Archive for the ‘Sources of Inspiration’ Category

The Film For Fall

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Images of Paul Newman are staples of the men’s style sites and one of my favorties is a photograph of the actor straddling a dirt bike wearing trim white denim and slip on boots.

I’d assumed the image was taken off-duty some weekend on Newman’s central California compound, but as channel surfing recently taught me, it’s actually a publicity still from the 1971 film Sometimes A Great Notion. A film my fall wardrobe and I are now using as our official mood board for Fall 2011.

The film’s plot revolves around an Oregon logging family facing ruin in the wake of a bitter union strike, but the finer points of the narrative faded deep into the background as I focused intently on the rugged (cars and) costuming.

Wardrobe Department basics included workshirts and sweatshirts in 70s sublime shades of celery green, and cuffed or cropped denim in dirty cream and cornflower blue.

Accessories included lambskin gloves, woolen night caps, amber lensed shades (and ultra-tough trucks).

Pretty much the only item from the foresting-chic film that I wouldn’t swing my ax at this fall (without a drastic career change first) are the logging dudes’ enameled hard-hats. (But what hats they are!)

Otherwise, every other piece Paul and his tree-chopping co-stars stomp around in are the perfect fit and in the ill-est tints to be taking into one’s wardrobe about now.

Catch the flick on cable if you can, or stream it through Starz over on Netflix. Most importantly, direct tweet me immediately if you can think of a source for faded celery-colored sweatshirts.

The Sound of Summer

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Today finally felt like Fall here in Minneapolis, so I’m shutting the door on Summer (and my eight months of silence) by entering into The Treasury my favorite find of the past few, fiery months: a set of sweetly singing Tibetan bowls.

They first called out to me as I arrived at a free, outdoor Qi Gong class one hot July evening. They sat still in the grass, at the foot of the instructor, where I stared at their tarnished sort of glamour for nearly an hour until they were brought up before me, where I learned of their true beauty.

Made from the metal of bells, when hit with suede-tipped sticks, they ring out clean and strong cleansing the mind and body. When circled around and around at the outer rim with felt-capped wands they whisper gently with an electric, super-hero-like hum, releasing energy and purity into the universe. They’re a hypnotic fusion of physics and feeling that can be played with in countless ways…

At first sight, I instantly knew I wanted one shimmering somewhere in my living room. I had no idea I’d then spend the rest of the summer setting it ringing ‘n singing throughout my entire home.

Coming Attractions

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

I figured I should forge into the very best time of year, fall, with my best foot forward – so I’m sprucing up my system a bit here at The Treasury to take things to a better place for all of us.

The site’s just received a Non-Extreme-Makeover up around top, with larger article images to be embedded down below. Also, I’ll be entering exclusive updates of additional Treasures on Twitter ’cause it’s finally time I let little Bieber influence how I’m living life, electronically.

Best of all, I’m assembling together a slate of illuminating new entries that’ll showcase the stories and style behind some of the coolest companies and internet comrades I’ve had the pleasure to cross paths with in my past year ‘n a half of online Treasuring.

Over the summer I’ve come to realize just how much we can learn from each other when it comes to sourcing and celebrating the happy and handsome things in life – and so that’s going to be a major new mindset as I move forward with my little ol’ site.

So…stick close by, friends. Good (looking) times are just ahead!

In or Out: Working The Sport Boot

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Since publishing an entry this past January with an early 70s photograph featuring Paul Newman, a dirt-bike, and a pair of biker-esque boots, I diligently hit internet auctions every morning for seven months to race down, at last, this “near mint” pair of 1960s Red Wing Irish Setter Sport boots.

They differ somewhat from my original inspiration, but they were just the style and color I figured would work with my day-to-day wardrobe. Now that I’ve finally got them, I’ve had to figure out to make them look cool with my pants when I’m not wearing slim 60s denim and sitting on a mini-motorcycle as Mr. Paul Newman was.

First I started with my pants crammed inside, but it takes time and it takes work to get them in there alright, and the resulting look is undefined and essentially dowdy.

Pulling the pants out streamlined the silhouette, but I can only think of electricians and dishwasher delivery men wearing them this way.

Neither in nor out was working, so I finally tried my pants the way I normally wear them, cuffed up twice. So far that gets me and my boots nearest that Newman photograph so I’ll roll along that way and see how often I end up wearing these biker-y boots I spent all year yearning for.

(Slimmer pants will probably help too. I’ve loved these canvas, khaki ones quite a bit, but half a year without fried chicken and chocolate milk and they’re just too big now.)

The Bell Museum

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Finally, a post it makes sense to use my Camera Bag (non iPhone) app on!

“The James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History was established in 1872 to collect, preserve, and interpret Minnesota’s diverse animal and plant life for scholarly research and for public enrichment and enjoyment. Its governance belongs, by state legislative designation, to the University of Minnesota.”

I don’t know why it took me decades to ever visit the Bell. It’s the closest thing to a public school field trip circa 1949 that a retro-minded modern man can do with his afternoon.

And back in college that grungy-glam, diorama-set Sheryl Crow video was (and still is) one of my favorites.

From its elevator, to its radial-edged wooden walls, to its apparent lack of air conditioning, the core of the museum looks and feels exactly how it did seventy years ago, I bet.

Unfortunately, right after my visit I learned that, just like most things too old and amazing to still be standing today, the original Bell is set to be updated.

“The Bell Museum of Natural History is in the process of developing a larger facility to house their thousands of specimen and to aid in research. The new location and building will be on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota and will better able to serve the many people and tour groups that visit the museum each year. Additions to be made to the museum will include an outdoor teaching facility, accessible parking and food service for visitors. The estimated cost of the new facility and moving is near $36 million.”

I respect that, to fully serve and instruct its visitors properly, the Bell needs to grow and evolve.

But I just know the new space won’t have strong and sturdy elevators, or polished and pretty wood walls as handsomely hand-crafted as the original.

If there’s one thing our world knows how to do in 2010, its design an ugly University building. (Or any building, it seems.)

Maybe beauty will get lucky and the original Bell will stand as is, once the new facility opens. As less a museum honoring the beauty of elks and pelicans, but of paneling and hand rails.

In less grumbly news, check this out. It almost instantly restores some of my faith in Minneostan mankind:

Café Scientifique

Café Scientifique is a program designed for adults who share an interest in scientific research and gathering in pubs and coffee houses for informal discussions on relevant and often provocative scientific topics. Science Cafés and Café Scientifique events are a chance for adults to exchange opinions and ideas about science and related issues. The Bell Museum launched its own Café Scientifique program two years ago which consisted of a happy hour program for adults that brings research from the University of Minnesota and beyond into some of the Twin Cities’ most unique and atmospheric bars and restaurants. The Bell Museum’s Café Scientifique explores science and natural history from distinct and surprising viewpoints, drawing connections between scientific research, culture, environment and everyday life. The Bell Museum’s Café Scientifique features guests from a variety of fields with diverse and relevant expertise. Past events have included scientific researchers, policy experts, bioethicists, community leaders, cultural historians, artists, and authors for dynamic discussions that bridge the gap between science and culture.

Ways To Be Cool

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Let’s be real. The bunch of blogs we bop toward each day are essentially the secret scrolls we rigorously study in our common quest to turn covertly cooler.

If you’re looking to save yourself a ton of time and ensure your ultimate coolness for all eternity, I’ve just scored a killer crib note that lays out each and every shortcut to classic cool.

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I have no clue who assembled this essential list but either they’re under fourteen or…I hate to say this, its maybe just a fake.

But since being cool is my main mission in life, just to be safe I think I’m gonna finally “learn to speak European” and for sure, for sure “hang out w/ Steve.”

I can totally see myself seeming cooler already.

Travel Guides

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I’m jetting off to Paris for the first time later this spring.

I am of course very excited but also a bit concerned with how to best organize my itinerary. I don’t want to tumble into every tacky tourist trap, nor waste my precious shopping sprees in endless luxury and lady stores that will have little relevance to me and my Louis Vuitton-free lifestyle.

Paris

If any of my well-respected readers have guidance on the best sites, shops or strategies for creating the brightest of times in the City of Lights, I know your advice would be the smartest and most chic of all.

Riding The Rails

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Never has a vagabond-ing bum looked so honest and hard-working. Or maybe it’s the opposite…

Never has a hard-worker looked so bummy and so vagabond-ing.

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Were it not for the gloves, I’d probably toss quarters in the guy’s dingy tin cup and walk on by. But what with the white jeans and the kerchief and the lovable gloves worn without any coat, he isn’t so much a street corner charity-case as my (surprisingly employed) Spring Style Icon.

Homework

Friday, February 5th, 2010

I know it’s the weekend, friends, but I’m giving us all a homework assignment.

Get yourself a treat and enjoy it next to your glowing-est window. Make sure it’s otherwise dark inside, and make sure it’s good and quiet.

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When you think you’re finished, look just a little bit longer and listen just a little bit more…

Then on you can go.

Military Issued

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Last weekend I was lucky enough to dig through a big box of army issued artifacts belonging to a relative who had served as a Lieutenant during WWII. Little pieces of history to hold in my hands that hinted at both the epic and ordinary routines of an enlisted man.

1. Pre-Packaged Stationery Set for writing your mom, sweetheart, or (apparently) your secret seductress.

Stationary

2. Front and back of a military matchbook.

Matches

3. Look what this book warns: This document must not fall into enemy hands!

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4. Four pack of cigarettes.

Cigarettes

5. Just some of the pins the Lt. had been awarded.

Pins

Included in the box was a letter the Lieutenant’s secretary had written to him a year after the war ended in which she described how hard it was to return to civilian life. How much she missed the camaraderie of those she served with, and the strong sense of purpose. She even lamented the changing styles of women’s fashion she was now forced to select from, instead of her government-issued uniforms.

Again and again in the letter she said how hard it was to “get back into the swing of things.”

I hope she eventually did. I hope she went on to have a good, full life.

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.

TV Guiding

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

PwTitles

As a child of the 80s, huge sections of my school vacations were spent watching NBC daytime. Scrabble and Santa Barbara were my favorites but my local affiliate must’ve not aired Super Password during it’s five year run ever, for whatever reason, or it would’ve been another childhood treasure.

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I didn’t really even know the show existed (at least in its late 80s incarnation) until I found it last month in this, the summer of my 33rd year, re-running on the Game Show Network.

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But it’s all the better seeing the show with virgin eyes at this later stage in life. The neon-lettered opening credits, the talk show meets Tron-ish set, host Bert Convy’s endearing awkwardness, the has-been celebrity guests…none of these things could I have appreciated appropriately as an 11 year old like I can and (twice a day) do, right now.

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And the fashion! At least every other episode Mr. Convy harasses some post-pubescent sister from Gimme a Break or mullet-ed heartthrob from Dynasty about their sweatshirt worn as a dress or Navajo patterned gentlemen’s loafers, to which the celebrity guests always shrug sheepishly and reply, “That’s the style!”

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In recent episodes Susan Anton and Marla Gibbs sported shoulder pads so wide, they almost plowed Bert right off his podium.

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The TIVO catches twelve episodes of the show a week – and it’s the machine that can barely keep up with me.

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I mute and pause the program at just the right moment, forcing my favorite friend to play along with me and the show…thinking how I could get them to guess the word BARREL or STAMPEDE or FRANCE with hopefully just a single one-word clue.

If you get the GSN channel, check or re-check the show out. I halfway/totally think the world used to be a better place mostly because there used to be more daytime game shows where winning even two thousand dollars felt super duper fine.