Acquisitions | Another Friggin' Bag

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7 comments
Prior to finding the great bamboo-handled Gucci at INA, I spent a day convincing myself that it really is ok to treat myself to the Prada Boston bag I'd wanted for two years (6% of my life!) for my 32nd birthday (which isn't until next week).  It's definitely possible for glasses to make a gal feel smarter, but carrying this makes me feel like I could argue cases in front of the Supreme Court - or at least be an extra on The Good Wife.  It even has pencil holders and a little place for business cards! Truly professional.
Protection Protection?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7 comments
Nick Heywood, the man behind the great Nick Haus blog (with the exceptionally cool banner at the top), recently picked up this box that appears to be designed to protect a pith helmet.  Does anyone know anything about these things?

Shooters | Desertion

Monday, September 27, 2010 3 comments
When Peter Schendel surfs up and down the north east coast, he likes to pop over to the abandoned nuclear missile sites nearby (and it seems that there are quite a few). The fact that anything (let alone XL missiles) could be launched with any precision from technology like this blows the mind just like the Apollo missions.  However, we all can celebrate that these rockets never launched.

That door is a large one for humans to enter - just to give an idea of the scale.

Ironically, that little building looks quite Russian.

All photos by Peter Schendel.
Lactose Tolerance

Thursday, September 23, 2010 1 comment

The cheese binge continues. My friend and I met up with artist Max Toth for a quick lunch feast of cheese-laden greatness at New Haven's venerable cheese powerhouse: Caseus. Every bite was extraordinary. There was the amazing burrata, prosciutto and grilled peach salad...the P.F.T. (prosciutto Americano from La Quercia, sliced figs and taleggio cheese) - which is even better with Sriracha hot sauce...the grilled cheese with jamon made on bread slices so thick it makes Texas toast look like, er, Rhode Island/other tiny state toast...and a cheese tart with onions that was like eating a savory, foamier version of creme brulee...and fries with the house-made mayo...and miraculously, green beans (ok -- lots of other green leafy things were on the table, too). If you're up there, you must go (and say hello to owner Jason Sobocinski, the nicest cheese purveyor in the world).

Caseus, 93 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT (or look out for the Grilled Cheese Truck cruisin around town, too).

Incidentally, Max is busy painting more incredible, gigantic scenes of coming-of-age shenanigans for his upcoming show at the Good Children Gallery in New Orleans.  The opening's on Dec. 11, if you're around. (He and some friends put together this great promo for his Little Beasts show at Fredericks and Freiser in New York last year. Check it out.)
Acquisitions | New (To Me) Gucci Purse

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 5 comments
Just a day after deciding to treat myself to a very special early birthday Prada treat from the internet, I found this Gucci for a shockingly affordable price at INA (Prince Street), my all-time favorite consignment shop.  My first black purse!  I am growing up. (Growing up to have $45 and a closet of luxury bags to live on post retirement).
Eataly + The Grocery Revolution

Sunday, September 19, 2010 4 comments
In the days before Sam's Club or Costco, when I was about four, an airplane hanger-sized grocery store called Super Saver landed in Lincoln, Nebraska and it landed with a colossal bang. A bang that involved 50 free samples on opening day. Full Pudding Pops! Want to try salad dressing? Have a whole salad! For a Midwestern kid, it was like rolling into Willy Wonka's factory.  And they had talking cash registers and gigantic bins of candy.  I haven't felt any similar excitement over a grocery store until last week when I popped into Eataly, Mario Batali & Co.'s new 50,000 square foot Italian food/lifestyle megastore across from the Flatiron Building.  It's truly incredible.  Miles of marble and Italian tile.  You can eat gelato or sip cappuccino (pulled from a machine so impressive it looks like it could power a steam engine) or huge glasses of wine or loads of meats and cheese or pizza and pasta -- or you can buy it all to take home.  There's a cookbook section and even a selection of cookware. You do have to battle the throngs, but somehow the madness is sort of well managed.  It makes Whole Foods look like a corner bodega.

Porter and I went back on Saturday and picked up a few goodies (above) for a little Madison Square Park picnic.  The rustic fig and soft olive oil breads were incredible with the salty prosciutto, ricotta from Salvatore Brooklyn and orange blossom honey from Mieli Thun.

They have loads of cheese - pre cut. We picked up an insane saffron and pepper sheep's cheese.  And speaking of cheese, Seattle's Beecher's Cheese is moving in a few blocks south on Broadway!

Eataly, 200 Fifth Ave. at 23rd Street
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3 comments

(Porter and I saw Natalie Portman heading to Barneys over the weekend. She's as tiny and beautiful as you'd imagine - but she looks even better in a tutu).
Acquisitions | The Pearl Knot Necklace

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2 comments
H&M hit a stale patch (are patches stale?) for about a year, but now, they seem to be back! Porter picked up this great long '70s-inspired leopard dress that makes her look like Marisa Berensen lounging around in Marrakech, a tight knit black Sonia Rykiel-lookin' number and this wad of pearls, which I've stolen and am wearing like a heavy, nubbly ascot of sorts.  Only $15!
SS11 | Chris Benz

Monday, September 13, 2010 2 comments
So much of the spring fashion has been white and beige, two colors of which I can normally never get enough, but both Timo Weiland and Chris Benz cooked up batches of adorable vintage-inspired brights - and it was literally sorbet for the achin' eyes. Both were "presentations" where the models stand there so you can examine the fabrics, details and how tiny their necks are (most are roughly the size of man's wrist).  But it's quite wonderful to see the whole collection collected in one batch - like looking at a group of eccentric, well-dressed girlfriends (and boyfriends, in the Timo Weiland case) hanging out to discuss their tiny neck circumference, complete lack of moles and utterly achin' feet. It's quite hard not to touch them, frankly. Here we have Chris Benz.  (Check out New York Magazine's fun behind-the-scenes look at the hair and makeup).

(Photos by Hollister H. Hovey)
Auctions | The Polar Sale at Christie's

Monday, September 13, 2010 7 comments

Christie's London hosts Exploration and Travel including the Polar Sale on Sept. 22 at the King Street Location.  Here are a few of the gems:

No. 1 | A 13 inch scale model of a loaded sledge made by Patrick Keohane for the 1910-1913 British Antarctic Expedition, Est. £4,000 to £6,000, Lot #97

No. 2 |  Potentially the world's most expensive canvas bag, this sleeping bag cover belonged to Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates, who died when he walked out of his tent into a blizzard during the British Antarctic Expedition, Est. £25,000 to £35,000. Lot #174.

No. 3 | The third volume of The South Polar Times: April-October 1911 produced during the Terra Nova expedition, Est. £3,000 to £5,000. Lot#152

No. 4 | Charles Seymour Wright's medals and decorations, Est. £12,000 to £18,000. Lot#164

No. 5 | C.S. Wright's skiis made by L.H. Hagen & Co., Est. £6,000 to £8,000. Lot#129

No. 6 | Report on the work of the Scottish National Expedition, William Speirs Bruce (1867-1921), Est. £2,000-£3,000, Lot 57 
Opening Ceremony + Deyrolle doing Hermès-ish/McQueen-ish Silk Scarves

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 8 comments
The Fashion's Night Out emails are starting to enduce head spins. I just need to know who's serving the most/best booze...who's got Lee Pace or Dominic West on an invite list (probably nobody, which is a good thing technically)...and who's got a purse at which I want to throw a month's rent on a night where it will be impossible to even belly up to a cash register.  Where to start?!  Well, despite its proximity to Herald Square and the likely lack of Pace/West appearances, the Opening Ceremony shop at the Ace Hotel (29th and Broadway) is probably the best target.  They're focused on France now and will be unveiling a bunch of amazing collaborations including Jean Paul Gautier and...DEYROLLE, Paris' little taxidermilogical phoenix!  Thank goodness the great twins behind Identical Eye are better at reading their Fashion's Night Out emails than I.  They've got the full scoop.

Acquisitions | Cheap Ceramic Bird

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 No comments
A couple weeks back, I found this guy hiding in the shelves at Daffy's (which is sort of like the New York/Jersey version of TJ Maxx) - on sale for only $15. He's from China - 2010 era, not 122 AD - but still looks great.
Leather Lovin' | Stewart

Tuesday, September 07, 2010 2 comments
Stewart, a 40-year old family-owned Tuscan leather shop, pumps out beautiful replicas of jackets for fliers and bikers (the motorcycle kind, I'd say...a little too tough for a Vespa). Incidentally, I did a little piece on the history of lightweight leather jackets for the WSJ. magazine a couple months back.