When out in San Diego a couple weeks ago, I popped over to La Jolla to revisit the town where my grandpa spent many of his summers. What was once grand, has become a nouveau riche ghetto of ersatz Lily Pulitzerites. Ok, there were some nice touches like the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library and the gift shop at MCASD but even the La Martina store disappointed for the same plasticy reasons. Just for helmet obsession sakes, I almost did talk myself into buying a polo helmet there, but it cost upwards of $300. So, if you're jonesin' for polo equipment and don't want to scar your eyes with nine-colored easy breather shirts, click into Argentina Polo and go nuts. The green and white helmet only costs $45, while the mallets and the British Indian riding breeches can be yours for around a hundred bucks.
I went on about my lifelong hatred of games on Hovey Vintage a while back. Wow. It's so true. Gambling is worse. I do buy mega millions tickets, but get me in any Vegas-style situation and my stomach turns. It combines said hatred of gaming with my other great dread, trading money for things that don't either feed me or decorate my home. But if I were a different person completely, I'd have to buy these. So, if any of you Hoffmans, Howards, Huffingtons or Howells out there like to gamble, then these are going for $24.99 with 4 days left in the auction.
I recently picked up an all leather cartridge belt and can't get enough of it. It lets me pretend for a minute that I'm some Natasha Illum Berg (more on that saga later) huntress type. Even with the cartridge loops, it's wide enough to create a flattering waist over the most nubbly of shawl collared sweaters. This one's quite a wonder, as well, especially with that beautiful buckle. Bids hover at $34 with 2.5 days to go.
At one point during middle school, I owned 14 pairs of Cole Haans. Most were men's. There were many loafers. A beautiful woven suede with brown cap toe (actually for women). Tuxedo shoes. And two pairs of sandals that basically looked like these John Lobbs. In fact, I picked up my first pair of these mandals on my first trip to San Diego. I'm back there this week for another day job obligation. Temperatures are wildly low, so I've been spared from seeing the flip flop contingent. Thank goodness both CH and JL realize that men should never show a toenail in public. These are like sandals with a decency cap. You can pick up these size 7.5 Lobbs for $425.
Louis the XIV, Napoleon and Marie Antoinette loved 'em. So, if you need something to light up your palace, Cire Trudon candles are the only way to go. The world's oldest candle maker lets you take in French history in one whiff: the pine, sage and hay emanating around the little general's camp (Empire), smells of hot and crusty bread (Révolution), the orange and ginger of the far east French colonial outposts (Pondichéry) and even the rocks of the moon (Odeur de Lune) - the latter, a scent of the future, as it would be. If you're not in favor of letting history (or $70) go up in smoke, you can invest in one of the company's wax busts (see below).
I recently found a blog soulmate. The real deal. Now I'm stealing from him. Drinkin' and Dronin' found these incredible old sport pics on Shorpy, which, by the way, is the best damned collection of old photos you'll ever lay your eyes on (much like that gent third from the right may be the most studly thing I've ever laid my eyes on).
Woah. What a week. The ole day job required my presence in Kentucky horse country the past couple days. I met with a couple surgeons who are performing a groundbreaking incisionless gastric bypass tune up procedure. You see, even after that major surgery, many of these patients start regaining weight. Rebecca Ruth bourbon balls may be a culprit (at least for the Kentuckians). Ruth Hanly (Booe) and Rebecca Gooch, got their start in professional candy making in Prohibition-shuttered bar room. It wasn't until '36 that Ruth started spiking the candy, but what a great idea it was. It may have been two days of contant travel and airport stress, but four of these little things did me in last night.
Back in my sportier days, I always held complete contempt for those who lacked all athletic ability, but still went through the motions of working out. While a bit irrational, it fell into the same sort of Darwinian category as my hypothetical fear of falling in love with a previously hideous individual who'd secretly undergone grave plastic surgery, only to be discovered when looking into faces of my children. Muscles, in my mind, were meant for jocks. Letterman's sweaters, however, when old enough, are classic fun, even if you can't throw a ball or a punch. Bids for this one hover at $36.
I, an insatiable Anglophiliac since my days in the womb, left my 1999 trip to London obsessed with three things. Not Savile Row. Not high tea. Certainly not Harrods. No...it was the foreign-sounding chains that got my heart pumping. Wagamama. Muji. Pret a Manger. Now that there are two Prets within two blocks of my office, that's old hat. Muji's in SoHo. C'est la vie. Wagamama's still teasing me, but after opening a billion locations in the U.K. and every country around the world, it's finally encroached on American shores (albeit, Boston/Cambridge). (Wahoo!). Now it's Finland's turn to feed my need for a new well designed nosh pit. Those tasteful scouts at Monocle point out Sis. The sister-owned Helsinki mini-chain excels at perfect packaging and delicious-looking healthy bites. I love the check. Reminds me of a Hästens.
We grow up loving our bikes, but there are those dubious teenage years where we cast our two wheeled transport aside for their more powerful, self propelling, four wheeled brethren. Hey, it's hard to pedal your way to prom. It's even harder to pedal your date to prom. But once you leave the hellish halls of high school, it’s ok to re-embrace your forsaken childhood traveling companion. They’re easier to park than a Smart Car, friendlier to Ma Earth than a hybrid – and given generic car design these days, a lot more stylish. If you plan to go back to bikes, you may as well do it with maturity. Pashley, the wonderful British bicycle maker founded in 1926, has launched a limited edition of 80 Classic Phantom Roadsters. At £995.00 they don’t come cheap, but it’s a debt you should pay for all those years of biking neglect (and it comes with that amazing headlight).
A jaunt through Sweden is particularly dangerous on the virtues front. No matter how hard one tries, you can't help but commit two deadly sins simultaneously: envy and lust (depending on your love of sea food and reindeer, gluttony may also be a problem). Beyond the super human beauty, these Swedes also know how to dress - very well. Cristopher Pierro Nying and Bror Jockum Hallum are no exception. Their Our Legacy line simplifies the classics. They love a cuffed pant with white keds or sockless tie ups. It's a bit like A.P.C. for the Nordic Set. These images come from thier limited edition t-shirt line, "Les Gentilhommes: An Illustrated Journal," at Nordiska Kompaniet. And just like the Swedes themselves, it's not enough to just be beautiful, they excel at the packaging as well. These come in a tailormade suit bag with a numbered certificate.
Thanks to reader Ryder Hawthorne, I've unearthed a new vintage military shopping obsession: Deutsche Optik. Run out of Nevada by an army surplus obsessed German, Justus Bauschinger, this site and catalog help you spy, fight and stay warm in the night. (Above, the Delux Leather Carry Case, $399). Also check out the great Snoopy Goggles (the photo was too small and destroyed all asethetics of this post, so I had to leave them off).
I love nothing more than a good preview and Porter and I were treated to a whole summer's worth last night before Iron Man. Blindness looks incredible, like the book come to life; Maggie Gyllenhaal has fabulously replaced Katie Holmes in Christian Bale's second go at Batman; The Incredible Hulk lumbers like a bad, un-credible, fleshy cartoon (I do understand that it's based on, well, a cartoon, but I expect more from digital animators these days)...and then there was Indy...or should I say, Cate Blanchett's amazing haircut and even more incredible tank car (on the right). It's a tragedy that automakers don't invest more in matte celadon-ish paint. I've always dreamed of driving around in a non-shiny seafoam green safari-style Land Rover or Land Cruiser. Now I dream of driving around in one of these. It's like Gatsby gone Jeep.