19 October 2014

Halloween Soundtrack



A favorite for background music on Halloween night. Start at 14:00 to skip Redford's lovely narration. Guaranteed to scare the crap outta Trick or Treaters when you open the door. Also, mesmerizing and strangely addictive.

17 October 2014

Halloween Hit



I've felt like this since the demise of Wasp 101.

15 October 2014

Broccoli Holders & Cardholders

I had a client -- now a good friend -- who used the rubber band from Broccoli stalks to hold his credit cards.  He also traveled across the US on $2.00 and is the cheapest and smartest man I know.  Chuck would die laughing at a 44€  replacement for his rubber band but I like these sexy little cardholders from the little known French company of ideas, Striiiipes.  Designed and made in Paris, what's not to like...

I've discussed Striiiipes before here and there.  I've made a big deal of the owner, Arthur.  And one day soon, I suspect, Striiiipes and Arthur will make it big and the dump trucks of cash will pull up to their doors.  Until that day - however - they cannot be expected to go beyond a certain a point.  Which means they sell out of stuff fast.

This magnificent little alligator number at 95€ is history.


There's a lot more out there for bet. 44 & 62€  but who knows for how long.


And that's what's great about Striiiipes.  That what you buy isn't coming at you from every direction.  The uniqueness of some every day tool that makes reaching into your pocket for a card that much more exciting.  Well, exciting is probably the wrong word.  "Awesome." That's the word.  Overused hyperbole to define the understated and hushed quiet of gravitas.  Thats the contrarian ticket I love. Which would fit into this cardholder but not broccoli








13 October 2014

Columbus Day

From 'Dateline America' by Charles Kuralt, 1979   Photos by Mark Chester

It's been a journey of sorts. This year.  On the road.  Everyday it seems there's another fucking flat and the rubber on the tire is my soul.  I mean, I'm not grey haired yet, but the tires do need changing.   And so I put another set on;  Good for 100,000 miles.

"I don't know if I'm depressed or just surrounded by assholes," reads a T-shirt in Daytona Beach.    Understanding the past goes into every day of my future -  I wonder if I'll appreciate life more by hating myself less.  Or, is it the other way around?    And will it fit on a T-shirt?

11 October 2014

Mission Statements Suck


Who cares where I've been.  It's none of your business and I'm back as long as this is a pleasurable endeavor.  I missed it here but it was impossible to write about chinos and button downs.  I'm not really sure I still can.  So, this will be a different blog with emphasis on the undiscovered and that doesn't mean camouflage.

I can't stand Mission Statements so I'll be blunt.  I want to go down the roads less traveled.  Shit, I want to hang out in Ghost Towns.  I want to turn you onto the buried truffles of the world and I expect you to reciprocate in kind.  Bring me what turns you on  -- What no one knows about --  Even if it's your recipe for Fruit Cake.

10 October 2014

Plein Soleil



Miss Me?  It's okay if you didn't.

15 August 2014

The Beretta Gallery of New York City

Beretta employee, Moses Gutierrez with a 20 gauge Silver Pigeon 1 ( $2,240) 

I first bumped into the NYC Beretta Gallery about five years ago.  Town-housed among Manhattan's retail townhouses;  Hermès,  Etro,  Longchamp, Chanel, and so many others…I was actually just looking for a pair of khakis.  I pushed open the Beretta door, walked past security and was slapped in the face with racks and racks of obscenely beautiful apparel.

 
Wool and Waxed Cotton jacket in the Maremmana style ($1,295)

It was a London flashback, what with tweed, moleskin, chukka and waxed cotton.  Gravitas on the order of Jermyn Street,  Cuban cigars and 25 year old single malts drunk from engraved pheasant whiskey tumblers.

Moleskin suit with side vents (Jacket $535 Trousers $165)

Luckily I stumbled onto a sale -- Even better as I had a little money back then.  There was a lot I should've bought that day but didn't and learned a lesson.  Much of what you see in the NYC Gallery is unique to the store.  Once it's gone, you may never see it again.  Of course,  I was here for a pair of khakis.  


Second Floor

Looking back, it seems a shame  shopping for khakis in Beretta --  Sort of like visiting Umbria on the wagon.

Competition Shooting

It's hard to describe just how diverse the gallery is.  Roaming around on my last visit, I heard a man walk in and announce, "I've been invited to a shoot in Spain."  I looked down from the second floor balcony and watched as the salesman sprung into action while those words, "I've been invited to a shoot…" bounced jealously between my ears.


Main Floor

While outdoor retailer's, Kevin's and Cabela's offer over the top decor, Beretta manages to pull off the outdoors aesthetic with understated elegance.  Chalk it up to to Beretta's hometown of Brescia 'cause this ain't meatballs and gravy.


In store Italian made checks ($155)

Much of what is in the NYC Gallery is not on line and much of what is on line is not in the NYC Gallery.  Still, a past visit to the Beretta website found an olive moleskin maremmana hunting jacket, sadly long gone,  for a surprising  $99.


In store Suede chukka ($423)

A women's wool felt cap made by Pennsylvania's Bollman Hat Company is currently on sale for $37.50 marked down from $75...


Beretta Sole
And a men's quilted waxed cotton biker jacket has been reduced from $595 to $279.


Khakis ($75)

But I was looking for khakis.



And at $75, they're made in the US and something of a surprise.  I had mine cuffed and there was no extra charge.



That's the thing about Beretta.  You can find a $20 ball cap...



Or, there's a $140 number that looks like a Vietnam boonie hat I lusted after when I was in the Army.



Field watches are reasonable…


Field Watches (Quartz $229 Automatic $389)



Women's Quilted Shooting Jacket ($875)




Women's Scarves ($895)




Carafe Gift Set ($149)

The engraved carafe and glasses are available in store and on-line... 


Martini Pitcher $200

While the best looking cocktail pitcher I have ever seen is only in the store.  A steal and you're only seeing it because I gave up martinis.


Ice Bucket $2,200

I haven't given up ice but the elephant foot ice bucket is a good example of Beretta's price swing.



And like the 32" barrels on the $2,000 Silver Pigeon, there's value in Beretta.  It's under the radar for most NYC  residents.  Save those types who go shooting in Spain.



13 July 2014

Until Next Year


Not as good as it was -- Better than it will be

09 July 2014

Shagging in the Past



Student
You've said that you regarded respectability as one of the
prime enemies of individualism.  Do you regard love as 
an enemy of individualism?

Faulkner
No, no --  What's love got to do with respectability?

I posted this video in April of 2012 with Al Green's lyrics.  Seems appropriate to repost today.

I remember heading down to Myrtle Beach for a long weekend with two cars of Army buddies when I was stationed at Ft Bragg.  I was 20 and wound up dancing with a frosted blonde in her forties. She had long pink nails and held a Schlitz 'Tall Boy' in one hand and an Eve cigarette in the other. She taught me how to shag.

The past is never dead. It's not even past.  William Faulkner

08 July 2014

Is Turkey Red Too Red?










Back in the early 19th century, Turkey Reds, aka Adrianople Reds, were a madder based dye with Turkish origins. These patterns were only printed much later by an Alsatian who solved the problem of over printing on the intense color.

I'm way out of my comfort margin here but I love the patterns and if anything ever said, "Go to Hell," or worse, it's Turkey Red. I'm not a 100% on this but I'm thinking about it. With a black velvet dinner jacket at a New Year's party… I might. Would you?

03 July 2014

01 July 2014

"I'm Gonna Die…" Part II

"A Dangerous Place"

"I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die…" went through my head as I sat in the tub while the scuba diver's battery powered legs flapped away.  Suddenly no interest in scuba.  Intently focused on footsteps approaching door.  A Door opens -- shoulders involuntarily hunch up at the anticipation of being popped from behind. But I'm not popped.  He puts the toilet seat down opposite the tub, sits and leans toward me -- Almost like he's begging.

"We live in a dangerous place," he says.   "And today you were in a very dangerous part of where we live.  We don't want you to get hurt.

Everything says I made it.  No killing.  No chewing out.  Nothing.  I'm home free. He leaves and I happily go back to the scuba diver.  And so it became my protection.  Not the scuba diver.  Thinking the worse will happen.  Think it, and it will NOT happen.

I'm not gonna pass 2nd grade.

I'm not gonna get a new bike.

We're not gonna go camping.

My parachute is not going to open.

She's pregnant.

I'm gonna get a DUI

Most of the time it worked.  I still do it --  I still think I'm gonna die.

Dirty White Bucks















Purchased in 1984

They were partly a middle finger to the college establishment who instructed males that graduation dress would be white shirt, dark trousers with black shoes and black robes.  I wore a pink shirt, white duck trousers, pink argyle socks and these shoes … 30 years ago.

They were resoled in 1996 and haven't been touched since.  The brand is lost to the ages but the wear is honest.  30 Summers and never a season more.  That's not so much a rule as a personal code -- It's the same reason I wouldn't intentionally 'distress' them or anything else I own.

Sometimes it's hard being honest... but a man's shoes should never have to lie.