Archive for January, 2015
Once, my friend Nancy—who is something of a seeker and had for years eschewed traditional medicine in favor of ever-more exotic holistic and Eastern options—got a headache. Somebody offered her a couple of aspirin, and because it was a rather bad headache, she took them. The headache went away. “And I was like, Wow,” she remembers, “Western medicine is awesome.” The story amuses me, but it also resonates: sometimes in life, the best option is the one that appears the most prosaic. And I know I’m about to embark on an imperfect analogy, but this is very much how I’m feeling lately about coffee. My new favorite stop on the morning walk is the Mudpark kiosk right off First Avenue in the East Village. You can choose from the usual array here—Cappuccinos, Cortados, Americanos, and so on—but I always order up a large cup of old-school house blend. It’s wicked strong, but in a mild way that doesn’t turn your stomach inside out.
Today, I bought some beans so I can make it myself. And—because I haven’t owned an actual coffee maker since the Nespresso machine revolutionized my life a while back, I made another old-school move and acquired a Chemex drip coffee maker, which is not only a fantastic deal, but a really nice little piece of design.
After an eternity of sales and the same old product I feel like I’ve been staring down for months, J. Crew has at last posted fresh new merch online. Here are a few pieces that have caught my eye, from the intergalactically splurgy to the pleasingly under $100. First up: I can’t let the fact that it’s not crisp white shirt season prevent me from pointing out the excellent example of the genre that is this tuxedo tunic. (Why they’ve styled it in Pilgrim mode here is mystifying, but unbuttoned at the neck it’ll be fantastic. And this is just exactly the type of hem that makes front-tucking a breeze.)
I’m a sucker for a blue leather bag—as colored leather goes, it is by far the most versatile hue—and this one is perfect for days when you don’t need to be lugging around your whole life.
UK-based jewelry designer Rosa de la Cruz has obsessed me for a while now, but her stuff has been nearly impossible to find in the States. J. Crew is now carrying her as part of their (pretty great) fine jewelry collection, and while they’ve got some of her less expensive (but still not cheap) pieces, this pendant is of course the one upon which I’m totally fixated.
This shirt dress is definitely for warmer weather, but you can easily adapt it to wear right now: just put a long sleeved tee underneath it, a cardigan over it, then throw on some black and tights and high boots and you’re set.
- Stunning photos of ancient trees. (Slate)
- And some equally—but differently—captivating pictures of rebel youth in Japan, circa 1964. (Dangerous Minds)
- Behold the all-female cast of the new Ghostbusters. (Vulture)
- Scientists have found a way (and a reason) to un-boil egg whites. (Mental Floss)
- A better way to cook steak. (Kottke)
I woke up in the very tiniest hours of Tuesday morning—right around when we were supposed to be experiencing the eye of Blizzard 2015 here—to see that it wasn’t snowing even a speck. But there was a pretty dusting over the streets, and the travel ban had turned the city into a ghost town. So I didn’t sleep for a few hours, and instead just sat up in the living room—two walls of which are windows—and enjoyed the kind of deathly calm my little corner of downtown never knows. Then snow plows came, and after that a rogue car or two, and as the sun rose, I spied a few early risers in the park across the street, and felt a sudden urge to walk the pretty virgin snow before it became ugly New York City snow. So I suited up the dog and put on my snow boots and the hulking, ugly industrial-strength parka I pull out on days when it’s really messy out and I especially don’t give a shit, and off we went. And then I came back home and passed out for a few hours.
Later, I went out searching for signs of life, and found more than I had perhaps bargained for in Nolita: stylish people in well-cut winter gear were out on the streets, in the stores, having coffee with one another and looking altogether smart. Did I mention that the industrial-strength parka is one size too big—adding a good ten pounds to my frame—and comes to my shins? And that my hairstyle was basically my hat? I had a sudden attack of giving a shit, and headed south on Mott Street to less perilously stylish environs. Which put me right in the path of No. 6, on whose website I had spied some surpassingly cute clogs just hours earlier. I was in no mood to encounter the stylish shopgirls and customers of No. 6, but I pressed on. And learned a little something about myself: the vain part of my brain doesn’t stand a change when pitted against the acquisitive part.
I won’t be able to wear them for months, but are they not adorable?