Skip to main content

Verge Favorites: James Chae

Verge Favorites: James Chae


A true Akzidenz-Grotesk Medium Condensed fan

Share this story

The Verge staffers aren't just people who love technology. They're people who love stuff. We spend as much time talking and thinking about our favorite books, music, and movies as we do debating the best smartphone to buy or what point-and-shoot has the tightest macro. We thought it would make sense to share our latest obsessions with Verge readers, and we hope you're encouraged to share your favorites with us. Thus a long, healthy debate will ensue where we all end up with new things to read, listen to, or try on. Today, designer James Chae shares his picks.


I wasn’t allowed to listen to rap music when I was growing up. When I was in college, "conscious rap" was all the rage. So I missed out on a lot of classic rap, but Kendrick caught me up in his 2011 mixtape Section.80, a 60-minute long diary that takes you through the streets of Compton’s sociopolitical past. For anyone confused about the contradictions in hip hop culture, please listen to this tape.

Olympus XA

My first post-graduate apartment was broken into and my laptop and digital camera were both stolen. Rather than go out and get a new digital point-and-shoot, I decided to explore film cameras. I stumbled upon the Olympus XA after some flickr and Camerpedia browsing. This "professional’s point-and-shoot" is a great piece of hardware. For $30 it’s a much better camera than a Lomo and you get similar effects.


Designed by Günter Gerhard Lange, Akzidenz is a true workhorse typeface. Many will mistake it for Helvetica, but this is that Swiss whimp’s grandpa. Lange originally designed the family in 1896, and expanded it during the '50s to its current form. Not only is it a beautifully drawn typeface, it's got a wide range of weights (light, italic, bold, etc…) I use Akzidenz-Grotesk Medium Condensed on my personal business cards.

Anish Kapoor

The first time I encountered Kapoor’s work was at the Tate Modern in London. I was so perplexed by the dark blue box that I actually touched the piece! It was a deep blue rectangle that appeared to sink into the wall. I was terrified that my eyes weren’t working so I felt no apprehension in touching the piece. His work is simple and it really makes me rethink time. I’m always excited to see his work in person, which is increasingly rare in this Tumblr age.

Boiler Room TV

My second musical passion is house music. What started as a secret party in London has turned into a global music phenomenon. This party series is now active in four cities (London, Berlin, NYC, LA) and has hosted some of the most important DJs and electronic musicians of our time. My personal favorites of recent are: Apparat, Roman Flüegel, Kerri Chandler, and Groundislava. What I love about this show is that by being streamed online it celebrates the open-minded culture of dance music. The parties themselves may be exclusive, but everyone can tune in at home and dance.

More from this stream Verge Favorites

See all 51 stories

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed An hour ago Midjourneys

External Link
Emma RothAn hour ago
Celsius’ CEO is out.

Alex Mashinsky, the head of the bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius, announced his resignation today, but not after patting himself on the back for working “tirelessly to help the company.”

In Mashinsky’s eyes, I guess that means designing “Unbankrupt yourself” t-shirts on Cafepress and then selling them to a user base that just had their funds vaporized.

At least customers of the embattled Voyager Digital crypto firm are in slightly better shape, as the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned FTX just bought out the company’s assets.

Mary Beth GriggsTwo hours ago
NASA’s SLS rocket is secure as Hurricane Ian barrels towards Florida.

The rocket — and the Orion spacecraft on top — are now back inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. Facing menacing forecasts, NASA decided to roll it away from the launchpad yesterday.

External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins1:30 PM UTC
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand is about to go public via SPAC

LiveWire has completed its merger with a blank-check company and will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. Harley-Davison CEO Jochen Zeitz called it “a proud and exciting milestone for LiveWire towards its ambition to become the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.” Hopefully it also manages to avoid the cash crunch of other EV SPACs, like Canoo, Arrival, Faraday Future, and Lordstown.

The Verge
Andrew Webster1:06 PM UTC
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.

The Verge
Richard Lawler12:59 PM UTC
Green light.

NASA’s spacecraft crashed, and everyone is very happy about it.

Otherwise, Mitchell Clark is kicking off the day with a deeper look at Dish Network’s definitely-real 5G wireless service , and Walmart’s metaverse vision in Roblox is not looking good at all.

External Link
Jess Weatherbed11:49 AM UTC
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.

Richard Lawler12:00 AM UTC
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.

The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.

Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.

Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.