Archive for November, 2009

Berry Beautiful

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Their label said Beauty Berries, and they were almost $15 for a bunch of three at the expensive grocery store.

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They’ve lasted a week already – maybe they’ll stay this bright and happy forever.

Holiday Reader Request

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I thought it’d be fun to know what the (five and a half) readers of The Treasury are wishing for this Holiday Season so share your secret list and e-mail me your:

• Name
• Location
• Occupation or Claim to Fame
• The half a dozen or so things that you want most this season, with photos or web links, and if you want, the reasons why.

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Then I’ll post the submissions to The Treasury over the coming weeks and we can all marvel at the good taste and greed of one another, Stags and Stag-ettes, alike.

Cuckoo for Cocoa Butter

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I’d like to take a moment and applaud the makers of American, low-cost health and beauty products because they’re one of the few sectors remaining that let the packaging of their products get so old and outdated that they’re actually awesome and attractive looking again! Since I’m not much of a pill-popper, it’s my primary reason to head to the drug store.

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So far things have been going smooth, but I know in a week or two the weather’s gonna get rude and rough, and two days later so is my skin. This winter I’m reverting back to good old school cocoa butter. I aimed to do so last December but I could no longer find the bright, retro yellow line of Cococare products locally, and I just don’t want to slather chocolate scratch-n-sniff sticker scented lotion on my face unless it’s coming out of a tub or tube destined for a Vincent Gallo movie scene.

(Wow, get this: I just looked it up and Cococare has actually been manufactured in Dover, New Jersey the past 40 years. Vincent Gallo indeed!)

This year I hopped online to locate Cococare and Walgreens.com let me know that a few select stores in my area actually still carry the line. So cocoa-ed, glowing December skin, here I come.

Newly Thrifted Treasures

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

In recent months my treasure hunting hadn’t turned up much of any worth. Thankfully my luck turned around this weekend. During a 20 percent off sale at my favorite (secret) store I managed to score:

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1. Ashtray in the shape of my semi-great state.
2. French coat rack.
3. Faded Christmas bulbs.
4. Shoemaker’s form…look what it says!
5. Black Hills coin case.
6. 1940s British soap dish.
7. Glass treasure display box.

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Old loot especially always seems better when it comes in a lot.

Gasoline Cowboys M.C.

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I’m really revved up to introduce to y’all a company that was just this morning introduced to me.

Gasoline

From the slick and sick Gasoline Cowboys website:

“Before WWII, Motorcycling was seen as a sport. The A.M.A. (American Motorcycle Association) sanctioned competition racing, hill climbs and recreational events such as the Gypsy tours. Many motorcycle clubs sprang up and each wore it’s own distinctive riding apparel, usually a colorful wool turtlezip sweater complete with decorative name and town embroidered on them. Likewise racers were sponsored by either the motorcycle manufacturer or by local dealers who would outfit their hero in tough sweaters for practical reasons of promotion and easy recognition on the track.

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As war clouds gathered, racing and motorcycling in general was put on hiatus till hostilities ceased. When peace broke out in 1945, American servicemen were demobed. During the war, they had earned regular pay, but found little to spend it on. Once back home with wallets full of cash many of this generation bought motorcycles.

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Many felt bored with civilian life after the perilous war years and some chose to seek out other adrenalin junkies. This resulted in the forming of hundreds of small motorcycle clubs with names like the ‘Lucky 13’s’ the ‘Top hatters’, ‘Ramblers’, and the ‘Bombers’. Members wore club sweaters; rode in formation not unlike the bomber squadrons and partied together.

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Founded in 1920 by William P. Dehen, who made his mark by making hardy woolen sweaters for the American sports man. When you get a sweater from us, you are not buying a remake or a replica. Dehen has been making motor clothes and racewear for 89 years. Dehen’s unbroken lineage – still making racewear woolens and jackets on American soil since 1920. So we really mean it, you get to wear the real deal, not a copy.”

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So…wow! Gasoline Cowboys will even create custom sweaters for your own crew. My mind’s racing, thinking of names for my own gang, wondering who might be tough enough to ride in and out of trouble beside me.

Supper Club Souvenir

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Jax Cafe is an institution here in Minneapolis. The closest thing my modern world has to a supper club and a wood-paneled portal into a time of stiff drinks, cigarettes, and 16 oz. sirloins.

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Although I don’t drink, have never smoked, and don’t even know how to eat (…deadpan), the atmosphere at Jax is rich and Roger Sterling enough to convince you that luxe and unhealthy habits are being indulged even when they’re not.

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And the very fanciest blast of a visit to Jax is one you take with you. If you phone ahead to make a reservation, waiting at your table upon arrival is a black matchbook glittering your name in golden letters.

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Popping it into your pocket at the end of a meal, you walk back out into your everyday life feeling like you’re really something special.

Smooth Operator

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Much of what winds up in my medicine cabinet earns its spot on the shelf due either to its pretty packaging, or being paraben-free, or being decidedly cheap or, alternately, indulgently spendy.

My Proraso shaving cream is none of the above, per se but I wouldn’t dare shave without it. (And haven’t, for the past five years.)

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When it comes to other toiletries, toothpastes and hair gunk, bar soaps or spray cologne, staying Brand Loyal for too long inevitably becomes boring – the once invigorating flavors or scents that were once so attractive fade over time into numbing nothingness.

But shaving is serious, manly business!

(Even) I can’t care if my shaving cream is a bargain, or Boysenberry Jojoba-scented, or crammed in a cool Helvetica-decorated can if my neck’s gonna end up bumped and bloodied after use.

The thick, oily paste of Proraso tingles with eucalyptus and smooths the face into a slick, slippery surface that renders the razor a tool rather than a weapon. It’s men’s grooming magic and I’m a customer for life.

Originally I found it at Target for 5 bucks a box, now I usually track it down at Bath & Body Works for twice as much in a C.O. Bigelow-branded version. Wherever you can find it, you’ll be doing your face a favor.

Distressed Signals

Monday, November 16th, 2009

There’s one school of thought that a man’s jeans should only ever be purchased selvedge, dark, tight, and perfect – and then naturally and authentically worn in over the years by their owner. Under this rule, pre-distressed denim is thought of as the worst in preposterous poser-y.

I personally never saw the need to be so fussy or fanatic about something as frivolous as fashion denim, although, for years and years I never would’ve considered buying pre-worn to the point of ripped jeans.

Or any piece splotched with paint.

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But I’ve recently changed my tune. Last month, James at Secret Forts photographed a preview of next spring’s J. Crew men’s line and for me the focal point was this pair of paint-caked cut-offs. Whether I wait until spring to buy a pair directly from J. Crew or hit the art supply store early and self-splotch a pair of my own shorts, I’ll definitely be fashioning myself a look based on fakery, and some studly snots just can’t handle any of that. I’m not an acrylics-coated, studio arts major – I’m just (either) purposely ruining shorts or buying purposely ruined shorts to look the part.

The thrill of men’s fashion today seems to be in the mix of the white and blue collar looks – banker bowties with bricklayer work boots, and I think a paint-caked coat or pair of cut-offs plays really interestingly with a rich and refined button-up or blazer.

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Probably more than any other trend, however, the pre-distressed piece needs to be taken on a case by case basis. When The Gap relaunched its denim line this fall, there were many fits, washes, and degrees of destruction, but something, no EVERYthing about these faded, razored, Authentic fit jeans seemed completely right.

I admit I’m a faker, building a look based primarily in the pretend, but I think for me, the faking needs to feel really, really real.

Tip Top

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

My holiday trees have been going topless the past few years. (So bawdy!) I’d kept my eyes open for a tree topper as life rolled along but I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for until I found this skewed little star.

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Its sweet and slightly strange, like Christmas in Whoville, and its only twelve dollars, so it’s as done as deals go.

Hurry Christmas, Hurry Fast!

Big Chief

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Miss Hovey snatched this Big Chief Indian sweater from the men’s department of Rugby (and, without a doubt, wears it well).

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But I’m gonna snatch it right back, rightfully returning it to the backs of grown up boys, should it ever set foot in the online shop.

Turning Portuguese

Friday, November 6th, 2009

The Kiosk has unloaded another haul of simple, sweet souvenirs from its adventures around the world – this time from an extended journey to Portugal.

If you’ve been wishing your degreaser, floor wax, and vanilla sugar came in prettier packages, today’s totally your day!

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Load up at KioskKiosk.com.

The Soda Pop Stop

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

This place is right out of my dreams.

The Soda Pop Stop, a former grocery store in Los Angeles run by John Nese that now stocks over 500 varieties of bottled pops. For a while I could find orange Nesbitt’s and Faygo red pop at specialty shops near me, but not anymore.

Yum ‘n num! Just look at all the flavors, look at all the fonts!