History | A Continuous Lean. - Page 3

Revisiting McSorley’s Old Ale House

Oct 7th, 2014 | Categories: Drinking, History, Jake Gallagher, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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As more and more of New York’s endearingly grimy dive bars are pushed out daily (R.I.P. Milady’s) to make room for whatever organic farm to table “bespoke ale experience,” is trending that month, the precious few hole-in-the-wall joints that we have left in this city must be treasured, least they end up out on the curb like a kicked keg. And no gritty saloon is more worthy of our admiration than McSorley’s, the self proclaimed “first Irish Tavern” in New York City.

With a tap list that includes just two options, a grimy straw floor, and an interior that hasn’t been altered since 1910, “McSorley’s Old Ale House” on 7th Street is where you go when you’ve had enough of the preening and pretension that runs rampant in downtown’s bar scene. “Light” and “dark” are the only words you’ll need to know at McSorley’s, as their minute mugs are exclusively filled with the soapy suds of their two in-house brews.





The Ultimate | An Ode to the Polo Coat.

Oct 6th, 2014 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Outerwear | by Jake Gallagher

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Could it be? Are the leaves already changing? Is the temperature already dropping? Is winter already rounding the corner on us? It feels like summer started just a month ago. Maybe it’s because here in New York, we never had to fully face the syrupy air and searing heat that mark most East Coast summers. But we’ll admit, a mild summer felt like a gift from heavens after last winter’s endless freeze, but it also ensured that those frostbitten memories never quite faded away.

We can still recall mornings where we thought our fingers were going to crack in half, afternoons where seven layers weren’t quite enough, and evenings in which the prospect of building a fire right on the floor of the living room didn’t really seem that insane. This winter experience has us thinking of the weather ahead and considering the purchase of the ultimate overcoat: The Polo Coat.

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The Caricature and the Impossible Interview.

Oct 2nd, 2014 | Categories: Art, History, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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Tourist traps the world over are littered with self-proclaimed caricaturists, but these shoddy scribblers that churn out cutesy watercolors for a handful of cash are nothing compared to the classics. Over time, the term caricaturist has come to signify an artist that is inferior, one that creates works more for shallow entertainment than for true expression. Caricaturists of the past did paint in a style that largely endures today in the rapid-fire works that hang throughout touristy locales, but back then it was the message that the artist was trying to convey through this aesthetic that really mattered. As Marshall McLuhan would say, the medium has now become the message, and that’s a shame, because it has trivialized the works of great artists like Miguel Covarrubias, who were really saying something through their caricatures.

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Remembering The Golden Age of the American Airport

Sep 26th, 2014 | Categories: Americana, History, Travel | by Jake Gallagher

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At this point, modern air travel is so unpleasant, so inconveniencing, so downright annoying that talking about it almost seems pointless, like shouting into a jet engine. If there is one positive to be extracted from all of our collective airline agony, it’s that it forces us to reflect upon a time when air travel was not only enjoyable, but dare I say, sexy. Shows like Mad Men, and movies like Catch Me if You Can play into our rosy-eyed curiosity with mid-century air travel, portraying well-heeled passengers, sociable stewardesses, and those beautiful modernist concourses. Airports of today are drab reminders of just how far you are from home, but in the early decades of air travel these buildings were sleek, shiny shrines to the future. The terminals that serviced America’s larger cities at this time were designed to not only help carry passengers from point A to point B, but also to reflect the progressive spirit of commercial air travel, which had really only taken off (no pun intended) in 1958 with the advent of the Boeing 707. So buckle up, make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position, and travel back in time with us to the golden age of the American airport.





The Escape Artist | Dennis Hopper in Taos.

Sep 21st, 2014 | Categories: Americana, History, Jake Gallagher, Movies | by Jake Gallagher

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It’s become a standard Hollywood story: an actor gets burnt out by the scene and decides that they need to get out of L.A. for a little. They disappear to Marfa, or Capri, or Burning Man only to make a public re-immersion a month or so later, capped off by an interview about how “refreshing” their sabbatical was. Even vacations are punctuated by press releases these days.

The roots of these restorative respites can be traced back to Dennis Hopper, who in 1970 decamped to Taos, New Mexico. Unlike his contemporaries Hopper was driven not by his public image, but by a genuine desire to escape. After fifteen years on the silver screen – beginning with Rebel Without a Cause and concluding with his period-defining masterpiece, Easy Rider, Hopper was in need of a change of scenery. When he had arrived in Hollywood in 1955, he was a straight-laced, baby-faced kid that hadn’t even reached his twentieth birthday yet. In his polo shirts, traddy suits, and slim ties, Hopper had the clean-cut look that execs were looking for, but unfortunately, so did countless other young actors just like him.

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Less, But Better | Principles of Good Design.

Sep 4th, 2014 | Categories: Art, Design, History, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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Dieter Rams never needed his own company.

Throughout his career, Rams brought Braun and Vitsoe to the forefront of modern design, becoming a household name in his own right along the way. And he did this without ever having to step out on his own. The German born industrial designer was larger than any one company, and in fact Rams’ legacy is really larger than any single product that he designed throughout his forty year career. Rams’ minimal and practical products were a vital part of post mid-century design, but he saw the tides changing around him during the late seventies. Design was becoming too busy, too muddled, and too overwrought for Rams’ taste, and so he decided to articulate his design philosophy in an attempt to right the ship. Rams began with the question: “is my design good design,” and the “Ten Principles of Good Design” that followed were as straightforward and useful as his inventions. To this day Rams’ ten commandments are a valuable reminder that less is always better.





Having Some Fun (Shirts).

Aug 21st, 2014 | Categories: Americana, History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Preppy | by Jake Gallagher

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“Those are some fun shirts.”

During a visit to one of his company’s shirt factories in the seventies Ash Wall, the vice president and great-great-great-grandson of Brooks Brothers founder Henry Sand Brooks, picked up a discarded “practice” sport shirt off the assembly line and tossed it on. As he did so, he uttered the above statement in reference to the ten or so different fabric scraps that had been haphazardly stitched together to form this button-up.