In 1925 there were an estimated 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasies in New York City alone. Near the end of the ban on alcohol in 1933 Life photographer Margaret Bourke-White captured some of the city’s elite speakeasies. What an amazing time, to be forced to enjoy to your after work libations underground. It is crazy to think that for 13 years (1920-1933) religious nuts took away America’s booze. I would be scared to see what New York would be like if the liquor was gone.
Who couldn’t use an escape to Nantucket for a week or five right about now? I know I sure can. My pal Stephen sent me a link to the below video of Nantucket c.1950 about a year ago and I remember thinking how terrific the clips are and that they would be interesting fodder for this space. The YouTube user Lipwak (who could have America’s WASPiest collection of YouTube videos) has posted a few dozen home movies from his grandparents collection, everything from Bermuda to West Point. Some of my favorites are below.
Having the good camping gear makes a world of difference when you are out in the wilderness. I get my daily fix for all things outdoors from one of my favorites, Cold Splinters and the site’s author Jeffrey Thrope was kind enough to put together a special round-up of his ten favorite camping / hiking / outdoor items, exclusively for ACL. Check out his picks and thoughts below.
Practical for camping? No, not really. I wouldn’t recommend stuffing a pair of Round House yalls in your pack (I use an Osprey Aether 70) for a huge trek. But if you’re not going that far and you’re looking forward to the lounging time more than the hike itself, get to your campsite, throw down your stuff and change right away. There aren’t too many things as comfortable.
And it’s a beauty. My pal Mr. Cory Moore down in Austin is making strides with his new shop Luther’s. I saw the store in its early early stages back in March when I was in the Texas capital for SXSW. The South Congress boutique stocks some great American stuff, along with all sorts of motor-head gear and is worth a visit if you are down that way. In fact, if you are in Austin tonight Luther’s is hosting an Indian Larry photography exhibit by Timothy White from 6-9pm. Good stuff and nice sign!
Footwear week rolls on with my last reveal of highlights from the Mark McNairy SS10 collection. The man got a lot of ACL play this week, but the shoes are strong so why fight it? With the fall 2009 collection hitting stores, and the McNairy Bass Weejuns making their first waves, it is time for a new round of English made goodness. In my mind it is not since the P-51 Mustang has there been such a beautiful Anglo-American partnership. Okay, I’m going crazy but the shoes look damn good. The collection (along with the new Bass Weejuns) will be on display at Capsule this coming week.
You have to hand it to the folks at RRL, when they do something they do it right. Through my thorough detective work I got my hands on photos of a limited edition pair of bench-made leather boots. As one would expect from RRL, all of the bona fides are present and accounted for. Made in the USA from Horween leather with vintage deadstock Cat Paw heels. The super small quantity (multiple dozens) will be available mid to late August at RRL stores for $750. Rumor is each shop will get a few pairs and that is it, so if you want them you have your work cut out for you. More photos after the jump.
Speaking of tasseled loafers, check out this pair of vintage black leather Royal Imperial Florsheim shoes that I scored at a thrift store for $8. Made in the USA, natch. Eat your hearts out. Since we have already covered so much footwear ground I think I’ll just finish out tomorrow and Friday with more shoe / boot coverage. It is officially footwear week at ACL.