opinions & musings

more kinfolk love/hate.

So mostly for my own amusement, (and to avoid studying for accounting), I’m going to post a long & incredibly useless rating of Kinfolk, based on my very own standard of grading hipster magazines. I went to a cafe and they had all the issues I’m missing, so I took a bunch of pictures…of pictures–just for this very special post.

Here goes. (Fuck off, accounting, can’t you see I’m busy here?)

So… Kinfolk (their website here!)…. I’m trying to like you. I really am. You have beautiful pictures taken by some guy called Parker Fitzgerald, a name so incredibly hipster it almost blows my mind — fate must have destined him to do nothing else but take pictures of pretty picnics on blankets in Portland.

(THUMBS UP). (“Parker”. No, not like Warby Parker; you know they got the name from a Jack Kerouac novel, right? My name is from a Jack Kerouac book….and obviously, my last name is Fitzgerald. My parents met when they reached for the same copy of The Great Gatsby at the school library..”)

(THUMBS DOWN). But then you have to go publish writing like this: 

“Much of my time is spent in isolation, in the beauty of the silent, intimately tracing the ridges & ravines on my character. My time is also spent in community, where I find sacrifice & compassion, moving and charting the course of friendships.” (Rebecca Parker Payne, Undocumented Hours).

Wow, Rebecca, you really are unique! Just like a special snowflake! You mean that you spend some time alone and also spend time with other people? That is just incredible. I’ve got to start doing that.


And then there’s this juicing story….

IMG_4351IMG_4354…yeah. I think you get my point. I’ll give this TWO THUMBS DOWN. 

(THUMBS UP): However, I am just completely dazzled by the pretty in Kinfolk. It’s just so, so pretty. I got my hands on the rest of the copies I don’t already own at a cafe I went to today; and I spent a good hour taking pictures of pictures—and skipping over every bit of writing in the things.

IMG_4373IMG_4374(THUMBS DOWN) This is so ridiculous, I love it. Leaf paintbrushes!! This is the hipster version of a fashion magazine add: pretty, simple, and oh so irrelevant for your everyday life.

(THUMBS DOWN); Except when you need a guide on how to hang herbs on your timber rafters. Whew! Glad I consulted this helpful guide before I embarked on drying that crop of rosemary I grow on my…desk.

IMG_4368IMG_4367(THUMBS UP): Okay, but enough with the hate. How seriously rad is this color of purple on the wall? I am desperate to paint my walls this color at once. Damn you, rental apartment!


“Let us remember, now in the presence of one another, that our memories are enough. May we live to remind each other to partake of dinner without pause for clicking shutter or a scribbling pen. And may your art be a sincere reflection of what already exists, not a post of projection for what we desire.”

…is that why you’re contributing to a magazine whose content depends solely on setting up meals & then publishing the professional photos you’ve taken of it?




IMG_4359(THUMBS DOWN): Kinfolk also causes the chances of me actually finding a boyfriend decline dramatically. I mean, if he isn’t hunky and dress in shawl-neck cashmere sweaters and we don’t do things like this:

“The first thing we did after we were married was go on a six-month honeymoon,’ Adam explains. ‘We went to London, bought a van, and took it across the continent…Since their marriage in the summer of 2004, Chelsea & Adam have been in 5 different continents, over 50 countries, and taken endless amounts of flights, train rides, and roadtrips….We work from home, so we get burnt out; when I need a break, we go take a break; then I am ready to work again…do it & do it now. Get that inspiration and change yourself for the better now instead of waiting and going when you really don’t have the ability to change your life in such a drastic manner.” (Adam & Chelsea James).

…then I refuse to be in a relationship at all, and that’s that. 

IMG_4355But when speaking of  Kinfolk, let us not forget the copious amounts of verbal food-porn within. I remember when I was small, I used to re-read my Little House on the Prairie books–just for the descriptions of pies & roasts & corncakes that Ma would make. Food porn. mMmMm. And there are photos. (TWO THUMBS UP). 

“Hard-boiled egg with crisp, cool greens, fresh avocado, pesto from last night’s dinner, all on a store-bought brioche roll. We throw summer’s ripest berries in a jar with some mint and raw sugar, and tuck in some powdered donuts. We bottle cold coffee brewed yesterday, and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice….For a minute we believe we’re the only people in Brooklyn.” (Brooklyn Breakfast)

IMG_4360(THUMBS UP): And finally, a good piece of writing: by a dead guy! They should feature more dead guy-writing in this magazine–the quality is a lot better than the writing produced by the living contributors. Thanks, Steinbeck.

“When I was very young & the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight, perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked…the sound of a jet, an engine warming up…brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth & vacant eye; the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cafe. In other words, I don’t improve; in further words, once a bum, always a bum.

IMG_4363& Steinbeck continues…

When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away form here seems broad and straight and sweet…the victim must find first find in himself a good & sufficient reason for going. This to the practical bum is not difficult…

Next he must plan his trip in time & space, choose a direction & a destination.

And at last he must implement the journey: how to go, what to take, how long to stay.

Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters & takes over. A trip…is an entity, different from all other journeys. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it.

Okay. Now the BEST PART. Hunky hipster boy porn! I may or may not have this picture as my background. I may or may not have the second one as my laptop background.

…Wait, where are you going? 

IMG_4378Look at this hunk, stirring a cast-iron pot in a cabin. Swoon. Oh wait, what’s that on the next page? An incredibly handsome man in a cool coat with military buttons on the….shoulder….shaving with an old-fashioned razor into a hand-mirror? 


And surfers, looking off into the distance, thinking deep thoughts? SURFERS WITH DEEP THOUGHTS? INTELLECTUAL SURFERS? 


Kinfolk, I think I actually love you. You’re obnoxious, you’re expensive, and totally make me feel bad about my life–who cares?

Thank you for inventing intellectual surfers. 

IMG_4379IMG_4382(THUMBS DOWN): I actually like this idea, may try it out with some friends when it gets cold enough in Taipei to stamp off the snow on my boots at the entrance of a cozy cafe, letting the snowflakes on my eyelashes melt into my coffee.

Oh wait, that’s never. 

I live on a goddam tropical island.

Moving on.

“The Cafe Stroll: Balzac once claimed that strolling is “the eye’s gastronomy”, shedding light on how the sights of the urban and rural environment can provide nourishment. Taking this idea a step further, a few of my close friends and I regularly indulge in what could be termed a cafe stroll. We spent the day wandering through inner-city neighborhoods in search of hidden nooks; and we pause to warm our toes and sate our appetites with milky lattes and rich hot chocolates.” (Autumn Traditions).


IMG_4375IMG_4386A two-page picture of cheese.


the end.


4 thoughts on “more kinfolk love/hate.

  1. Hah! Wonderful review of Kinfolk because these are so true 🙂
    Now excuse me while I go gag somemore at those ‘poetic descriptions’.
    Silly hipsters.

  2. The thing that gets me about the kinfolk/hipsters style is this “I am so ethereal, so poetic, so pretty, so vintage” (barf) attitude. And how come they never smile? And another thing, as someone once so accurately put it: “That guy in the skinny jeans is so manly”, no-one said, ever…

  3. Pretty well said. Just love your article. Two thumbs up… oops. I think it’s so overrate and unimaginative, just plain boring. So pretentious magazine. It’s too neat and lack of emotion.

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