Meet the Unimog. Originally introduced at the German Agricultural Show in 1948, the ”Universalmotorgerät” (‘universally applicable motorized implement’) quickly caught the attention of German farmers. Marketed as a Jack-of-all-trades vehicle, the Unimog has held its ground for over 60-years and remains in heavy rotation around the world.
While the Unimog remains popular amongst forestry or municipal authorities, fire brigades or armed forces, energy industry or mineral oil exploration teams in the desert, I hadn’t heard of it. So after spotting one in the wild while on a drive upstate, failing to pull-over wasn’t an option. After trespassing, taking some photos and digging around for some story on this thing’s background, you are hereby introduced.
The UNIMOG in 1948
Like a lot of people, my first glimpse at Ovadia & Sons was during capsule a few years back. And, like a lot of people, I was taken back by how good it was. What’s that thing they say about first impressions? The collection on display definitely had my attention, and while it packed all the firepower of some of the more seasoned labels, as new twins on the block I couldn’t tell if it was sustainable. However, the following season my reaction was the same and by this time the secret was out, the internet had spoken and I wasn’t alone in my opinion.
Now several seasons later, it’s clear that both Ariel and Shimon Ovadia have all the ingredients to go the distance. Their latest collection (Fall 2013) is about as close to perfect as anyone could ask for, at least in my opinion. Everything not only looks terrific, it’s made well and is realistically wearable – a far cry from some of the other notables. So start saving your allowance kids, this stuff hits shelves later this year and you can bet it’s not going last long. [Ovadia & Sons]
There are features of every city that are assumed. San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, Paris the Eiffel Tower, and New York, Grand Central Terminal (Station). And while there are dozens of other buildings, sites, landmarks (whatever you want to call them) around New York, Grand Central sings a different tune. Maybe because it’s the only train station of its kind and the largest in the world, or because it was spared the fate that overcame Penn Station, or because it’s one place where anyone can feel the mass that is New York.
Meeting point, daily commute, apple store, vacation pictures, whatever your use, passing through the main hall always provokes appreciation. Grand Central is one of those places that never gets old. It’s constant, always there, and always handsome.
Today marks Grand Central Terminal’s 100th year.
Italy’s reputation for quality craftsmanship is no secret. In all reality, it never has been. The Italians have steadily remained at or near the top of the list when it comes to making quality goods, be it, clothes, cars, or anything else you’d like to blog about. And while much of this is known or assumed, the reality of handmade Italian products, those made by the hands of human beings, often goes unnoticed.
Rome, the Italian capital and a city of almost three million people, is no stranger to quality craftsman ship. While recently navigating Rome’s endless curved streets, I encountered Becker & Musicò, a pipe shop seated just around the corner from the Pantheon.
For nearly the 50-years, the partnership that is Becker & Musicò have been perfecting the art of pipe making by hand. Founded by Fritz Becker and Giorgio Musicò, the small store front and even smaller work shop (located in the rear of the building) are now helmed by the founder’s sons, Paulo and Mossimo. Together, just as the generation before them, they produce some of the world’s best pipes.
During my visit I discussed what goes into pipe making with Mossimo Musicò, a second generation pipe maker who is the full embodiment of all things Italian. With a gravely voice, appropriately disheveled hair, mustache and endless burning cigarette, Mossimo showed us around the workshop and explained why each pipe is special. He also explained the process, which uses a very specific wood (briar root) from Calabria and takes over three years from start to finish.
While I’m not a patron of pipes, I do appreciate a quality hand made product when I see one, and the pipes found at Becker & Musicò fit that bill to perfection. If you’re in Rome and would like to visit, Becker & Musicò can be found at Via di San Vincenzo, 29, Roma.
Over the next week Florence will quickly become inundated with peacocking menswear types. Making their way over to attend Pitti Uomo (or standing outside in hopes of photo ops), you can bet your instagram feed is in for one hell of a show. One stop not likely to be on anyone’s list while in Florence is La Specola or for all those non-translation folk, the Museum of Zoology and Natural History.
Although they each share over a couple hundred years of history, La Specola is definitely no Cafe Gilli, but worth a stop all the same. That is if you’re into thousands of dead animals. And tucked away across the river near the Pitti Palace, La Specola may be among the few places in Florence where you won’t encounter droves of tourists. It’s also the oldest museum of its kind in Europe; no big deal.
During a recent stop in Florence, I paid a visit to La Specola. Inside was one part creepy, one part Wes Anderson inspiration, and two parts old as hell. The halls, floors and cabinets all look, feel and smell their age. And along with what’s possibly the worst interior lighting throughout the mother country, lets just say the place is old. In a good way.
While not necessarily a stop on everyone’s list, it probably should be. As the first of its kind, aside from dodging tourists, the impressive collection has some significance. And don’t fret, there’s plenty of peacocks, albeit dead ones, on this side of the river too. [La Specola]