Archives for March 2014 | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Dublin, Jameson and St. Patrick: The Classic Combination.

Mar 24th, 2014 | Categories: David Coggins, Drinking | by David Coggins

Ger the Cooper

Heading to Dublin with the good people of Jameson for the definitive Irish holiday rightfully makes you a bit nervous. It threatens to be too much of a good thing. Dublin, like New Orleans, has a powerful effect on the imbiber’s imagination. You suddenly hear yourself saying, Yes I’ll have a Guinness at 11am, and it feels perfectly natural. It recalls a line from a novel by the great Irish writer John Banville. Two men walk into a pub before it’s opened and one says innocently: “We were passing by and to our surprise discovered we had a thirst.”

By now, Jameson is so familiar that it’s easy to forget it was founded in 1780. When you wonder why these companies endure, look no further than Ger Buckley, their master cooper who’s worked there for decades. Coopers, of course, build barrels and casks (the original Kennedys—yes, those Kennedys—who immigrated to America were coopers). We watched Ger demonstrate how to assemble one of the barrels that ages the whiskey. It’s a demanding process that Ger made look easy, like an expert fly caster, but of course you know it’s not. The barrels are made of charred white oak from Kentucky, using the same essential technology the Romans invented two thousand years ago. Why change a good thing?

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SIGNALS

Mar 24th, 2014 | Categories: SIGNALS | by Michael Williams

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  • The power of sweatpants. Success outside the dress code. [Wall Street Journal]
  • The story of the secret mission to resurrect a B-2 Stealth Bomber. [LA Times]
  • Every wants to tap into the ‘Maker Movement,” including the big guys. [Ad Week]
  • Leffot has some handsome new suede Quoddys in the shop. [Selectism]
  • Everything you ever needed to know about the ubiquitous Nato strap. [Gear Patrol]

 — Follow ACL on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Rover photo via Its Tactical.

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A Bloody Good Time: At the Bullfights in San Miguel.

Mar 23rd, 2014 | Categories: Adventure, Jared Paul Stern, Long Reads | by Jared Paul Stern

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Blood sports aren’t all that popular these days. But bullfighting, beautiful, brutal and balletic, has been an important part of Spanish culture for hundreds of years. In the otherwise tame artists’ and expats’ town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, founded by the Spanish in 1511, we attended a bullfight recently and came away with one of the most authentic, un-touristy experiences we’ve ever had abroad, one that’s seared in our memory forever. While bullfights have been banned in some countries and toned down in others, in San Miguel tradition holds fast. Hemingway wrote that for a country to love bullfighting “the people must have an interest in death.” That’s certainly true in Mexico’s case, think of dia de muertos. Going to see one felt slightly illicit at first, gothic, decadent and antiquated, as befits what the author and bullfighting aficionado called “the only art in which the artist is in danger of death.”

We won’t get into a discussion of animal rights here, but while unquestionably meeting a cruel and bloody end the bulls are said to have a far better life than most of their ilk up until the final hour. And though they haven’t got much of a chance, there’s always the possibility that the bull will do some damage. The matador who risks nothing will never achieve greatness, and the best bullfighters stick their necks out the farthest. Prayers to the Virgin of Guadalupe are given before each event. In San Miguel the bullfight, or corrida, is in fact a corrida de rejones, meaning that the matadors – in this case rejoneadors – are mounted on horses. That may sound safer but repeatedly stabbing a raging, stampeding bull in the back, from the front, on horseback at full tilt while wearing a suit and hat takes serious cojones.

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Weekend Video | Watching Watches.

Mar 23rd, 2014 | Categories: Video | by Michael Williams

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Over the past few years the guys at Hodinkee have quietly ramped up to become prolific producers of content, churning out watch editorial from all over the world. Two recently released videos are focused on subjects closer to home. The first (above) is another installment in the Talking Watches series —which shines a light on the collections of celebrities, athletes and aesthetes alike— profiles Man of the World founder Alan Maleh. You may have met Alan at one of the Pop Up Flea events, or maybe you have shopped at his store Gentryanyone who has had even the shortest brush with him can easily recognize that the man is as product obsessed. He’s a prolific collector of everything from Japanese denim, to classic cars and of course, watches. This video doesn’t do him justice, though it is a nice glimpse into his (quasi-insane) watch collection.





Putting the “New” in New Balance.

Mar 21st, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, Made in the USA, Menswear, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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The Literal Fire – J. Crew Inferno Orange 998

The current New Balance mania that’s cutting through the sneaker world like a Vibram soled tornado has all the makings of a lost Malcolm Gladwell case study. What exactly was the tipping point that launched NB’s from average schmo staple to fodder for the insatiable menswear masses? I’ll leave that one for Gladwell’s next book, but I will say that New Balance has done an exemplary job at embracing their new-found market. Sure, those old school, all grey sneaks that the Costanza’s of the world used to wear still remain their most popular models, but over the past couple years NB has revamped their classic running shoes to create some damn fine, and for that matter, flashy, designs. It seems that every week New Balance seems to drop another “banger” (that’s what sneakerheads are saying these days right?) so we decided to round up the eight best releases of the past year.

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The Throwback – 997 Reissues





Willy Vlautin Tells It Like It Is.

Mar 20th, 2014 | Categories: Al James, Americana, Books | by Al James

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Has the recent finale of HBO’s True Detective left you jonesing for more pulpy American grit? Do you like your heroes broken-hearted yet courageous, desperate but loyal? Does your hard luck story require just the thinnest beam of light to pierce the looming darkness? Then author Willy Vlautin is your guy.

A Reno, Nevada native, Vlautin moved North to Portland, Oregon in the nineties to paint houses. When he wasn’t up on the ladder he wrote and played in bands. He founded, and still fronts, Richmond Fontaine, one the most-loved rock bands to come out of the Northwest. Starting with The Motel Life in 2007, he has published four novels that fit on the shelf next to Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son and Larry Brown’s Big Bad Love. Immensely talented company, but Vlautin’s work is at home with these greats.

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Future Fabrics | A Technical Textiles Primer.

Mar 18th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Outerwear | by Jake Gallagher

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There was a time in the not too distant past when all of our clothes were truly organic, created along a clear path from seed to seam. Nowadays though, our textiles are not so much grown by farmers as they are developed by scientists who continuously search for new ways to make our clothes better, faster, and stronger.

This quest to meld textiles and technology has given us a whole new set of fabrics that continuously push the boundaries on what a garment can achieve, and today these cutting-edge materials have become almost commonplace. Performance wear and sportswear designers now share the common goal of crafting garments that not only stand out, but also out last their competitors, and so with these fabrics moving from REI up to Barneys, we figured we’d give you all a primer on some of the biggest names in high-tech textiles.