37 Questions with Tim Staszak

When he’s not cruising around Olmsted Parks by bike or tuning in to indie thrash power slob, Block Club designer Tim Staszak is probably catching a wave at the beach or hanging out with his wife and three-year-old. In the latest 37 Questions, our humble nod to Vogue’s 73, Tim weighs in on the sports scene in Buffalo and shares his eclectic knowledge of art, form, and music (among 34 other topics worth reading).

  1. What’s the last thing you listened to?

    The tune “Imaginationcy” by Goth Babe

  2. What song do you secretly love?

    I have quietly been on a country music quest, so my guys Colter Wall, Sturgill Simpson, and Brandi Carlile have been my “secret” jams.

  3. What’s the most underrated musical genre?

    Indie thrash power slob

  4. Do you play any instruments?

    I can play the drums.

  5. Are there any instruments you wish you played?

    The piano and the trumpet

  6. Do you collect anything?

    I just started collecting obscure vinyl electronic music.

  7. What’s the last thing you ate?

    A salad with chicken and a couple amazing pierogis made by my neighbor’s visiting Polish sister

  8. What’s your preferred mode of transportation?

    Surfboard

  9. How often does your surfboard get you places?

    Okay, okay. I guess this is more of a metaphor than an actual mode of transportation, but I’d rather be floating in salty, warm water, and a surfboard is where I go in my mind.

  10. Where do you go to reset, recharge, or retreat?

    I need that beach life.

  11. Do you have any upcoming travel plans?

    I have camping plans.

  12. Are you a tent camper?

    We typically do cabins, but we have a couple of long weekends planned for tent camping. We’ve been investing in more outdoor equipment, and I’m excited to get to roughing it.

  13. What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled?

    Oahu, Hawaii

  14. Did you ride your surfboard there?

    I did. One of the best memories there was of watching my wife hop up on a board for the first time and ride her first wave all the way in. I was so proud.

  15. What is in the back seat of your truck right now?

    A child’s car seat, an umbrella, a container of bungee cords, Slim Jim wrappers, and a binder full of burned CDs

  16. Why bungee cords?

    They come in handy when transporting bikes, moving furniture, or securing other things you’d throw in the bed of a truck.

  17. What is one thing you’ve learned about life recently?

    Don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Communicate and listen.

  18. What makes you nervous?

    “It’ll be a quick, easy project.”

  19. What is the last book you read?

    I have tried to finish Jack Kerouac’s On the Road several times and failed. I can’t get into it. After starting and stopping a dozen times, I’ve moved on to the horror genre. I’m currently 19 chapters deep in Stephen King’s The Stand.

  20. What did you do for your last birthday?

    I do an annual bike ride on my birthday. It’s an easy 22-ish miles around the city, through Olmsted Parks and ending at the Old Pink, where I ingest my yearly steak sandwich. That is, of course, followed by Imperial Pizza and some kind of lemon- or lime-flavored dessert.

  21. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

    “You should move to East Aurora.”

  22. What are you looking forward to?

    Getting settled in to my house, meeting the neighbors, getting involved in the happenings out in the community, building a life with my family in East Aurora, and growing old there. I’m coming up on a year in my new house, and I think I’m mostly looking forward to my life in the ’burbs.

  23. If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?

    Being the Incredible Hulk or having the ability to solve The New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in under an hour.

  24. What’s the longest you’ve ever spent on a crossword?

    It usually goes in chunks of time, but I know I’ve spent days on a few with help from my wife, Nicole. A three-year-old only gives you so much downtime. I also try to start a crossword on my lunch just to clear my brain, and I average just under two hours. I’m not sure if that’s good or not.

  25. What is the best Halloween costume you ever wore?

    A group of us dressed up as local Buffalo street celebrities. I dressed up as the guy who blows bubbles out of his window above the Jim’s Steakout on Elmwood and Allen. My wife and friends dressed up as The White Ninja, Screamin’ Jean (RIP), and Eric Starchild. If you’re in your 30s and have spent time in the Elmwood/Allentown area, you know who these folks are.

  26. What brand do you love?

    The Buffalo Bills

  27. What do you want for Buffalo?

    A couple of Superbowl rings, a Stanley Cup, and an NBA franchise

  28. What is your favorite podcast?

    Conan Needs a Friend

  29. What is your best habit?

    I can sometimes be a safety nerd. For example, I don’t wear headphones on my bike, and I wear ear and eye protection when grinding tile. I think it comes from riding bikes, owning a lot of tools, and having a kid. Those things give you a sense of respect for doing the right thing first.

  30. What is your worst habit?

    Forgetting names

  31. Who do you look up to?

    My wife Nicole

  32. What embarrasses you?

    I’ve been a dad for three years now, so I do the embarrassing. If I had to pick something, though, it’d be seeing a photo of my younger self with green, spikey hair.

  33. Where do you find inspiration?

    Julie Molloy and Ryan McMullen, the internet, books, movies, TV, outside, getting lost in my own head, the places I travel, restaurants I visit, and other life experiences. If I’m working on branding a restaurant, it’s good to check out some cool spots and get inspired that way.

  34. What makes you proud?

    Being a dad and a husband

  35. What did you do before Block Club?

    I was working as a designer for a record label and then another agency.

  36. How would you describe your design style?

    I…umm…make things? Ask my peers to answer this one.

  37. What excites you about coming to work every day?

    It’s one of those things where I get more excited when I step out. A good friend was in town not too long ago, and we bounced around town going to restaurants, bars, and a few other spots. I realized that Block Club branded a lot of the places we patronized. It makes me proud when I see our work out there.