A pungent scent has begun to blanket New York, and no I’m not referring to that funky smell coming from the Lower East Side, I’m talking about the alluring aroma of sizzling burgers that’s rising up from griddles all across the city. Between the now numerous Shack Shake stands (respected, but generally overwhelmed with tourists), the East Coast debut of Umami Burger [delicious to the power of the magical fifth sense, but easier to just enjoy in LA), and the “bespoke” burger which can be found at high end (and high ticket) eateries New York has been swept up in full blown burger mania. The great burger debate has now become a relentless pastime for gourmands throughout the five boroughs with no consensus in sight. While you might be harboring your own unwavering patty preference, the common ground on ground beef lies in history, and no burger joint is more fit for the history books (or at least in the Preppy Handbook) than J.G. Melon.
It’s been said that the Bowery has been getting increasingly sleepy over the past few years, but Sleepy Jones just made it official. Situated at the center of the once raucous street, Sleepy Jones’ holiday shop might be the most tranquil retail experience this city has ever seen. Sleepy Jones, which was founded earlier this year as a “not-quite-ready-to-wear” line from Partners & Spade, has found a fitting home in their new space, which acts as unapologetically pleasant extension of the brand’s heavy-eyed ethos.
Sleepy Jones is not so much about sleeping as it is about waking up. There’s a lackadaisical air to the whole space, which seems to reflect an early morning atmosphere, before the day’s worries have really set in, when your mind is still free to wander. It’s this spirit that makes the shop’s location inside the legendary “Hole” gallery, such a logical move.
As you may or may not know, Pop Up Flea London (PUFLDN) touches down in St. James on the weekend of October 11th. Same great Pop Up Flea taste, different island. In the process of planning the first ever international Pop Up Flea, we’ve come to know several characters, hustlers and ne’er-do-wells who have been cushioning our arrival in London.
One such character is James Bowthorpe: artist, builder, editor of The Rig Out, and official Master Of Interiors for PUFLDN. Over the last two years, while we’ve been thinking about heading to London, James has been working on a project here in New York. It’s called the Hudson River Project.
In James’s words:
At the core of Hudson River Project is a simple idea: Build a boat out of Manhattan’s waste, take it to the source of the Hudson River – Lake Tear of the Clouds, high in the Adirondack Mountains – and row the boat back to Manhattan.
An unsettling article tucked away in the Times last week announced that the few remaining Manhattan restaurants still requiring dress codes—bless you 21—are now providing a better class of jacket to their delinquent underdressed visitors. Relax, the article said, there’s a perfectly good coat waiting for you at Per Se, so you can hide your complete lack of protocol under a 40 regular from Ralph Lauren.
While the restaurants are being perfectly hospitable—Daniel, in fact, has their coats custom-made—that does not mean you want to join the sartorial class of clothes swapping masses who wander into serious establishments in their shirtsleeves. Perhaps you prefer to rent a tuxedo for your own wedding, as well.
There’s something magical about a bagel and lox. A bite of crisp, chewy bagel and cream cheese draped with silky sheets of smoked salmon (and maybe some sliced tomato) provides one of the most satisfying flavor and texture combinations of all time. No wonder the sandwich has secured its place among legendary New York City foods like the pizza slice and pastrami on rye. Don’t get me wrong, I love a plain old bagel and cream cheese, but it’s only ever improved by lox.
So naturally, in a city where lox can be found every few blocks, New Yorkers have a lot of opinions about where to get the best. The largest smoked fish factory in the country, Acme Smoked Fish was founded in Brooklyn in 1954 and has been family-owned for four generations. Acme supplies smoked and cured fish to some of the city’s favorite fish counters including Zabar’s, Barney Greengrass, and my go-to spot, which prefers to maintain some mystery about its purveyors. They also ship hundreds of thousands of of vacuum-sealed packages of fish around the country every year. Chances are high that if you’ve ever eaten smoked salmon, it came from Acme.
The New York Times recently did a story in the real estate section about an old family run uniform company from Brooklyn called W.H. Christian & Sons. I’ve seen the company’s delivery trucks around New York (especially in the Financial District) for as long as I have lived in the city and I am always taken with their appearance. It’s a weird thing to say, but I really love the way those trucks are painted. In 2008 I posted about how they are the best looking delivery truck in NYC.
If ever you got a shave or a haircut at the original barbershop at Freemans Sporting Club you will understand that more space was needed since about week two. This morning I was one of the first to get my hair cut at the newly expanded shop next door at 10 Rivington Street. While the new set-up is much more spacious than the previous location, it still gets crowded with customers basically the minute it opens. I actually went by to see this new barbershop yesterday afternoon and as soon as I got there the door was still being painted and customers were climbing in through the window to get haircuts. That’s loyalty.
Designed by Taavo Somer, the space pays homage to his Scandinavian roots with light pine wood covering the entire ceiling. The pine —which was sourced from an old barn in Upstate New York— was also used to make the custom barber stations. The new shop is very much a work in progress, with some of the finishing touches still to come. Miles Elliot, one of the partners in the operation, told me that so many people came by during the two days they were transitioning to the new space so many regulars came by to try to get appointments, they figured they might as well just open as it.