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The Sneaker Project is a curated selection of sneakers handpicked by our buyers, and forgive our immodesty here, but it rules. Twice a year we give it an extra dimension with atmospheric videos shot in various cities. We pick a sneaker enthusiast and make them our tour guide. So far we’ve profiled Seattle, New York and now Los Angeles.

Our L.A. video was made by and stars Dan Regan and his actor friend Spencer Lofranco. Regan is a downtown L.A. dweller and Venice neighborhood local, an artist/photographer/director we admire–someone whose professional title could probably be something nebulous like “creative strategist and digital fathomer,” but that’s obnoxious and he’s not.

In fact, he’s pretty much the man for steering us away from #basicstuff in Venice and recommending a few crucial spots to chill and eat. Check out our Q&A and some behind-the-scenes snapshots below.

Shop: The Sneaker Project

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Photos by Regina Garcia

You’ve probably heard the modern, headphone-y pop music of Toronto duo Majid Jordan without knowing it through Drake: they wrote and were featured on Drake’s hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” and on “Legend,” he shouts them out, saying their album will drop this year on his label OVO.

While you’re waiting for that, peep their earlier work Afterhours and A Place Like This

Jamie Webster handles the entire visual presence of the group (Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman) as creative director, in between his creative director and partner roles at the Common Good production company and design studio and co-owning the bar Dog & Bear. He took us site by site through the insiders’ tour of Toronto that is the music video for “Forever,” which he directed.

“The idea was to provide their audience with a glimpse of Toronto through Majid Jordan’s eyes. Not the CN Tower or cheesy buskers at Yonge-Dundas Square. It’s not a Toronto tourist video. It’s spaces that are cool or have a significance to us. We see the way the city is depicted and it’s often way off the mark.”

Get to know Majid Jordan’s Toronto below.

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February 10, 2015

How To: Shuck an Oyster

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and oysters are in season. Since we’ve already got you covered with ideas aplenty about what to get your special friend for Valentine’s Day, now here’s Tom Stocks of Taylor Shellfish to teach you how to shuck an oyster.

Stocks–bivalve boss, shucker supreme–was filmed in Seattle about a mile from the beautiful headquarters of legendary outdoor brand Filson (check out the Filson x Taylor collab here). He took us step by step through shucking the safest and smartest way possible.

Then he blew our minds by blindfolding himself and shucking five different oysters in one minute, correctly identifying them all by feel.

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January 16, 2015

Listen Up! DJ Diamond Kuts

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ‘tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

Don’t take our word for it, go ahead and ask Nicki Minaj or President Barack Obama–they’ll tell you DJ Diamond Kuts rules. Philly native Tina Dunham has rocked huge crowds on the Obama campaign trail and helped break Minaj in her early mixtape days, eventually producing original music for the superstar rapper.

More impressive to us, though, are Diamond’s regular radio mixes on hip-hop and R&B station Power 99 FM, each one a furious dispatch with flawless between-song cutting (hence the name). While her mixes come in many modes–hip-hop, reggae, R&B–her dance mixes are arguably her most exciting work and perfect workout soundtracks.

We caught up with Ms. Kuts on the phone and talked about exercise, the art of deejaying and things to eat in Philly which are not cheesesteaks (no disrespect to cheesesteaks).

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December 19, 2014

Gifted Giver: Chef Sean Brock

We’re counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, in which friends old and new share their thoughts on stylishly spirited giving and receiving.

Sean Brock, badass of traditional low-country cuisine of the American South, is currently enlightening the world that Southern food can be healthy as well as indulgent. You might know him from the TV show Mind of a Chef or as chef/partner at the restaurants McCrady’s, Husk, Husk Nashville and Minero–or from his new cookbook, Heritage. Now you will know him from the Gifted Giver series on the Nordstrom blogs.

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Nordstrom recipe for Peppercorn-Crusted Lamb Chops with a Sriracha and Fig Jam Sauce; photo by Jeff Powell.

In case you missed it over on our sister blog, The Thread, our restaurants team helped us out with a load of compliment-worthy recipes and ideas for a full-course holiday menu—from jalapeño-infused cocktails to peppercorn-crusted lamb chops with a Sriracha and fig jam sauce.

Oh, and a chocolate cheesecake that will forever change your dessert game.

See them all with printable PDFs in our What’s Cooking holiday series.

Nordstrom recipe for Smoke & Heat Mezcal party cocktails; photo by Jeff Powell.Nordstrom recipe for a composed Bistro Crab Salad Stack; photo by Jeff Powell.Nordstrom recipe for a Brussels sprouts gratin with Gruyere and prosciutto; photo by Jeff Powell.Nordstrom recipe for a Dark Chocolate Mint Cheesecake; photo by Jeff Powell.

In his annually produced Whisky Bible, whisky expert Jim Murray gives this year’s award for the world’s best to a Japanese bottle—the Suntory 2013 Yamazaki Sherry Cask Single Malt. It’s not the first time Murray has raised his glass to a region lesser known for whisky production (watch an interview with Murray in New Zealand), but he raised a few eyebrows by leaving scotch completely out of the top five.

Since the winner is currently sold out everywhere we’ve looked (only 18,000 bottles were produced), we’ll toast Suntory with an easier-to-find Kentucky bourbon—using our recipe for a Moscow mule with a twist.

September 24, 2014

The Big Lebowski, in Pizza Form

Galaga in the break room. Views of the Space Needle. Meeting interesting people. There are plenty of perks to working at Nordstrom HQ, but topping the list would be our stellar employee café, where culinary delights like huevos rancheros, fire-grilled flank steak and wood-fired pizzas are made to order while you wait.

If you hit up the pizza oven as frequently as we do, you’ll notice daily specials—sometimes odd (we ate one with charred lime slices once), unfailingly tasty, and cleverly named after notable figures from history or fiction. We dug “The Beast Mode” during Seahawks week and “The Agent Dale Cooper” during Twin Peaks week. But it was only recently, upon realizing we were in the flavorful midst of Big Lebowski week, that we knew we had to dig deeper.

Keep reading for five Dude-approved pizza recipes you can re-create at home—and words from sous chef James Edmunds on the process behind the pies.

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September 19, 2014

Occasion Guide: Get Outta Town

Summer is nearly done for (a fact that GQ, Starbucks and our own Fall Essentials guide make it hard to remain in denial about)—which is all the more reason to soak up the last few days of sun. Or better yet, make a plan to visit tropical climes once winter really hits.

Keep reading to get a head start on packing for two potential trips: a Mexican getaway and a Mediterranean cruise.

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As part of our fall 2014 Men’s Shop Catalog, we profiled 4 real men of style and substance. Here, prolific Chicago restaurateur Donnie Madia.

If you’ve had the pleasure of dining at Chicago restaurants like Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, Big Star, The Violet Hour or Nico Osteria, you know that Donnie Madia (the man behind them and co-owner of One Off Hospitality Group) has achieved a sizable portion of success in the Windy City restaurant biz.

Not bad for a guy who claims his first foray into hospitality was a trial by fire. Keep reading for insights on creating atmosphere, collaborating effectively, and learning the ropes while on-the-job—from the visionary behind multiple James Beard Award-winning watering holes.

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