Tag Archives: travel

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

La Republica Dominicana

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One day last week, my fiance and I were trolling the interwebs hoping to find last minute package vacation deals. We were both frazzled from wedding planning and what seemed like a never-ending series of house guests. Seeing the promise of a three-day weekend (thank you President’s Day), we pressed the “purchase” button for the best rate we could find to a country whose average temperatures was in the tropical range. We escaped the snow in New York City and hopped aboard an airplane. Viva spontaneity!

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

We stayed in the Boutique Hotel Palacio, a 44 room converted villa in the Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone) of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo.  The property, was the old residence of Buenaventura Báez a politician who served five terms as president of the Dominican Republic and is noted principally for his attempts to have the United States annex his country.

It seems that Mr. Buenaventura Baez himself never lived in this house although he was the owner, but his sons and grandchildren did. One of them was Dr. Ramón Baez, who was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and elected president of the Dominican Republic from the 27th of August till 15th of December 1914.

Dominican RepublicDominican Republic

Bursting with Spanish Colonial architecture, the small hotel is only steps from El Conde, the main drag in the old city. The hotel itself has a wonderful Moorish design with colonial Spanish accents, a prince example of villas of the time period. Believe it or not, the building itself is considered “new” in the Zona Colonial where many buildings remain etched from Coral Reef Stone from the 16th century.  There is a marvelous central courtyard with tables and umbrellas where one can dine, observe an old well, and view local birds. There are a couple of different anterooms, and smaller courtyards which are  charmingly appointed.

Image found on Creative Commons via Richie Diesterheft

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Knowing almost nothing about this Caribbean nation, but loving history, Michael and I embarked on a haphazard, spontaneous and eye-opening adventure. We happened upon the first Cathedral in the Americas, the first hospital in the New World (San Nicolás de Bari), and unique native histories. When Columbus first landed on the shores of this island, the Arawaks called it Haiti, signifying “high ground,” but the western portion was also called Babeque or Bohio, meaning “land of gold” and the eastern part Quisqueya, meaning “mother of the earth.” The name Quisqueya is the one by which Dominican poets now refer to their country.

Parque_Colon

Via Creative Commons user Genosonic

Ciudad Colonial is the oldest permanent European settlement of the New World. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Spaniards used this settlement as the first point of influence in the Americas, from which they conquered other Caribbean islands and much of the American mainland. Santo Domingo was initially the political and cultural hub of Spanish presence in the new world, but after a few decades started to decline as the Spaniards focused their attention more on the mainland after conquering Mexico, Peru, and other regions of Latin America.

Samuel Hazard: "Santo Domingo, Past and Present; With a Glance at Hayti." New York, 1873 (Harper Brothers), p. 219.Dominican Republic  Dominican Republic

Vintage maps from of the “New World” could be found throughout the hotel – they extolled faraway places such as West India, Barbary, Hispaniola and so forth. The art on the walls was of old aristocrats, long passed, and sailing vessels. A book titled “Santo Domingo A Country With A Future” written in 1918 by Otto Schoenrich explains it best, ” When Columbus, in December, 1492, sailed along the northern coast of the island of Haiti or Santo Domingo, he was more enchanted with what he saw than he had been with any of his previous discoveries. Giant mountains, covered with verdant forests, seemed to rise precipitately from the blue waters and lift their heads to the very clouds. Beautiful rivers watered fertile valleys, luscious fruits hung from the trees, fragrant flowers carpeted the ground, and the air was filled with the songs of birds of gay plumage.”

Not only did we bring back many cigars, mamajauna and a new love of mofongo, we now also want to decorate are home like that of an explorer. I don’t mean to romanticize conquistadors, the age of exploration, the spread of disease, and so forth – but I do love the typeface, arched masonry, wrought iron balustrades, styling and reserved grandeur of colonial villas.

via The Walkup

Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Keren / The Walkup

It’s the economy, stupid.

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Candy nostalgia reigns supreme in the Lower East Side’s Economy Candy store. This circa-1937 Lower East Side staple is filled from floor to ceiling with retro and international confections, including innumerable  brands you never knew were still in production, or even existed from the get-go. Remember wanting to ‘smoke’ candy cigarettes at the corner drugstore like the big kids? Want a piece of Big League Chew after Sunday’s pick-up game? Imagine a rainbow colored array of chocolates, candy button, lollipops, taffies, collectible Pez dispensers, rock candies, gum-balls and every treat that’s meant to upset your dentist. New York Magazine’s review writes, “Rivington Street’s Economy Candy is pure over-the-top New York, a font of variety and abundance that would leave Willy Wonka weeping in his cocoa.”

That’s me, Keren, posing like Economy Candy’s mascot, below! See the resemblance?

Want an Economy Candy Tote for your finds?

Candies by the box

Zagnut bar? Here. Charleston Chews? You bet baby! You want thingamabobs? They’ve got twenty…It is literally impossible to feel depressed in this sucrose, dextrose neon colored dream. In usual NYC fashion, the store is three times smaller than it should be, almost like a Hoarders episode meets an encyclopedic, library-esque sweets store. The space can feel cramped pretty quickly, and lines of by-the-pound shoppers can get daunting during (sugar) rush hour but, don’t let that dismay you!

Baseball Cards and Candy Buttons

Kitsch Galore with Piggy Bank Tins

Fox’s U-bet Chocolate & Flavored Syrups are an original, Brooklyn-bred treat from the era of the soda jerk! Created in 1895, this liquid is rumored to be the only way to make a perfect New York Chocolate Egg Cream.

I will let Economy Candy explain the history of this institution, straight from the horse’s mouth, “Since 1937, on the Lower East Side Economy Candy is an old-fashioned, family-owned candy store that sells hundreds of kinds of chocolates, candies, nuts, dried fruits; including halvah, sugar free candy and of course all the old time candy you had when you were a kid.

When Jerry Cohen’s father opened Economy Candy in 1937, it was a typical corner candy store of its day. Bulk bins full of colorful hard candies enticed youngsters with their panorama of choices. Guys could buy their dolls a heart-shaped box of chocolates when they had trouble expressing themselves in words. Barrels in the back yielded a geography lesson of nuts from around the world. The hard times of the Depression were easing up, the grim specter of war-to-come wasn’t yet hovering over American shores, and television was a scientific marvel that was unlikely to have any practical commercial application.

Years later, the Dow Jones is soaring to previously unimagined heights, military actions are measured in days, and computer-literate three-year-olds are unnervingly common. And the former youngsters of 1937 still visit Economy Candy for a scoop of goodies, a bag of pistachios, or a slice of halvah like you can’t get anywhere else. And their children and their children’s children shop there, too. This old-fashioned candy store offers SOLID DISCOUNTS on everything from sour balls to upscale chocolates.”

Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolly Lolly Pop!

My coffee cup is resting precariously on Old Fashioned Candy Sticks and Candy Canes so I could get this shot of the M&M wall. The confectionary utopia has common candies as well (and sometimes ever color coded), however its strength lies in the products of yore!  The whole space reads like a Pop Art painting.

My friend, Jeffrey J., exploring the endless possibilities in this parlor of sweets.

The Candy Man Can

Feel like a “Kid in a candy store”, yet? If buying in bulk is not your forte, trying living with these pastel, saccharine soaked products:

Candy is Dandy but Liquor is Quicker

Shop by the Numbers:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

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