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#162: Gimme a pound

June 6, 2011

Columbia Road Flower Market, Sunday, 29 May

Campania Gastronomia; I did not eat this food but I stood in front of it for a while.  Radical crustiness.

 Felt silly as soon as the words “isn’t it too early for an oyster?” slid out of my mouth.

Hardest man to ever sell you your pink posies.

This one had a mouth on ’em, and a grimace to match.

Simple, beautiful.

Peonies, forever my favorite.  Remind me of Grandma. I think that all pretty flowers remind me of Grandma.

ALL EYES ON THOSE PAWS and then the sweet smiling eyes of Mom. (But that’s my Number One, my amazing hostess, being a peanut in the background.)

 Floppy baby wouldn’t fit in my suitcase, I had already bought too many clothes.  Must…go…back… for floppy baby…

The Columbia Road Flower Market  happens every Sunday on Columbia Road just near Shoreditch in East London.  What’s not really captured above is the whole gestalt of the market with the wazillions of blooms and the huge crowd.  A certain, special happiness derives itself from the flora laid copiously over the cobblestones, crusty breads, floppy pooches, smiling crowds.  How has this not caught on in New York?

#161: Americana by way of England

June 5, 2011

London had some of the best vintage I had ever seen, truly dangerous but exciting hunting grounds.  Two of the best stops along the way included run-ins with dear David of Ragtop Vintage,  first at his pop-up shop in Clerkenwell and again the next day in his stall at Old Spitalfields Market.

From David I picked up this amazing WWII duffle, originally carried by one H. Rehn of Spokane, Washington of the Fifth Air Force.  From Rehn’s markings we can see that he left Spokane on August 8th (year unknown), traveled through Japan and Korea, and made it back stateside  just in time for Christmas on December 23rd.  Between August 17th and 30th he traveled aboard the SS Marine Devil, and on December 13th he boarded the USS General William Weigel which brought him to San Francisco.

Yet another instance of my taking a hero’s wartime carryall– once filled with the dirt, blood, sweat and tears of war (pardon the drama, but I’ve just recently revisited The Thin Red Line)– and turning it into one of many purses, manly as it may be.  But this is a remarkable piece that deserves a utilitarian repurposing.

Long time comin’

May 27, 2011

Radio silence over here at ISV, is anybody out there?  Been busy/distracted and happen to be on a long holiday in London at the moment.  Big ups to Max and Lena for pointing me in the right direction while here!  When I return home I will have good things to share, hopefully packaged with boundless energy…  Thanks to all you beautiful people who have sent gorgeous comments and words of support while I’ve been totally dormant.  XOX

#160: My own private sweater

April 16, 2011

I don’t know what B&N once stood for, but this old 1930’s hockey sweater can mean whatever I want it to.

How about: Beautiful & Natural; Buffalos & Navajo (Buffs are my favorite animal, and you know I like the Navajo too); OK I’ll stop here before this gets too corny… but it’s in good practice to create personal slogans and mantras.

Super cool sweater woven from worsted wool, incredibly soft.  It was once a big man’s size 42 but someone must have tossed it in the wash along the way because it has shrunken just enough to perfectly fit me.  Found at the Brooklyn Flea with help from Jamie and Sandi, my favorite Flea people.

AMHO – American Hockey Co.

As always, happy hunting.  XOX

#159: Canonet

March 31, 2011

On weekends I rarely leave the house without a camera in hand.  My little Canon Canonet QL17 GIII (produced by Canon in 1969) is one of my favorite companions.  I recently came across two long lost rolls of film from late 2009/early 2010, and was happy to find some of my favorite memories from that time captured like color-saturated little time capsules.  Some of these shots were similarly taken in digital at the same time and appeared on the site last year.


Trespassing in Milbrook

First day it was warm enough to run around barefoot.

Favorite bench in the front yard.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

In Taos, my dreamscape…


2011 has already felt long and cold, no?  Time to hit the road again…

#158: Little cable cars climb halfway to the stars…

March 17, 2011

This is totally wild.  Never mind the nouveau Frenchie soundtrack, it was filmed in San Francisco in 1906 just four days before the Great California Earthquake.  Notice the ladies in their hats and long dresses; some of the cars have the steering wheel on the right side rather than the left; at :33 a well-dressed policeman is carrying a truncheon, could you imagine?  Men in waist coats and derby hats; boys in knickers on bicycles.  This is so cool.  California’s calling.

This is the first 35mm film ever, taken by a camera mounted on the front of a San Francisco cable car.

#157: Robe Time

March 13, 2011

Today was a seasonal milestone, a harbinger of change, a day that comes but once a year.  Ladies and gentleman, today I bid adieu to my shearling and down coats, off and away they went into storage until next winter.  Goodbye winter, hello almost-kinda-spring!  This is a big deal, right?  It’s time to relax ourselves out of that permanent shoulder hunch that becomes a New Yorker’s battle stance as we brave the bitter winter months.  In this town the weeks are valued by what various layers we’ve been able to shed;  bare shoulders are our freedom, heavy coats our shackles.

On a recent trip to Portland I found this Beacon robe at the divine little boutique Golden Rule.  An old one from the 1920’s or 30’s.

Great ombré created by the gradated reds, kind of an Art Deco vibe with the textile.

I’ve been removing the belt and wearing it as a coat.  You know, because removing the belt somehow magically disguises the fact that I am wearing a bathrobe out in public.  Some pajamas are just too special not to show off.  Now go on, take off your winter coat and slip into something more comfortable…

This post has been sponsored by spring.

#156: Roomy

February 26, 2011

I like wearing roomy clothes (baggy seems like such a gross term).  I have my fair share of fitted frocks, even bullied myself into buying a pair of ‘jeans’ that are practically leggings which I am having a difficult time forgiving myself for, and so I feel apportioned a certain amount of days during which I can go roomy.  Anyway, my cousin – who only outranks me in age by a mere two and a half months – is ripely turning into a Jewish mother.  We spent last weekend together and she tells me, “you have a nice figure, why do you hide it in roomy clothes?”  I happen to think that roomy clothes, proportioned correctly, really work for girls.

Here are some of my favorite roomy trousers.  From World War II or perhaps Korea, it looks like they’ve seen some action in their day.  Hard as nails but soft to the touch (as we all should be); faded, frayed, and spotted for character.  Beautiful center seam on front and back, maybe an homage to the classic center crease.

Herringbone effect.

Plus,we’ve all got this life to live, why not be comfy while doing it.  Happy hunting.  XOX

#155: Virtues

February 14, 2011

I picked up this special ring in my Mom’s little town in Nevada in November.  Wherever you are, you never know what you might find in that little antique shop on Main Street.

The tiny, teardrop shaped turquoise stones indicate that it is a piece made by a member of the Zuni Tribe, likely in the 1930’s.

I think one of the reasons I love vintage is because you can love it unconditionally for its imperfections.  This ring’s mismatched stones and crudely shaped bezels tell the story of strength and endurance.  It has a personality all its own which I can only embrace when I wear it on my finger.

Turquoise is believed by the Native Americans to protect the body and spirit, and possess virtues of health and happiness.  Find the turquoise that you like, and wear it often.

I lost one of my very close friends in a tragic accident just two weeks ago.  It’s been very difficult to find inspiration but I thank those in my life who provide me with so much of it.  Thanks to my magnificent family and friends, and to all those who read ISV and provide such encouragement.  Thanks to everyone who reads this for being you: you are uniquely special and loved.


Anti-climactic PS – I plan to put this guy on the choppin’ block, I just can’t seem to make use of it day to day.  All reasonable offers will be considered, please email me!


#154: Warm Wishes

January 26, 2011

South Florida is beautiful.  And the heat, my god the heat!  For fear that the state of Florida or my dear old Great Aunt Rushi might run me down for saying so, I thought this would be the weekend trip equivalent of napping during a bumpy car ride–mildly refreshing but mostly makes you cranky.  Wrong.

The sun, the architecture, the vibes… I loved Miami!  I wish I had known what a beyond-special and unique city it is so to have spent more time there over the years, but sometimes important facts of life elude us.  My visit could have only been better if a) it wasn’t raining buckets on my one full afternoon in Miami b) I had more time to soak it in and c) Will Smith circa 1997’s Big Willie Style was there to show me around.

With little time alotted for treasure hunting, I focused mostly on the photos, although the rainy day in Miami kept me from capturing the Art Deco insanity that is South Beach.  I hope you enjoy, and if you haven’t been, do plan a quickie weekend trip before your nose runs away with you this winter.


The view from great heights in Brickell.

This is extra special, as here stood for 40 years my great aunt and uncle’s poultry shop, right smack in the middle of South Beach.

Scenes from Delano Hotel

Art Deco heaven

Seconds later, torrential downpour.  My sister was stuck out by the pool, which only lent greater meaning to her personal slogan for the weekend, “My hair doesn’t like Florida.”

The little details of Palm Beach

Photographic overload aside, if this picture doesn’t sum up Palm Beach, I don’t know what could.

Random beauty found along the way

My sister during our one, brief visit to the beach, and a sunset glimpsed on the drive to the airport.

Stay warm this winter!  And if you can’t, go to Miami.




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