Archives for August 2012 | A Continuous Lean.

Pinup Provocateur: Bunny Yeager’s Darkroom

Aug 31st, 2012 | Categories: Books, David Coggins, Photography | by David Coggins

These days we are rarely without a camera, yet how often do we hold an actual photograph? We flip through streams of jpegs, on Tumblr, Instagram and the rest, we “like,” reblog and create virtual slideshows. We get daily dispatches from friends on alpine treks, course-by-course accounts of elaborate meals, and inspect carefully curated interiors. It’s so easy to create an evocative filter that we’ve become suspicious of what we’re looking at. It was not always thus.

Bunny Yeager’s photographs are direct and bracing. They remind us of the basic power of controlling the image and the elemental act of provocation. It should be mentioned that she was a pinup girl and named “world’s prettiest photographer” of 1953. You can enjoy her handiwork in the new book Bunny Yeager’s Darkroom: Pin-Up Photography’s Golden Era, (Rizzoli).





Caught in Time | Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Aug 30th, 2012 | Categories: Food, Kate Dulin | by Michael Williams

Dim sum is one of those things that I always want to eat, but rarely do. Chinese restaurants in New York City with dim sum are madhouses on weekend mornings (when dim sum is typically served in the States), and it’s best to go with a big group in order to maximize pushcart access and dumpling variety. But rallying a bunch of my hungover, bacon, egg, and cheese-craving friends for anything but an American-style brunch early on a Sunday morning is never an easy task.

Thankfully, a friend of mine recently recommended Nom Wah Tea Parlor, where it’s totally acceptable to eat dim sum anytime, regardless of the day of the week or who’s coming along. Though new to me, Nom Wah is the oldest dim sum restaurant in the city and a New York City institution. It opened at 15 Doyers St. as a bakery and tea parlor in 1920, but lost its lease in 1968 and was forced to move into the building next door. It has been at 13 Doyers ever since.

Below: Pell St & Doyers Street circa 1901.





Ghurka Cavalier II No. 97 for Park & Bond.

Aug 29th, 2012 | Categories: Bags, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

There’s a powerful feeling one gets when walking through the beautiful architecture of New York’s Grand Central Station. If one was to think about that experience and pair it with a travel bag —much in the same way you would pair a bottle of wine with a meal— this special Cavalier II No.97 by Ghurka is very obviously the perfect carryall for the occasion. I don’t even want to think about the bag that would represent Penn Station, though I’m sure you all have some ideas.

Just recently, Park & Bond got together with Ghurka to create these two exclusive bags: a weekender and a dopp kit. Both of the monochromatic bags are done in the online retailer’s colors of navy and red, with a subtle Park & Bond ampersand logo embossed on one side. Ghurka, which has been going through a bit of a revival as of late, has never done a bag in navy canvas and has never used navy leather, which sets these pieces apart from the other equally handsome goods that the company turns out of its workshop in Norwalk, Connecticut.





Just the right amount of change at Saint James.

Aug 28th, 2012 | Categories: France, Menswear, Uncategorized | by Michael Williams

The knitwear from Saint James has remained much the same since 1848. The colors, patterns and materials all draw directly back to what the company was doing over a century ago. It’s the French brand’s consistency that is the allure. This week though, there’s a ripple of newness in the storied company’s seas as a special capsule collection from France’s Saint James arrives exclusively at Barneys New York. The small knitwear range consists of eight pieces that were inspired by a take on classic-American-sportswear-meets-Brittany with elements like the Ivy League shall collar and the Henley shirt mixed with traditional French design details like Breton stripes. Rest assured, all still made in the company’s factory in Normandy.

The new styles build upon the original simplicity of two favorite Saint James classics, the striped side-buttoned fisherman sweater, “Matelot”, and the ecru-navy long sleeve jersey, “Meridien” and sticks to the traditional Saint James color palate of red, navy and natural. Everything was designed by Martin Carvajal, who previously worked at Freeman’s Sporting Club. I have to say, Martin did a good job of making it different without, well, fucking it up. It’s about as adventurous as I would really want to see Saint James get, which basically says to me that this is a success. It’s like my old man says: “change is Bad.” In this case, a slight change is welcomed and even appreciated.





Go West, Young Man. | Hiking Red Rock Canyon.

Aug 26th, 2012 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

“Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.” -Horace Greeley.

Every year, twice a year we go to Las Vegas for the trade shows in the massive convention center halls. It’s a humbling experience to be honest and one that is, frankly, just part of the job. After attending these shows for the past seven years, it goes without saying that if Vegas was left off my calendar for a season or six I would survive.

If it weren’t for the adventures we have had Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area I don’t think I would survive the week. In the summer it’s a tough battle with the heat (bring and drink lots of water, it is so hot you won’t know how much you are sweating until it is too late) but still worth it. The park boast some incredible hikes for all levels with lots of open country to roam. If you head out on the intermediate trails (and above), you will likely encounter folks that take the outdoors pretty seriously (translation: it will be far less annoying and you won’t have to brush by a bunch of people checking in on Foursquare and whatnot), which is nice. When the hiking is done, take a seat and enjoy what is undeniably the best view in Sin City.





One of the Missing.

Aug 22nd, 2012 | Categories: Video | by Michael Williams

One of the Missing is the late Tony Scott’s first film about a Confederate soldier on a scouting mission during the Civil War. The story was written by Ambrose Bierce (an equally adventurous and talented man) in 1888 and is an incredibly powerful piece of American fiction that led to a stunning (and now, a rather uncomfortable) directorial début by Tony Scott.

While the motivations and circumstances surrounding his death aren’t abundantly clear, Tony Scott was an incredibly gifted artist and storyteller. While the style of One of the Missing differs greatly from the style that made him a one of the most successful directors of all time, it is easy to see the man’s brilliance here.

Via Alexander Olch, a talented director in his own right.





Bags for Everyone by Tim Adams.

Aug 18th, 2012 | Categories: Bags, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

Tim Adams makes bags for everyone. Don’t believe me? It says it right at the top of his website.

What really struck me about the bags is the simplicity of the concept and the utilitarian design. After looking into things more and thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that Tim Adams really does makes bags for everyone. Being the manufacturer (everything is made entirely by hand in his studio in Portland, Oregon) and also the seller, it allows for an affordable pricing structure at $149 for the medium bag and $169 for the large. There’s only one style available, but multiple colors and, as I just mentioned, only two sizes. No need to over complicate things — an approach that could be much more widely adopted.

These are just simple, honest, well designed bags that everyone can use and enjoy. I think the world needs more people like Tim Adams.