All week long, Sharp’s editors will be wrapping up 2015 by celebrating the very best of virtually everything that passed through our filters this year: the movies and shows we watched, the clothes we wore, the music we listened to and the gear we used.
Here, we round up all of the goods, gadgets, vehicles and destinations that we used, abused, loved and pined over in 2015.
Between paywalls, ebooks and tablet apps, newspapers have had their fair share of Hail Mary attempts at surviving the digital age. Some have been moderately successful, some less so. Will the New York Times’ new virtual reality app be the deus ex machina that saves the industry? Hell if I know, but one thing’s for certain: this thing is really, stupidly cool.
Launched last November, NYT VR thrusts users into the middle of the its stories. You can experience it either via Google Cardboard —which attaches to your smartphone — or without, allowing you to explore a 360-degree “world” through your screen, moving it about to see more of the environment. “The Displaced,” an 11-minute feature, puts you alongside three refugee children (from Lebanon, South Sudan and Ukraine) who are among the 30 million around the world displaced by war. Another video transports you to the candlelight vigils following the Paris attacks. But there’s less depressing fare too: “Take Flight” brings you high above the LA skyline to float among the likes of Charlize Theron, Kristen Wiig and Michael Fassbender as they re-enact iconic movie scenes. Say what you will about VR gimmickry, but this is an innovative new way of storytelling. Maybe it’ll translate into revenue, maybe it’ll fall flat. I’ll be enjoying the crap out of it either way.
— Alex Nino Gheciu
Confederate G2 P51 Combat Fighter
This year, after gathering dust in my parking garage for three years, I finally sold my motorcycle. I gave up my dream and watched as a man loaded my 1985 Honda Magna into a moving van.
I don’t seem like the kind of person that would have a motorcycle. I don’t usually ogle at cars, and I rarely ever use the word torque. But, I loved having a bike when I was in high school. And one day, I’ll have a bike again.
It likely won’t be this one though. To which I say: damn. Because it’s beautiful. It looks like something out of a comic book — and has the power needed for a superhero, too (180 lbs of torque. There, I said it).
— Greg Hudson
The Whitney Museum, NYC
You won’t go to the Whitney Museum for the art. I mean, you will, but that’s not the point. The point is the new Renzo Piano-designed building, which opened early this year and which redefined — or at least reinvigorated — the entire experience of art going. Admittedly, the building looks a bit awkward at first, leering as it does over the High Line and the Hudson River, a set of indistinct geometric parts that only cohere under sustained critical examination. But once inside, the Whitney makes a strong case. The gallery spaces are wide open, devoid of bulky interior columns or extraneous walls. Even better, each floor is open to the outside world through floor-to-ceiling windows and even skylights — the natural light is unintuitive, unprecedented, and kind of astounding given the priceless artifacts inside. And in the warmer months, the gallery spaces lead onto a set of balconies and exterior staircases where you can watch Manhattan go by as you contemplate what you’ve just seen — the art, or more likely the building itself.
— Peter Saltsman
Like a lot of people, I begin every year with a bold declaration that I’m finally going to get in shape. And then I spend the next 365 days planted on the couch, Netflix fired up, snacks on fleek. But 2015 was different. Because in 2015, I had the Fitbit Charge on my wrist. Being able to track my heart rate, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed and so much more with just the flick of a finger succeeded in making almost everything I did feel like a legitimate workout, and it motivated me to stay more active than ever. The fact that it’s all packaged in the form of a sleek, stylish watch didn’t hurt either. Finally, there were no more excuses for being lazy — except, you know, Narcos. I definitely only logged like 30 steps total the week that ish dropped.
— Bianca Teixeira
D.S. & Durga Freetrapper Cologne
I’ve never really given much thought to the way I smell. Thanks to my genetics, I don’t sweat very much, and I’m relatively odourless even when I do. A hot shower and a couple swipes of deodorant — which I use more out of habit than necessity — have always done me just fine. But this year, for whatever reason, I started considering colognes. I suppose I’d finally reached a point in my manhood where the innocuous scent of Dove body wash simply wasn’t how I wanted to present myself to the world.
So, I began my search. And after terrorizing my nostrils with dozens upon dozens of woody musks and citrus blends, I finally settled on this one from Brooklyn’s D.S. & Durga. According to their website, it’s a masculine, medium-bodied scent that blends notes of dark cedar, snakeroot, bergamot and amberwood. As far as I’m concerned, it just smells like me.
— Yang-Yi Goh