If you've ever used an umbrella, you know the very specific frustration of having that umbrella get completely destroyed after walking just a few blocks in the rain. How does this happen? Why does this happen? We're not entirely sure of the details, but mainly we'd guess that they're made cheaply and poorly constructed. The Sa Umbrella circumvents those problems by being sturdy and in a different shape than your average umbrella. It still achieves the same purpose, which is to make it so rain doesn't get on your skin and clothes and hair, but it looks different while it does that.
We spoke to Justin Nagelberg, one of the creators of the umbrella, about Japan, Ninja Turtles, SoCal punk and more.
Tell us about the last great meal you had:
That would have to be Ramen Jiro (Shinagawa). I'm currently visiting my old home city, Tokyo, so I've had the pleasure of having many superb meals lately.
First movie you saw in the theater:
I honestly can't remember that far back, but it was probably Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jurassic Park, or 3 Ninjas knowing myself.
Small thing you can’t live without:
Life would be pretty tricky without my iPhone.
An experience you’ll never forget:
Snowboarding backcountry knee-deep powder snow in Hokkaido, followed by a gorgeous outdoor onsen in the woods with pillow-like snow softly falling. Truly an unforgettable experience I hope to repeat again and again.
Music you loved as a teenager:
The first CDs I ever got as a kid were No Doubt Tragic Kingdom and the Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack. Then I was really into punk rock for a while like most Southern Californian kids, my favorites were No Use For A Name and Millencolin. Then by the end of my teenage years I transitioned into more indie stuff like Elliott Smith, The Unicorns, and Björk.
First book you remember being really affected by:
Although as a kid I loved anything Tolkien, I would have to say The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami was the first book that really caught my attention. Ever since then I have been hooked on all of Murakami's work.
How do you start each morning?
I usually start the day with an espresso, hand drip, or chemex-brewed coffee. I love taking the time to manually grind the beans, tamp, measure, and brew the coffee. It's like a little science experiment every morning. With certain beans you have to adjust the grind size or tamping pressure to get that perfect balance. It's a very relaxing and rewarding experience to start the day with.
Foursquare, but the original one, not so much the newer Foursquare/Swarm. It is far and away the most useful, interesting, and informative app I have on my phone. Although I like Swarm, and especially some of the newer features, I still really hope that they will reunite the two apps one day and bring back mayorships and badges.
What’s your computer desktop/phone lock screen?
My desktop is just a bokeh image that I took ages ago of some very vibrant green plants in late spring. I like to keep my desktop uncluttered, relaxing, and clear from distractions. My phone lock screen is the new Andy Gilmore wallpaper that appeared in iOS 8.
Your favorite personal item of clothing:
I love wearing a classic Oxford shirt buttoned to the top. I usually alternate between colors or patterns, but never too complicated, and preferably with no logo.
What do you carry with you every day?
My iPhone (currently a white 6) and a simple wallet with as little in it as possible.
Favorite place to eat:
This is a very hard question for a foodie to answer! Just to name a few of my favorite places randomly off the top of my head and in no particular order: Langer's Delicatessen, Ramen Jiro, Rokurinsha, Mentoku Nidaime Tsujita, Fuunji, Roberta's Pizza, Pho T Cali, Lucha Libre, Mother Dough, Sushi Ota, Sol Food, Burger Mania, Ddukbaegi Jip, Tony's Jacal, Rico's Taco Shop, and I'll stop myself there.
Place you wish everyone could visit:
Last idea or factoid you came across that stayed in your brain:
I was recently watching Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson and was really struck with the episode pertaining to carbon gas on the surface of Venus and how it once was an Earth-like planet, but rather than it's distance from the sun, it became an intensely hot and uninhabitable planet due to the carbon in its atmosphere. It's very interesting to see how something as little as the amount of carbon molecules per million in the atmosphere can have such a drastic effect. I really hope that we can get things together on Earth so we don't suffer a similar fate.
Person in your field whose career/life/work you admire:
I'm a huge fan of anything from Muji and I really admire Spock.
Who did you learn the most from?
I wouldn't say there is just one person in particular who I learned the most from, but rather I learned from all of my friends, family, colleagues, and plenty of random people.
Favorite thing about the place you live:
New York has a trillion things to do, and before you can do even a trillionth of that, there are a trillion new things to do.
Favorite time of day and why:
Although I rarely wake up early enough to appreciate it, I really do love the sunrise hours. I love the sunrise itself, but also just how empty it is everywhere. There's also something about the air at time of day that is really crisp, refreshing and invigorating.
Favorite thing to work with:
My mind. It's much easier working with a concept in my own head rather than on paper, 3D modeling, verbalizing, or whatnot. But tangible object wise, I love working with paper. Paper is wonderful. It comes in so many varieties of color, weight, and texture, can be written upon, and can be bent, folded, or manipulated easily.
What is the last thing you made?
I just made some supplemental 3D models and technical drawings for the umbrella actually. We have been going back and forth with our production manager and the factory to get the umbrella just right.