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Pop Up Flea Hits Austin

May 6, 2016

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This weekend Pop Up Flea touches down in Austin, Texas.  As always the event is hosting a full roster of great brands, covering all the bases with offerings for men, women, the house, the dog or whatever else you need, along with a rotating line up of food trucks each day.

This marks PUF’s first visit to Texas and it promises to be a strong event packed with good stuff and good people.  Come many, come all.

 

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The Jameson Experience

April 17, 2016

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Spending St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is a novel idea, and likely the setting of a movie saved for watching on the plane.  While Dublin is a beautiful city, full of charm, history and character, its reputation for heavy consumption is no secret.  Couple this with what may be the country’s biggest export, St. Patrick’s Day, and you may have a recipe for excessive memory loss and a visit to the consulate in search of a new passport.

For as long as I can remember, March 17th marks the one day a year when everyone is Irish.  It also serves as the unofficial kick off to spring and the only pseudo holiday that everyone finds a way to celebrate, and almost never forgets.  And obviously there’s the green, which is especially present in Chicago (my home town) where the river is dyed bright green to celebrate Ireland’s patron Saint.  This year, to kick off spring and St. Patrick’s Day, we decided to join Jameson for a tour of duty through Dublin.  It provided the opportunity to see if all the fuss was true, or if like most international imports, the American version is nothing but excessive.

Jameson

The John Jameson & Sons story is a good one.  Built from hard work and consistency, the family owned business has been distilling Irish whiskey for over 200 years, becoming the world’s largest exporter.  And for good reason.  What started in 1780 with John Jameson and his passion to produce a spirit, grew into true family business and a household name that would win the world over, becoming one of the most globally recognizable brands.  Ever since Mr. Jameson brought his Scottish roots over to Dublin, where he set up shop on Bow Street, Jameson whiskey has continued to flow despite famines, two world wars, blockades and a US prohibition.

Today, Jameson has outgrown their Dublin home and moved south to Midleton, Co Cork, where full production takes place and where over a thousands barrels of whiskey stand idle awaiting bottling and eventual sale around the globe.  And while production has moved from its Bow Street home, at its core, Jameson is still a very Dublin company.  This was evidenced during our visit to the old distillery in the Smithfield neighborhood, where we were offered a glimpse into how the spirit made, from grain to glass, and what makes it special amongst a continually crowded whiskey market.

Walking around the home base of the world’s most famous drinking holiday is a surreal experience.  Like their American cousins, people are out in numbers; enjoying themselves and raising a glass in what is an overwhelmingly positive and civil environment.  Over the course our St. Patrick’s day whirlwind, the good folks at Jameson gave us not only several tastes of whiskey, but a true taste of how important March 17th is to both Dubliners and everyone who is Irish, even if only for a day.  [Jameson]

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Visiting Van Gogh’s Bedroom

March 11, 2016

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Growing up in and around Chicago means frequent visits to the Institute of Art.  It’s a regular fixture of school field trips and Chicago’s cultural nucleus.  My mother was always fond of the Art Institute and some of my favorite memories are of our trips there together.  Over the years, the museum and surrounding area have all seen significant change.  The neighboring rail yard is now a beautiful outdoor amphitheater and the museum itself has received a facelift along with the recent addition of a modern wing that breathes new life into the whole space.  Throughout these changes, the museum has stayed consistent and kept a steady rotation of impressive temporary or traveling exhibits.  The most recent exhibit on Vincent Van Gogh and his series of bedroom paintings has captured people’s attention both in and outside of the museum.

For the first time since being painted, the three versions of Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Areles are again under one roof where they’ll be on view among several other works by the artist along with a retrospective on his life.   To celebrate the Dutch artist and promote his series of bedroom paintings on display, the Art Institute of Chicago has partnered with Airbnb to create a full-scale version of Van Gogh’s second bedroom painting and listed the space for rent on Airbnb (along with a few limited invitations).  The Van Gogh bedroom is a life-size, three-dimensional and fully functional version of the painting, with details extending all the way down to each brush stroke.

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

Located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, a few blocks north of the Chicago River and west of Michigan Avenue, the Van Gogh space occupies the bedroom of an apartment that sits on the 29th floor of a new building.  It’s unclear what to expect when entering the space.  Photos only do so much justice and the steel and glass surrounding don’t feel like the original space in the south of France.  Once inside, the open floor layout of the kitchen and living room greets you with new fixtures, Barcelona chairs and an incredible view of Chicago’s west side and a sliver of Lake Michigan to the north.  After rounding a corner and flipping on the light switch to illuminate the bedroom, things go slightly out of focus.  Internally, this kind of juxtaposition doesn’t make much sense, but shortly after taking in the scene, the details begin to come into focus and a true appreciation forms.

Simply put, stepping into a painting is difficult to process.  The whole thing is surreal, almost cartoonish and in many ways carries a resemblance to theatre sets.  It all seems fake – in a lot of ways it is – but cautious inspection of each item, gently sitting on the chairs and bed, offers some reassurance to the reality of the scene.  Throughout the room, Van Gogh’s colors and textures come to life and new details emerge with every close-up examination.  Finally, it all comes together and it’s clear that in creating the space, no detail went overlooked.  Every brush stroke, color sampling, shadow, piece of peeling paint, everything was thought through and taken into careful consideration.  The end result is stepping inside of one of the world’s most recognizable paintings.  Not bad.

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

Over the course of his life, Vincent Van Gogh got around.  He lived in over 20 cities across four countries, trying his hand at several professions before finally committing his life to art and painting.  It wasn’t until his move to the south of France and the small city of Arles when Van Gogh finally felt he’d found somewhere worth calling home, albeit if only for a short time.  He moved into a small building at number 2 Place Lamartine which he would become known as the Yellow House.  On the second floor, next to a room rented by Gauguin, was the setting for Van Gogh’s famed trio of bedroom paintings.  The first of the three was painted in Arles during the fall of 1888, whereas the latter two were completed a year later while a resident of a nearby hospital.  Since their completion, the three paintings haven’t been housed together, giving all the more meaning to their reunion.

Van Gogh’s Bedrooms are on display at the Chicago Institute of Art through May 10th, 110 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago.  And the Airbnb space can be booked during the same timeframe here (subject to availability).   [ Chicago Art Institute, Airbnb ]

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

Van Gogh Bedroom Copyright 2015

 

In the Books: 2015

December 31, 2015

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As far as years go, 2015 was hands down the fastest I can remember.  By the time late December rolled into view and it was time to celebrate another year in the books, it felt like only a day earlier celebrations had wrapped on 2014.  People tell me this is a sign of age or this is what happens when you’re busy.  Maybe both are true.  Aging is unavoidable, and the year was definitely a busy one, with over 100,000 miles logged (according to Delta).

This year was just as hard as it was fun, and more than anything, I’m grateful for all the terrific opportunities 2015 threw my way.  It was another successful year for Pop Up Flea, where I’m a partner with two close friends, and a great year with Lot, Stock and Barrel who I also partnered up with this year.  Both of these companies are at their core about one thing, good people.  And it’s a privilege to help each grow.

Looking forward is just as important as looking back, and 2016 is already stacking up to be a great year.  We’re aiming to bring more content here and elsewhere.  And, as always, thank you for tuning in and checking out Standard Edition, everyone’s support here  is appreciated and motivating.

Follow along on instagram and twitter for more updates.

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Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2015

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Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at TSE.

Keep in touch: Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr.

Levi’s Authorized Vintage + Lot, Stock & Barrel

November 25, 2015

Levis Authorized Vintage + Lot, Stock & Barrel

Levi’s, a brand that needs no introduction as the world’s most recognizable denim maker, has taken big steps with the launch of a new Authorized Vintage collection. The Authorized Vintage product, produced in collaboration with Lot, Stock and Barrel (a company I’m a part of), consists of Levi’s classics – think 501s, 505s, & Big E truckers – bringing the garments back to life for a second run.

The entire Authorized Vintage collection has been meticulously sourced, hand repaired, refurbished and only consists of Made in USA quality, ranging from the 1960’s to early 1990’s.  This collection also marks the first time the 501CT – the streamlined version of the iconic 501 – will be offered and available in a vintage garment to the mass market.  And as an added bonus, a select number of pieces have custom chain stitch embroidery that include various type of traditional Americana artwork.

Vintage Levi’s are having a good moment and it only makes sense to buy them from their original source.  Unlike the LVC collection, which is an incredible reproduction to spec from its original counterpart, decades earlier, the Authorized Vintage product will suit the purest and the passionate alike.

The full collection is exclusively available at the new Levi’s store in Brooklyn & Las Vegas, and their Market Street Flagship in San Francisco.  [- Levi’s Authorized Vintage + Lot, Stock & Barrel]


Levis Authorized Vintage + Lot Stock & Barrel

Levis Authorized Vintage + Lot, Stock & Barrel Levis Authorized Vintage + Lot, Stock & Barrel

Holidays with Mr. French

November 19, 2015

Mr. French Holiday

Holiday season means holiday parties.  In the spirit of sprits, the good men of Mr. French – a staple among linen shirting – have created a shirt fit for holiday.  Known for their superior linen shirting and unfussy offering (seven colors, long sleeve, short sleeve, boom.), Mr. French brings us a black tie optional version, fit for any warm weather soirée.

Made from French linens with single needle stitching, this is a serious shirt for the unserious escape, think George Hamilton & co.  The black & white holiday versions brings in all of the same qualities that make the original five colors great and adds some additional liquid resistant technology to keep you spill free when the clock strikes 12.  Keep the same look and feel of linen without the battle scars of last night.   [Mr. French]

Mr. French Holiday

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Further Afield

November 13, 2015

The Man and Le Mans

Motorsport Mag dug up some lost images from the original Le Mans movie Steve McQueen filmed in 1970.  The Man and Le Mans, a documentary about Steve McQueen’s effort to make a film that captured the full scope of the 24 hr race that takes place in France opens today.  – Motorsport Mag

A discussion on where the infamous buffalo check pattern gets the buffalo.  Spoiler alert, it is from a buffalo.  – Adweek

Glen O’Brien give us a humorous and candid tour of his home which gives us a glance at his impressive Jean Michel Basquait collection and collection of things in general.  – Nowness

For all of the procrastinators out there,  seven successful entrepreneurs dish out their secrets to being productive.  Pro tip, wake up early. – Fast Company

Issue #16 of Apartmento, the cultish magazine that everyone loves instagramming pictures of next to their warm cup of coffee, hit shelves this week.  –Apartmento

 

As always, stay tuned for all things daily on twitter & instagram.

 

 

 

Two Days in Paris

November 9, 2015

Often times, while traveling, no plan is the best plan.  Gone is the pressure of keeping a schedule, racing the clock or rushing from A to B.  For most of us (myself included), the idea of urban unplugging is as foreign as the country or city you might be traveling through.

During a recent trip to Amsterdam, a few extra days offered some time to head south to nearby Paris.  A city that needs no introduction, the French capital, almost begs for its residents and visitors to experience all it has to offer, IRL.  You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t spend a few moments to take things in – don’t fret, instagram can wait.  This is especially true if you’re like me and avoid what would be considered any must see destination.

Paris has no shortage of visitors, I feel like somewhere it was listed as the most visited city in the world, however for those who return it’s a place with individual appeal.   As someone who has adopted New York as their home, Paris hosts a lot of similarities, albeit in a, naturally, French way.  Like New York, the city center is sprinkled with iconic architecture, museums and parks.  People tend to dress well in both cities, and the food, well during a short stay the French may have the upper hand, but both places pack a culinary punch.  Ultimately, the walkability of each location is what really joins the two together.  Endless and aimless walking is great in either locale and affords a new experience every time, home or away.

Personally, there’s always been a lingering affection for Paris for me.  It was the first international city I traveled to alone, it’s among two other European cities where navigation is comfortable and familiar (Rome & Amsterdam being the others), and now with multiple stays over the years, I have a list of favorited establishments.  Ultimately, this leads me into doing much of the same things typically done at home in New York – walking, eating & taking in a drink.  However, the walks a little slower, the dinners a little longer, and good wine seems to be present a little more frequently.

During this most recent – 48 hours – visit nothing changed.  The cool weather was perfect for taking time to wander, occasionally stopping to refill the tank with a coffee, glass of wine, or both.  The 16th century rental in the Le Marias was perfectly situated and provided a great beginning and end to each day.   And with no agenda, lunch spilled into dinner and evenings ended bleary eyed.  No plan, was the best plan.

If you go:

Le Bouledogue: This bistro, situated in Le Marias at 20 Rue Rambuteau, possess all the classic elements you’d expect with an unfussy atmosphere and menu to match.  Pricing is fair and the wine list doesn’t disappoint.

Astier de Villatte:  When ever traveling anywhere, I like to shop for things that are local and interesting.  Astier de Villatte fits this bill and is one of my favorite stores of anywhere.  The space alone is simple and beautiful, and their hand made ceramics (plates, cups, etc.) are incredible.  Located at 173 Rue Saint Honoré, an area synonymous with shopping, it’s in the thick of it, but among good company.

A bottle of wine in Luxembourg Gardens: Unlike the U.S. of A, it’s ok to enjoy an adult beverage outside in public.  Grab a bottle of wine from any number of sellers around town and settle into a couple of chairs in the park Luxembourg is especially nice (pictured below).

Deyrolle: Not exactly a secret per se, Deyrolle (pictured bottom) remains worthy of a visit.  Home to a unique offering of hard to find taxidermy (think giraffes, an entire water buffalo or lion) this former institution for natural sciences is not only fun to walk thru, it’s a great place to grab something different to take home – i.e. an extinct African butterfly to display on a bookshelf.

Buy a scarf: The French love scarfs.  They wear them well, and so should you.  With any number of places to buy scarfs, don’t be swayed by the riff raff and head to one of the beautiful department stores around town.  Unlike many counter parts, the Parisian department stores are impressive, inside and out.  We’d recommend Printemps Haussmann, located at 64 Boulevard Haussmann, for not only their selection of scarfs and just about anything else, but also because of the rooftop terrace which affords incredible views over the city (pictured top).

Victory at the Volvo Ocean Race

June 22, 2015

March 17, 2015. Start of Leg5 from Auckland (NZL) to Itajai (BRA).

During the 2011-2012 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, I joined IWC at the starting line of the race in Alicante, Spain to meet their newly sponsored crew, Team Abu Dhabi, and see the race kick-off its nine month journey.  It was IWC’s first year as the official time-keeper and Abu Dhabi’s first bid at winning the 38,000 mile race around the world.  It was also my first time attending a race I had followed for some time.

Alicante, the small coastal town in southeast Spain that sits between Cartagena and Valencia, serves as the starting line and command center for each edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.  During the weeks leading up to the official start of the race, the seaside town is brimming with fans, press, and curious visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the boats.  During our visit we had the opportunity to meet those at the helm of IWC along with the crew of Team Abu Dhabi.  Hailing from around the globe, the Abu Dhabi crew was made up of some of the world’s best sailors.  They offered a tour of their Italian designed Volvo Open 70 boat and shed some light on the conditions each sailor faces over the course of the race.

That year’s attempt was marred by an unfortunate start for Team Abu Dhabi.  They quickly met disaster in the first leg of the race, breaking the mast on their boat, Azzam, only a few hours after departing Alicante en route to Cape Town.  This set-back created an insurmountable blow that rippled throughout their future positioning among the six other teams.  Holding fast, they fought their way thorough the entirety of the event, but that initial mishap plagued them until the end, finishing fifth overall.

June14, 2015. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during the SCA In-Port Race in Lorient.

Earlier today, the 2014-2015 edition of the VOR came to a close in Gotheberg, Sweden.  After nine months and over 38,000 nautical miles, this will cap off what many who follow the race, have considered one of the closest races to-date.  Each leg has seen dramatic finishes, along with a few tragic mishaps.  While the fight has been close, team Abu Dhabi have stuck to their guns and made up for the set backs they experienced when I last saw them head off in 2011.  Skippered by Ian Walker – one of Britain’s most decorated sailors – Abu Dhabi have maintained a strategy of repeated podium finishes throughout their most recent endeavor.  Not always number one, but consistently within the top three, they’ve kept constant pressure on their competitors and rivals keeping a strong positioning throughout the duration of the race.

After competing what’s often billed as the Everest of sailing, Team Abu Dhabi graced the podium one last time to be crowned the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race Champions.

Sailor or not, this event is worthy of respect.  Spending nine months on a boat with eight other people in some of the worst and most dangerous conditions, it isn’t for everyone.  The race is inherently full of risk and known to be one of the most physically and mentally challenging sporting events to have ever existed.  Just finishing is worth recognition, and this year I’m excited to see the team I came to support and follow back in 2011 raise the trophy.   [Volvo Ocean Race]

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Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leg 5 to Itajai

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Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leg 9 to Gothenburg

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All images courtesy of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Volvo Ocean Race and photographers Ian Roman, Matt Kingston, Ainhoa Sanchez, Chris Cameron and David Ramos.
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