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📍 Brooklyn, NYC | Product at Spotify
Why Matt is a Product Manager at one of my favorite companies, Spotify. I may have to write a detailed breakdown about my love for the Spotify product (blended playlists being a favorite feature). He also came recommended for a profile by Bonnie Kong.
I build products at Spotify to help creators grow & monetize their podcasts. I also write Matt Huang Buys Things, a Substack exploring my shopping habits & millennial consumerism. I live in Williamsburg with my partner Raf—we love to eat, travel & visit art museums & galleries. During the pandemic, we began collecting paintings by emerging artists from the Asian & Asian American diaspora. I am passionate about scented candles, community building & leading teams towards achieving ambitious goals.
Written in his Matt’s words…
🎙 Podcast: How Long Gone
In addition to being flat-out hilarious—this show is why I break into spontaneous laughter at the gym—Chris & Jason are super up-to-date on "bi-coastal elite" culture: hot restaurants in LA, fashion shows & the latest non-alcoholic beverage brands. This podcast could easily be annoying, but the hosts are self-deprecating and never take themselves too seriously. Although they often have interesting guests, I find their 1:1 episodes to be more consistently engaging and witty.
⚡ Drink: Celsius
I first heard about Celsius from a friend who was hard at work launching her startup. After that, I promptly started seeing it everywhere—my gym, grocery store, mentions on all my favorite podcasts—and knew I needed to try it. After picking up a few cans, I now buy Celsius in bulk and am considering putting it on Subscribe & Save.
Celsius is great as a pre-workout before strength training & Peloton rides—it gives me a ton of focus and endurance yet no headache or dizziness. My favorite flavor is Sparkling Kiwi Guava, but I try to buy the Cucumber Lime Stevia version whenever I can find it because sucralose is supposedly bad for your health.
Pro tip: Celsius also makes for a great mixer!
📲 Digital App: Chani
I grew up in a hyper rational, non-religious family where both of my parents were scientists. As I grew into my full adult self, I realized that life feels a lot more complete when I can embrace the limitless possibilities of a spiritual dimension. Chani is an astrology app which I discovered thru Bowen Yang's Wirecutter list. Having never really bought in to astrology until last year, I now find myself regularly checking this app throughout the week for wisdom, guidance and entertainment. Based on convos I have had with friends, I find it fascinating how profusely astrology has spread amongst driven professionals in shaping and guiding our lives. In the face of great technological progress, it seems like people are increasingly looking towards ancient, pseudoscientific traditions to improve their sense of well-being—me included.
📽 Documentary: Stutz
This is a beautiful Netflix documentary made by Jonah Hill about his therapist, Phil Stutz. This documentary really changed my perspective and helped me identify a deeper sense of my life purpose. One concept from the film that really resonated with me is the String of Pearls, a visualization which posits that every action you take has the same value, regardless of the outcome or whatever your mind might be telling you. I found this idea so healing because I often struggle with a desire for perfection, to the point where it's impossible to start a new project or explore a creative idea. Stutz posits the best course of action in these situations is to simply start and keep going. I loved this doc so much that I ended up buying both of his books and listening to several of his podcast interviews.
🥯 Bakery: Pistachio sticky bun at K'far Brooklyn
Raf and I love bakeries. K'far is a Philly-based Israeli bakery that recently opened their second location at the Hoxton hotel in Williamsburg. The pistachio bun is currently our favorite pastry—it's sweet, salty, nutty & moist—and the perfect size to share. We like to bring one home and heat it up in our toaster oven as a Saturday morning treat.
💼 Professional: Asking for Help
🛌 Hotel: Ett Hem
I first heard about this hotel in the 2017 Netflix design docuseries, Abstract. Profiled in an episode on renowned interior designer, Ilse Crawford, Ett Hem is a small hotel in a quiet residential neighborhood of Stockholm. Raf and I stayed here last November and it was one of the best hotel stays we've ever had.
Staying at Ett Hem is more like staying in a house than a luxury hotel. There are only 18 rooms, and all are unique, converted out of two adjacent homes built in 1910. Meals are served in a gorgeous kitchen, where you can watch as a chef prepares your meal family-style. There is no lobby—instead, there are several living rooms with cozy sofas, roaring fireplaces, and a fabulous mirrored bar where you can fix yourself a cocktail. Ett Hem feels both timeless yet modern at exactly the same time. We love it and can't wait to go back soon!
🔌 Personal Plug: Check out my Substack
Second edition of my local guides. Yes, the pistachio sticky bun Matt recommended is on the list.
I know we’ve got several subscribers living in Brooklyn. Sound off - what did I miss?
P.S. — Matt is looking for things to do and places to eat in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hong Kong. If you have any, please drop them in the comment section.