New Additions: Los Angeles Stowaways

16/04/2013 § Leave a comment

Officially back on the east coast after my trip to Los Angeles!  If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have already seen my bajillion and three beach and car and Mexican food pictures, so I will spare you.  But you’d like to see my recap of Northern Grade, the American-made men’s pop-up shop, you can find it on the BKLYN Dry Goods blog here.  I’ve also still got plenty of other stuff to share from my trip, so please be on the lookout for future posts.Los Angeles Stow Aways

Of course, no trip home is complete without a few stowaways.  In fact, because it is one of my personal rules to never ever EVER check a bag, it’s become something of a ritual to leave behind an item or two that won’t fit in my carry-on, with instructions to ship it to me (sorry, Mom).  This time around was no exception.

Shown above, from top left:
Vintage Guam t-shirt* from BKLYN Dry Goods
T-shirt* from Deus Ex Machina
T-shirt* from General Quarters (call to order)
Personalized postcards from Black Sheep Postal Service
Veg tan belt from Cause and Effect (that I helped make at Northern Grade!)
Juniper Ridge incense from General Store

*I’m designating summer 2013 “The Summer of the T-shirt,” evidently

Shown below, my magnificent vintage Ralph Lauren blanket coat from BKLYN Dry Goods.  If you want one of your own, they’ve still got a beautiful aztec-y pink and greenish one — but act fast and contact them directly, as it isn’t on the site just yet.

Los Angeles Stow Aways

I do hope all is well with you.  Yesterday’s devastating events at the Boston Marathon left me more than a little shell-shocked and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected.  For more information on how you can help, please visit the American Red Cross.
Be safe. xo.

New Addition || Put A Horse On It: Life Magazine, 1937

01/05/2012 § 5 Comments

This weekend while on a walk in my neighborhood, I stopped by one of my favorite shops in Tribeca, Philip Williams Posters, on a bit of a lark.  While the store is best known for its collection of vintage posters, my attention was drawn from the window by what looked like a massive stack of magazines.  Once inside, I simultaneously realized that they were Life Magazines and that my afternoon was pretty much sealed.

You already know how much I love Life Magazine: I collect them, I read virtual copies on Google Books and wander for (way too many) hours in the online archive.  Coming at this cache of vintage media from multiple directions sometimes provides the opportunity for the kind of pleasant surprise I had this weekend.

First off, you put a horse on anything and I will at least give it a second look.  You put one on the cover of a Life Magazine from the 1930s and mention it’s a polo pony?  Dead.  Before even cracking this baby open, I knew it was coming home with me.  But when I did, I realized I was already familiar with the photos inside as they were part of a set that I had discovered in the archives a few weeks ago — and trust me when I say there is nothing in there tagged “polo” that I haven’t already seen.

I especially love the advertisements.

The feature is about George H. “Pete” Bostwick (August 14, 1909 – January 13, 1982), steeplechase jockey, horse trainer, 8-goal polo player and grandson to Jabez A. Bostwick, a founder and treasurer of Standard Oil Company of New York and partner of John D. Rockefeller. Pete’s favored game, high-goal polo, was a pastime of the wealthy in the 1930s, but Pete made an unprecedented, egalitarian move: he invited the public to watch him and his friends play at Bostwick Field on Long Island, charging only fifty cents for admission.  It was an immediate hit.

These photos were taken 1937 in Long Island by Alfred Eisenstaedt.  Because relatively few actually made it into the issue, having access to the archive allowed me to really enjoy even more photos than were published.  This is about to be a long post, so I must apologize in advance if you don’t enjoy looking at black and white photos of horses, polo or people in their Sunday best.  I will apologize, but I’ll think you’re kinda crazy.

A 28 year-old Pete Bostwick, center.
“There is no use sitting in school when one
can sit on a horse and go somewhere.

Pete Bostwick: lover of polo, beer and cable knit sweaters.

If you’d like to read the feature yourself, you can find it here, via Google Books.

Philip Williams Posters || 122 Chambers St., Tribeca || 212.513.0313

The Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, 1949

23/12/2011 § 2 Comments

Photos of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, March 1949, at Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England.  The Beaufort is one of the oldest and largest fox hunts in England.  Founded by the 1st Duke of Beaufort in 1682, later heads of the House of Beaufort have all either hunted or occupied The Beaufort’s mastership, and the hounds, kennels and stables are still held by the family.  The 11th and current Duke of Beaufort, David Robert Somerset, currently occupies the mastership of the pack and acts as its patron.

Two unfortunate things about these photos.  First, the pictures are not captioned so I have no idea who is who — but I do know that the 10th Duke of Beaufort isn’t shown.  Second, as the pictures are in black and white, you don’t get to notice the distinctive livery color of the Duke’s Hunt.  Instead of wearing the traditional red, the huntsman and whippers-in wear green, while the subscribers wear blue coats with buff facings (you can notice the buff facings, though).

Aside from that, they’re really great.  I especially love the ladies sitting sidesaddle with their top hats, and the servants navigating their way around the horses with their silver trays.  Lovely.  It’s no accident I’ve been finding myself looking for a beaver fur top hat of my own…

A lovely illustration of the Beaufort Hunt I found over at The Anglophile:

And a few images of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt today:

To learn more about the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, head over to their website here.

I’m also excited to mention that I’ve started my own club. 

More on that in a bit…

All other images via LIFE and Beaufort Hunt.

New Addition: San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. 16″ Tool Bag

27/11/2011 § 5 Comments

I’ve not returned from Buenos Aires just yet, but I thought I would do a brief post from the Southern Hemisphere on what’s turned out to be my favorite travelling companion from the past few weeks.  In October, I posted about my trip to the Rose Bowl Flea in California to visit The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. and meet founder Warren Schummer.  Aside from having a lovely visit, I also put in an order for one of their handsome 16″ tool bags.  I was very pleased to receive it before I jetted off for South America and it’s been absolutely great on the trip.

Large enough to fit a MacBook Air, several guidebooks, a Louis Vuitton Pochette, Kate Spade Lacey wallet, a Nikon D60 (and its bag and cords), a few other bits and bobs, and somehow still fit under the seat in front of me, this bag is made for travel.  With a firm board bottom and metal feet, it also keeps its shape beautifully when not quite so fully stuffed.  I especially liked the detachable shoulder strap, which I usually wore cross-body to keep my hands free.  It definitely came in handy while rambling around the antiques market of San Telmo in Buenos Aires, where the photos were taken.

The leather was quite blond when I received it, but after only a few weeks it’s already aging nicely.  I’m definitely looking forward to years of use from this handsome bag — and of course, many more trips around the world with it.  If you’d like your own bag from this very limited run, all completely handmade in Southern California, head here.

You’ll notice two small alterations on my bag, courtesy of Warren: the addition of a small snap at the top to keep it securely closed and — and! — my monogram just below that.  If you ask him very very nicely, he might be able to fix yours up as well.

Don’t forget to also check out the rest of The SFV Mercantile shop here, as well as the store blog, and Warren’s awesome Vintage Workwear blog.

All photographs courtesy of Erin Rickards, who is a great photographer and even greater friend, but sadly is without a website.  She did just start Instagramming, though.  If you’d like to follow her there, her username is @ericka22.

New {Vintage} Addition: Connecticutian Ice Skates

11/08/2011 § 11 Comments

Now, when I took my trip to Portsmouth, I didn’t go with the intention of bringing anything home with me other than good memories and one slightly-wrinkled-from-dancing evening gown.  Of course, New Hampshire had something different in mind for me, and somehow* this pair of antique ice skates stowed away in my extra large boat and tote bag for the ride down to New York.

*Somehow meaning I was forced to go into Margaret S. Carter Antiques (175 Market Street, Downtown Portsmouth) against my own free will.**
**Okay, that’s a lie too.

These steel skates were made by Union Hardware Company, one of the oldest and largest skate manufacturers in America.  Based in Torrington, Connecticut, Union Hardware was founded in 1854 and made a variety of both hardware and sporting goods for many years.  My skates date from 1894, which you can figure out by looking very closely at the patent stamp on the blade.

So why did this pair of gorgeously aged, well-loved, strap-on ice skates from the 19th century draw my attention?  Is it because I am an accomplished ice skater?  Sadly no.  I have a secret for you: I have never been ice skating in my entire life!  I can first blame this on growing up in Los Angeles, as there wasn’t exactly an abundance of places to skate, not many outdoor rinks, etc.  Add to that my parents extreme disinclination towards any and all winter sports.  Add to that the fact that the only ice rink that was in close proximity to my childhood home was a place you went in middle school to mack, not ice skate.   (Sorry Mom, kind of lied about that…)

Next you’ll ask, why haven’t I been skating in New York?  Well…I don’t know.  I suppose a small part of it is that I am afraid to fall and break something vital, as I am rather tall and would have very far to go before landing in an embarrassed, rumpled, (and very possibly) bloodied mess.

Which brings us full circle to the reason I bought the skates: Amy March

I’ll pause to allow you to remember…

Yes, that Amy March!  The littlest sister to Jo, Beth and Meg.  The impossibly selfish, terribly romantic, vain yet arty March girl who, as you may recall, falls through thin ice when she joins Jo to ice skate on the lake.  She probably wore skates exactly like these.  I mean, they were made in Connecticut and she did live in Massachusetts…

Amy wasn’t my favorite sister though.  You probably can guess it was Jo.  Little Women author Louisa May Alcott modeled the character of Josephine March after herself.  As a girl, I admired Jo, who was tall and brown haired and had gray eyes, just like me.  She was headstrong and outspoken and loved writing, literature and performing, just like me.  She moved to New York, as I eventually did (and Alcott actually lived in Greenwich Village while she wrote Little Women).  I loved her toughness, and how would sacrifice anything for those she loved.

There is, however, one subject where Jo and I have a bone to pick, and it involves a certain Mr. Theodore Laurence:

I have loved you since the moment I clapped eyes on you!
What could be more reasonable than to marry you?

Are you kidding me, Jo?  Seriously?  Fail.

Post script: Did you realize this movie was released seventeen years ago?  Sigh.

New Addition: Seltzer Bottle {and Manhattan Flea Markets}

28/06/2011 § 2 Comments

This weekend I was in the mood to do a bit of flea marketing, but didn’t quite feel like leaving Manhattan to do it, especially since it was Pride weekend and pedestrian/transit traffic was more than bit disorganized as a result.  Alternatively, I hit up two markets that were close to home and scooped up this pretty blue seltzer bottle after a bit of haggling. I’ve been wanting one for awhile, and now I’m guessing that this is to be the first of more than a few. I think they’ll look very pretty lined up on a shelf where the sunlight can hit them…

If you’d like one of your own, you can find an ebay search for “vintage seltzer bottles” here.

Some of my favorite flea markets in the City:

  • GreenFlea Market
    Located on Columbus Avenue between West 76th and 77th Streets on the Upper West Side.
    Open Sundays, 10am to 530pm
    Notes: Especially good for costume jewelry.  There is a good farmer’s market just across the street as well.
  • Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
    Located on West 39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues in Hell’s Kitchen
    Open every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm
    Notes: Lots of clothing.
  • Chelsea Antiques Garage
    Located at 112 West 25th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, in a parking garage.
    Open every Saturday & Sunday from 9am to 5pm
    Notes: A few years back I was put onto this flea market by Jamie over at The Standard Edition.  Of the three markets listed here, it’s definitely the best and has the most varied and interesting selection of items.  If you only have time for one market, I’d choose this one and spend a good few hours poking around its two floors.

Chelsea Antiques Garage

New Addition: Minnetonka Moccasins

04/06/2011 § 1 Comment

Photo taken by StyleOnTheCouch.

I’ve been on the lookout for pair of easy summer slip ons and I wanted to let you know how satisfied I am with these lovely pair of Minnetonka Kilty Moccasins.  Soft and comfy, with a reinforced rubber sole, I am hopeful these classics will last me through the heat of the summer months.  (However, should they need replacing, I’ll only be out $50 or so.)

While I opted for the plain, the Kilty also comes in a variety of different adornments, such as studded or beaded, if you are desiring something a little more jazzy than the plain.  I’m definitely going to pick up a black pair as well.

I’m looking forward to wearing these with just about everything.  Thus far they’ve seen action with a skirt, a maxi, shorts and jeans.  There really isn’t anything they won’t work for.  They really soften up and stretch a bit, so if you go down a half size, they should be perfecto.  Scoop yours here.

New Addition: Ivy League Pennants

26/05/2011 § 1 Comment

Was very excited to scoop up two Ivy League pennants on my trip to Brimfield.  Originally flown by knights in the middle ages and still used by warships today to connote their status as commissioned vessels, pennants are also associated with American sports — specifically professional baseball and collegiate teams.  I’m really looking forward to getting these dorm room staples up on the wall and adding a bit of school spirit around the house.

via Claremont Colleges Digital Library.
via Vassar College Archives.

via University North Carolina Greensboro Digital Projects.

Boys seldom make passes… {Warby Parker Showroom Visit}

17/05/2011 § 8 Comments

Yours Truly, wearing the Owen in striped chestnut.

Law school thrashed my eyeballs. I went from not needing glasses to realizing I had no idea what my professors looked like in less than a year (please add this to the list of cons for law school).  So since then, I’ve worn either glasses or contacts to correct my law-scarred vision.  (Is that a tort?) (Law school jokes!) (Sorry.)  I’ve been wanting a new pair of spectacles for some time and in my search for the perfect pair, I came across Warby Parker.

Briefly, for the 3 or 4 of you who are not yet aware, Warby Parker is an entirely online, extremely affordable, frame manufacturer that specializes in vintage-inspired styles.  $95 will get you a new sparkly pair of prescription spectacles, shipped free to your door (with free returns as well).  While currently only producing eyeglasses (and a monocle, in case you were in the market), Warby Parker will be adding sunglasses to the repertoire this summer.  Also worth noting is the fact that for every pair purchased, they donate a pair to people in need.  The combination of excellent style, affordability and philanthropy completely sold me.

Leery to purchase glasses you’ve never tried on before?  Well, Warby Parker has that covered through their Home Try-On program.  You select 5 pairs you’d like to test out, they send them to you free of charge and you get to try them for five days.  Then you send them back (yep, for free) and place your order online.  For those who are bit too impatient or too indecisive to narrow it down to 5 pairs, you can also elect to pop by a Warby Parker showroom (currently in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Portland, San Francisco, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Omaha).  I made an appointment with the exceptionally helpful Patrick, and dragged along the lovely Sarah of StyleOnTheCouch to help me select a pair and take a few pictures.  The images, unless otherwise noted, are hers.

The showroom, located just off Union Square, is a lofty, light-filled space that shares quarters with the Warby Parker corporate offices.  After a warm welcome I immediately set to work narrowing down my options to a group of semi-finalists, and pulled a group of five.  I then began plaguing Sarah and Patrick with multiple try-ons and demands to know which pair looked best.

Semi-finalists from top: Tenley, Crosby, Owen, Miles, Roosevelt
I’m obviously fixated on tortoiseshell.

Trying on the Tenley in burgundy fade.

In the Roosevelt in striped chestnut.

The shape of my face requires I stay away from overly narrow frames or anything severely cat-eye, so I knew I wanted a pair of larger, heavier frames, but wasn’t eager to venture into Man Repeller territory.  My finalists were the Owen (pictured at top) and the Roosevelt (pictured above).  So what do you think?  Which pair looks better?

See which pair I chose after the jump.

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New Addition: Ray-Ban Caribbeans

14/03/2011 § 3 Comments

Newest addition to the family is a pair of Ray-Ban Caribbeans in light brown, with gradient lenses.  Yours truly almost settled on a pair of Wayfarers, before deciding something different was in order.  J’adore the slightly larger, squared shape and whisper of an upturned corner on these beauties.  Originally released in 1964, the Caribbeans have a lovely bit of glamour that I find lacking in the ubiquitous Wayfarers but retain the classicism I was looking for in a pair of Ray Bans.  Think of Caribbeans as the slightly more posh cousin of the traditional Wayfarers.

Next on my list is a pair of Catty Clubmasters, if only I can decide on the color. (Of course, I’m leaning towards red.)

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