When you leave your house, what do you take with you? Our daily carry philosophy varies from day to day, depending on your needs and even your destination. Important: phone, keys, wallet, public transit pass. And then there's the stuff we rely on: a current read, spare change for the unhoused veteran making the rounds on the subway, a banana for sustenance.
On an unseasonably warm February day we took a field trip into Fishtown to visit Omoi copywriter Magali and peer inside her bag, vogue.com style.
Lately I've been making more an effort to catch the bus whenever I need to leave my neighborhood. When the weather is bad or I'm just too tired to bike around the Fishtown potholes (iykyk), I grab a bag and go wait for the bus. The time spent traveling on board is a chance to catch up on my reading, or to listen to a friend's voice note on WhatsApp. Mostly I like to disassociate and listen to The Bee Gees on my headphones because it’s winter in Philadelphia and I need to get my serotonin from somewhere.
As a reliant schlepper with back issues I'm constantly deliberating between what to take with me every other day. If it were up to me I'd take 3 books to the corner store. Today’s carry is not yesterday’s carry.
Here’s what’s in my bag today.
Bellroy Crossbody Lite Sling in Copper
First, the bag. It’s my second Bellroy (I use the Tokyo Totepack as a workbag). It’s super light and fits an insane amount of stuff, which is important to me because I’m a panic packer. The color looks good on everybody and the overall bag has that perfect high-tech, low-maintenance look that naturally evades me.
A current read: Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri
I’m planning my first trip to Japan this fall, so I’ve been trying to immerse myself in what it’s like to really to live there, beyond guidebooks and friends’ recommendations. “Tokyo Ueno Station” tells the story of Kazu, a ghost who haunts the homeless encampments outside the Ueno Station, a setting not often shown when we talk about Japanese society. It’s a very human and universal story of social inequality presented with respect and beauty. Even though the story is set somewhere far away, the character could easily be someone living in my city. This copy is on loan from a friend, so I’m trying to read it quickly.
Capitalism! I keep my cards inside this leather coin purse monogrammed with my initials. Unfortunately everyone who sees it thinks I’m a My Chemical Romance superfan, which is unfortunate because I hate emo music. Respectfully. Inside is my I.D., my SEPTA Pass, cash, and Free Library card. I’m really trying to not buy any more books until I finish the ones I’ve already bought. But library books are an exception. On my queue are: “Please Report Your Bug Here” by Josh Riedel and “The Writing Retreat” by Julia Bartz.
Hoagie Money Keychain
My 2000s era “Hoagie Money” keychain is from Three Potato Four, which I picked up at Downerss, a local boutique in my neighborhood, where the vibe is “What if every girl you met at a club bathroom worked in the same store?” I love it there and always end up wandering into Mural City Cellars around the corner for a glass of wine.
I keep 5 bucks in my hoagie coin purse because I have a personal philosophy that all sandwiches should cost $5 dollars. On this same ledger: books should be $10, cocktails should be $7, beer should be $4, sodas should be $1. All phones should be $100. Cars and rent should be $500 each. And Internet should be free. Call me, Joe Biden! I’ve got ideas!
I resisted the call of the AirPod for a while because I come from a staunch anti-Steve Jobs household, and, to be honest, I thought they would fall out of my ears. But headphones are now $500 for some reason (again, call me, Joe Biden!), and these were on sale at Target, and they turned out to be really, really comfortable. I also like to click the case (which I decorate with miniSUPER Stickers from Omoi) open and closed. It’s so satisfying. I keep them in a Baggu puffy case and clip them onto my keys so I don’t lose them.
I’m 5’1” (yeah, keep laughing!), which means most bags look big on me or drag on the ground if I keep them on hand. The Baby Baggu size is the perfect size to carry my shopping and groceries comfortably. The chokehold Baggu has on my wallet is concerning. I have at least 15 of them and somehow they are always in use. This one is from the Sanrio collection, because I am a Little Twin Stars truther.
MD B6 Slim Notebook
I’m an obsessive journaler, which is ironic when you consider that all I ever do is procrastinate on my actual writing assignments. I’ve sampled them all and the MD Paper notebook checks all the boxes: it opens flat, has nice cream paper that suits pens and pencils, and the B6 slim size is small enough to slide into most errand bags and big enough to write paragraphs of angst. Plus, they stack up nicely into an archive when they’re finished. I like to decorate them with stickers and slip them into a Clear Cover, also from MD.
Source of all my joys, bane of my existence. One day I’ll be able to quit this thing.
I picked up this snack case at Evisu, which just opened in Chinatown. I went a little mental in there and bought all sorts of cute things I don’t need, including this mini bento box. I like to fill it with granola or grapes to ward off the temptation of buying myself a sweet treat every single time I step out of my house.
Why do the hottest girls always have the worst breathing problems? I actually don’t usually carry this with me everywhere but if I’m running to catch the bus (often) I absolutely need it. Otherwise it’s 20 minutes of me breathing like Smaug on the bus, and nobody wants that.