a gallery and see what's on display. Sometimes I will wander some, but as time is always limited I frequently target precise streets and make note of all the galleries and what they're showing.
A return to my office means I can get in a desk-side appointment. We often invite brands to our space to learn about what's coming up. Sometimes, as with Uniform Wares, a story comes out one week after the meeting. Other times, it's a matter of hours. When my guests are ushered out, I return to the emails (a hundred or so more), editing and writing (how many more words can I finish today?). I do this until 5PM, when I will open up some of the new beer, wine or spirits we have received to taste test. Right now, I keep a full range of High West Whiskey on my desk.
I often tell people that my out-of-business-hours events are also part of my work day. And, while this is true, it's not what one expects of a traditional day at the office. Almost daily, after work, I attempt to hit up two or more new venues in the food and drink scene. Most recently, it was the anti-traditional speakeasy that is Genuine Liquorette, where I went with a friend who works with both The Macallan and Campari. Finally, I acknowledge that I am once again hungry and make my way to the second stop of the night for dinner. Most recently, it was Salvation Burger—April Bloomfield's haven for meat-lovers. When all is said and done, I return home—anytime between midnight and 2AM—and repeat again the next day.
Image of Ashton Eaton courtesy of Gillette, all others by Cool Hunting