Author: kenneth

chasing a runner’s high in 2020

for 2020, i made the same new year’s resolution that i had tried and failed at in 2019. i wanted to start running seriously again. i set an arbitrary goal of 730 miles — an average of 2 miles per day, with the expectation that this would turn out to be more like 4–6 miles, 3 times a week.

so far, i am doing much better than last year:

January 2019: 19 miles/8 runs

January 2020: 88 miles/19 runs

aside from the fact that we’ve had far too many 40+ degree days for a january in NYC, there were plenty of differences and lessons learned from last year which have contributed to my progress this year.

  1. moving to strava from mapmyrun

ever since tracking mileage via the GPS on your smartphone became a thing, i had always had the motto that if you didn’t log your mileage, you might as well have not run at all.

i’ve always loved exercise logging apps. back in 2010 or so, I logged mileage on (RIP) and blogged on flotrack. (flotrack still exists, but probably costs $30 a month.) from there i migrated to nike+, mapmyrun, and now finally strava.

so why do i think strava is the primary reason for my success if i have always been logging my mileage on various other apps?

the community and larger userbase is probably the most important reason why i prefer strava to mapmyrun. it seems to be the de facto running app for nyc runners. i only had 2 active friends on mapmyrun, but i have 5 that are super active on strava. in addition, strava links your runs up with people who are running similar routes to you, which has helped me find run buddies around my fitness level who run in the same areas.

otherwise, it’s more aesthetically pleasing than mapmyrun, and i enjoy the segments tracking feature as well, so i can how fast i am running a certain route over time.

2. treadmill only when necessary

a half hour on the treadmill, even with music feels like a lifetime for me.

it is quite easy to say “forget the treadmill, run outside” when this is the warmest january i can remember. i still managed to get outside on the few days this year that were below 25 degrees. i would much rather triple layer than spend more than 15 minutes on the dreadmill.

3. nyrr open run

for the most part, i have had bad experiences with racing in nyc. spending $40 to wait in a corral, crossing the start line 10 minutes after the gun and then being boxed in for a full mile has never been my idea of fun.

new york road runners does free 5K runs in various parks around nyc every saturday morning. they are not particularly competitive (last year, i never placed below 3rd while running ~10 miles a week at most) but i found them to be excellent way to gauge your fitness, and of course extra motivation to have your results timed and posted somewhere.

4. run frequently and don’t make it a chore

in 2019, i was under the perspective that i could not run more than 3 times a week with my busy work schedule.

i regularly have stretches where i work from 9AM to 10PM for 2 weeks straight. i generally have a solid block between 6PM and 8PM where i can go for a workout but i rarely utilized it and ended up hating myself on the treadmill at the gym at 11PM.

i am not sure how my mindset changed on this one, but i am averaging 5 runs a week now — it’s very quick for me to hop into central park for a 5 or 6 miler in the quiet hours of my workday and blow off some steam.

5. resetting my goals

at this rate, i will crush 730 miles, and i knew if i held myself accountable (or more accurately, had strava friends to hold me accountable) last year, i have decided to set some more ambitious time goals for this year.

5K -19:55

my pr of course, is 16:50, but i do not believe i have run a sub-20 5k in my 20s. this number stands out to me as this was my PR during my freshman year of high school. i’d like to think i can beat myself at age 15.

10K – 42:30

i have never run a timed race longer than 5 miles before. i would like to be in a place where i can run around 7 minute pace for 6 miles. it seems to be the sweet spot to get my endorphins going at the level i like

half marathon — 1:41

half marathons have never interested me in the past, simply because i am not interested in running slow, and at no point after high school was i ever in shape enough to run a half marathon fast. i am finding myself enjoying hour long runs, and i can see myself finally running.

at the beginning of the month, i cramped up running a 5K at 7:30 pace. a month later i can maintain that same pace for over double the distance. i’m proud of my progress so far and am excited to see what i can accomplish in the running world this year.

Retire! #1: Hoka Clifton 4

I have this bad habit of wanting to keep clothing that either doesn’t fit anymore or has been worn out. Even though the item has no use anymore, I want to remember them or something, so I figured a decent way to memorialize them and toss them without worrying is to write a short blurb about stuff that I plan to never use again.

So without further ado,

Hoka Clifton 4 (True Blue/Jasmine Green) Size 10

Where Did I Get It?

Super Runner’s Shop on 7th Ave for full price. (MSRP says $130)

Why Did I Get It?

I needed a new pair of running shoes really bad, and Super Runner’s Shop is basically across the street from where I work. I wanted to try a Hoka Shoe as I’m a rabid Kyle Merber fanboy, so I tried these on in-store and thought that they felt decent enough to buy. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the appearance or colorway, but Kyle Merber.

How Long Did I Use It?

They were my primary long run shoe for an entire year. That’s definitely a little longer than a running shoe should last with serious use but I don’t do many long runs, and I was using other less-cushioned shoes for shorter and faster runs.

Any Special Memories?

I remember wearing these to run from my place and looped Roosevelt Island. It was one of my longest runs since High School, with some nice scenery.

Why am I getting rid of them?

  1. The soles are pretty damn worn out.

2. They hurt to run in after a couple months of use. There were no issues at the start, but eventually the inner insoles in both shoes started to tear a little bit, and the they would chafe and blister my feet up through my socks if I ran any more than 2 miles in them. (Which is obviously not good for my long run shoe)


Until they hurt, they were probably 5.5/10. They didn’t feel particularly good or bad. They were definitely cushioned enough for long runs but they definitely felt a little blocky to me. As a long run shoe, I have replaced these with the Nike Vomero 13.

You’re too stupid and poor to get rich from bitcoin.

I’ve known plenty of seemingly smart people who have said things like “My holographic Charizard 1st edition will be worth hundreds of dollars in a few years.” Everyone’s got one of those. Shut up.

Buy and hold, baby.

Working in the FX and Equity Trading industry, I get a lot of investment questions from friends of mine. I used to be bothered that they’d ask me things like, “I’ve got 50 bucks to invest, can you help me make the right stock plays to become a millionaire?” But what has really annoyed me even more lately are basically any questions about whether they should invest money into bitcoins or not. And that’s mostly because if they’re asking me, it’s not even a question anymore. They’ve already decided that they’re gonna buy some, and also want my validation that it’s a good idea.

I usually answer with something like,

“I don’t trust cryptocurrencies because it’s hard to determine the real underlying value behind it. Blockchain technology is interesting, but most people are just trying to get rich off of it, and it’s heavily inflating the value.”

Which always gets a response like,

“You make a good point, but I still think there’s money to be made. The price went up 200% in the last month! I think I can get into bitcoin before it pops.”

And I don’t disagree that the price of bitcoin will keep going up for a while. It started off as a toy used by tech savvy nerds and online drug kingpins, but now cryptocurrency has begun to reach the market of speculative beanie baby and tulip bulb buyers. You know, people who have received large inheritances from a Nigerian prince.

Hello sir you have been named for receive inheritance of 200 btc. Please provide your coinbase wallet details.

Continue reading “You’re too stupid and poor to get rich from bitcoin.” »

Vintage Youtube: Saul “Tre” Cohen

Once upon a time, “YouTuber” wasn’t a career option, and the best videos on youtube were made by kids who wanted to have some fun. No overproduced intros, no constant reminders to, “Like, comment, subscribe, down below.” I miss this era of  internet media where people were creating content without thinking about engagement ratings or adsense money.

I thought of this Bay Life series the other night about this Jewish guy “Saul Cohen” who decides to change his name to “Tre” and embrace Bay Life Culture.


And a Bonus Parody:

Cheap Gyms are Bad

Normally, you would think that low prices are good. Deals are good. Deals are great, even. Haven’t you ever walked into a Costco, left $300 poorer, but still have a smile on your face because you’d probably have paid $500 for the same items if you weren’t buying in bulk?

A gym however, is not something you want a deal on.

At Equinox (and I assume other luxury gyms,) you will walk out over $140 poorer per month, doing the same ineffective workout you’d do anywhere else, but yet, it will leave you so much more satisfied than the $10/month + no commitment at Planet Fitness or whatever.

Cheap Gyms are Bad, But Not Because They Are Inherently Bad

A cheap gym can be compared to a classic economic theory, Tragedy of The Commons. For those of you who were browsing Facebook during your microeconomics lectures, this theory basically describes how when a finite resource such as fish, fossil fuels, or… a gym is available to everyone, it becomes overexploited. And bad.

For some backstory, a few years ago I was a member of a Synergy Fitness in my hometown of Merrick, NY. I paid around $20-25 a month for membership. It was a good gym with a lot of equipment, and was constantly expanding because they kept buying property around the location. A perk was that it was within walking distance of my house. On the other hand, it was also within walking distance of my high/middle/elementary school.

I hate small talking with people when I’m working out, and I hate having to even look at some of the goons I went to high school with. I ended up quitting Synergy, and only working out when I had access to the free gyms at college. Now that I’ve graduated, not ever being able to lift for the rest of my time living in Merrick was not something I was going to consider. Luckily, a brand new gym had opened, just half a mile further away from Synergy. Enter Crunch Bellmore, with beautiful brand new equipment, huge space, and an extremely attractive rate of $10 per month. And yet, I dread going there.

Now don’t get me wrong, Crunch Bellmore is actually a pretty great gym. When you go and there’s nobody there, you’ve got a lot of great equipment to get a good workout in with. This brings us back to The Tragedy of The Commons though. When a really great gym is $10 per month, there is never nobody there. Post-work hours, 7-8pm is disgusting at Crunch. You’ll wait half an hour to get some dumbbells because one of the benchwarmers from High School Football is trying to superset or some shit. I decided to start going at 9-10 PM, sometimes at the risk of not getting my full workout in before the gym closes at 11. And yet even at such an odd hour, I’d have to circle the parking lot 3 times before I found a spot, and would still probably have to wait for equipment and have at least one “Sup bro, how’s life? Working? Sick bro me too.” And since it was cheaper and probably even nicer than Synergy, everyone who I saw at Synergy back in the day… was now at Crunch.

My Free Trial at Equinox

The great Kanye West once said, “I need every bad bitch up in Equinox, I need to know right now if you a freak or not.”

Well, I suppose he actually said it a few times, but the funny part about this statement is that almost everyone in Equinox is a bad bitch.

Since October, I’ve been working for a Bulge Bracket Investment Bank, and I was recently informed of our discount at Equinox, which waives the $300 enrollment fee, and cuts the monthly fee down by $30 a month. (Which is still $140…)

I pass by the 50th Street location every day when I go home from work, since it’s placed right next to the downtown 1 stop. I’ve always had the itch to try a luxury gym, so I thought a free trial couldn’t hurt.

You can get a free trial by entering your email on the website. This free trial period was the best and most painless out of any other trial I’ve done. Comparatively, Gold’s Gym would not give me more than one free day in the gym, and sent me 50 emails about signing up. Lifetime Athletic wouldn’t stop calling me for 2 weeks even when I said I wasn’t interested. Equinox called only one time, and allowed me to respond at my own pace via email.

The Equinox Experience

Here’s a list of things that make my experience at Equinox pretty great:

  • Less crowded at peak hours
  • Check into the gym/sign up for classes via iPhone app
  • Locker rooms with built in locks
  • Top of the line equipment, nothing is ever broken
  • More attractive people to aggressively stare at during your workout
  • Occasionally get free personal training sessions
  • Depending on location, some provide workout clothes for you
  • Elaborate showers, free Kiehl’s products

On paper, this may not sound like it’s worth 14x the price of my old gym, but it covers the most important thing when it comes to fitness: You’re excited about your next workout, and you don’t dread your next visit.


how much money do you need to move to nyc?

there probably really isn’t even a real answer for this.

i’ve been attempting to move to anywhere in NYC that has a decent commute to midtown on an 80k salary, and it just really doesn’t make sense for me to do it even though i currently lose 3 hours a day commuting from long island.

the truth is everyone is getting their ass kicked when it comes to NYC rent. my friends who are making 100k+ aren’t really saving that much more than their 50k counterparts. they just end up spending way more. if you’re living in nyc on 50k, you’re making a lot of sacrifices that even doubling your salary isn’t going to fix entirely. on 50k, you’re not eating out, (in the best city TO eat out) sharing an apartment with 5 people, (hopefully not a bedroom, at least) not going to concerts, plays, shopping in soho, taking ubers, generally not participating in all of the expensive stuff that makes nyc the great city it is.

could i move to NYC? absolutely! do i want to pay $1500 a month to live in a box? not really.

typed grumpily on the long island railroad

Kith x Nike Pop-Up Pickups

As much as I love New York City Sneaker Boutique Kith, I rarely keep up with the various drops and collabs that they’re always up to, so if I find something cool there, it’s usually just by chance. Last time I stopped by KITH Manhattan, I was one day early to the Kith x Colette drops. Had I timed it properly, I would have no doubt dropped however much it takes to look like Fabolous:

But yesterday, I managed to stumble upon a Kith x Nike Olympic inspired pop-up shop. The presentation of the place was pretty incredible, with iconic shoes like Michael Johnson’s famous golden spikes from the 1996 Summer Olympics on display.

Continue reading “Kith x Nike Pop-Up Pickups” »

Yeezy Adidas Slides???

For not actually being a real product, these are pretty damn sweet looking.

The world of fake merchandise from China is rampant, and you can easily cop yourself a pair of Yeezys or some Balmain gear for a fraction of a price from DHgate or Aliexpress. I don’t really recommend doing it, and you’ll deserve your fuckboi title for wearing anything from there, but these were too intriguing to pass up on.

I reviewed them on Reddit and I’m far too lazy to reword it so this is what I had to say:

I was about to buy a pair of legit adidas slides, but then I remembered seeing a pic of these while browsing dhgate a while ago. My site in particular said only one person had ordered these before. Checked youtube/here and didn’t find anything so I thought I’d check them out since they looked kinda nice.

Of course there’s no real Yeezy Slides, so there’s not much to compare it to. Obviously anybody who knows anything about Yeezys will know they are fake, but they still look really sweet. The boost doesn’t look great but AFAIK everything else does.

On feet, it feels like they might break pretty easily. The upper material doesn’t have a lot of give and you can tell it wasn’t designed to be on a flip flop.

Overall they look great, but long-term wearability might be an issue, and if you’re worried about being called out over wearing a rep of something that doesn’t exist, then you definitely shouldn’t get these lol.

I’m not gonna post a link where to get these, but you can search “Yeezy Slide” on dhgate and the ones that I ordered should come up.


Anyway, I did a corny unboxing video for these and you can get an even better look at them here:

The Real Reason Why Everyone on Tinder is Ugly, and Everyone on Bumble is Hot

If you feel like you’re swiping through a herd of wildebeests when you open up Tinder, allow me to formally congratulate you on being statistically ugly!

When you use Tinder, your profile has a hidden score intended to match you up with people “in your league.” The score is based on Elo, a system originally invented to determine how skilled a player is at Chess. The methodology is simple; your score increases when people right swipe you, conversely decreasing with a left swipe. Your Tinder stack ends up being populated by potential dates with a similar score to you. Not too happy with what you’re seeing? Sorry to say that it might be you.

Bumble, a rival dating app that has surged in popularity since Tinder started limiting swipes is a different story. Instead of matching you with people around your attractiveness, Bumble instead pushes the most right swiped people right to the front of the line. So the bulk of your swiping is going to be used on wildly attractive and successful people that you and I have no chance with.

If you’re a guy who hasn’t tried the app yet, you’ll be surprised how many Harvard Graduate Investment Banker Babes there are out there parading their massive boobs around on a dating app. (And I assume bros with great abs if you’re a girl) Of course I don’t expect to match with them, but I personally find that swiping through online profiles I have no chance with is a very therapeutic form of self-loathing.

For those who don’t know Bumble’s gimmick, it forces the girl to message the guy first within 24 hours or the match is deleted. If a girl match never reaches out, guys can choose one girl per day to extend the messaging period an additional 24 hours. But if you’re not one of the most attractive people out there/have a really lucrative job (Bumble emphasizes jobs over alma mater) you’re likely going to be swiping for a while before you even have to worry about that.

Some of the local fare on Bumble. Wishful thinking.

Which app is better?

It probably depends on the kind of person you are.

I have a much higher hit ratio on Tinder, but the girls I match with can be pretty sketchy sometimes. It’s most likely due to the scoring system. At the risk of gassing myself up, I’d say that I’m attractive, but not traditionally attractive. A study done on OKCupid did determine that dating apps are (obviously) a lot easier for white people than nonwhites, so I do have to wonder if the score of minorities such as myself are negatively impacted by people who exclusively date white. Therefore, I can’t help but get the feeling that more attractive girls without racial preferences aren’t seeing my profile. But the traditionally attractive thing doesn’t even necessarily have to be a race thing. I’m sure some decent guys out there with like, beards or something get auto left swiped because they have a beard. If you fill some sort of niche, like being Jewish, that’s when you might start want to start looking for more specific apps like JSwipe.

As for myself, I’d say that Bumble is much better for me than Tinder. I like having my job listed in plain sight, and although I don’t get as many matches as I do on Tinder, the ones I’ve gotten have been very attractive and obviously willing to talk since they messaged me first.

In a way, Tinder is a dating app that’s not a dating app. It’s massive and used by regular people. If somebody even knows what Bumble is, they’ve probably had a disenfranchising experience on Tinder, or are also present on OKCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, or any of the other dozens of dating sites out there. People on those sites are more likely to be primary internet daters as opposed to regular people “looking for a fling that could maybe be something more,” that most people are looking for. But for some, that can be a downside. I know plenty of people who swipe on Tinder just for the ego boost, not intending to talk or meet with any of the people they match with. I personally feel that getting seemingly great matches on Tinder that don’t actually talk to you is a worse tease than the dimepiece Ivy League Lawyer profiles thrown at me when I first opened the app.

So if you’re not getting the kind of profiles you want on your tinder stack and don’t think you’re ugly, there IS statistical proof telling you that there’s something wrong with your profile. Maybe go get some professional photos taken, or not sound like a stalker in your bio. Happy Tindering.