Long before the L Train became one of New York City’s central arteries shuttling straphangers between Manhattan and the steadily gentrified neighborhoods of Northern Brooklyn, there was the El Train, an elevated rail line perched above Third Avenue. The El (which as you might have guessed was short for Elevated) was founded by the New York Elevated Railway Company in 1875, becoming the city’s second such line, alongside the NYERC’s Ninth Avenue Line. The service initially ran from the South Ferry to the foot of Harlem, but was expanded after being purchased by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company in the early 1900′s.
Despite the shameful mall brand that it has morphed into over the past couple decades, there was a time when Abercrombie & Fitch was great. More than great even, Abercrombie & Fitch was important, a brand that was as integral to our country’s culture of clothing as it was to our culture as a whole. This was a company that outfitted presidents and pioneers, authors and actors, explorers and icons. Today, the Abercrombie & Fitch clientele is decidedly less illustrious, and their products are about as American as a three Yuan bill. I oft wonder how many shoppers even realize that Abercrombie & Fitch were real people to begin with? Then again, it would be wrong to fault anyone for overlooking the real Abercrombie & Fitch. After all the philosophy upon which these two gentleman built their brand is wholly absent from the stores that bear their names today.
I can’t necessarily tell you what Le Corbusier looked like, but I can damn well tell what he wore. The straight pipe. The oval glasses. The dark bow tie. The double breasted suit. The white pocket square. Like one of the fifty-eight buildings he designed throughout his five-plus decade career as an architect, Le Corbusier’s style was a careful construct, stringing together a stringent set of elements in an altogether unique manner. For as much as it has become a tired adage, it was not the pieces that Le Corbusier (born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris) wore, but rather the way in which he wore them.
As the story goes on the night of November 3, 1953 poet Dylan Thomas stumbled up from the White Horse Tavern to The Chelsea Hotel where he was staying, reached the doorstep, declared “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies. I think that’s the record!” and promptly collapsed. A few days later, only after another visit to the White Horse, Thomas was dead.
Whether or not you believe Thomas super-human, or should I say sub-human, level of consumption, it is quite fitting that the West Village’s most iconic beatnik bar played such an integral role in the Welsh poet’s demise. For, it was the beats of the fifties and sixties that would come to define the White Horse’s history by drinking their nights (and quite often their days) in this bohemian haven on Hudson Street.
As the college football season comes to a close, so too does the Bowl Championship Series era. With a freshly minted playoff system kicking off next year, college football will undergo its first major change in decades, a move that will no doubt garner its fair share of proponents and detractors alike. As college football drives onward into this new era, it’s worth looking back at the sports early years, when everything was smaller and just simpler.
Though, simple hardly means that the game was lacking in substance. Back in the early twentieth century there were fewer teams, but the rivalries were ferocious, extending far beyond the gridiron. On the field players wore stripped down uniforms, while in the stands students and alumni dressed extravagantly in garish items like raccoon coats, large lettered sweaters, and striped suits. College Football during this era was at times quaint and at times grand, an amalgam that’s encapsulated in the hand-drawn covers on the programs that were handed out in advance of each game. -JG
There are a few magical studios with such amazing sound that they have become sort of sonic temples for musicians who dream of making musical pilgrimages to them. There’s Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit, home to the Motown sound. There’s FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where artists like Wilson Picket and Otis Redding honed the 60’s southern soul sound.
And then there’s Capitol Records studios in Los Angeles. Housed in the iconic circular building on Hollywood and Vine, it’s uniquely famous as much for what it looks like on the outside, as what’s been created on the inside.
Designed in 1956, the building was actually not meant to resemble a stack of records but well…happy coincidence. A red light, like a beacon, atop the tower flashes “Hollywood” in morse code. And inside the building artists like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, The Beastie Boys and so many more have laid down countless hits.
Few stories inspire quite like that of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s 1953 Everest climb. While Hillary and Norgay’s pioneering Everest expedition has remained one of the most fabled tales of all time, influencing everyone from other explorers, to Nigel Cabourn, to Mr. Lean himself the duo’s legacy stretches far beyond the mountain. Hillary and Norgay might be best known for those shots of them grinning at the summit in some seriously covetable parkas, but the photos of them back on level ground, still grinning in their rakish suits and eccentric outfits are just as notable. Stay humble, on and off the mountain. —JG