Monday, March 29, 2010

Mixtape: Dum Dum Girls

On Jail La La (our favorite song off the Dum Dum Girls Sub Pop debut I Will Be) front woman Dee Dee brings to mind the nostalgia of a reverbed Grace Slick mixed with the clarity of Petula Clark then worn thin with the jadedness of a dark, smoky room somewhere in Malibu, in the 70's. Hey, it's our fantasy, not yours. But it's that unexpected juxtaposition that has us excited for the first time in awhile. Apparently, wishes can also be granted in the form of dream producers. Dee Dee sent her recordings to music industry veteran Richard Gottehrer of Voidoids, Blondie and Go-Go's fame (and having most recently produced the Raveonettes, to which Nylon can't stop comparing them to the Dum Dum Girls), bringing him on as post-producer: "He used better versions of effects that he could tell I was going for and made it more grown-up," Dee Dee stated in the March issue of Nylon. They open for The Girls at Webster Hall in NYC this Saturday, April 3rd.

photo by Tamar Levine

Friday, March 26, 2010

Slim Aarons

Thanks to our Rio getaway and the tease of springtime that hit us upon our return to NYC last week we haven’t stopped daydreaming of hot, dry summers spent sunbathing poolside or longboard surfing in Newport Taking our daydreaming further into the depths of fantasy we wish we could turn back the clock and head to Acapulco circa 1960 to catch our mothers in flowered bathing caps, sunning on lounge chairs as they dipped their toes in the racquet club pool. Or maybe we’d screw the beach scene and take advantage of the last few minutes of winter by heading to vintage Vail or Stowe, only to catch the rays atop a serene, snow-capped peak.

Mad Men was obviously inspired when they plopped Don and Pete in the middle of 1960’s L.A. and Palm Springs in Season 2, Episode 11. It was these iconic photos by Slim Aarons that Matt Weiner brought to life on the small screen. Slim is the name behind a large body of work that captured beautiful people in beautiful places enjoying the beauty of life and leisure, spanning about five decades. Born in Manhattan in 1916, George Allen Aarons set up an office for Life magazine in Rome after WWII, in which he won a Purple Heart after serving as an army photographer in combat, thus igniting his career and lifestyle. Often the portraitist yet more often the fly on the wall, he was one of them, taking holidays on the coast of France, Italy, Greece, Portgual, Spain, Bahamas, Scottsdale, Palm Springs/Beach, Lake Tahoe and wintering in Gstaad, Stowe, Klosters, Vail and Verbier. His portraits of celebrities and society's elite are recognizable to us all, and they made TLF linger just a little bit longer as we wondered of parallel realities where Chinese pagodas and Grecian columns were the norm on long ago seaside estates. Below are some of our favorite shots, beachy and non-beachy alike. Despite their distance from the resorts, we couldn’t help but include his famous candid scenes from the stables at Foxcroft along with the shooting party on a misty morning.

Bailey's Beach, Newport
Kaufman House, Palm Springs
Eden Roc
Fontainebleu, Miami
Barefoot Mrs. Atwood
shooting party, Vienna
Acapulco, facing old Acapulco
Foxcroft School, MIddleburg, VA
Lake Tahoe
Oscar de la Renta, Dominican Republic
Mr. Slim Aarons

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring in Brooklyn

In the last 6 years we can't remember the last time it was this warm in the month of March in NYC. Yesterday we came out of hibernation mode, starting off with last summer's favorite brunch spot Vinegar Hill House (yes, the Reuben Sanchez is still permanently on the menu). Then we strolled down Henry Street, weaving through the strollers, took a left on Atlantic and walked through Boerum Hill, where we lingered at Darr over hunting trophies and burlap sacks. We browsed Hollander & Lexer across the street, took note of the rack of white linen vests and seersucker shirts. More burlap sacks at Smith & Butler before we finally rested our feet at Clover Club amid an updated menu of sours, bucks, mules and a handful of spiced almonds. Hopefully it's not just a tease but we'll get a true Spring the rest of this season.

The bar at Vinegar Hill House
Unmarked exterior of VHH
Clover Club: 
Carrera Sour of anejo tequila, pear nectar and jalopeno syrup and fresh lemon juice; spiced almonds
Uncle Buck of silver tequila, chartreuse, pineapple, lime and ginger syrup
Spicey Pete of single malt scotch, Velvet Falernum, ginger beer, lemon, orange and agave syrup

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Carnal Knowledge

As part of our winter ritual of catching up on our classics on lazy sundays over homemade meals that have been braising all day, we liked this Mike Nichols' once-controversial take on two friends Jonathan and Sandy- played by Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel, respectively- who continually objectify the women in their lives based on their divergent ideals of sex and love. It starts from their pre-sexual revolution college years (a great time for that toggle peacoat you see Jack wearing) then ends with their bitter, emasculated anti-climax in the Vietnam era. Candice Bergen looks so beautiful and fresh-faced; and Ann-Margret won the Golden Globe for her supporting role as Jonathan's unstable, sexually-spent wife. Not a bad companion to Nichols' Closer come to think of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Getaway: Hotel Fasano in Rio de Janeiro

You may've already read the Sartorialist post on Rio's Hotel Fasano last month, not to mention his companion photo-editorial in the March issue of GQ, and Garance's lovely photography that points out all the things we love about it too. There's really not a lot more to expand on the gorgeous photos of the rooftop pool/lounge and the beautiful people that glide in and out of the ground floor nightclub Londra on a weekly basis (it's still really all about Friday and Saturday nights in most places), except to add a few of our own photos that pretty much articulate what words can't. We liked the ground floor dark wood plank floors, always a bit sandy from beach-treaders, to the gauzy curtains that separate into three the check-in, the backlit runway that leads to Londra, and the spaciously serene sitting room that conjurs up nostalgia for Brazilian summers in the Amazon with its homage to another time and even place. Where Conde Nast Traveller (UK) sees Philippe's Starck's design as "uncharacteristically restrained," we saw passion thrust into a small breezy space with several vintage literature and photography and chairs, side tables and couches made from tropical wood and leather in at least 4, maybe even 5, sets for intimate conversations or meetings. Not to mention the incredibly large single piece of reclaimed wood being used as the front desk, and also weighing about 6 tons.

From top: 
king bed in room 313
reclaimed tropical wood coffee table
leather chairs under a vintage clock
rooftop pool on a lazy monday afternoon
fig and pineapple/grape drinks mixed with coconut water
the rooftop scene
sliding glass bathroom door
the 3rd floor hallway
room 313 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Travel: Jose Ignacio

Just a little further down the road from Uruguay's Punta del Este is a low-key, primarily untouched stretch of beach punctuated by a lighthouse called Jose Ignacio. The NY Times likened this sleepy little town to what the Hamptons were in the '60's. And although we weren't around then we can't help but notice the similarities to Montauk in the off-season only with better beach weather. Don't be surprised if you happen to be waiting for a table at the ultra-chic La Huella (right on Playa Brava) along with Argentinian footballers and polo players, especially in January when Punta del Este is at its height of the Summer season. Or aim for late February after the craziness has died down, and stay at Casa Suaya for an air-conditioned suite facing the ocean across Ruta 10. Anywhere you go, the seafood is incredibly fresh- we haven't had better grilled octopus since. There's also something special about those ubiquitous clay wood-fired ovens, because the pizza there was a total pleasant surprise whether it was the pistachio and gruyere from La Huella, the tomato and grana padano from Restaurant Garzon in Pueblo Garzon, or Marismo's margherita cooked in a treehouse (see below picture). At Marismo you have your choice of digging your bare toes in the sand at one of the tables next to a bonfire or up in a treehouse where you smell the smoky goodness from sitting right next to the kitchen. You literally walk through the trees before you find your way along a candlelit path to this restaurant, where you may be greeted by the long-haired owner himself or his family. It's where we had our first taste of provoleta- a disk of provolone seasoned with oregano and olive oil then grilled in one of those infamous clay ovens. Warning: don't call it white wine sangria. It's clerico and we drank it like water. We're still dreaming of our return and hoping it remains just as low-key as it was then. Although they were building a Setai off Ruta 10 last year and there is now a new Fasano location in the works.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mixtape: Atoms for Peace

"It has been decided that we call ourselves Atoms For Peace. Hope you like it...It seemed bleedin' obvious," stated Thom Yorke on the Radiohead website a couple weeks ago. It's the band he's been having "too much fun" with, having performed The Eraser live at Coachella last year. And they're now taking that fun on the road to 5 cities, including New York, in early April. Bandmates include Flea (bassist for you know who), Joey Waronker (drummer for Beck, R.E.M, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.), Nigel Godrich (guitarist and Radiohead producer) and Mauro Refosco (Brazilian percussionist for Forro in the Dark). The band is named for track 6 off The Eraser as well as for the December 8th 1953 United Nations address President Eisenhower gave before the General Assembly, in which he referred to the "new language of atomic warfare" in the wake of the cold war.

Tickets went on sale for the two New York Roseland Ballroom shows yesterday at 10am. Craig's List and eBay have since been swarming with inventive ways for scalpers to sell the paperless tickets. Flying Lotus opens.

New York, Roseland Ballroom 4/5 & 4/6
Boston, Citi Wang Theater 4/8
Chicago, Aragon Ballroom 4/10 & 4/11
Oakland, Fox Theater 4/14 & 4/15
Santa Barbara Bowl 4/17