Deal of the Day: J. Crew Poplin Cargo Jacket

From JH:

in utility green, $49.99

on sale in utility green, $49.99

Guys, I bought this jacket at full price ($98) early in the summer. It is perfect, and even more perfect on sale for $50. Don’t ask me how I know, but cargo jackets like these are going to be very popular very soon (OK, anyone who’s spent enough time on style.com can tell you that), but you have my word. If army-green’s not your thing, it comes in camp yellow, too.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Clothes and Accessories, Raw Materials

Let’s Talk Love Songs

From JH:

On this site we write a lot about things that make us feel good––food, bargains, flowers. Well, here and now, I’m going to add love songs to our list of small, life-bettering luxuries. Not the syrup-y, saturated, tortured torch kind, but those that try to capture the state of being (as confused and incredible and liberating and frightening as it can be). DW, I’m sure, will agree that these are worthy of being included. If you’re in love (as DW and I are, which feels like a lot to say, but it’s true), sometimes there’s nothing better than indulging in it (I will not delete that sentence, though I am definitely tempted to).

There’s a lot of good stuff in these albums (sappy and not, for romantics and cynics alike). But since music-reviewing is something that a.) I have no talent for, and b.) I have little tolerance of, I’m simply going to break it down by artist and album. Starting with:

the antlers "hospice"

the antlers "hospice"

Hospice by The Antlers: When you buy this album set aside a good hour to listen––really listen––to it, reading the songbook as you go along (this is sort of imperative, and DW will agree). It is heartbreaking and haunting, and not always easy to listen to. But the terrible sadness and devotion is filled with love so crazy-strong, it’s impossible to look away. Buy it here. Listen to tracks “Two” and “Kettering” here.

:

blind pilot "3 rounds and a sound"

blind pilot "3 rounds and a sound"

3 Rounds and a Sound by Blind Pilot: These glorious, melody-driven odes from this Portland, OR-based band bring on the greatest daydreams for me. JB and I have a complete fantasy life set to this soundtrack (don’t ask. Even he doesn’t know about it, yet). Buy it here. Listen to tracks “Oviedo” and “3 Rounds and a Sound” here.

:

the avett brothers "the second gleam"

the avett brothers "the second gleam"

The Second Gleam by The Avett Brothers: Today, while listening to Morning Becomes Ecclectic on KCRW Los Angeles via iTunes (my not-so-guilty pleasure), I was stopped in my tracks by a song called “Brooklyn, Take Me In” (for its lyrics; the song itself leaves a lot to be desired, too bad). But googling around I learned that the song’s Avett Brothers from Charlotte, North Carolina also sing this gorgeous tune called “Bella Donna,” which is on their 2008 EP called “The Second Gleam.” I think this one is best listened to while watching the video here. Those boys outdid their own beauty with this one, I think.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational

Dutch Redux

From JH:

6 Year Old Girl, 24"x35" ($499)

6 Year Old Girl, 24"x35" ($499)

One Kings Lane (the online sample sale site) is now selling Dutch Master reproductions––meticulously executed oil paintings based on works from the Gilded Age of Dutch art. I admit, I’m sort of really into it (an elaborate still-life just might be the missing link to my modern-meets-pre-war-brownstone bedroom).  Above, a re-make of Jan Claesz’s 1594 portrait of a young girl, is marked down from $1000. Below, Black Guillemot is modeled after John James Audubon’s original from 1837 (also $499, down from $1000), while Terrier in a Kennel is based on a John Emms study of the breed from 1899 (only $199). The sale goes through Sunday (October 19)…act fast.

Black Guillemot, 47"x35" ($499)

Black Guillemot, 47"x35" ($499)

:

terrier in a kennel

Terrier in a Kennel, 20"x24" ($199)

Leave a comment

Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational

Newbark Slippers

From JH:

"dylan" in cream

"dylan" in cream

When you’re feet hurt you say “my dogs are barking,” which is how L.A. stylists Maryam and Marjan Malakpour came to call their all-leather slip-ons Newbarks. Like socks with soles they fold in half and fit into a clever pouch, which makes keeping them on hand for end-of-the-day emergencies easy.  Yes, you can do substantial city-walking in them (I have), and bike riding, too, but I wouldn’t recommend them after a rainy day (wet leather soles? no, thanks). Really, I think they’re the perfect shoe to greet house guests in during the winter, when being barefoot (my favorite) feels cruel and unnatural. And since the season is upon us…

Leave a comment

Filed under Clothes and Accessories

One Good Reason (Among Many) to Love Los Angeles

From JH:

This House!

the living room

the living room

:

the patio

the patio

:

the dining room

the dining room

:

the kitchen

the kitchen

:

the view

the view

Until just recently this property belonged to a friend of mine’s grandparents. Such Southern California 60’s kitsch! Personally, I think the curved ceiling in the living room is the subtle star here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational

The Art of Cheese Curling

From DW:

tete de moine with fig jam

tête de moine with fig jam

For my birthday, JH gave me a very sentimental gift: a Boska Cheese Curler and a wheel of the Swiss cow’s milk cheese, Tête de Moine.

A Cheese Curler?  Let me explain.

I know, it sounds cheesy (ehemmm) but JH and I have a ritual that’s deeply linked to this simple device. In fact, it’s fair to say that our friendship has evolved both with and because of it.

I’ll start at the beginning: Every month or so JH and I meet  for dinner at Black Mountain Winehouse, a small, discreet restaurant on the corner of Hoyt and Union Streets in Brooklyn. Tyler is always our gracious and entertaining host and, frankly, he probably knows way too much about us than we care to share at this point.

During the winter we sit by the open fire in the back; during the summer we sit by the open window in the front. We always drink copiously, spill our guts, dream out loud, and come up with future schemes and projects…this blog was one such late-night revelation.

At Black Mountain the menu specials change nightly, but thankfully, the cheeses remain the same, and with every meal we order a double dose of the delicious Tête de Moine, a Gruyere-like cheese made by monks in Switzerland. It’s name translates to “monk’s head” (not “head of less,” as I first thought); French soldiers called it this because during the revolution the monks that they captured had wheels of the stuff hidden in their robes.

The light, delicate flowers that the cheese curler makes of the Moines once seemed miraculous to me. I actually thought that the cheese grew into this filamentous floret—embarrassing––until Tyler showed us the Amazing Cheese Curler, the magical tool of his trade, and gave us a demo.

boska cheese culer in all her glory

boska cheese culer in all her glory

It seems pretty self-explanatory, but after trying it at home and destroying several wheels of expensive fromage that broke apart when I pushed , Tyler gave me the tip off: The cheese must be cold.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking Chronicles, Gift Ideas

Cherry Blossom Tea

From JH:

flowers for breakfast

flowers for breakfast

I found this at the market on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC. Sweet Sakura Cherry Blossom Tea is, essentially, flower water. In the box, five air-tight pouches contain four tiny wet blossoms that expand when you steep them. It tastes OK––mild and garden-y. A terrific party trick or novel gift, if nothing more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flora, Gift Ideas, Simple Syrup