Austin Weekend Pt. II | About Town

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 5 comments
Mural on South 1st

Inside Austin's (and one of America's) best men's shops, Stag, at 1423 South Congress.

A taxidermy calf at Uncommon Objects, the terrific antiques mall (1512 South Congress).

The Austin Motel - where I stayed the last time I was in there about seven years ago. Great, but a bit different than the Saint Cecilia.

Boots that need fixin' at Texas Custom Boots at 1601 South 1st Street.

More scenes from the floor at Texas Custom Boots.

Allen Boots - a nice place to go for new boots - some great, some scary, like above-the-knee python/rhinestone numbers that ring in around $1,200 (and Stetsons - see below).

The famous Continental Club at 1315 South Congress.

Customization at Texas Custom Boots.

A seedy, yet amazing liquor option on South Congress. They have booze + mixers + snacks + lemons/limes + styrofoam coolers. All the supplies drunkards and/or football fans need under one roof. Someone should open the organic version of this: Fresh squeezed juices, bitters galore, classic and small batch spirits, high and low beer + cocktail accessories.

Payin' homage to Bud and George Strait at the Broken Spoke.

A key discovery at World Liquors - Twang Pickle Salt! Goes great with Tecate.
(On a totally separate, non-Austin note, check out Diamond Crystal's site - totally cool!)

(Photos by Porter Hovey)
Austin Weekend | Hotel Saint Cecilia (aka Heaven)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8 comments
Porter and I just got back from a glorious long weekend in Austin. We went in wanting nothing more than guacamole, beer/margaritas and a couple new (old) pairs of cowboy boots. We got all that and 80-degree/low humidity weather and four days in Texas paradise at the exceptional Hotel Saint Cecilia. Our friend, the ever tasteful David "Exit Lines" Coggins, told us there was no where else to stay - and that owner Liz Lambert was one of the greatest people to meet (across the board). He was right. It was just perfection.

The beautiful patio - perfect for breakfasting or cocktailing. (Porter's wearing her new vintage ostrich cowboy boots from Texas Custom Boots at 1601 South First Street)

The soulful pool with initially perilous rocking lounges and bean bags.

The outdoor chesterfield outside the lounge.

The view of the courtyard, the old live oak and the mascot Citro├źn from our private balcony. It was like living in a tree house for four days.

A little Proseco poolside. A very lovely welcome gift from some very talented guys (more on that later). (Port's bikini is from H&M).

Inside the lounge.

Morning coffee.

Liz Lambert also owns the great San Jose around the corner on South Congress - and just opened the Havana in San Antonio.

(More on the rest of the trip to come!)
Down to Earth | Untitled 11:11

Thursday, April 22, 2010 2 comments
NY-based designers David Peck and Laurel Anderson use environmentally-friendly business practices (Fair Trade, American-made and eco-friendly whenever possible) for their beautiful Untitled 11:11 line. This Betty Draper number is from the Fall 2009 collection.

Down to Earth | Forestbound Bags

Thursday, April 22, 2010 2 comments
Recycling at its best: Forestbound salvages old fabrics and crafts them into beautiful new bags and totes. This grey and white backpack would come in handy while pedaling around the south of France (or Brooklyn).

Check out their Etsy shop!
Acquisitions | Tory Burch Straw Purse

Monday, April 19, 2010 8 comments
Tory Burch does know how to cook up a great-looking store (they all kinda feel like stepping into the Viceroy Santa Monica, where, incidentally, Porter and I will be staying in a couple weeks - YAY!) - and this season, she's concocted a few really exceptional bags and great pairs of shoes (even a bunch without the ubiquitous gold emblem). When it comes to the purses, she's really great about avoiding a heinous price gouge. This straw and leather handbag with cute Cartier-ish screw details on the hardware runs about $325. Not too bad! It's not available online yet, but I'll keep my peepers open.
That's Amore | Abici Bikes

Thursday, April 15, 2010 10 comments
Yesterday, I saw a gal pedaling around on what looked like a bright orange Pashley with a brown Brooks saddle - and almost fell over. No clue what brand it was, but it may as well have been one of these Neopolitan-colored beauts from Italian bike maker Abici. I've always had trouble understanding who would buy a black Vespa - and now the same burden has hit with bicycles, too.

DIY Tips | Rope Bangles

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3 comments
I saw these great bracelets made of rope, rubber bands (the kind for ponytails), torn fabric and nails at a boutique in Nolita last weekend and my acquisition urge hit me like a kick in the gut. But they cost $160 a pop. So, I thought, hey, I have, like, 1/8th of the necessary supplies at home. I'll make my own!

So I went home, cut off some straw rope, fastened the ends together (to make a circle) with athletic tape, smooshed the sides together and wrapped them in twine and hemp and then fastened the circly end bits with more twine. All of this would be more comfy with cotton rope, but it looks pretty cool. And it took 10 minutes, cost about a buck and will be fun for Earth Day.

Notes: (a) It turns out to be quite difficult to photograph one's hand/wrist in an aesthetically pleasing manner with an iPhone. (b) The nail polish unfortunately came out looking like plain old red, but it's actually this great 1970s refrigerator/terra cotta-ish hue from O-P-I called "Chop-sticking to My Story." I love it.
Well Hung | Eric White Interprets Bruegel at Jonathan LeVine

Friday, April 09, 2010 2 comments
Year 1 AD (approximately): King Herod gets word that a new King of the Jews has been born. In a fit of jealous rage, he orders his soldiers to execute all the baby boys in Bethlehem. (All very shocking events that the Episcopalians back in Kansas City seemed to skip past when discussing Christmas, it seems. That or I was too busy making doodles on the offering envelopes).

1565-1567: Pieter Bruegel the Elder reinterprets the Massacre of the Innocents, but places the grizzly scene in a contemporary snowy Flemish village.

A tiny bit later: Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II acquires the painting, finds all the carnage unsavory (for many reasons in general and for being a Hapsburg in particular) and orders artists to cover all the corpses with hams, cheese and nondescript bundles.

2010: The amazing Eric White reinterprets Bruegel's original heartache (sans ham) on a 16 foot canvas.

See it in person at the opening tomorrow from 7-9 at Jonathan LeVine in Chelsea.

Jonathan LeVine Gallery | 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor | New York NY 10010

A Walk on the Grass

Tuesday, April 06, 2010 3 comments
Yes, they look like something enjoyed by Chinese peasants or Jesus, but I love them. And if you really use your imagination, those little colored toe dots almost evoke Chanel cap toes - and the ankle wraps seem almost like the espadrilles that Coco used to wear on the Italian Riviera! Oh, how great they'd look with cuffed linen pants.