17/04/2013 § 1 Comment
Well since I’m already talking about cars, and I haven’t made you look at any old photographs in awhile — not sure what’s wrong with me, but I will definitely investigate — I thought you might enjoy these photos taken by Francis Miller for Life Magazine of an all-girls hot rod club called “The Dragettes” in what appears to be 1950s Kansas City. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much information on these ladies — which is frustrating because they seem pretty awesome. I don’t think these pictures were used in the magazine (or at least I couldn’t find the article they correspond to), and the interwebs has not been very forthcoming either. In any event, I still wanted to share — they’re just so great, from the matching jackets to kissing babies on the dragstrip.
Via the Life Archive.
28/01/2013 § 4 Comments
Admission: I’ve never been ice skating. I suppose I could blame it on growing up in Los Angeles, and my parents’ extreme aversion to a vacation spent anywhere other than a tropical climate — but since I am (technically?) an adult now, I really can only blame myself. Especially when New York City has so many beautiful places to tie on a pair of skates (see: Bryant Park, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Chelsea Piers, the Standard Hotel). Perhaps I should make it a mini winter resolution of sorts to finally get myself on the ice.
Providing a bit of sartorial inspiration for my skating kit, Life Magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured a 35 year-old Truman Capote skating at Rockefeller Center in 1959 — perhaps giving new dimension to his very famous bon mot, “New York is a diamond iceberg floating in river water.” I couldn’t find the article they correspond to, but I have to believe that Truman in his Fair Isle sweater is reason enough to call your attention to them.
11/12/2012 § Leave a Comment
In the early 60s, America’s “No.1 Santa” (of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade fame) set up shop in Albion, New York and created the country’s only school of its kind, to certify Santas for department stores. These photos, taken for Life Magazine by Alfred Eisenstaedt of the graduating class of 1961, were too good not to share. After paying $75 and attending a five-day course, newly-minted Kris Kringles received a Santa’s Helper degree, well-armed with the history of Santa Claus, practice applying makeup and selecting costumes, and how to be properly jolly — even if they found a crier or a beard-puller on their lap. If you’d like to read the original article the photos were shot for, you can find it here.
All photos via the Life Archive.
06/11/2012 § 4 Comments
Wherever you are, regardless of whatever party you belong to,
I hope you make time today to vote.
**Also, please pardon my silence lately! Thanks to Sandy I am still unable to return home, unfortunately, and am a bit off of my regular schedule. That said, I am very thankful to be safe, with wonderful friends, and for the fact that I have lost relatively little in comparison to others. I have also been so blessed with caring thoughts and emails from so many people, from all circles of my life and even from some people that I’ve not yet had the pleasure to meet in person, but rather have reached through this blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re all the cat’s pajamas, truly.
You can read more about the trials and tribulations some of the buildings
in my neighborhood (Lower Manhattan)are currently facing here.
Photo of Caroline & John Kennedy in Hyannis Port on Election Day, 1960.
Taken by Paul Schutzer, via the Life Archive.
31/10/2012 § Leave a Comment
From my temporary refugee perch on the UES, and on Halloween no less, I felt this elegant masked ball in Paris in 1946 was particularly apropos to share with you today. Featuring several minor royals and creations by seminal postwar French designer Jacques Fath — and a few pictures of Fath himself, even in a mask! — these ensembles take fancy dress to dizzying couture heights. Doesn’t it just make you itch for a pair of opera-length gloves and a set of crown jewels?
While these pictures are a sorry excuse for missing out on the usual Halloween festivities, I’m still very hopeful that New York will come together for the kids this evening. I’m planning a UES constitution of my own, to try to help spread the spirit. So many New Yorkers are still without power, and the annual Halloween parade in the Village has been postponed, but the city has been working hard to come back online as soon as possible after Sandy — and we’ve made some amazing progress already.
If you would like to help, please make a donation to the American Red Cross. You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
Be well! Happy Halloween!
18/10/2012 § 4 Comments
These great pictures, taken by Nina Leen for Life Magazine, make me wish I could find Doc Brown to fix my flux capacitor so I could pop back to 1949 to either a) hang out with all these rad girls at Wellesley College in 1949 and/or b) abscond back to the present day with all their clothes. Barring that, I suppose you can officially consider me on high alert vintage patrol for one of those double-breasted trench coats with a fur collar. If you happen to find one, be a dear and let a (Seven) Sister know.
11/09/2012 § 1 Comment
The first crisp post-Labor Day weather has arrived in New York City and I was pleased to slip into a bit of tweed today — after roundly debating for a good three precious morning minutes on whether this would turn out to be a premature move, natch. Happy to say that it was a perfectly sunny, briskly breezy transitional day and it put me in a proper “back to school” mood. I almost felt like buying a new pencil box.
Completely apropos of the weather, my school spirit and my tweed, are these great photos from the 1952 Vassar-Yale Bike Race from the Life Archive. A bit of astute Googling revealed that the lovely author Rebecca C. Tuite has written a great post for Ivy Style about the short-lived race, which began as a drunken wager, evolved into drunken debacle and was eventually shut down by school authorities for the greater good. Thankfully, Life Magazine photographer Yael Joel was there to capture the shenanigans so that we might enjoy them today. I don’t know about you, but my need for a new pair of Weejuns for the fall has definitely been intensified.
Photos by Yael Joel, taken April 1952, via the Life Archive.
21/08/2012 § 1 Comment
For a perfect summer in Southern California, you’ll need golden light, a ton of palm trees, broad white beaches, a polka dot bikini, a beach shanty, some zinc oxide and a group of your closest surfing friends. Add a dash of PCH, a little Malibu rum, some ice and blend it all on high. Serve in a tiki mug from Trader Vic’s.
For the second half of August, I’ve decided to turn my sights back to the coast I know best — the west. While I may currently live on the east coast, and have quite an admiration for all things Northeast, summer will always mean very specific things to this California girl. These photos taken along the So Cal coastline, from Malibu to San Onofre State Beach in Oceanside, were just the ticket.
Gidget in Malibu
13/08/2012 § 2 Comments
For a perfect summer on Long Island, you’ll need a healthy serving of golf, a few polo ponies, a couple of playboys and a sailboat or two — be sure to add in a country club membership, if you’ve got one handy. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Serve via private seaplane, natch.
See also: Summer on the Cape
Men lining their sailboats up at the start line at the Seawanhaka Yacht Club.
Top polo player Stewart Iglehart, standing with his pony.
A man wrapping Stephen Sanford‘s hurt ankle.
Polo player Pete Botswick and his wife, looking out onto the field.
Taken June 1946 by Nina Leen for Life Magazine, via the Life Archive.
03/08/2012 § 1 Comment
For a perfect summer on the Cape, you’ll need some pretty sailboats, a few rainy bike rides, wavy fields of tall grass, a clambake on the beach, and an overloaded jalopy. For best results, serve over ice in a highball glass and garnish with a gaggle of Kennedys.
Photos by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine, 1940. Via the Life Archive.