New Year's Resolution No. 4

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 10 comments
More Adventures!

(I ended the year with five unused vacation days.  This cannot happen again!  We're considering Istanbul in March...stay tuned!)

(Above: Los Angeles, 2007)

(Stockholm, 2007)

Paris, 2001

Marrakech, 2008

Paris, 2001

Los Angeles (at the Viceroy), 2007
New Year's Resolution No. 3

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 1 comment
Get Back to Ballet.

(A couple months back I - temporarily - started waking up with the New York City Ballet Workout and the changes were instantaneous.  Tight core! Great posture! The ability to bend!  These changes were so exciting that I rewarded my hard work with a couple days off, which stretched into about three months of pure relaxation and pure stiffness).

Chances of seeing this through: 42% (for two weeks straight).

(That's me at age 5, a time when I was exceptionally bendy.  My mom and aunt thought I was being exceptionally dramatic when I complained about the crunching noise and the pain in my wrist after doing a back walkover in my backyard.  But they reluctantly took me to the doctor.  The x-rays came back.  Mom took one look, saw nothing jutting astray, and chided me for this waste of time.  The doctor came back, pointed out the break and stuck me in a cast for the next six weeks).
New Year's Resolution No. 2a + 2b

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 6 comments
No. 2a: Make coffee at home - No. 2b: Drink it from the nice china!

(On a good, tame day, I'll drink two large coffees.  That's roughly $3 bucks a pop x 2 x 365...or $2,190 a year on COFFEE!!!!...I'd hate to calculate my gin spending!)

At-home coffee also tastes (and looks) exponentially better out of Tiffany/Limoges china.

Probability of seeing this through (until, say, March): 80% 
Holiday (and Post-Holiday) Loot

Sunday, December 28, 2008 13 comments
The fruits of the holiday - and post-Christmas sales!  From me to Porter: a plaid umbrella from Ombrelli Maglia, an Italian company that's been protecting fancy people from rain since the mid-19th c. (Porter, notorious for losing umbrellas, has been threatened with a hand amputation if she leaves this behind.  Happy holidays!).  Two pairs of Car Shoes (brown penny loafers for Port, green suede for me), thanks to the fire sale at Bergdorf Goodman...which also gave me the Purple Label slippers.  I got Port the Prada heels as an early birthday (Jan. 5th) gift (from the Barney's sale).
Dad came through extraordinarily for Crimbo this year.  He gave me the much sought-after, family-published biography of Tommy Hitchcock Jr., world's greatest polo player and inspiration to Fitzgerald (he served as the basis for both Tom Buchanan in Gastby and Tommy Barban in Tender is the Night).  My grandma married his nephew, Avy Clark. Dad and his siblings grew up in Hitchcock country, Old Westbury, NY. Port received this beautiful 1930s Australian pith helmet from Rothwells Outfitting Ltd. on Edward Street in Brisbane.

A close up on the Purple Label beauties.  NOTE: The Bergdorf Men's Store has an extraordinary pair of size 13 Barker Black cognac colored loafers (with a little crown opening for the penny slot) on sale for $279. Last pair.  Some tall man, please purchase!!!!
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Saturday, December 27, 2008 17 comments

A Christmas tale of ever increasing love and affection between Porter and the world's most perfect pup, Belle.  Many heartfelt thanks to Francine, Fernando, Harry and Bruni for loaning us the star.  Many heartfelt thanks to Porter for the video camera - and running back and forth and back and forth in Wellies!!!
Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 3 comments
Merry Christmas (Eve!), everyone!  May you have safe travels...grand shepherd's pie-free feasts...and many, many cocktails! Love all around, Hov  
Marching to the Beat of Our Own Little Drummer Boy

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 13 comments
We Hoveys never bought into that Christmas morning business. We'd head to the kid-friendly 5:00 Christmas Eve service, agonize through everything after the first 10 minutes of the pageant, use those little pencils to draw all over the offering envelopes and then rush home.  While the men boozed it up, our mom and aunt would take us to the other end of the house so we could throw on tiny kimonos, gussy for photos and - most importantly - watch for Rudolph's nose. We'd find some blinking red light, a mirage of Christmas dreams, and scream like we'd seen a Beatle or Elvis.  Then, suddenly, we'd hear a commotion near the front door.  "Santa!!! STOOOOOPPPP!!!!!," our grandpa would bellow as he ran after him (Santa, being all knowing, knew that we kept the flue closed, so he used the door to avoid trouble). We'd run like gazelles to catch him, but we were always a step behind. However, the heaps of presents were a nice distraction from our failed hunt. I, being very goal oriented, would always tear through my gifts like a greedy ingrate, while Porter, being very attention seeking yet sweet, patiently tortured me with her careful pace and wild rounds of joy tears and hugs following each gift, be it a stereo or a mop (Santa did bring cleaning supplies one year in hopes that we'd use much for being all-knowing). Three or four hours later, after Porter was all dried up, we'd settle down for our feast - a feast we kids never understood: Shepherd's Pie.  This is when I'd finally start to cry.

(I later found out that Norwegians - like my mom's mom - all feast and open presents on Christmas Eve. - they, however, do this without Japanese costumes and unfriendly British food).  

Above: The Photo Evidence, Christmas Eve 1984 (I was 6, Port, almost 2)
Makin' the Most of a Bad Situation...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 5 comments
If the holidays are stressin', weighin' on the nerves, just take solace in the fact that you're busy dodging dodgy relatives - not ice and bullets (ok, maybe ice).  But even then, there'd be reason for cheer.  The incredible Dutch Nationaal Archief flickr pool shows us that it's possible: for captors to dance with their POWs (above: Russians teaching the German prisoners the cossack dance in 1915)...

...for the injured to look past their pain for a spot of wheelchair polo (England, 1915)... add a bit of Christmas cheer to the trenches (German soldiers with Christmas tree and cotton "angel's hair")... do anything for a cig (German prisoner offers an injured Brit a light)... look one's best while marching towards hell (Eton boys after the declaration of war, 1915) see if your friend follows all the rules of a kilt (England 1915).

(So many thanks to Neuf Francs for the heads up on these!)
Rollei Poly

Monday, December 22, 2008 5 comments
Porter and I, obsessed with instant gratification, already exchanged one Christmas gift, hers (for me) being much more grand (a Sony HD HandyCam...our lives - and the blog - will never be the same!).  I, in turn, got her something in the digi photo family, but much, much, much smaller: the Rollei DigiMini camera.  It's got 5 megapixels...and the top down viewer...that old fashioned crank...and a long, long delay.  All things that will be fun and interesting until Dec. 26.  It's damned cute, though.  If nothing else, she'll have an adorable necklace.  
HHH Holiday Shopping Guide v11

Friday, December 19, 2008 7 comments
{1} Inspired by Blade Runner: Roland Mouret's Marceau Coat, Net-a-Porter, $3,645  {2} Inspired by Gattaca: Metal Diane Comb,, $6.69  {3} Inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis: Michael Kors' Cashmere Beaded Dress, Net-a-Porter, $1,797  {4} Inspired by Gattaca: Roger Tallon "Helicoid" Spiral Staircase, 1964, previously available at auction at Treadway/Toomey Galleries, ~$12,000  {5} Inspired by Star Wars (Princess Leia's arm cuff): Vera Wang Snake Necklace, Vivre, $550  {6} Inspired by Gattaca: Handmade OEH1 Ebony Brush, Kent Brushes, £120  {7} Inspired by Uma Thurman's Actual Citroën DS in Gattaca: Model Citroën DS,, $35.64  {8} Inspired by Jude Law's silver, wildly dimpled tie in Gattaca: Purple Label Solid Grey Satin Tie, Ralph Lauren, $175  {9} Inspired by the workers in Metropolis: Pure Blue Japan Denim Jacket, Pure Blue Denim (discovered via The Pursuit Aesthetic)
Oh, Lord...Won't Ya Buy Me...

Thursday, December 18, 2008 13 comments
The song should've gone more like, "Oh, lord, if I buy myself a used Mercedes Benz, won't ya pay for all my repairs?" Case in point: Porter treated herself to half of a 1983 280SL convertible (our folks covered the rest) so she'd have a way to get to the high school parking lot. Not nearly as expensive as all those brand new SUVs parked alongside, but ever so intimidating. One day, a girl pulled her aside for a bit of gossip and said, "Porter, have you seen that little blonde bitch who drives the Mercedes to school?" Porter, the very blonde in question, feigned ignorance and shock. Our high school, incidentially, made headlines in the '80s for a mishap with a Mercedes symbol. Wallpaper takes a look back at these German beauties (which really do last ages, but when the tiniest of problems would arise, Kansas City's German car expert, Emery, would beg to replace the whole engine). (Above: a 1938 540K 'Autobahnkurier')

The interior of the 300S cabriolet from 1952

1934 500K cabriolet (top view)

1934 500K cabriolet (side view)
Love (Potion) on the Rocks

Thursday, December 18, 2008 3 comments
Kazimir Malevich, poor and desperate for a commission, borrowed his friend's coat and headed off to answer a perfumer's call for a bottle that would capitalize on the frenzy over Robert Peary's 1909 trek to the North Pole.  As the incredible mag ArtChronika tells it, this shabbily dressed Suprematist, eventual King of the Black Square, got the job and created one of Russia's most iconic cologne bottles.  Brocard & Co. pumped out these polar bear bottles of Severny ("Northern") cologne through its years as "State Soap Factory No. 5" and then as "Novaya Zarya" until the 1970s. You can find one in most Russian homes today.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 2 comments

Boys sweat the small stuff. Their brains were bred to love minutia, be it baseball stats from 1927 or the details of every Stones recording session or all key quotes from the Criterion Collection.  I operate more like a cave woman or a magpie: "Er, that sure is purdy."  I apply the same system to all things: art, clothes, beauty products, food packages...and music.  I did come close to being detail oriented during my cowboy boot days (2001-2003) when I became obsessed over one greasy-haired musician (I certainly knew everyone he'd ever dated and accrued a collection of about 250 bootlegged songs). Uncut Magazine, coincidentally, had a crush on him, too, so I'd practically eat my fist in anticipation of every new issue. I'd do my best to read every, fantastic word, but there were usually too many.  So when my simple-minded tendencies would take over, I'd just enjoy the accompanying CD. The Best of 2008 issue is out now - and these three made it to the top of the pile.  

Above: For Emma (a capella) by Bon Iver (in an apartment building...and then on the streets of Montmartre)

Wonderful Life by the Felice Brothers

Lost Coastlines by Okkervil River
HHH Holiday Shopping Guide v10

Monday, December 15, 2008 9 comments
{1} Masai Necklace, Masai Education Discovery, $115 and up  {2} Women's Needlepoint Monogram Loafer, By Paige, $158  {3} 19th C. Porcupine Quill Box, Ebay, Bids sit at $60  {4} Needlepoint Crab Baby Shoes, By Paige, $42  {5} Vintage Kimonos, Trocadero, Various prices {6} Fox Needlepoint Loafers, By Paige, $142  {7} Tassel Hat, Cleo Irish Clothing, EUR42  {8} Needlepoint Backgammon Board, Van der Wolks, $295
Military Tsar

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 12 comments
The grass really is greener on the other side when you live in a land covered in ice.  The V&A is taking its visitors on a 200-year trip through the Russian Royals' wardrobes of mainly French-inspired duds.  Magnificence of the Tsars opens today and runs through March 29.

Above: Coronation uniform of Nicholas I, Russia, 1826.  Wool coat with metal braid.
Coronation uniform of Paul I, Russia, 1796. Wool coat and waistcoat, elkskin trousers and felt hat.

Coachman's jacket, Russia, 188-1917
HHH Holiday Shopping Guide v9

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 18 comments
Beautiful things do come cheap! {1} Ringneck Pheasant Feathers, Schusters of Texas, 5 for $5.75  {2} Mini Custom Calling Cards,, $19.99 for pack of 100  {3} Beaker Juice Glass, CB2, $1.95  {4} Blue Fish Net Design Rice Bowl, Pearl River, $3.95  {5} Cameo Seashell, California Seashell Company, $6  {6} Braided Straw Slipper, Pearl River, $9.50  {7} Chocolate Elephant, Li-Lac, $5.50  {8} Bamboo Pens, In Style Bamboo, Set of 6 for $19.99  {9} LC Letter Cone Shell (3”), California Seashell Company, $2.50