31 October 2010

Weekend Brunch: Dune

Boiled fish, grits & Johnny cakes...plus a view at Dune. Not too crowded now. One & Only Ocean Club, 1 Casino Drive, Nassau, Bahamas

29 October 2010

The Friday Belt: V Trendy

I remember "V Trendy" from London in the early '90s. A not too flattering comment by conservative city chalk-stripe types in banking and insurance to define advertising types in ''Very Trendy' Boss, Gabbana, Prada, et al.

I thought The Trad was over due for a dose of 'V Trendy' and thanks to a party of old friends from London on a tiny island somewhere in the Atlantic - - the perfect opportunity presented itself. The Yank love of Lilly P - Resort - Go To Hell - attire has always been lost on Brits. My '80s vintage Lilly P golf trousers were more laughed at than with. That's okay. These people have been making fun of me for 20 years.

The crowd pleaser was A.K. in a culmination of Prada & Dolce Gabbana. A sort of V Trendy, pointed toe, jean wearing Italian cowboy spun loose with the Ocean Club's own Vesper cocktail (J.B. stayed here don't you know). I'd say he played to the cheap seats but there are none in this bar where a Vesper goes for $22 and a French 75 will set you back $32. Nobody bothered to take pictures of my pants.

27 October 2010

J. Press 70% Off Sale

I always dress too warm for a sample sale. Hotter than hades up on the 29th floor of 530 7th Avenue (bet 38th and 39th) but some great stuff if you luck out size wise. All you short-skinny guys? This is your chance to load up.

Troy shirts, lots of tweed, mostly winter apparel with outright stealing in the damaged / sample area. A nice shawl collar dinner jacket for $10 but no trousers. I do wish Press would do this more often. More fun than a hog killin'. 11:00 - 6:00 Today through Friday

26 October 2010

25 Years Ago Today

Remembering Fall of 1985

Still smells funny inside

16th Street Bar & Grill - White Pizza, Rolling Rock and killer jukebox

Around the corner


$500 a month

PNB from my bedroom window

$1 a shirt

Samson Street Oyster House & Black Cat Cigars - Gone

Still there but Opera barber is gone

Aetna C&S - $19,500 a year and a Ford Tempo - 6th Floor

From Broad Street

Always loved this font

and this building.

It was different then but isn't it always? Philadelphia seemed to work. There were reasons to live in the city. Diversity and youth at every party, bar, restaurant and good time. Timbuk 3, Oingo Boingo, The Feelies, The Hooters, The Motels, Fine Young Cannibals, Jimmy Cliff...The new CD provided a soundtrack to dinner at endless happy hours and endless girls. All the better for a poor batting average. "Oh, God I fell for you."

25 October 2010

Heads Up: J Press Warehouse Sale

James Dean by Phil Stern (1955)

If you're in the neighborhood...

23 October 2010

Weekend Brunch: Cafe Cluny

Leave screaming children and cell phones at home. People here are nursing hangovers.

Cafe Cluny is that West Village, low ceiling, crowded but not too crowded, hip but not too hip, affordable but not cheap, stroller-less kind of institution I love. A soft Sunday morning can be spent at the bar reading the Times, devouring a Bernaise short rib hash ($17) washed down with Cote du Rhone ($11) and... all without screaming children. I'm not sure how they do it.

The bar is the place to be. Communal tables and a tight space turn the dining area into a whole lot more congestion than any sane person (not from NYC) can stand. Most folks at the bar are alone except for their newspapers and the solitude and speediness perched on a stool here can't be beat. It's perfect around 3PM on any Saturday or Sunday afternoon. At the corner of 12th and West 4th.

22 October 2010

The Friday Belt: DIY Sling Belt & Port Tongs

Lou, his little brother and a 1964 Opel Kadett Caravan

Lou is from South Carolina, authors, 64 Tempest.com, a web site devoted to the restoration of the same Pontiac and recently made a sling belt from one of his grandfather's rifles. I can't nail two boards together so I thought Lou deserved a guest spot on a special DIY Friday Belt.

Lou's restored sling belt

After my Grandfather died, I became the custodian of his three rifles, a Winchester 74, a Remington Scoremaster, and a Mauser. They haven't been fired in years. I really don't give them much thought - just the occasional glimpse at the gun rack as I walk through my den.

Not much thought about them -until last night. Inspiration straight from the pages of The Trad: Friday Belt hit me in the head. A real gun sling belt - that would be cool - wait, I think I have an old sling!

I rummaged through the bottom drawer of an old dresser that I keep in my closet and found the sling. I proudly told my wife that it was destined to become a belt. Not just any belt, but a special belt. She smiled and told me that years ago she had pulled it out of the trash after I threw it away. What a wonderful woman!

I touched it up a bit with some leather lotion and cleaned the brass. The color and texture of the leather and the dull glow of the single brass claw are beautiful, and can never be replicated in a factory, no matter how much "heritage" is applied.

I wore the gun sling as a belt for the first, and perhaps last, time today. Age and lack of care on my part have taken their toll. The leather is cracked and dry and the claw rivets are giving early indication that they could soon pull out. I could try to have it repaired, but I don't know if it would be the same. Even if I never wear it again, I still have the satisfaction of having taken an ordinary item and using it for a special purpose.

I've been enjoying G & T all summer, but I know that drink has already been featured. When I was younger, I was partial to a Tom Collins - made with Canada Dry Collins Mix. I haven't had one in years. I know its not a cocktail, but with the approach of colder weather, I'm looking forward to drinking Port again. I'll just let you select the drink, as I'm not very adventurous. It's only been a short time since South Carolina finally got away from mini-bottles, so getting a well-mixed cocktail in this state was virtually impossible for most of my adult life.

Lou, I'm going to suggest a 1966 Vintage Port. Dow, Warres, Fonseca, Taylor; Doesn't really matter just make sure it's a '66. It'll set you back $200, $300 even $400 depending on the house. Old Port bottles can be a mother to open but trust me...it's worth the effort. And here's a DIY video that has your name written all over it. You'll have as much fun opening it as drinking it. Save a glass for me.

21 October 2010

A Penny For Your Logo

I hate this decal

Alcohol used to work but not anymore

I heard about a penny

Softly in an up and down motion

It works

They look better

There's still a logo -- Where it belongs

I remember going to Six Flags when I was a kid and the old man leaving a sign on our car, "NO STICKERS" or something to that effect. The Summer between the army and college, I worked as a security guard at Marine Land and twice a day stuck blue porpoise stickers on people's bumpers. I could count the number of "NO STICKER" signs that Summer on one hand.

I'm contradicted when it comes to logos. I love Duck Head khakis and Lacoste shirts (never together mind you). But that annoying Ray Ban sticker irks me and I'm not sure why. Maybe because they had no where else to put it. Or, maybe when I look someone in the face I don't wanna see "Ray Ban" looming between their forehead and cheek. Who knows.

This must be my 20th pair of Aviators. Years ago I used a little alcohol on a Q tip to take the decal off. Doesn't work anymore. The boys at Ask Andy suggested the soft edge of a penny. Gotta love it. Unless of course you like the Ray Ban logo in which case there's one on the temple. And it's just about the right size.