My sad collection of Four. Only 19 more to go.
At $20 - $30 an issue, The Gentry Man affords the "Best Of" for about $13 bucks on Amazon. Chapters speak to 'a good life' spirit. I'd add only one chapter.
Anachronistic travel stories with luggage made out of granite are balanced by insight into travel of style and luxury. Curious to know what happens to an industry hammered by price buyers? Look no further than air travel. Why has elegance gone out of menswear? Because we're wearing the equivalent of a $99 United Airline's ticket.
Publisher and editor, William Segal was an artist and color, despite a fair amount of monochrome pages, was always important. He was always looking to teach and enlighten. Any of the future car color combinations could be used anywhere. Clothing, house interiors or a painting.
Women have the talent to speak in color and understand it as well. Maybe that's why they get along so well with men in interior design. But as an artist and a publisher, color was everything to Segal and I can't help but wonder what he could have done with a larger budget or if he hadn't invested so much in the expensive attachment of swatches and fishing flies.
I'm a big fan of colorful resort wear and am always reminding myself of the 'Time, Place & Occasion' rule. Despite these fellas being in Barbados, I'm not sure the time is right and I can't imagine what the occasion would be.
My favorite chapter is food and drink. I've said it before, I may not be able to drink or screw the rest of my life, but you gotta eat. Author Hal Rubenstein has selected amazing recipes that are, unless you're a vegetarian, amazingly contemporary. If you're a young man and you're looking for classic seduction techniques, I recommend you start with cooking. Groans of passion, as a new friend tells me, can come from your cooking or sex.
These fabric swatches were applied by hand, mostly by young women working in Gentry's offices in the Empire State Building. Whenever I see these, I can't help but wonder who the young woman was that affixed the swatch -- what they were thinking at that moment...and what they would be having for dinner that night. Perhaps with a young man who knew how to cook. It's a lovely image I like to conjure up...
The down side of all the eating and drinking is addressed in another example of wise advice suitable for all of us middle aged men who get out of breath rolling over in bed. Some neat tricks. A tomato juice ordered first thing in a restaurant to fend off the bread basket. A creative use of glasses and a constant portion discipline trumps exclusion of certain foods.
When I was a young man, in my twenties and living in NYC and later Philadelphia...I paid very close attention to women who were artists. I suppose you might say I was a groupie. For me, there was nothing more boring than dating a CPA for an insurance company whose only art on her wall was a framed Winterhur poster and whose books were limited to college texts and best sellers that had never been cracked. I'm not saying I wouldn't stay the night given the opportunity or invitation. I am saying I'd never go back. Usually.
Show me a studio apartment crammed with family pictures, used books and water color or oil painting experiments on the wall. A collage on the fridge and inside a carton of milk gone bad three weeks ago. Thread bare rugs of mysterious middle eastern origin and dark brown furniture bought at a Freeman's basement auction.
You can flip through Hal's book but he warns you'll be missing the bigger picture. Part of it, for me, is that it's hard to live a life if you're just shopping. Hit the road, cook for a pretty girl, enjoy what you're looking at, and, like William Segal, never stop asking yourself, "Who am I?"