It really wasn't until I visited the Muji store in SoHo that I finally came to understand the “kid in a candy store” analogy. It's not just about there being a whole bunch of stuff around you that you want, or a fancy way of saying there was a large selection – it goes deeper than that. It's about the near-paralyzing, brain-melting indecision that strikes when you suddenly feel that everything around you is something you absolutely need. And of course, like candy, you don't strictly need anything at Muji, much the less everything, but leaving with only one or two items always leaves you unfulfilled, with a sense of agonizing doubt and constant self-questioning as to whether you could have made a better choice. It's now been months since my last purchase from Muji, and I think I'm ready to say that I made the right choice given that I didn't have enough money to buy every single item in the store. With a heavy heart, I turned away from the kitchenware and appliances (I left the Japanese omelette pan just siting there. Oh god, how could I?), the pillows and linens (what is wrong with me?) and the stationary (I need to go back), and found the one item I wanted just a little tiny fraction more than the others: My handkerchief. Now, I know handkerchiefs seem a bit snobbish, but it's really quite practical to have for the fall and winter, and the design aspect of the Muji handkerchiefs make them more of a personal item than a simple snot rag: They double as city maps of New York, Tokyo, or Paris. So, instead of keeping a crumpled up and unseemly stash of tissues in your coat, you'll have your own little piece of a major world city to carry around with you in your inside breast pocket. Naturally, I own the New York map handkerchief, so I keep things clean and organized by folding it in a way that I'm only ever blowing my nose into New Jersey; and if a lady might ever need use of it, I'm sure to always offer it unfolded with the Manhattan-side up.
This week ITS is being curated by [KAVEH TABATABAIE]. Kav is a New Yorker currently living in Vienna, a move which has made the mispronunciation of his name considerably funnier. A writer, cook, translator, and contributor to VICE Magazine, he has a crippling fear of speaking German, but manages to get by on his dashing good looks and immutable charm [sic]. He spends a great deal of his free time yelling at fully-grown adults riding scooters past his apartment, a public service which has become his greatest motivation for improving his spoken German.