The story goes that one day in the early 1960s, David Brown, chairman of Aston Martin, “entered a board meeting at which some of his engineers were in attendance, plunked his hunting dog down on the table and said, ‘Build me something for him to sit in.’” Brown, who made a fortune building tractors during World War II, had become the quintessential English gentleman, racing horses, playing polo and shooting grouse, and wanted a vehicle he could use on his estate for country pursuits. In 1947 he’d seen a classified advertisement in The Times of London offering a “High Class Motor Business” for sale, and subsequently acquired Aston Martin for £20,500. He then had the company’s now legendary series of ‘DB’ cars, beginning with the DB2 in 1950, named after him using his initials.
With the exception of Newport Folk Festival, we’re not too hot on music festivals. You know the reasons: sweaty crowds, mediocre sound, endless lines for beer, girls dressed like fairies twirling glow sticks. But when Eaux Claires was announced, a two-day celebration on the banks of the Chippewa River in Wisconsin, courtesy Aaron Dessner of The National, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, we started to get a certain promising feeling.
That optimism turned out to be entirely justified. Who could object to straightforward music in an easygoing Midwest setting, with plenty of Leinenkugel’s to go around? For this native Minnesotan (whose cabin is less than hour from Eau Claire), it was a welcome combination of good bands, positive vibrations and lack of ironic t-shirts.
With a course of nearly 3,000 miles from Newport, R.I., to Lizard Point on the southwestern corner of England, the Transatlantic Race is the world’s oldest trans-oceanic yacht race and one of the ultimate tests of a sailor’s skill. Nearly 50 boats running the gamut from 40-footers to superyachts, and modern racing machines to 100-year-old classics from all over the world competed in the 2015 edition which just wrapped up. Chicago-based Bryon Ehrhart’s Reichel/Pugh 63’ Lucky was confirmed as the winner by the event’s four organizers: the Royal Yacht Squadron of Cowes, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club.
Here’s a page out of BaT.
Driving on I-95 this past weekend near Larchmont, NY I spotted a super clean late 80s BMW 325 convertible moving north with traffic. The car was shiny and clean with the top down cruising along on a relaxing Saturday jaunt. It made me think. “I should get online and find a clean old 325 convertible from the late 80s too.” It would be a fun little car to drive to the beach or for the summer. It’s not so precious that I would be afraid to take it out or really drive it and enjoy it. It won’t cost that much either! Seems like a no brainer. I would just need to convince my wife that we need a second old BMW. Could make sense considering the first old BMW lives in California and we live in NYC (though I drive it when I am out there frequently). It certainly makes sense to me anyway; to her, might not be so simple.
- Reclaiming the southern old growth timber that built New York City. [The New York Times]
- Converse gave the Chuck Taylor the Nike treatment. [Converse]
- Inside the Levi’s Eureka Innovation Lab in San Francisco. [High Snobiety]
- Worth $840M and Tony Hsieh lives in a trailer Park. Stay humble. [The New York Times]
- The dapper sportswriters of the late 1930s make it clear just how poorly modern sports writers dress. [ACL Archives] [Pictured]
A majestic sight greeted visitors to Portland, Maine’s waterfront the other day: the only active commissioned sailing vessel in American military service. The 295-ft. USCG Eagle, used as a training cutter for future officers of the United States Coast Guard, visited the city as part of the Tall Ships Portland Festival. The ship has a rather interesting history. Built as the German training vessel Horst Wessel in 1936, Adolf Hitler presided at its launch and once used living quarters aboard ship. It served to train German sailors in sail techniques until decommissioned at the start of World War II, then was re-commissioned in 1942 fitted with anti-aircraft guns. At the end of the conflict it was taken by the U.S. as part of war reparations and re-christened Eagle.
The 2015 edition of the Henley Royal Regatta, first established in 1839, took place a couple weeks back, with nearly 200 races over the five-day event on the River Thames. A highlight of the English social season as well as a world-class sporting event, it combines competition and camaraderie in the best British tradition. In the top result of this year’s proceedings, Great Britain’s men’s eight beat Olympic champions Germany in the final of the Grand Challenge Cup. Rowing as Leander and Molesey Boat Club, the world champions won by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
Though many U.S. crew teams entered competition, the only one to make a strong showing was the University of Washington, which having earlier knocked out the Harvard University ‘A’ in the Semi-Finals beat Yale to bring home the Prince Albert Challenge Cup. In some ways not much has changed at Henley in the past 50 years; on the other hand, they now have a YouTube channel. Always one of the most colorful events on the calendar, thanks to the nattiness of the spectators and the crews’ and club members’ rowing blazers, it’s also known for having the strictest dress code of the summer season.