Release Date: Oct 28, 2016
CHACE FEDOR / PRODUCER & DIRECTOR OF POWEREDBY.TOKYO / 20 QUESTIONS – ANSWERS
I asked Chace Fedor of poweredby.tokyo 20 questions about coffee and his life in Tokyo.
1. What’s your job?
I work for the creative agency monopo, currently as the creative director on the poweredby.tokyo project.
2. Where have you lived in Tokyo, and where do you live now?
I like to move around a lot, every area is so unique with its own charms that I always feel like I’m missing out on something more interesting somewhere else. I’ve lived everywhere from Nakano, to Ikejiri-Ohashi, to Kita-Sando to Minami-Aoyama. I currently reside in Daikanyama. I really want to try living in East Tokyo one day, like Yanaka or Kuramae. I’ve always been attracted to the area, but I dislike the train too much to put up with the commute.
3. Where was the last place you had coffee?
Deus Ex Machina. It’s really close to my office and offers first-rate people watching and a killer pulled pork sandwich.
4. Do you need coffee to wake you up in the morning?
It depends on the previous evening! The amount of coffee I require in the morning is directly related to the previous evening’s festivities. I don’t generally have a coffee first thing in the morning, save for cold rainy days or when I’m incapable of mustering a simple hello to anyone. Coffee: making grouchy people tolerable since…whenever coffee was invented.
5. How do you have your coffee?
If it’s for medicinal purposes, black. VentaBlack. In the summer I usually stick to iced stuff. If I’m ordering from a place with good espresso I usually opt for a flat white.
6. What’s your coffee setup like at home?
I admittedly don’t make coffee at home (gasp!). I have so many stellar cafes near my home and on my work route that it has always seemed redundant to me. Maybe I should change that. Vaughan, share your treasures!
7. What is your favorite cafe in the world?
That’s tough. I’m going to rep Tokyo and say Anjin. It’s a short walk from my place and I find myself working there a lot, it’s my second office. I’m a big magazine geek and they let you take from the Tsutaya T-Site downstairs and read them in the Anjin lounge. The Masatake Kouzaki mural is easy on the eyes too. Outside Japan, I’d say the Michelberger Hotel cafe in Berlin because sofas and magazines. I guess I like my cafes to simulate living rooms.
8. Favorite new coffee shop in Japan?
Not sure if it qualifies as new but I’ve been spending more and more time at the Little Cloud kiosk inside the Visvim F.I.L. The accompanying terrace is one the finest in Omotesando.
9. Favorite kissaten in Japan?
Lion Cafe in Shibuya. There is so much lore surrounding this place, I have never seen anything like it my life. It dates back to the 1920’s, apparently. All the seating faces towards a massive sound system that blares classical music. There is a no talking rule which only adds to the surreal experience.
10. What is the first thing you notice about a cafe?
Since I’m usually working in cafes, whether or not they have wi-fi (laughs). Only half kidding. I’m a sucker for ambience and a well curated magazine rack. Life in Tokyo is always 100 so a cafe to me is a time, my time, to practice some slow life.
11. Favourite food that goes with coffee?
I usually end up eating a full meal during an extended cafe session so if they have taco rice on the menu you better believe I’m ordering it. On a more coffee related tip I really loved those custard cubes that Omotesando Koffee served up.
12. How many coffees do you have everyday?
Depending on how savage I feel, anywhere from 0-4. I’ve read that David Lynch drinks up to 20 cups a day. I wanna get on that level. I’m sure you reach some transcendental guru level coffee nirvana at that point.
13. When was the last day you went without coffee?
Yesterday. One of those days where you’re on the move from the get go and it doesn’t even cross your mind. Come to think of it, I don’t think I drank any water either. I need to sort my life out.
14. Who is your barista crush?
Without getting myself into any trouble I’ll just say the entire staff at Lattest.
15. Most expensive cup of coffee you’ve had?
A painfully mediocre ¥1200 drip at the Park Hyatt. Love the Park, and I’m always more than willing to pay a bit extra for exceptional quality, but its F&B is sub-par.
16. Favourite movie with a coffee scene in it?
The ‘First Love in Cafe’ scene from Wong Kar Wai’s ‘Fallen Angels’. His thoughts, the way it was shot. Such a brilliant film in every way.
17. Besides @powderedby.tokyo – who should everyone be following on instagram?
Instagram for me is mostly for friends and people I know in real life. I can’t recommend any of my friends’ instagrams. I do follow some photographers, but I’m quite picky. Follow @willgoodan. He’s a Tokyo-based photographer whose camera is like my eyes in terms of how he captures Tokyo. Or at least my romanticized image of Tokyo.
18. What’s the coolest thing about your job?
Making a living out my passion for exploring this mammoth city and meeting inspiring people everyday. Community is everything, and I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by so many supportive people. Tokyo is just such a warm and wonderful community, I can’t say it enough.
19. Worst thing about your job?
It would be in bad taste to complain but with creating any product or service, there is a lot of very dry behind the scenes work; spreadsheets, editing, deadlines, cold-calling etc, but I love it all.
20. Who is your inspiration?
Man, so many people. My hyper-productive friends that make success look so easy. My hyper-artistic friends that make creating look so effortless. I’m learning from them everyday. Individually, I really admire guys like Nathan Williams of ‘Kinfolk’. ‘Kinfolk’ has not only branded but essentially owned a particular aesthetic and way of (slow) life. I’m definitely not Kinfolk’s target demographic, but what he has done is quite remarkable. Growing up as a Tokyo / Urahara fashion geek I’ve always admired Kensuke Ishizu of VAN JACKET. His crazy life aside, anyone who literally spawns an entire culture, in this case modern youth fashion in Japan, is inspiring to me.
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interview with Chace Fedor @chasefloats