If you’re at all familiar with skateboarding or the New York City restaurant scene, the name Tyshawn “TJ” Jones might be familiar. In 2018, he was named Skater of the Year by Thrasher magazine; that same year, he opened a restaurant near his childhood home in the Bronx called Taste So Good (Make You Wanna Slap Your Mama). At age 19, he has a lot going on, but he says the restaurant feels like a different kind of outlet from his skating career: “Being sponsored is cool, but having something that’s really mine and that can give back to the community I’m from is better.” We spoke with him about collecting change, not celebrating holidays, and his dogs, Snickers and Bane.
What is your most used emoji?
Probably the 100 one. Or the purple devil. And the laughing one, when it’s crying tears.
What’s your favorite holiday?
I don’t celebrate holidays.
If you could spend three months anywhere, where would it be?
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. That way I don’t have to deal with cars or planes or anything annoying like that.
What’s the best album ever made?
Ready to Die, by Biggie.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
I don’t do karaoke.
Who do you think is cool?
If you were a magazine, which magazine would you be?
If you could talk to animals, which animals would you want to talk to?
My dogs. They’re named Snickers and Bane, like from Batman.
Jeans or sweats?
What is something your social-media followers don’t know about you?
That I collect change, just for fun.
What’s the last website you visited?
If you could be outfitted by one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
What do you eat for breakfast?
Bagels and cereal.
If you could eat only three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Salmon, mac and cheese, and anything in my restaurant.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
TJ wears his own jewelry and do-rag and a Louis Vuitton T-shirt, shirt, and pants.