Reader Referral: Miroslav Tichý

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 1 comment

After seeing my Sally Gall spring (summer) fever post, Jonathan Bliss, whose Rooms blog might be the most spectacularly tasteful collection of photos I've seen pop onto my computer screen at one scroll, inquired whether I'd seen the works of Czech photographer Miroslav Tichý. Well, now I have and what a find. Born in '26 and jailed by the Commies, he spent his later years wandering the streets in rags shooting women with cameras he made from tin cans, childrens spectacle lenses and other junk he found on the street. Amazing. 

Bar Jamon and My Step Over to Pink...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 1 comment

Hemingway once said that "White Wine is for people who know nothing about wine." I wonder his thoughts on pink. Cannot be of the positive variety. As I've aged, though, red wine affects me about as delicately as arsnic. One sip lights a fire in my cheeks so hot, I could cook my food while chewing...a full glass sparks a cranial explosion that continues to detonate for at least the next 24 hours. So, last night when my friend and I popped down to the wonderful, microscopic wine/cheese/ham zone of Bar Jamón on 17th Street right off Irving, I went where I, a beer and whiskey cocktail-loving gal, had never gone before: the rose. Six years of Spanish class did not prepare me to order the follwing with any class or diction: the Ameztoi, Rubentis 2007, Hondarrabi Zuri, Hondarrabi Beltza. Phew. But, wow, was it a delight. Pinky, slightly fizzy, like gulping down a summer day at $17 a glass and a half. It's only 11% alcohol by volume, so the ole noggin feels fully intact today. (Very thrilled to have discovered what most would probably consider a wine cooler at almost least it's a Basque wine cooler).

New York Magazine says you can find if for $21 a bottle at Tinto Fino, 85 First Ave., nr. 5th St.; 212-254-0850.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008 No comments

It's 1915 Los Angeles. A guy (the absolutely adorable and actually tall looking Lee Pace) languishes in a hospital, body broken from a riding accident, heart broken from a philandering girlfriend. He befriends a little girl, hoping she can nick some morphine and permanently put him out of his misery. But before that fateful swallow can go down, he spins a fantastical yarn (dirvishes! amazing cars!) that slowly starts to knit itself into reality. Directed by Tarsem Singh and presented by David Fincher and Spike Jonze, The Fall hits theatres May 9. Damn, it's pretty.

More Affordable Croc Accessories!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 2 comments

The great ebay seller Acerna-02, which led me to my beautiful croc clutch, is now selling bangles and cuffs, as well! They only put up a couple bracelets at a time, but consistently replenish their stock. I picked up these for about $23 for the pair of small bangles and $23 for the single large cuff. Simply beautiful!
Acquisitions: Vintage Zebra Skin Rug

Saturday, April 26, 2008 5 comments

After years of lusting for a zebra, I finally made my big move and won the auction for this guy last night.  My poor little target version will be forsaken, Harry Potter-cupboard-under-the-stairs-style, to live out his days rolled up under my bed with the cow hide and the ivory blue and orange Indian rug with the giraffe motif.  At least he'll have company. 
Ebay Shopping: 1940s Crocodile Pumps

Thursday, April 24, 2008 No comments

If you're lucky enough to have a Cinderella proportioned foot that fits into a 7.5N, then you must pick these up. How beautiful is that little cap toe? You can buy them now for $55 or try to come in a bit cheaper with bids starting at $45.
Official Summer Cocktail: The Brown Derby

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 No comments
After a lovely afternoon of venison sausage and oyster consumption at Flatbush Farm, Ralph Lauren tie designer Sean Crowley and his lovely girlf Meredith Modzelewski invited Porter and me over to their amazing Fort Green brownstone for a bit of a tipple. Sean, owner to the world's largest collection of spirits, ties, shirts, vintage umbrellas, cricket team photos, 1920s jackets, heraldic doodads and more, shook us up the most amazing concoction: grapefruit juice, bourbon and honey. The first moment the Brown Derby touched our lips, we were sold. Here we had our new summer cocktail.

It supposedly originated at the legendary eponymous joint on Wilshire Boulevard -- the place that also gave us the Cobb salad. As Wikipedia tells it:

The first Brown Derby, also known as the Little Hat, was opened in February 1926 across the street from the Ambassador Hotel. The Derby was often the site of afterparties following bashes at the Ambassador Hotel's Cocoanut Grove nightclub. This was the only Derby that was actually built in the shape of a hat. In 1937, it was moved one block up the street.

So here is the recipe as relayed to Sean by the No. 1 barman at Little Branch, Sammy.

-1 1/2 oz. bourbon
-3/4 oz. grapefruit juice (not ruby red!)
-1 tsp. good honey

Sean suggests: I like to use a long thin bar whisk to pre-emulsify the honey before adding cracked ice and shaking the thing till I fall over. Serve in a chilled glass unvarnished and ungarnished.
A Gigantic Thank You Note To Cookie's Christine Frey!

Monday, April 21, 2008 No comments

Cookie's brilliant Fashion Market Director Christine Frey - a former drummer with perfect teeth, a voice meant for voiceovers and impeccable music taste that could blow most liner-note obsessing boys out of the water - has made my week with her wildly kind words on Cookie's blog! If this weren't enough, some of Porter's and my vintage luggage made it into the new issue alongside some very beautiful Globe-Trotter versions. Amazing!
Ebay Shopping: Vintage Rowing Scull

Friday, April 18, 2008 1 comment
The summer before my senior year of high school, I headed off to Cambridge, Mass. to take photography and biochemistry at Harvard. As part of this summer school endeavor, the ole Crimson folks foolishly let anyone in the program who could swim take to the Charles in a boat. This sounded like an excellent idea. I was generally sporty back then -- and a giant -- so I figured I'd take to it like a duck to, well, water (oh, how they make it look so easy in the movies). So, after about 20 minutes in the stationary scull, the kind people at the boathouse noticed my height and let me out onto the river -- alone. The thing they don't point out in the movies is the importance of the wrist action or one's thumbs. A duck in water I wasn't -- maybe wet cement. My wrists were clumsy, my stroke choppy, my thumbs refusing to stay in place. So, after about 10 minutes, I frustratingly ended up sidled against the rocks, thighs bleeding (a result of my slipping thumbs), crying that I'd somehow end up dunked, with Hepatitis and about $30,000 in debt due to a destroyed scull. Eventually, I pulled myself and my act together and finally started to fly. Woah, was it fun. You could try to obtain similar rush (less fraught with blood and tears) in this. Absentee bids start at $200 and it's estimated to go for something in the range of $400 to $600 (much cheaper than the one I thought I'd destroy).
Ebay Shopping: 1923 Cricket Jacket

Friday, April 18, 2008 2 comments
It's a little ratty, but oh, so cool. According to the seller:

For your information the owner of your blazer was a Capt T.E.G.Nugent who won an M.C.(Military Cross) whilst serving with the Irish Guards in the First World War. He played for the Eton XI cricket team in 1913. The stripes of his blazer do not appear to have been an Eton colour, or indeed his house colour whilst there. I suspect that this is an Irish Guards cricket blazer which Capt Nugent got Devereux to knock up for him. 

Bids start at $39.99.

Pink Shirt, Cuffed White Pants, Scarf and Stick

Friday, April 18, 2008 1 comment
I love this guy. Looks like he had a few too many and somehow lost his espadrilles in the woods. I'm not sure what Dutch painter Michaël Borremans had in mind for him, but I imagine this man in the pink shirt standing in a clearing, secretly delighted to have come upon a group of picnickers offering up gallons of Bloody Mary, but too proud to accept the offer (something he'll surely regret about 5 minutes down the line).
Spring (Summer) Fever: Sally Gall's Water's Edge

Thursday, April 17, 2008 2 comments

These aren't the kind of summer photos that make you want to dive head first into a margarita (a sentiment felt by almost all New Yorkers today). In fact, they're almost more conducive to storms. These images come from Sally Gall's beautiful Water's Edge series of photos taken between 1980 and 1995. (Above: Linda, Florida; Below: Swimmers #1)


Thursday, April 17, 2008 2 comments

The only thing more aesthetically pleasing than than early 20th century fashion is early 20th century fashion gone tiny! The Hovey sisters are taking their love of small-scale natural fibers and classic design to the street this summer. We'll be setting up (temporary) shop on Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg to sell these adorable ditties (including small versions of the leather collars) every Saturday starting in June. We've set up a blog to offer you a preview -- and a look at the things that inspired us when we were little. (Editorial Note: I have witnesses who have seen the new collars, I just have been a bit slow to photograph. They'll be up and for sale soon!).
Naturalist/Folky Chic: Edward Hicks' Peacable Kingdom

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 No comments

Colonial Quaker Edward Hicks taught himself how to paint. His fellow Quakers criticized him for this friviolity, so he tended to the fields, but thankfully retreated to his first love and god-given talent with a brush. He, also a preacher, didn't let god escape, though. His naturalistic patinings use animal symbolism to convey the qualities of Quakerism. The painting above (c. 1834), filled with aging animals and a great wide sky, was his last of 61 versions of the Peaceable Kingdom. The version below came earlier and currently hangs in the Brooklyn Museum's long-term installation, American Identities: A New Look.

Sportsman Chic II: The Cricket Bag (The Book!)

Monday, April 14, 2008 No comments

Despite what they warn, I always judge a book by its cover. So, if this cover is any indication, this book must be quite a read, esp. with quotes like this:

A gentleman is a man who never hurts anybody else unintentionally.

Farjeon, a member of the creative Farjeon clan, was best known as a playwright and London theatre critic in the early 20th c. His brother, the mystery writer and journalist J. Jefferson Farjeon, writes the intro, saying Herbert has 'mixed the nostalgic with the facetious, the correct with the reckless play, dividing the game into two innings, with an interval for light refreshment and closing the play with one of his loveliest poems'. 

Sportsman Chic: Vintage Cricket Bags

Monday, April 14, 2008 3 comments
After Porter encountered some scary numbers on TurboTax last night, I dispatched myself to the upscale bodega down the street to pick up some cookies to calm her fragile nerves. It's always dangerous to buy junk food in Williamsburg given all the vegetarians lurking about and this was no exception. While the man in front of me stuffed his hemp tote full of lettuce and explained the virtues of wasabi edamame vs. the evils of wasabi peas to his partner, I reveled in the fact that the chocolate chip cookies I was planning to purchase were, in fact, organic. Baby steps. So, if I were to ever take a similar baby step over to the world of yoga, I'd be forced to carry my mat in one of these. You don't see many monogrammed hides associated with new age sport, but I think that should change. Monogrammed hides should be associated with everything! Current bids for this beauty sit at GBP36 on British ebay.
Dorothy Draper Chic: Slatkin & Co. Pineapple Candle

Monday, April 14, 2008 3 comments

I love a rare gem in a usual mess of mass consumerism. This is the second year (well, the second year I've noticed) that Harry Slatkin has designed a magnificent pineapple candle for Bath & Body Works. I bought two small ones last year and picked up this wonderfully large pedastal version on Friday, solely for the container. To my surprise, the candle actually smells great (sun-ripened, sugared pineapple, infused with the essence of white orchid and jasmine). I'd love to see a pair of these on either side of a mantle against a green glazed wall. They go for $40 a pop, but if you spend $20, they're only $25 each. So, technically you can get two for $65.
Ebay Hunting for Hunting Photos

Tuesday, April 08, 2008 2 comments

As one of the lone Yanks in my Southern American Lit class at W&L (taught, of course, by a Mormon professor from Utah), I was shocked to hear that almost all my male Deep Southern classmates shared a common experience: their first hunt. I always expected a few hun'in' stories -- it was the Last of the Mohicans-type details that got my attention. Around age 13, their daddies took them out, shot a deer and then rubbed their faces in blood to symbolize their transformation towards manhood. Think of it as the Southern Protestant answer to the Bar Mitzvah. I wonder if these European folks performed similar rituals on their first trips into the woods. The top photo, shot in the '20s, shows a very big boar shot with a very modern, sinister looking assassin’s rifle. The man with the bear went on his hunt in 1909.

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Friday, April 04, 2008 1 comment

Put a subway tile anywhere (well, anywhere but about 95% of New York's deplorable subway stations) and I'll swoon. Put a daintly little British blonde with a voice like leatherwood honey in front of subway tiles and you've really got something great. (An excellent tip from Meredith Modzelewski via her friend Tom).

The HHH Leather Collars for Ladies Revealed!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 12 comments

A hint at my inaugural summer collection of leather collars!  Cut from the finest hides and adorned with vintage buttons, grosgrain closures and hand-painted stripes, they help a lady stylishly evoke times past.  A wider selection of these (I'll take bespoke orders, too) will debut on ebay next week! (Above: The Bowles, inspired by the man who made steamer trunk travel a way of life.)   

(The Kipling, for the Colonial adventurer!)

(The Gatsby, for anyone trying to win the love of her life (with hopefully more success and less tragedy)).
Ebay Bidding: John Lobb c 1948 Bespoke Button Boots

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 4 comments
The starting price for these beauties has been reduced to $4,995.00. Hey, they even come with the original boot trees. You've got 5 days and 7 hours to convince the wife that she needs a Birkin (or a few mortgage payments) much less than you need spatted Bespoke boots with 10 amazing little buttons.
Naturalist Chic: Ryan McLennan

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 1 comment
After four years at Washington & Lee, it took me a move to Brooklyn to meet droves of Virginians. You'd imagine VCU runs a shuttle bus between Williamsburg (BK, not Colonial) and campus. Well, artist Ryan McLennan decided against the pilgrimage and is helping keep the artistic wealth in Richmond. But this weekend, he takes his naturalist aesthetic West. A solo show of his recent works, "From Fur to Bone," opens this Saturday at Kinsey/DesForge gallery in Culver City, L.A. 

(All images © Ryan McLennan)
Surrealist Chic: Eric White

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 No comments
A major mystery solved! A couple years back, Notorious Women with faces 30 feet high emblazoned the walls of Prada's Rem Koolhaas-designed SoHo flagship. What an effect. I'd stand there agape every time I'd pass; it never lost its impact. Well, Flaunt Magazine takes a look at Prada's proud wallpapering pattern and unveils the genius behind the womened wall(paper): Eric White. The Brooklyn-based artist has a solo show (including these amazing paintings) opening at Quality Pictures in Portland this Thursday. Also check out Eric's interview at Fecal

(all images courtesy