Thursday, December 31, 2009

"What are you doing New Year's Eve..."

The first New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square dates to 1904, the same year the first subway line opened. This date also commemorated the official opening of the Times Tower, the NY Times headquarters, the 2nd tallest building in Manhattan at the time and located on the island intersecting at 42nd St., 7th Ave and Broadway.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Farm Tactics

Todd Barket, the good-natured proprietor of Union Made, gave us the lead on this one man operation out of LA that takes dead stock canvas goods and makes them his own. We love the bags: the field backpack constructed from a 1960's Dutch military bag and military webbing; the red tote made from duck canvas conveyor belts; the scout made from dead stock Filson tin cloth; along with the U.S. military spare parts bag fastened with 1960's German hardware. For wear, we want to pick up the heavy weight pocket tank, the draftsman shirt (with a place to stick your writing instrument?) and slub crew. They'll be available at Union Made in 2010 . Visit Farm Tactics for more info.

Monday, December 28, 2009

San Francisco's Union Made

It's been a fruitful first month for Todd Barket, proprietor of Union Made in SF. We couldn't but help ourselves to the reasonably priced- and incredibly soft- short-sleeved raglans and matching sweats, American Optical aviators, Klein toolbags (available in several colors), and self-screened totes. We would have walked out with the vintage plaid flannel blanket thrown over the back of one of the store's chairs. Instead we came to learn its history of once covering Todd's grandfather's sleigh, back in Pennsylvania. He's still got the sleighbells. On Todd's anticipated short list: J Crew, Farm Tactics and Birdwell Shorts. 493 Sanchez Street, SF, CA 94114

Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Feedbag: Istanbul

We can't talk about Istanbul without waxing rhapsodic on the many virtues of its cuisine, from top to bottom. We were first hit with the basics the moment we stepped out into the street and saw the vendors. Freshly baked breads kept warm behind the glass of little red, wheeled carts, fresh mackerel sandwiches, grilled corn, roasted chestnuts, freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, lamb or chicken kebab sandwiches stuffed with french fries (why not). The spice market or Egyptian Bazaar was filled with every nut, Turkish delight, delicious string cheese (the best ever), and honeycomb. We sipped Turkish black tea on the ferry on our way to the Asian side of the City in Kadıköy where we dined at Çiya, sharing small plates of authentic Anatolian dishes of kebabs (never too much), stuffed lamb casings, meatballs (köfte), nettle soup, baked dough stuffed with chicken, raisins, rice and pinenuts. During the day, we brunched in Bebek, an upscale, serene district just north of the old city and right on the coast of the Bosphorus. The restaurant Mangerie was a laid-back, picture perfect place for lingering over fresh sage tea with cinnamon and Turkish coffee as we gawked at the incredible view. In the district of Beyoglu where we stayed, we did the 12-course tasting menu at Changa. The hip 3-story restaurant is housed in a rehabbed 19th century townhouse, its original ceiling still in tact and juxtaposing so nicely with the exposed concrete walls and contemporary sconces. On the 1st floor we walked across the glass window that looked down into the sub-level kitchen below before hiking up the three flights of stairs. Our food was sent up in a modern dumb-waiter, and our water served in jumbo-sized beakers.

Our drool-worthy Istanbul favorites that still stand out after some distance include the winter-only hot drink Sahlep (made from orchid root, milk then dusted with nutmeg), apple tea, baklava made from pistachios then drenched in honey, candied tomatoes and gözleme (blintzes stuffed with either meat, cheese or potato).

-Changa Restaurant, Beyoglu
-Double soup of swiss chard and roasted beets, Changa
-Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, Sultanahmet
-Spice market: nuts, beans, Turkish delight
-Mangerie, Bebek
-Fish bread, Mangerie
-Turkish village eggs over toast, Mangerie
-Grilled corn, Sultanhmet
-Raki, Refki in Beyoglu
-Raspberry nini-pies, Witt Hotel, Beyoglu
-The ferry to Kadıköy





Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nicest Airport Award: Madrid Barajas

It's a privilege to be able to tell your taxi driver that you are to be dropped off at "terminal cuatro," the main hub for Iberia. Since the T4 extension was completed in 2006 by architect Richard Rogers, Barajas has since become Europe's 4th busiest airport and ranks 11th in the world. The double-tiered gates just beyond security in T4 feature a gradual change in the color spectrum, literally. This is one of many visually attractive elements that we love. The warmth of wood in the ceilings and the use of glass material used liberally throughout the double-tiered levels create a sense of liberation in space and sound, achieving exactly what the team at Richard Rogers hoped to convey: calm. For those like ourselves, who break a sweat trying not to miss yet another plane by mere seconds, this airport makes it worth getting there a little earlier if only to relax before squeezing ourselves in for an uncomfortably long, restless ride home.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On the Street: Montreal

This beautiful leather suitcase, strapped to an equally beautiful bike, was parked just outside our hotel in Montreal. Its owner had just taken its twin that'd been strapped to the other side. The New York plate conjures up the vision of our perfect weekend getaway to our favorite city up north.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Shopping: Amoskeag XX

This overalls maker has a strong passion for the history of their namesake, thereby elevating the mystique behind the 18th century Manchester, NH brand, once world-famous for their riveted denim until it all became lost during the great depression. Inspired by the craftsmanship of that original label, Amoskeag XX features a tight focus on a simple collection of denim overalls, undershirts in a choice of two different weaves, outerwear and bags.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shopping: Unis

Celebrate Unis' 9th birthday at their Nolita location today. They're offering a 30% discount all day and drinks between 6-8pm. Everyone is carrying Happy Socks now, including Unis.

226 Elizabeth Street, NYC

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vintage Robert Redford

We just saw The Candidate with Robert Redford and his display of indelible, yet easygoing, cool. It came out in 1972 and he'd already played the Sundance Kid, showing us how good a mustache can look. However, he'd yet to reach the summit of his career and range of style. From bearded and fringed out Jeremiah Johnson, reminding women of the great hazards of kissing facial hair, to pinstriped conman Johnny Hooker to Jay Gatsby in those crisp summer whites, not to leave out Denys Finch Hatton making colonial safari garb fashionable. Note the color shot of him wearing Oxfords and bearing his fur-laden chest on the beach in Cannes. And we heard table tennis was back in.