For a minute I came really close to buying a Stetson hat. I was watching the folks at Kemo Sabe steam and re-fit an old hat that had fallen out of shape over the years — and I am thinking “I need a Stetson hat.” Not want, need. Luckily I came to my senses in time to avoid what could have been a silly impulse buy. Not silly because of Stetson (they make some really great hats), but silly because I will never wear that, ever. Kemo Sabe is that type of store. I did end up leaving with a pair of Geier gloves (who are residents of The American List) and soaked in all of the western wear. Boots from Lucchese, Pendleton blankets, gloves, bags and lots of other good stuff. Sort of something a little different than the stuff I feature on ACL, but it was a fun diversion for the day-to-day stuff I tend to shop.
New Yorkers in exile and friends, Jesse Warren and Greg Buntain’s first foray in retail was a pop-up shop called TENET in the summer-friendly hamlet of Southampton. It was a huge success. They must have thought: “We figured out a way to live and work in one the best summer spots — want to do the same for winter?” and TENET Aspen was born. After spending a week out West and getting a chance to meet and hang out with Jesse and Greg, I’ll be the first one to say that you don’t meet nicer people. Not to mention TENET is far and away the best store in Aspen. Obviously, my idea of the best store is a different from that of the super-rich and the super-Euro that are running about, all drunk from Après-ski.
Keep Aspen weird, that has been my battle cry. Maybe it is the fact that I am missing out on that thing (that I love) that is happening in Austin this week. At any rate, I have spent the better part of a week out in Aspen, the fanciest corner of the Colorado Rockies. We did some skiing and we did some snowmobiling, and afterward we went to longtime Aspen resident Hunter S. Thompson’s old watering hole the Woody Creek Tavern for shots of Jameson and cans of Tecate. Nestled neatly alongside a ramshackle stretch of Aspen’s finest mobile homes, the Woody Creek Tavern is quite possibly America’s ultimate dive bar. The regulars each sport their own brand of crazy — upon entering the Woody Creek one particularly welcoming regular inquired as to what spaceship my friends and I had just come from. Spaceship Reality sir.