The double-edged statement, out with the old, and in with the new doesn’t apply to a company like Filson. At least when it comes to their tin cloth bags, which are virtually bullet proof. However, this is exactly the case at their Seattle home, where they recently unveiled a new factory, showroom, and headquarters carved out of a converted warehouse, and sits at a mere 57,000 square feet.
Filson has long been among my list of favorite brands. While I appreciate their stateside roots, well made product and integrity, my appreciation started with a Mackinaw Cruiser I had when I was younger. Not understanding what was good or bad at the time, I remember a jacket that was indestructible and kept me out of trouble. Looking back, it all makes sense and my attention eventually graduated to tin cloth bags. Although the cruiser has since been outgrown, several bags remain a fixture in my rotation. And now a number of years in, they’re as good as day one.
For 116 years, Filson has remained consistent and is now a well oiled machine. Their products rarely change and often improve. It’s safe to assume that while their factory has changed, the trusted quality of their bags won’t. [Filson]Paul + Williams
To commemorate Memorial Day, I headed back home to my native Chicago, with an outbound pit stop through Indianapolis. Typically, I’d fly home and be back to the middle west in a couple of hours, but this time around for some weird reason I thought it’d be fun to make the 800-mile commute by way of the road. You know that whole thing about hindsight being 20/20, yeah, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking.
Nonetheless, driving was totally worth it and created an opportunity to visit Indianapolis where I made my maiden voyage to the Indy 500. With great company, perfectly positioned seats and a police escort into the race, it was an offer and experience that was hard to pass up. And as a first timer, I was pegged with equal parts excitement and curiosity.
To put an event as large as the Indy 500 into context is difficult. Held every Memorial Day weekend, the race caters to a crowd of roughly 400,000 and is considered among the top three most prestigious motorsports events in the world. And while among this noteworthy list, it’s safe to say the race’s Indiana roots give it a certain patina not afforded to other motorsports events. Lets just say it’s no Monaco – which is just fine, that’s why we like it.
After nearly four hours of race prep, fans armed with ear plugs, bud heavies, and hotdogs hit their seats for the noontime green flag. Throughout the next 200 laps, cars squeal past at speeds in the high 190′s, sling shooting around the turns and out of sight. There’s a slight shuffle in the stands during caution time, but many remain loyal and ride out the duration of the race from their seat, rarely missing any action. But once the checkers drop, the exodus ensues, and half-a-million people take to the streets. Another year, another 500.
I’ve always been curious and fascinated by automobile races. I grew up watching the Indy 500 every year with a friend and his older brothers, a yearly tradition from afar, much the same as many who attend the race. Although I only experienced the event through a tubed television, as soon as we entered the gates, it brought back so many memories of years past. Memories of the cars, sounds, sights, the broadcasters and the milky finish. Finally seeing everything first-hand brought it all full-circle, with the addition of a varied group of scents – beef, beer, rubber, petrol. Some good, some bad.
If you haven’t attended the Indianapolis 500, make the trip at least once in your life. The event is definitely a love it or hate it experience. Personally, the entire scale of the event was the largest I’d experienced and at times almost overwhelming. Fortunately, a cooler full of beer is endorsed to take the edge off.
If you were to ask the internet if Land Rovers are popular, by in large the answer would be yes. If you were to ask me, I’d refer you to several photography feeds on my phone which is typically chock-full of Rover shots from all over the globe, but typically below 14th street.
The word is out, Land Rovers are cool; or are they? The answer is still unequivocally, yes. But without bursting the bubbles of the young and loyal, Land Rover has been cool for sometime. Just ask Churchill or Bob Marley – both were Land Rover enthusiasts.
This April marks Land Rover’s 65th anniversary and the release of their Series I vehicle. What was essentially a knock off of the American Jeeps used during World War II, the British manufacturer added their own spin to the all-wheel drive technology developed stateside (Jeep was the first all-wheel drive vehicle), and Land Rover was born. Albeit, originals being built on Jeep chassis. That was 1948.
Today, it’s clear Land Rover is singing a different tune. Not to fret, today’s models continue to be designed for every condition imaginable, despite the spike in soccer moms ditching the minivan or professional athletes jumping on the Rover wagon. At their core, they’re still capable of wading through a several feet of water or climbing elevations too steep to walk. And they don’t look all too bad doing it. Which, along with their technical capacity, the very specific aesthetic has taken them a long way from their humble Newborough, Anglesey beginnings.
Personally, I can’t get enough of Land Rovers. Everywhere I go, my Rover radar is alive and well, with the occasional annoying inspection held street side. And last year, I finally joined the ranks and bought one of these beasts (a ’95 County LWB) which has paid dividends in pleasure and cost dividends in maintenance. And while I’m partial to the older generations, it’s nice to see their odometer hit 65. Happy Birthday Land Rover.
The winter months in the northeast are no-one’s friend. And while it’s no secret that winters in this part of the country are less than desirable, every year I complain, so every year I flee. While the destination is sporadic, there are some common denominators – plus 13 degrees Celsius, availability to adult beverages, and more than eight hours of sunlight. Last month, Istanbul was my final destination.
Istanbul is not a city for the weary. It’s enormous in scale, the layout isn’t for the geography challenged, and well, its dynamic creates a much more intense foreign feeling than some of its European counterparts. All this aside, with no more than four days on the ground, we had our work cut for us. But not to fret, we also had Turkish coffee in our tanks.
Three things can be your best friend when traveling with limited time in any foreign city. For starters, the realization that you cannot and will not see all the stuff you either want to see, or what everyone else said you must see. And, nine of ten times, all that advice from friends and such is typically going to get you surrounded by packs of people wearing white sneakers and carrying a canon point & shoot around their neck. After you accept this simple fact, put together a realistic plan of attack that knocks out certain pockets of a city and has everything you need – shopping, food, culture and of course, libation depots. And finally, if you’re one of the six humans that do not own and iPhone, get your act together, then download the google maps app. The best free purchase you’ll ever make, it works offline and will save you countless hours looking foolish/vulnerable whilst fumbling with an over sized map in the one neighborhood you were told to avoid.
No exception to the rule(s), seeing the mammoth of a city that is Istanbul was accomplished in said fashion. During our four days, we canvassed the city, mostly on foot (the preferred method of exploring), searching for pieces of Constantinople’s past, hidden spots and quickly getting through the white sneaker zones. And while it’s not Istanbul’s fault per se, there weren’t a lot of shopping distractions, which left plenty of time to soak in the former Ottoman Empire.
While, the weather was nearly the same as New York, as was the hours of day light, Istanbul proved to be the perfect break to my seasonal set-back. If it’s not on your list, it should be. The architecture, people and food are all incredible, as is the exchange rate. And while I only dipped out for a long weekend, it only took a few hours to realize I’d be returning.
Holland and Sherry may have one of most robust backgrounds when it comes to fabrics. Since the early 1800′s, they’ve been a premier supplier of fine fabrics and cloths to fashion house and luxury brands the world over. If the English do one thing well, it’s produce quality fabrics – thank that nice weather they’re rumored to have. And if the weather created a need for protective and quality materials, the surrounding climate supplied the necessary ingredients. To this day, Holland and Sherry continue to source their fabrics from Yorkshire, where the climate and water create the perfect environment for finishing the cottons and wools needed for tartans, or tweeds.
After 170 years Holland and Sherry have made a fitting move into garments and wearables. Utilizing their English roots coupled with exceptional fabrics and a Savile Row stronghold, you can bet you won’t be disappointed by what’s on the shelves. I paid a visit to their new retail location last year when they initially opened, and was immediately impressed by both the store and product. If you’re in the area, check it out for yourself.
You can find Holland & Sherry Bespoke at 209 Elizabeth Street, New York.