The ninth installment of our Staff Favorites series features none other than GP’s founder, Mr. Eric Yang. Eric is, cliche be damned, the heart and soul of our team, and his vision and aesthetic define everything you love about what we do. Few people know that he can survive for days without food or water, subsisting on a diet of symmetry alone. His first language was Photoshop. Helvetica was inspired by his childhood doodles. Michael Bay calls him for advice on being epic; errors fix themselves once caught in his knowing gaze. He was “old school before old school became new school”. He is the most fastidious man in the world. As we’ve found to be the case with all our staff, the gear speaks to the man.
Rotel 06 Series
If you prefer watching your movies in the theater then you need a two-channel audio solution at home. A couple of components and an excellent pair of speakers are a 20-year investment. They’re a bit tougher to find outside of boutique retailers, but I piecemealed together a nice mid-range Rotel setup that sounds excellent whether it’s running Spotify or Super Audio CDs.
LEGO Architecture Sets
LEGOs are an unabashed carryover from my childhood. The Architecture Series is genius and I have all of the sets, except for two. Yes, they are assembled. Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I’m going to buy the remaining two.
Roland Digital Piano
Nothing starts my day better than pounding at a keyboard for 30 minutes. Rolands have some of the most authentic recreations of pure piano sounds available — no easy feat. Unlike synthesizers or other digital pianos, Roland takes advantage of wood cabinets to replicate the aural energy of a grand piano. If you’re a creative type, the best thing to do when waking up is spending a few minutes reading, writing, designing or hitting the outdoors — not buried in email. It kickstarts the soul. But I’ll be the first to admit, starting the day with eggs and email happens plenty of times, too.
Cool Hunting Edition Tumi T-Tech Backpack
Being on the road a fair bit and a creature of obsessive habit, I’m hard-pressed to change my travel fundamentals. But ever since our venturesome friends at Cool Hunting asked us to try out their backpack earlier this year, I’ve found myself reaching for it on more and more multi-day trips. A collaboration with Tumi, this pack has a lot going for it: sturdiness, proper stowage solutions for on-the-road creatives, an inconspicuous design, and it slides neatly into any trunk, seat or overhead compartment. The backpack swallows two nights worth of changes and all my other necessary gear without a flinch.
Panerai Luminor PAM00111
Seven years ago when I bought this as a gift for myself (for a hard-earned promotion), things were a bit different with Panerai. None of my friends understood why I went for a Panerai instead of a Rolex. It didn’t really matter — Panerai just “fit”, and to me, that’s 90% of the reason you get a great watch. Simple, understated, and certainly less expensive than a lot of watches out there, the Panerai 111 isn’t a particularly special model, but it wears well to any event or situation with a simple strap change — if you’ve got a magnum wrist, that is. I wear mine with a rubber dive strap every day and it’s beat to hell.
Canon 5D Mk III + Canon 35mm 1.4 L
Outside of my laptop, this is the probably single most important piece of equipment I use for work. The camera/lens combination shoots anything and everything, in any condition — photos or video — and as GP move towards all-original photography, we use the Mark III for a growing number of the things you see on the site. The 5D Mark III is a relatively new upgrade, but already sporting a handful of shiners.
Pro-Ject Genie 1.3 Turntable
A gift from someone very dear to me. Vinyl is great, but use the wrong gear and it can sound downright terrible. Paired with a nice two-channel amplifier or a pair of quality cans, the setup delivers music euphoria time and time again. Records also make for fun analog shopping-quests.
Tree Trunk Slice Table
A gift from my father when I was in high school. It was made by one of his friends from church, by hand, from local felled trees in Tennessee. It’s a unique little example of Asian and Southern woodworking, beautifully finished and a perfect balance of organic and smooth. It’s half as old as I am and something I’ll keep forever.
Land Rover Defender
Finding the exact one I wanted took the better part of a decade to save for, locate and procure. Nearly everything is restored to factory condition now, but there’s always more I can do to get it exactly where I’d like it. It also has a few subtle, secret upgrades that I enjoy when I drive it on the weekends.
1953 Dickies Original Denim
I didn’t wear denim for the better part of 2012 (a painful sartorial story for another day). Now that I’m wearing jeans again they’re my go-to. I’m not sure where these stand in the wide world of menswear/workwear, but these feel like an excellent pair of jeans without any pretense.
The Grail: Steinway Model B Grand Piano
There are few finer specimens of American design and engineering than a Steinway piano. They can cost anywhere between a car and a house to own, but the 6’11” Model B is pretty close to the perfect piano — if there’s such a thing. I don’t get jealous often, but when I see someone with a Steinway, it incites sinful notions deep within me.