[take me to miami]: thankful for the 305.

so, my family and i switched up the thanksgiving routine this year and randomly found ourselves in miami—it’s a long story to explain, but trust it was a good decision. typically going the friendsgiving route, i’m used to spending the holiday in the city, but it was a pleasant change (and the sea, sand, and sun came at the perfect time). check out a few of my favorite shots from the 3-day escape below. -j

[take me to london]: 100 km per hour.

*inhales, exhales*

sorry, i'm still trying to catch my breath. the past week and a half in london was a non-stop motion of meetings, shoots, and happy hours—i know, i know, such a hard life, right? but when it's all on top of each other, things can get a little crazy. thankfully, in between it all, i found some time to chill out and enjoy being in my favorite city (after new york, of course). you know the deal: check out my favorite shots from the trip below. -j

[take me to vegas]: a visual travel diary.

last month, i got invited to participate in the blogger studios at liberty fairs in las vegas, and i couldn't have been more pumped to head down. it'd been almost 20 years since i'd last visited the city of lights, and it's still just as strange, fun, and beautiful as ever.

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between roaming from casino to hotel to casino again, working the show, and exploring the strip with daiquiris in hand—not to mention, dealing with the time change—i was pretty exhausted (as my boy darion continued to show the world through his IG stories of me sleeping in restaurants), but i still found the energy to fit a lot in my small window of time. check out a few of my favorite shots from the trip below. -j

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i finally had in-n-out; and yes, i'm a fan. 😛

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[take me to málaga]: a visual travel diary.

so, i really needed a day or two to just sit around and do nothing. like, for real... just relax. and honestly, there may be no better place to do that than in málaga, a small port city on the southern coast of spain. charming in how laidback and completely spanish the culture is, it's the perfect place to slow down and get lost.

all that i had on my agenda: relax.

[take me to barcelona]: a visual travel diary.

before heading home from mykonos, i made a quick pit stop in spain for a few days. it was my first time in the country and barcelona welcomed me with open arms. 

while the stay was super short, there was plenty squeezed in—from all of the shops and amazing restaurants to exploring the club circuit and getting a crash course in spanish (and german, haha—inside joke for those who were there). check out some of my favorite shots from around the city below.

going back to the whole point about spanish, i was super proud of myself on this trip. having taken four years of the language between high school and college, i suppose i should've retained something, but up until i found myself surrounded by spanish-speaking spanish citizens, i didn't realize just how much i'd actually learned. the shining lesson here: don't doubt yourself.

[take me to mykonos]: a visual travel diary.

if you've been tuned into the 'gram, then you've probably gathered that i recently spent a few days in mykonos; and i must say, it's one of the nicest destinations i've visited in the past few years.

the island's really like a dream getaway, but not because it's a buzzworthy european hotspot. rather, for the things that truly make the culture great: the charming mediterranean color palette all around you, the tasty food, the 24/7 relaxed atmosphere, and the amazing people i was blessed to come across each day. check out some of my favorite shots from the trip and stay tuned for a look at the other spots i hit while i was away. -j

sidebar: quite a few people weirdly asked me (and my friends) how i could just up and leave like that, without giving anyone notice. *side eyes* well... first, you book a flight to any city of your choosing. then you make the necessary arrangements in that city. finally, you go to the airport. it's really that simple. no permission slips required.

[take me to london]: a visual travel diary.

two weeks in london... what an amazing trip. honestly, every time I visit, the experience gets better and better. it's almost starting to feel like a second home now. not to mention, the time away from nyc was much-needed. it put me in a fresh mental space, and with my new site and ASOS Insider account having both launched, I feel like I’m where I need to be to really get the fall moving in the right direction.

below, i've dropped a few of my favorite shots from the trip. take a look and be sure to check out my other two posts from my time in london here: me, myself, & the insiders. | sketch.

[take me to london]: sketch.

from the time I started working at ASOS (a british company fyi), I’d heard tons of stories about sketch london. if you've never heard of it, it's this posh little tea and pastry shop/restaurant/ballers club in mayfair—think soho house meets magnolia bakery meets starbucks, haha. having heard so many different opinions about the place, I didn’t really know what to expect, but let's just say that now... I totally get all they hype.

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take an amazing interior, add some dimmed lighting, lots of pink, amazing treats, and throw in a funky bathroom from the year 2316, and that's pretty much sketch in a nutshell. branded with an air of exclusivity and the misleading idea that everything is super expensive (it’s not—i spent 10 pounds for all that i got, and it was worth it), it’s definitely a cool place to check out if you’re in the area. bring a friend or two, put your phones down, and just talk—and then go take bathroom selfies, of course. -j

[take me to london]: me, myself, & the insiders.

so, if you follow me on IG, you’ll know I just got back from two weeks across the pond. the reason: work, not play (although, it was non-stop fun in and out of the office).

the first half of the trip was filled with meetings and presentations, but the second... now, that was all about my ASOS Insider team! 🙌  all of the international guys and girls invaded london to shoot our new profile pictures, check out the fresh styles dropping in the coming months, and enjoy our time together as a fam. and while we're on that last point, we spent our team day at graffik gallery off of portobello road—needless to say, it was a ton of fun.

the guys at the studio gave us an awesome tour of the gallery, including a look at an original banksy that was done on the outside of their building and a sneak peek at their upcoming exhibit. from there, we got an exclusive graffiti class where we went through spray paint 101 and got to take a crack at creating our own stencils—I went with a pretty familiar image, haha.

once we finished our masterpieces, a couple of us roamed the streets of the neighborhood looking for the perfect places to get a few photos—we’re content creators, after all. It's what we do. -j

Take Me to Paris: The Marble Room

[originally posted on the no names, oct 2015].

During our time in Paris, there was no other moment that captivated me quite like the Marble Room (as the staff called it) at the Palace of Versailles. I've been obsessed with the smooth texture and eye-catching cracks and swirls of marble for years, and this room was totally like a scene from a dream. Between the striking architecture, beautiful artwork and all of that amazing natural light, I could've stayed there the entire day. -J

[Photography]: Gladimir Gelin, NYM Films. 
[Clothing]: Stefan Grant. Request. Calvin Klein Collection.

Take Me to Paris: A Visual Travel Diary

[originally posted on the no names, oct 2015].

Over the past year and a half, I've been consumed by a serious case of wanderlust. I got my first real fix last summer in London and Amsterdam, but that wasn't enough — not even close. I mean, it's such a big world... there's no way I could be content with just seeing an inch of it. The solution: Get way more passport stamps.

With that goal in mind, I hopped on a 7-hour flight with my good friend Ryan Clark (@ryanstylesnyc) for a two-week cross-country adventure in Europe. Believe me when I say it was an experience I won't soon forget. First stop: Paris, the City of Lights.

The Eiffel Tower. The Palace of Versailles. The Louvre. The nightclubs. The beautiful people. The beautiful accents. I came back home with so many amazing memories that I wish I could relive over and over again. For now — and until I book my next trip — I'll sit back and reminisce with a little help from these pictures. -J

^^ That little thing jumping in the air in the bottom left corner... yeah, that's me, haha. :)

^^ That little thing jumping in the air in the bottom left corner... yeah, that's me, haha. :)

[Video]: NewYorkMade Films.
[Photography]: Jovel Roystan + Ryan Clark + Gladimir Gelin, NYM Films.
[Clothing]: Stefan Grant. Gloss the Label. ASOS. Calvin Klein Collection. Topman. THING / THING. Zara. Ethos.

Take Me to Montauk: The Bonfire

[originally posted on the no names, aug 2015].

So, this trip was packed with quite a few firsts for me. For starters, I’d never been to Montauk before, but also, I got to experience my first bonfire! Before heading back to the city, we stopped at 7-11, grabbed a few supplies, and hit the beach at nightfall to light things up.

It almost felt like I was a kid at sleepaway camp. We got the fire going, made s’mores (another long overdue first for me), and serenaded the rest of the beach as we listened to our playlist for the evening. On the 1’s and 2’s was “DJ Dreamy Keemy” with a clever playlist of “campfire songs” that had us cracking up and singing along track after track. And by camp[fire] songs, I’m talking about any track you could think of that was flame-, heat-, burn-, or inferno-related. Check out the playlist below and you’ll get it, haha:

The Ultimate Bonfire Playlist
1. Burn x Usher
2. Hot Boy x Migos
3. Disco Inferno x 50 Cent
4. We Be Burnin’ x Sean Paul
5. Fireman x Lil’ Wayne
6. Hot Boyz x Missy Elliot
7. Let It Burn x Jazmine Sullivan
8. On Fire x Lloyd Banks
9. Burning Up x Faith Evans ft. Missy & Freeway
10. Light Your Ass on Fire x Busta Rhymes ft. Pharrell

No doubt about it, this was one of the best weekends I’ve had this summer (so far). There’s nothing like good company, good fun, and a change of scenery to give you a much-needed recharge. And now… back to reality. -JxR

Take Me to Montauk: Solé East

[originally posted on the no names, aug 2015].

So, yeah, I told you we got earthy to kick off the trip, but I know you didn't think we were spending our whole time in Montauk out in the desert! We headed back into town and hit Solé East for a few drinks and a quick dip in the pool. I mean, we couldn't have gone all that way without getting a little [relaxation], right?

The resort grounds were completely beautiful, from the landscaping of the backyard to the chic interior. It definitely gave us a homey feel with a luxe twist. And most importantly, the staff was really friendly. Definitely worth a return visit the next time we're out there.

I really love that I've actually been doing a lot of "summer stuff" this year. And not just bigger activities like Montauk getaways, but the simple things like getting in the pool and spending time outdoors. It makes the season feel like it did back when I was in grade school—when summer break was one of the most amazing periods of life EVER. Hopefully I'll keep that feeling in effect. -JxR

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Take Me to Montauk: The Dunes

[originally posted on the no names, aug 2015].

When people head out to Montauk, I’m sure most of them have the same things in mind: laying out by the pool, hitting the beach, and an epic staycation in a bangin’ seaside property. Don’t get me wrong, those things are cool and all, but some of us prefer to get a little [earthy], too. My friends and I rented a car and hit the road to “The End” of Long Island for a quick getaway—and some birthday fun for my buddy Kadeem—and we kicked off the weekend escape with a little quality time with Mother Nature. How? An excursion across the desert.

I never thought getting my Moses on in the middle of a Long Island “desert” could be so much fun, but we had a blast. We hit the Walking Dunes Trail of Hither Hills State Park, which started out as a lush forest path and then opened into a huge expanse of sand, and the sights were absolutely awesome. I totally forgot I was in NY for second. 

We didn’t hesitate to explore the area inside and out. Between rolling around in the sand (literally), an epic Bay Watch re-enactment using the slo-mo cam, and taking in the beauty of the great outdoors, it was far from the average New Yorker weekends I’m used to back in the city.

I think I could get used to this whole desert life, haha. -JxR

Take Me to Amsterdam: A Visual Travel Diary

[originally posted on the no names, aug 2014].

I can't properly share the details of my trip without mentioning our awesome day in Amsterdam. While it may have been a quick visit, it was definitely a memorable one. Making our way from London to Harwich to the Hook of Holland then, finally, to Europe's very own A-town (and then back) was a journey, but it was all well worth it. Our travel itinerary: 9pm train Tuesday night, overnight cruise to the Netherlands, early morning arrival at the dock in Holland, then the 9am train into the city...

Once we arrived, the action got underway. We roamed the city, hitting a few of the high points from the Red Light District and the infamous Hunter's to the local street markets and canals. The city is stunning and the weather... like heaven. Next time we go, we'll have to stay for more than just a day. There's so much to do and I feel like we only hit the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, getting to see two amazing cities in one trip was more than I could ever ask for. I'm so glad we made it happen and can't wait for the next trip. Sending love to my travel buddy Chayenne Mia. It wouldn't have been all that it was with anyone else.

Take Me to London: An Experiment in British Culture

[originally posted on the no names, aug 2014].

While we were in London, my cousin and I opted to reserve a day solely for slowing down and cooling out around the town, so we met up with a few of her classmates from Columbia at The Champion over in Notting Hill. After grabbing a few glasses, we headed down to the hidden backyard garden downstairs, which completely set the atmosphere. Dan (seen below alongside my cheesing cousin) and his mates taught us a quick lesson in British Culture 101. Apparently, pub life is way more essential to their day to day routines than I ever imagined.

Unlike the typical bar-hopping crowd in the states, the guys actually held pretty solid conversation (as in, convo filled with substance, not drunken banter) throughout the afternoon — a refreshing change from some of the happy hour scenes I find myself trapped in back home. I appreciate them welcoming us into their circle for the day. It actually turned out to be one of my favorite moments of the week. NYC bars will never feel the same now...

Take Me to London: Wanderlust

[originally posted on the no names, aug 2014].

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[disclaimer]: It took me up until this moment — as in this moment of me writing this post — to remember where this dream of mine stemmed from, but I finally recall it clearly.

So, last Christmas, my cousin [chayenne mia]and I went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty while we were back home and something changed within me by the time I left the theater. For those who still haven't seen the film, I won't ruin it for you, but let's just say that after watching the amazing videography and the sights and experiences they captured, I came down with a severe case of wanderlust.

wanderlust |ˈwändərˌləst|
noun
a strong desire or impulse to travel and explore the world: a man consumed by wanderlust.

I've been absolutely overwhelmed with an urge to see the world. I literally think about it every day: on the subway, at my desk, in my bed, in the shower... I think you get the drift. I mean, the way I look at it is... there's no reason why my garments have seen more of the world than I have. With that said, I made up my mind to change this sad truth; and the first step (or you could say the first stop) has been made. I just got back to NYC after an amazing week across the pond in London and I wanted to share a few images with you guys. I tried not to be that tourist who wouldn't put his camera down the entire trip, so Chay and I — yeah, she made the trip with me too — saved one day for all of the typical sightseeing activities. I think we captured some pretty cool shots. Check them out.

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[buckingham palace]

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The trip was truly an amazing experience and it feels like I've entered a new chapter now. You perspective transforms when you get outside of your cage and fly free for a little while. Until you do, you can never fully grasp just how much there is to see out there. I can't wait to start planning my next adventure.

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[the houses of parliament, big ben, & the london eye]

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[st. paul's cathedral]

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Between the Houses of Parliament and St. Paul's Cathedral, the baroque and gothic architectural styles were completely stunning. I couldn't take my eyes off of them.