Tuesday Talk with: Niels Jäger, Brand Director, Restaurateur
HELLO NIELS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR WANTING TO BE PART OF OUR NEVER ENDING JOURNEY ON LESS. TALK. TRAVEL. MORE.
1. TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. HOW OLD ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU FROM? WHAT IS YOUR JOB AND WHY IS TRAVELLING SO IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I am north of 42 years and come from Munich. I am a brand director for the basketball brand K1X and run several gastronomical projects in my hometown incl. The Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar, Super Danke, James T.Hunt (see www.arnoldjaegerwerner.com/blog for an overview). Travelling can be a pain in the ass, but mostly it is inspiring and fun to get away from it all once in a while.
2. HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAVEL PER YEAR?
Not sure, maybe twice per month. Usually on shorter business trips, sometimes on longer business trips for shoots. And sometimes on vacation with my family, which of course is the best.
3. WHAT WAS YOUR FUNNIEST EXPERIENCE ON A JOURNEY?
My most vivid memories are from trips I took with my two best friends in our early twenties. We bought big American cars (like Lincoln Continentals) for small cash and drove around the U.S. for a couple of weeks. Then we resold the car, sometimes even with a small profit. Those were the days.
4. HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON YOUR NEXT TRIP AND WHAT IS RELEVANT FOR YOU?
There is no pattern here. Usually, these things just happen.
5. WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU ON A VACATION (RECREATION; EXPERIENCE; RELAXATION; ADVENTURE; FUN)?
Being able to just live from day to day without making huge plans.
6. WHICH TYPE REPRESENTS YOU BEST?
RELAXATION OR MOTION - A bit of both is best, as long as the pressure is off.
COURAGE OR ANXIETY - Courage, I guess. No point in being anxious on vacation.
ADVENTURE OR BORING STANDART - See above.
CHEAP OR EXPENSIVE - Cheap
COLOR OR NO COLOR - Color
7. DO YOU LIKE TO GO ON VACATION IN THE SPRING, SUMMER, FALL OR WINTER .... AND WHY?
It mostly feels like a vacation when you leave the cold to go somewhere warm. I try to avoid longer trips in the summer, so that I can escape when Germany’s winter becomes tedious.
8. WHICH MOMENT OF THE DAY DO YOU LIKE THE MOST?
When late afternoon turns to early evening.
9. ARE YOU MORE THE DISCOVERER OR DO YOU STICK TO YOUR ROUTINE WHEN DECIDING ON A TRIP?
My family likes a routine and repeat what we did the day before, but I like to try new things. I'm working on that.
10. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO ON VACATION NEXT?
I would love to go back to Asia, I have not been there in a while.
11. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Netflix and vintage stuff.
12. IF I WOULD ASK YOU WHAT YOU SHOULD NEVER FORGET TO TAKE ON A TRIP, APART FROM PASSPORT, VISA ETC. , WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
A camera and shorts.
13. TELL ME FIVE THINGS THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE IN YOUR BAG ON A TRIP.
Denim shirt, basketball sneakers, sunglasses, loading cables and Aqua di Gio.
14. BOOK, NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE OR CELL PHONE/IPAD/LAPTOP – WHAT REPRESENTS YOU BEST AND WHY?
I like to start reading the newspaper with the sports section. The laptop is part of my every day life too - but that does not mean that I like it. I am happiest when I can forget about it.
15. WHICH MOMENT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST WHEN YOU THINK BACK ON YOUR LIFE’S JOURNEY?
Bangkok. Seedy bar. No money. Circled by four or five goons in the backroom. Scared for my life.
16. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CITIES?
Los Angeles, Berlin, London and many smaller towns in Greece.
17. IN WHICH CITY OR PART OF THE WORLD DO YOU FEEL MOST AT HOME?
In Munich, Bavaria and near Sperlonga in Italy.
18. WHERE DO YOU LIVE AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST IN YOUR CITY?
Munich, Germany. The mixture of historic and new, spacious and intimate, nature and city is one of a kind.
19. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LIVE THERE?
I am a Munich native but spent several years in NYC as a kid. My opportunities in various gastronomical endeavors (club, bar, restaurant, hotel, green smoothie spot) make me feel like it is smart to be where most of my friends and connections are. I am not sure if that is the right way of looking at things, but it boils down to a gut feeling that I have respected so far.
20. IF YOU WOULD COMPARE YOUR CITY TO MUSIC, WHICH KIND OF MUSIC WOULD DESCRIBE YOUR CITY BEST?
Haha, I am afraid that would have to be very typical: Bavarian folk and marching tunes. My favorite band from Munich is the Hip Hop combo “Feinkost Paranoia”, unfortunately they no longer exist. For DJs, check out the SMiLE collective and Bob Beaman Music Club residents: Muallem, Sascha Sibler, Leo Küchler and Roland Appel!
21. WHICH MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Future. But currently, I am also in love with my Spotify playlist “NJ.Rock”, where I try to accumulate important songs and bands from my past, like Curiosity Killed the Cat, Pearl Jam and MC Solaar. Some friends are already hoping that it is just a fad.
22. EXPLAIN YOUR LIFESTYLE IN FIVE WORDS?
I only have one. Laissez-faire.
23. WHAT WOULD BE A PERFECT DAY FOR YOU?
Sun - Family - Water - Vespa - Sueddeutsche Zeitung - Basketball - Drinks - Bob Beaman Club - Laughs – Movies ...
24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE FOOD AND THE TASTE OF SOMETHING NEW TO YOU?
Very much, even though I have a simple taste, which has a lot to do with quantity (as well as with quality, of course). The best new thing that I have tried lately: our “Super Acai Bowl” with fresh berries at www.superdanke.com
25. NAME FIVE OF YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS. THEY CAN BE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
The Butchers Daughter - Santa Monica Cantine Cantona - Munich Le Relais de l’Entrocote - Paris Petros Petriakis Cousin’s place on the south coast Greece Roadside Lobster - Maine
26. WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE?
27. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
I do not have any plans. My dream is to open a little retreat with a beach at one of the Bavarian lakes around Munich.
28. IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN THE WORLD – WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
To be able to change one thing in the world anytime I wanted to.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH NIELS FOR YOUR TIME AND THE INTERESTING INTERVIEW.
ALL THE BEST TO YOUR FUTURE PLANS AND MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU WHEREEVER YOU WILL BE.