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.
The Westminster Kennel Club has awarded Best in Show since 1877, making it America’s longest continuously held sporting event, with the exception of the Kentucky Derby. And we always look forward to the big show, which begins Monday at Madison Square Garden. Everybody has their cherished memories—who can forget when announcer Joe Garagiola cheerfully remarked about a female dog trotting by, “look at that sprightly little bitch”? That’s a moment that just doesn’t comes along very often.
There are always controversies and curiosities and intriguing new breeds (this year we welcome the Rat Terrier). There are favorite dogs denied glory (Cinders, the dignified wire-haired Dachshund, was runner-up a few years back to a possibly alien Pomeranian). There are also, of course, unworthy victors (the infamous Banana Jack, from last year, may be the most upsetting winner in the history of organized sport). Then there are beloved legends, (Josh, the Newfoundland, Stump, the Sussex Spaniel, Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound) . These dogs are remembered longer than most NBC sitcoms.
If there’s one thing literary types enjoy more than reading books, it’s talking about them. The status of the traditional written word has become a hotly contested debate ever since the advent of e-books and tablets, which, for some, have turned hard-bound texts into little more than decorative ephemera.
For those that still hold steadfast to our papers and pens, McNally Jackson’s Goods for the Study store is an analog oasis in an increasingly digital sea. The shop, which is an off shoot of the McNally Jackson bookstore just around the corner on Prince Street, responds to all these hi-tech textual innovations by reminding us all of the value of merely putting paper to pen. You could say that Goods for the Study is one part practical shop for the city’s never-ending supply of wordsmiths, and one part museum to the written word itself. They layout is reminiscent of the sort of design store you’d expect to find in Tokyo, not on Mulberry Street, and the product range is a clear reflection of this meticulous approach.
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.
We New York shoppers are a spoiled sort. It seems that at least once a month a brand new store opens its doors, adding their name to the ever-growing list of boutiques that run from Wall Street to Washington Heights. And yet, it’s never enough. As New Yorkers we constantly clamor for more. More stores. More brands. More, more, more.
The Armoury New York is a store good enough to silence all of these cries.
Positioned on a fittingly tranquil street in TriBeCa, a neighborhood that is more often associated with Scorcese than shopping, TANY is the brand’s first outpost outside of Hong Kong. Although, to simply describe the shop as a New York location for a Chinese-based label would be too elementary. The Armoury is not distinguished by where they’re from, they’re distinguished by where their products are from.
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.
This past weekend in SoHo marked the 7th ever installment of the Pop Up Flea, an event that has grown from a small space and 10 of our designer friends to a massive loft with over sixty different brands. While the scale of PUF has grown, the spirit of the event remains the same.
The idea that Randy Goldberg and I came up with back in 2009 remains very much intact: to get a bunch of good people and well-made things all together in one room. Could the 14,000 people who came to Pop Up Flea be wrong? Many thanks to all of the vendors who make Pop Up Flea possible with their hard work and creativity. This has been a big year for us after successfully taking PUF to London and holding our 6th New York City event. Next year is going to be even bigger with more events here as well as internationally. Stay posted for more on that.