30 April 2008
Doing what they do best. After work drinks where everyone gets tanked on White Tops followed by a late night Curry. It was after one of these nights of Curry I invented a new product. Butt sized chap stick. It should be sold in all Curry houses. Next to the cash register (till). One time use only. I could make a fortune in London.
26 April 2008
Look at these cheeky bastards, yeah. Right away the stripes give them away. Always have. That and the double breasted suit and the Hermes tie.
These are two gentlemen who work in the "city" with the uniform of banking or insurance. Double cuff shirts are never called French cuff and are preferred for work. Button down shirts are too informal for the city and usually frowned on. Plus, you can't wear them with a DB suit so what's the point, yeah?
The mixing of stripes is popular and the wilder the better. A good friend of mine was asked to leave Lloyd's of London for wearing a Khaki poplin suit. He was told that he wasn't on Safari and to go home and change.
Shoes are usually Monk Strap or Cap Toe with metal taps on the heels. It's a sound I love hearing on the sidewalks near Lime St. Socks are Marks and Sparks. And on POETS day (Piss Off Early Tommorow is Saturday), brokers spill out of the Lamb Pub in Leadenhall Market and take over the sidewalk drinking pints and smoking B&H Golds.
I love it and I love them. Have for some 22 years now. Nothing gives me more enjoyment than to wear a single breasted sack blazer with an oxford cloth button down, a Repp tie with flat front trousers and shell cordovan loafers. But, when in Rome, yeah?
22 April 2008
16 April 2008
More Trad Dad
I remember when he left. We were at Pope AFB. He kissed my mother and sisters goodbye. He turned to me, pointed a finger at my chest and said, "You screw up once while I'm gone - - I'll come back here and kick your ass. You got that?" I nodded in the affirmative. He turned, threw his duffel bag on his shoulder and walked off to a waiting C130.
As a kid, I walked a fairly straight line. That is, I made every effort not to piss him off. Growing up on Army posts was somewhat unique in that a child's actions were a direct reflection on his father as well as his father's career. As I watch children today running loose in stores, kicking the back of my plane seat from Heathrow to O'Hare, demanding everything from their parents and most recently...video taping the beating of a fellow student...I am reminded of what it was like to grow up with this kind of father. Who could give you that kind of look. Thanks, Dad. If that ain't Trad - - I don't know what is.
The Trad Museum
Some things don't change and thank goodness the Met in NYC has kept this exhibit going. I first saw these guys in the mid 80s and damned if they're not still at the Met. I remember walking into this room for the first time and seeing these four Knights and thinking , "Holy shit. " Probably not what the curator was after but it blew me away. Still does.
Is it Trad? I think it is. I mean it's the Met. And any Trad knows that if this stuff bores you there's always the Wine Bar where you can get a bottle of Claret for $40. That's a pretty good deal for a NYC museum. So sit at the bar, share a bottle of wine with a friend, cross your legs so everyone can see your socks and talk about the fact that none of this stuff would be here if people didn't have sex. You can't get more Trad than that.
11 April 2008
The Trad Hotel on the Trad Island
I fell in love with Bermuda on my first visit. It was England...but with sun. The taxi ride from the airport to my hotel in Hamilton was magical. It was a Friday afternoon and all of the traffic was coming toward us. Men on scooters in blue blazers, Bermuda shorts, kneesocks, Rep ties and sunglasses. Quick images of the ocean outside my taxi window framed by flowers and pink houses with electric blue shutters and bone white roofs. The humid breeze was soaked up by my dry, five below zero with the wind chill flesh. This place is so Trad and I haven't even discussed Dark and Stormies yet.
I stayed at the Hamilton Princess. I was on business and it was where everyone else was staying. A nice pool. Horrible food but only idiots and the lazy ate at the hotel. I was introduced to Dark and Stormies at the hotel bar. Barrits Ginger Beer and Goslings Black Seal Rum. With a lime. Somehow this drink manages to taste like Bermuda. I was invited to tea by some locals at Waterloo House. A charming little hotel between the Princess and downtown Hamilton pictured above.
I'm sitting in the courtyard drinking Lapsang Souchong and nibbling McVitties digestive biscuts and wondering why I'm staying at the Princess when I can be staying at Waterloo. I am on expenses. What do I care. And so I started staying at Waterloo when I could. It's small. Only 30 or so rooms and tends to fill up fast. And that's the reason it is to be closed.
"Not as good as it was but better than it will be." Remember that.
Bermuda, God bless her, has managed to keep most Yanks out of her knickers due to some serious employment and real estate laws. But Bermuda has gotten the whiff of money. Insurance money. Quiet and serious stuff. It seems the footprint of the Waterloo is too small for a 30 room hotel. As it is, this charmer sits between multi-storied midrises whose tenants count insurance company money. Waterloo will close this July based on information just passed to me by a good friend. She will be replaced with office space more in line with the value of the land.
I am in mourning. Maybe the best thing about getting older is knowing that everything wonderful will be shit canned by some ass hole with an accounting degree. By the time I'm my father's age nothing will be left. "Not as good as it was but better than it will be." I'm translating that into Latin and putting it on all my Polo shirts.
09 April 2008
08 April 2008
The Trad Movie Theatre
Over the weekend I caught the Rolling Stones Docu at the Imax in New York. $16.00 a pop. When my Dad returned from a tour in South Korea, I pestered him to take me to see the Beatle's docu, "Let it Be." Walking out of the theatre he said, "Those guys could shit in a paper bag and people would buy it." I felt the same way about the Stones. I guess I am turning into my father.
The next day I went to the Paris for some contrast. It's a lovely little place tucked between the Plaza Hotel and Berdorf Goodman. Been there for 65 years and has yet to be chopped up into some cash inhaling multi-plex with postage stamp screens, video games and the ever present 16 year old hoovering the carpet. The "Lounge" is downstairs and damned if it ain't a lounge. Plush seating and art decco details everywhere. It really is something from a time long gone. There's even an open balcony. It's civilized and that's Trad.