Friday, October 30, 2009

About a Bike: Freeman Transport + FSC.

The other day, I had the pleasure of meeting Taavo and Martin down at FSC to take a look at their newly arrived Fall line. In addition to their mechanic's shirts, tweed shackets and impeccably tailored suiting, the fellas at Freeman's have new Fall offerings of beautiful deadstock wool/cashmere Revere Coats(you have to feel them), deadstock wool shawl-collar Codger Jackets, heavy japanese cotton flannels(perfect) and handsome umbrellas from Fox of London(est. 1868). But that's another post.Let's talk shop.
Bikes, for me, are always works in progress. Switch out saddles, find that elegant quill stem, throw on different pedals, have to have the Montmarte bars from Velo Orange. I think Taavo may be similar in his tinkering. Take one Surly frame, mess with it for a year or two, give it a unique gun metaled and hand painted finish, add a coaster break and deadstock pedals. Now, take that bike and clone it.
The FSC bike has been a year + long project in the making between Freemans Sporting Club and Freeman Transport of Missoula, Montana(No relation aside from friendships forged through the process).
The hand-made steel frames come from Freeman Transport, (which are a couple of guys Doing Things Right) founded in 2006 by Nathaniel Freeman and Ben Ferencz, and are finished here in NYC by the FSC guys.
It's an upgraded yet fairly faithful repro of Taavo's own neighborhood beater(compare the photos for yourself).
His own dislike for tow cages and knee problems(is that what the popping is?) lead to building the bike sans cog and lock ring but with a bmx-style coaster break and deadstock platform pedals for an easier ride. Also adding to a more up-right posture while riding are English 3 speed style tourist bars.
Add a Brooks saddle(naturally) and big white Schwalbe tires, finish the frame off with the same "secret rust finish" and some hand-painted FSC action and there you have it, the FSC town bike. Not quite a Porteur, certainly not a Randonneur, the FSC bicycle rather re-interprets and updates the Pashley Path Racers of the '30s.
Bikes are extremely limited, if not already pre-sold by now. It's worth a trip down to Rivington to have a look. And while you're at it, treat yourself to a
haircut and shave.

A big thanks to Taavo, Martin and Ben.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Agenda: Get Handsome, Again.

Michael and Randy, A Continuous Goldberg, are back at it with Pop-Up Flea 2.0
Click over to the Official Site for info as well as some insight into the minds behind it all.

Moving Pictures: Black Keys " Your Touch".

Black Keys @ Grimey's in my hometown of Nashville, TN.

These Just In: Alden + Winn Perry Longwings.

Spotted these Alden Longwings at Winn Perry. A subtle take on the shoe, Winn Perry has made a slight tweak in the sole to combat Portland's famously rainy climate. Described as such, "Done simply in walnut brown calfskin this shoe is about as under the radar as beautifully constructed shoes come. But if it aint broke, don’t fix it. So we only made one very subtle change that will benefit us Portland folk immensely. The main difference we made to these was in the sole. Instead of the standard double leather sole, we used an oiled version, called a "Double Waterloc" that will resist the harmful effects of Portland’s wet climate. The heavily oiled sole is a stacked version of the soles used in the construction of Alden’s flex welt system. In this case however, the oil keeps water from penetrating the sole and helps to increase their lifespan dramatically on Portland’s soggy grounds."
Well played sirs.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Agenda: Urs Fisher, "Marguerite de Ponty" @ New Museum.

"For his first solo presentation in an American museum, Fischer will take
over all three of the New Museum’s gallery floors to create a series of
environments featuring towering aluminum sculptures, objects that
appear to melt, and a labyrinth of silkscreened chrome steel boxes that
will turn an entire floor into a dazzling cityscape of mirrored images.
Marking the first time the New Museum building will be devoted to one
single artist, “Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty” will be on view from
October 28, 2009 through February 7, 2010."
via New Museum Press Release.

If you're on the Bowery, take a gander.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From the Desk of: Shelter Studio, NYC.

On the lower end of Crosby, one of my favorite blocks in the city, next to BDDW and a stones throw from Ted Muehling, Kim Ficaro(full disclosure, my wife and certainly my better half) and Christine Rudolph, share a studio together called Shelter Studio, NYC. In addition to prop styling, which they both do (together when the projects allows for it) with such effortlessness and beauty, Shelter provides interior consulting including both residential and commercial, set design and creative and identity development.
Shelter is home to their various collections, their inspirations and the things they love, collections of good things. They share a passion for color and texture and bring with them to every new endeavor, an artist’s sense of color, eye for detail, and curiosity for the undocumented and undiscovered. Each have a very individual and purely personal style, finding
inspiration in the smallest details or an indescribable impression. They see the world as the work place, often working abroad. Both self described "research junkies", they love the challenge and excitement of finding the uncommon object in each new location.
Have a look around their Shelter and maybe find some inspiration of your own.

Dog Day Afternoon: 犬印 (InuJirushi)

On a recent afternoon, Emil came over to shoot some photos for the Hill-side's Spring '10 lookbook. On top of digging the ties and scarves(which are great. Take a look at some HERE), I was quite taken with the simple navy canvas duffle he carried it all in.
Inujirushi, Dog Brand, of Japan is manufactured in the same facilities that it's occupied for some 50 odd years. Having depended on word of mouth, a simple quality product line and an intense customer loyalty, the small shop recently opened to sell their bags is said to have the occasional line of people already queued up before opening.
And if you're even a moderate cycling nerd, as I am, you surely know of the handmade frames from Jitensha Studio in Berkley, CA(an elegant bike shop). Well, Jitensha happens to carry a limited selection of Inujirushi's handlebar bags; sturdy, well-made and damn good looking.
I bothered Emil to take some photos of the couple of bags he's picked up on trips to Japan.
And if you're a Monocle subscriber, (I'm not) click HERE to read a recent article on Inujirushi.

Song of the Open Road: One Trip Pass, Stars & Stripes.

It was suggested to me that Jay Carroll and I meet because we may be long lost brothers.
This was some time ago, before he and Ned Martel brought One Trip Pass to Billy Reid's on Bond st.
If we are brethren, he is the far luckier and infinitely more adventure-bound than I. Having just recently completed another epic crossing of this great land, he's set up shop in Levi's flagship store in San Francisco(for a great read on the city by the bay's seedy history, pick up "The Barbary Coast" by Herbert Asbury). One Trip Pass: Stars and Stripes is the result. As Jay explains: "basically levis sent me on this trip to find great shit based on the theme "stars and stripes"
reinterpreting their go forth/pioneers campaign through my trip i looked for ways in which different american cultures use the design of the flag to express themselves
also brought a friend of mine(Nate Bressler) to photograph kids wearing levis that we found along the way
we went dirt bike racing in backwoods Alabama, went waterskiing in backwoods Louisiana, hung out in Marfa and jumped around Chinati, made friends with rodeo queens on rt 66 in Kingman Arizona and tore up the dirt in Joshua Tree National Park.
in the shop we have a bunch of books, artwork, vintage gear, vintage flags, 501s, one off paperweights with archival levis art, feild notes, pendelton blankets, stormy kromer hats, audubon bird callers, and a bunch of other little mercantile items."

Enough said.
Stars and Stripes: One Trip Pass for Levi’s San Francisco, now through the holidays at the Union Square store, 300 Post Street, San Francisco, Calif.

ps. Stay tuned for THIS, coming soon.