Archives for October 2011 | A Continuous Lean.

Brass Tokyo | World’s Coolest Shoe Repair Shop

Oct 31st, 2011 | Categories: Footwear, Tokyo | by Michael Williams

There’s a shoe repair place called Brass in Tokyo like no other I have ever been to. The guys from Red Wing Japan took me there last time I was in country. Often it’s those moments — like when I was first introduced to Brass in person — that make me realize the Japanese can still do ‘Americana’ better than Americans. I could easily see a place like Brass in Portland or Brooklyn or L.A., but I doubt it would have the customer base to actually survive. Maybe I’m wrong though.

Guys come from all parts of Tokyo to have Brass resole their Goodyear welted shoes. In the shop I saw footwear from Alden, Edward Green, Wesco and of course Red Wing; it wasn’t just fine leather bottom shoes it was a mix of brands and styles. That is something that impressed me about Brass. Normally in New York you go to a repair shop and they can redo a pair of Aldens (and know their stuff), but I’ve seen a lot of boots come out of those shops that just look ridiculous. I take my shoes to Mouded Shoe on 39th Street or to VIP on 55th, but never my boots — those get sent back to the OEM. Red Wing has a pretty amazing shoe repair facility in Minnesota (which I have seen a few different times) and Allen Edmonds also has a great repair service which I have also toured. But if I lived anywhere near Brass I would definitely have to try out their service.

Cured Meat for the Soul | Salumeria Biellese

Oct 26th, 2011 | Categories: Food, Kate Dulin, New York City | by Kate Dulin

My family has always had a theory that the uglier and more out of the way a restaurant, the better the food. When I was a kid, my dad was under the impression that there was nothing worth eating in our suburban Chicago town, so we routinely found ourselves at 65 Restaurant in Chinatown, which had a giant red and gold Buddha in the entrance and a wonton soup to which I compare all others.

I felt a little out of the loop when other kids would talk about eating deep-dish pizza from our local Giordano’s chain, but we had Buffo’s; a sleazier, wood-paneled joint 45 minutes from home with decidedly better pizza. While it used to annoy me, I’ve come to embrace the theory wholeheartedly as I’ve gotten older. It’s no secret that restaurants that look like they’ve stood the test of time tend to serve great food, or maybe food just tastes better when you have to work a little for it.

Either way, Salumeria Biellese is one of those places. If it weren’t for the sun-faded press clippings and awards plastered all over one of the font windows, you could walk by every day and not realize that it offered anything to distinguish it from the hundreds of other generic corner delis in the city. It resides on a stretch of 8th Avenue below Penn Station with little to lure in crowds besides superior encased meats. While locavorism and slow food have become increasingly popular in recent years, Salumeria Biellese has been making its own cured meats and sausages since 1925. They expanded operations to New Jersey a few years ago, but local family farms continue to supply all of their meat (mainly Berkshire hogs), and the salumi are based on traditional Piedmontese recipes.

ACL + Club Monaco | Made in U.S.A. Collection

Oct 25th, 2011 | Categories: Clothing, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

If there was one thing I wanted to do with my partnership with Club Monaco, it was to create a collection of clothing that was made right here in the United States. We had to do it. How could we not do it. The good news — the great news — is that Club Monaco was all for it from day one, from minute one.

This fall — any day now really — the capsule of shirts, suits and ties will be available at select stores in NYC and at the Bloor Street flagship shop (which will boast an awesome new men’s shop within its historic walls) in Toronto. The collection is based off the existing Club Monaco fits and are built to stand up to the test of time — classic, well made clothing. To give guys a better sense of what we wanted to do with this Made in USA collection we produced a little film to take you into the workshop to see the people and places where these garments are made.

Ohio Grit

Oct 22nd, 2011 | Categories: Americana, Ohio, Photography | by Michael Williams

Weekend Warrior | Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

Oct 20th, 2011 | Categories: Autos | by Michael Williams

If I was on a naming committee at Cadillac I’d suggest adding the word “merging” to the moniker for the Detroit car maker’s high performance CTS-V sport wagon. You know, CTS-V Wagon Merging Edition; because all you want to do when you drive it is get on the highway and merge. Another possible name could be the CTS-V Wagon Darth Vader Edition.

Love the stealth inspired styling or hate it, you can’t help but to have near-blackout inducing amounts of fun driving one of these machines.

The 2012 CTS-V Wagon has a modest 6.2L supercharged V8 power plant. Wonderfully, Cadillac even offers it with a manual six speed transmission for about as much torque as I have ever experienced in a car. Just talking numbers, it has 556 horsepower and performance stats (0-60 in 4 seconds) that rival that of a BMW M5 (and for thousands of dollars less). Like I said earlier, like the angular styling or not, you can’t help but to want to drive this car — at least for a weekend.

Las Vegas in Kodachrome c.1962

Oct 17th, 2011 | Categories: Americana, Video | by Michael Williams

The guys at Devour just posted this great video of what I’m guessing is 16mm Kodachrome home movies from a group of Chicago Police officers and their wives while they visit Las Vegas in the early 1960s. The opening sequence takes place in a bus with long curved plexiglass windows (which makes for easy viewing of the Nevada / Arizona country) and is perfectly clear and in focus — incredible stuff. The quality of these home movies are pretty astonishing when you consider the era and equipment. Brings to mind the footage of VJ Day that we posted back this past August and the amazing Malibu home videos from 1965. Really interesting to see what Vegas was like in those days and how it has changed.


Oct 17th, 2011 | Categories: SIGNALS | by Michael Williams

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