Tag Archives: boston

Goorin Brothers

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Founded in 1895 on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Goorin Brother‘s legacy is that of old-world artistry. Goorin Bros. Hat Shop is the oldest family owned hat shop in the country. Its headquarters has since been relocated to San Francisco, CA. However, the company still believes in a timeless approach to the art of haberdashery. In its fourth generation of leadership Goorin Brothers continues the tradition of family craftsmanship and is supported by a team of individuals who share the same passion for the cultural, artistic, creative and hands on approach to this century old brand.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Birdcaged, netted and caught. Proudly wearing the JEANNE, a Goorin everyday fascinator & pillbox.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Originally sold and carted by horse, the hats now, instead, on display in windows. Each hat was begun on a custom wooden hat-blocks. Knowing that hats were an extension of one’s personality, Cassel Goorin understood that adding the right feather, sewing the right lining, angling the finished product or attaching a new ribbon would help the individual customer connect with the final form and to express his soul.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

A leather-bound book becomes a display piece. 

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

During the 1940’s the hats could be found on the likes of businessmen to that of an outdoorsy, fishermen. Evolving from stovepipes and top-hats to headbands, in 1960, Goorin became the official headwear for the VIII Olympic Winter Games. By the 1990’s, with the onslaught of the grunge generation, hats (particularly beanies) became important again, and the Goorin Brother’s experienced a resurgence.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Never underestimate the power of a feather in your cap. 

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

My visit to the Goorin Brothers shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts was something akin to opening a time-capsule. Planted near the oldest University in America, Harvard Square is the perfect place for the shop to tap into its scholarly side. Displaying bowlers, cloches, flatcaps, fedoras, panamas, westerns and ballcaps, the crowd of leather-elbow-patched shoppers look right at home when the shopkeeper offered them (and me) free Whiskey Sours. With a prohibition era vibe, the storied shelving, ladders on rails, peacock feathers  milk vases and industrial decor complemented the heritage of the famed, hat handicraftsman. Hat’s off to them!

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The scarlet and angular, leaned hat looks straight out of Janis Joplin’s seventies with the round rimmed sunglasses.  Yours truly is wearing the Evelyn Jones, an a symmetrical fedora with a 1 1/4-3 inch brim, 3 1/2 inch crown and 1 1/4 inch grosgrain band. Lined in satin with a soft grosgrain hatband.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Rumpelstiltskin couldn’t knit caps this find even using spools of gold. 

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

There was a time when neighborhood hat shops existed in just about every community in America however  a trip to your local milliner is no longer so common. Goorin Brothers wants to bring back the personalized, neighborhood approach to headgear. The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MAAs Charles Dickens so aptly wrote in The Pickwick Papers, “There are very few moments in a man’s existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.” 

Keren / The Walkup

My Week in Snapshots: 5/19/2012 – 5/26/2012

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I have not been in my own city for about five weekends in a row now. This a double edged sword: awesome because I get to see much of the East Coast and am always hanging out with new people, tiring because I pay a lot of money for my apartment and I feel as though I am “wasting rent” or….sometimes I just need to be still, be horizontal, and take a bath at home. This past weekend I was in Boston visiting my boyfriend’s family. The travels took me on an Amtrak train ride up the coast where I could watch the sun slowly set alongside the tracks.

Here are a few photos taken straight from my iPhone so that you can see the New England sites through mine own eyes.

1. A new frozen yogurt store opened up mere blocks from my apartment in Chelsea, NYC. This is dangerous seeing as though I LOVE frozen treats, but that also my yogurt intake goes WAY up in the summer. It’s a direct correlation. Anyway, the store is called 16 Handles and it has ever-rotating 16 flavors and unlimited and limitless toppings – cereals, jimmies, fudges, syrups, cookies, candies, fruits – there are like 100 toppings from which to choose.

2. The train ride from NYC to Boston took about five hours. During this time my boyfriend got extremely bored and decided to make an article about Rocco DiSpirito in Arrive Magazine, an article about Spiderman. Doodling can pass hours easily!

3. The sun sets over the tracks as we have our dinner on a train and head to beantown. Seeing the world from an elevated perspective, whether it be via an airplane or a train, allows ones to reevaluate the landscape.

4. In and out of train stations, bus stations, and through constant traveling, I spy other couples making the same trek as us. The elevators go up, the escalators go down.

5. My boyfriend’s childhood home has a guest room wherein family albums are kept and displayed. We sat on the guest bed one night and pored through hundreds of all photos of his mother, grandparents, and high school yearbook photos. Somehow I always feel more connected to a person when I am given an intimate glimpse into their visual memories. Here is a wall of photos from my boyfriend’s grand-family in Morocco.

6. The weather in NYC this week has been straight out of Jumanji or some tropical rainforest. One morning, the fog was so thick on my walk to work that the skyscrapers were blending into the clouds. Here is the skyline of the Flatiron District from Madison Square Pare.

7. Only in NYC will this antique chaise be casually thrust aside to the curb! If I had a truck I would have grabbed it immediately. Beware of bedbugs!

8. Boasting a genuine19th century atmosphere created by the many historically significant structures here – including some of the oldest churches and libraries in the nation – this residential area is also home to some incredible Back Bay, Boston townhomes built throughout the last century. Driving through Back Bay and viewing the Victorian architecture instantly transports me to the colonial era.

9. Artist Alex Katz is all over Boston and is having an exhibition of his prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) who touts the gallery as, “A world of glowing light and vibrant color, “Alex Katz Prints.” Bold portraits, idyllic landscapes, scenes of sophisticated leisure—they’re all here in the works of the renowned contemporary artist. With arresting simplicity of line, color, and form, Katz distills his subjects down to their essence, with a powerful graphic punch.”

The gallery scene is also bringing all of their Alex Katz prints out of inventory to celebrate his local rise in fame. Here I am holding an original, limited edition print, “Bathing Cap”.  Katz is on my “dream list of artists to own”. 

10. My morning coffee routine got a bit more trendy now that I am stopping at Keko Cafe. Featured in New York’s 50 Best, the cafe serves a daily, traditional High Tea Service. Keko Café opened in 1996, bringing a touch of European café life to Murray Hill, NYC. The food, drink, and décor are inspired by the English tea tradition, French café life, and Tunisian flavors in some dishes. I love the vibe of the gilded frames, travelers trunks, and parisian cafe chairs.

Image found HERE.

What did YOU do this week?

 

Meet & Greet

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I literally do not know how to begin to even discuss the glory that is Sonja Skeen (née Vitow…but legally her name is Sonja Robinson Vitow). Sonja recently married her high school sweetheart (Samuel Skeen…so much alliteration), and fellow member of the self-touted group, “The Good Squad” in January, at The Franklin Institute’s Planetarium, in Philadelphia, PA. Seriously though, does it get any more nerdy/hip? This combination of both uber nerdy and somehow alarmingly chic best describes the wonder of Sonja (whose nicknames include Sun Jar, Sun Yi, et. al.)

But let us (be kind and) rewind; how did Sonja and I meet? The short answer is: BANGS. No really. Sonja and I were both members and editors of a literary magazine based at The George Washington University known as Le Culte du Moi (website not updated since 2009). We actually did not like one another, in fact, we had gotten into a few fights. During the thaw of winter hiatus, and upon our return to the first lit. mag. meeting of the semester, we showed up to the event wearing THE SAME OUTFIT WITH THE SAME HAIRCUT. It was a sign from the gods above – the heavens sang, a million angels threw confetti streamers from cumulonimbus clouds, and Zeus bowled a thunderous strike. The rest, as they say, is history. Now we are as inseparable as two friends, who live in cities 230 miles apart, could possibly be (thank you Skype, Gchat, SMS). I was also a bridesmaid in her wedding (which has the high distinction of being the only wedding wherein the maids want to wear and actually REPEAT the wearing of their dresses…and the wedding was PEACOCK THEMED). Clearly her life inspires me use parentheticals overzealously.

Sonja is one of those individuals who is a a multitalented, ambidextrous, pluralistic, amalgam of a person. What the hoohaw does that mean? She speaks French, German, Spanish, and a wee bit of Norwegian. She translates poetry for fun. She writes short stories, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction (See: The Great Boston Molasses Disaster). Sonja is currently pursuing an M.F.A. at Emerson College, and has been published by The Safety Pin Review, The Meadowland Review, and Gulf Coast Magazine, she was event shouted out by the L.A. Times recently; learn more about her myriad achievements HERE.

If I am being completely candid, the only thing that I (possibly) do not like about Sonja is her weird affinity for hockey.

I JUST DON’T GET IT.

Name: Sonja Robinson Vitow

Location: Beantown (Boston, MA)

Job: Intern at the Boston Preservation Alliance, Graduate Assistant at Emerson College, MFA Candidate in Creative Writing at Emerson College

Age: 24 (AND A HALF)

And as part of my ongoing EAT/SEE/SHOP/DO series, Sonja has dreamed up some favorites in her city:

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