In 2020, I resolved to buy fewer clothes for myself. The problem is that I have a lot of opinions about clothes and over the years, have developed a roving eye, always searching online for new stuff, popping into stores to chat with my favorite salesmen (shoutout to the Drake’s Boys), and scanning the blogs to see what’s new.
Ahead of a trip to Paris, I splurged on a new suit. My wife and I were headed to France for two weeks in celebration of my new godson. There was going to be a fancy party for one side of the family and a more casual fete for the other. I firmly believe in traveling with only a carry-on bag, so whatever I bought needed to be as flexible as possible. The answer to my conundrum came in an unexpected form: a lightweight cotton suit in taupe–not quite brown, not quite gray–a chameleonic color of surprising versatility. Below are some excerpts from my taupe-themed travel diary.
For a certain kind of jawnz-loving guy, summer is the worst season of the year. You can’t layer, it’s hard to accessorize, and if you’re like me, everything gets sweaty. This summer, however, I’ve decided to take a page from Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana; sometimes, you need to just embrace the heat.
A few weeks ago, I attended the New York Antiquarian Book Fair for the first time. It was one of those days in early March when there still aren’t any buds on the trees, but the sun seems to hint at a warmer future. Walking toward the Armory on 67th street, Park Avenue seemed to be full of dazed New Yorkers wandering the streets after a long hibernation. Bookish types gathered on the sidewalk in front of the Armory in small clumps, as a steady stream of attendees wove in and out of its yawning doors.
This past January 30th was Fred Korematsu Day, a state-wide holiday in California celebrating the legacy of Japanese American activist Fred Korematsu. Born in Oakland in 1919 to parents of Japanese ancestry who owned a flower nursery, Korematsu was one of three Japanese Americans who protested against the United States’ internment policy during World War II, eventually taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court.
A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across the trailer for Jobs? Never!!, a new skateboarding film directed by, and starring, Jim Greco. Through its nefarious algorhythm, Instagram has correctly pegged me as a former skateboarder and distant fan of the sport, and so these kinds of clips pop up in my feed pretty often. Still, this one seemed different. The video didn’t show any tricks–no flashy 360 varial flips, no nollie crooked grinds–just a man pushing through the streets of L.A., a dusty suit jacket flapping open in the breeze.
In the opening pages of Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud spends a great deal of time describing Rome. It’s meant as an elaborate metaphor to convey the variegated layers of consciousness and memory that make up the human psyche
As a teenager and young man living in New York, I wore a lot of black clothing--black surplus peacoats, black skinny jeans, black crewneck sweaters, and lots of black shoes. In the circles I ran in, black is a way of rebelliously blending in, appropriate for all occasions, and always flattering.