Digital media Maharishi. Southern boy. SoulCycler. We recline at Chris Black’s New York City apartment.
“My office mates and I have a nice, agreed-upon starting time around noon.”
“I sit in the second row, because personally I don’t think I’m quite there yet.” Chris Black is stationed at a small table in his Lower East Side apartment, hands on the keyboard of his Macbook Air. “It costs me a fucking fortune. And you never stop sweating.” He is telling us about SoulCycle.
Black likes to dabble. He’s one of a particular breed of New York fellow that you might see in the middle of a weekday and wonder, ‘what exactly does that guy do?’ Originally from Atlanta (“When was I growing up it wasn’t cool to be from the South. It meant you were a redneck idiot. Now it’s like chic or something”) Black is currently involved in talent management, brand consulting and content creation through his company, Done to Death Projects, all the while siphoning engaging content via his social media channels – something he lovingly refers to as ‘High-Level Cultural Commentary.’ He has a tendency to jump, excitedly, from topic to topic. He’s the friend who knows something (and has an opinion) about everything.
“I’m alone a lot,” Chris says. “So, I kinda do whatever I’m feeling.” Most days, that means I’m up and off to SoulCycle or the gym. “I exercise, come home, sit at my computer for a little while… you know, where the magic happens.” Black laughs. “I put my feet up here a lot.” He gestures over towards the corner of the couch. If he’s had a particularly rough workout, like today, Chris might stretch out on his bed and nap. Or perhaps read a magazine from the ever-growing stack that stands like a shrine to media consumption in the corner of his bedroom. Chris checks his Blackberry. “I have to be one of the last guys under 60 using one of these, but I can’t give it up…” He makes up a batch of coffees from his Lavazza instant coffee machine (a gift) and drinks from a mug that reads, ‘IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP’.
Black’s grooming routine is pretty simple: a little Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray in the hair… “I can never get my hair quite how I want it,” he says. No matter, he’ll cover it with a Fair Ends camp cap shortly enough. He brings his coffee into the bathroom with him. He reappears with a small pink brush. “I told myself I was going to invest in a fancy hairbrush, so I got one of these Mason Pearson ones. I thought I had ordered black, but I must have ordered the travel-size one…pink, can’t believe it.”
Chris grabs his computer, tote bag and jacket (it’s raining), and we phone up Delancey Car Service to ferry us to the Soho office he shares with two friends. “We have a nice, agreed-upon starting time around noon.” Chris smiles as he explains, en route. Usually he’ll swing by Juice Press first, but today we head straight to the 3rd floor office, which overlooks Lafayette Street.
“I’m alone a lot. So I kinda do whatever I’m feeling.”
Like his home, Chris’s office is covered in all manner of art paraphernalia, plants, books and posters. It’s the type of space where you begin looking at or fidgeting with something and then realize you’ve been standing in the same place for an hour, hopelessly distracted. His office mates arrive. They move around, catching up and discussing the day’s events. Chris’s MacBook is comfortably back in his lap and he’s tapping away, cracking jokes. He’s happy. “Whenever I get too serious, I feel ridiculous,” he had admitted earlier. We wave goodbye. As we wait for the elevator, we can hear his laughter down the hallway.