Nike & Croc's Ugly Stepchild - Nike Solarsoft Sandals

Crocs, the all too ubiquitous footwear among healthcare professionals, weekend gardeners making trip to the local big box hardware store, towheaded young children not paying attention on escalators, and fat Americans on vacation in the Caribbean who are too lazy to walk to the beach so they rent golf carts.

Those who wear Crocs swear by their comfort and convenience. The rest of us in the world think they are hideous and an affront to all that is good in the world of shoe design.

So what would make Nike, a multi-billon dollar global company that routinely collaborates with some of the hottest designers and dominates the urban footwear market decide to make an even uglier version of a Croc?

I don’t know the answer to this question, because surely the amount of revenues netted from this venture can’t be worth the besmirching of the company’s good name.

Recently released, are the Nike Solarsoft Sandals that look like the product of a lust filled night between a pair of Crocs and a pair of Air Max 95s.

I wish that we could dismiss these shoes as knockoffs destined for the flea market and less reputable dollar stores. But, alas, this the second edition of the shoes, the first edition released last summer had a less obnoxious swoosh on the side.

Nike Solarsoft Sandals, coming soon to a strip mall near you in black, green, and blue.


Tattooed Gloves by Ellen Greene

I am always intrigued by art that has some innate tension caused by the juxtaposition of discordant ideas, mediums and/or methods. Tattooed Gloves by Ellen Greene is exactly that sort of work.

Her artist’s statement explores the tension by the traditional masculine art of tattooing and the feminine gloves and the result of combining the two.

What strikes me the most are the last few lines of the artist's statement, “These gloves are not wearable. They are art.”

The artist has taken motifs that are usually worn under the skin, placed them on an accessory worn above the skin, and for some, used to cover tattoos, and the end result of the process is an artifact that cannot be worn.

Add that to pretty awesome tattoo design work and you’ve got art worth obsessing over.

Check out the full gallery at Ellen Greene’s website….. As with most traditional tattoo designs there is a fair amount of boobies and genitalia, so consider it NSFW except for the most liberal office places.

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Tattoo: From Street Art to Fine Art

Tattoos have come a long way from the markings of criminals, sailors and carnies. So much so that there are now distinct styles, celebrity ink slingers and unfortunately, reality TV shows dedicated to specific personalities and shops. And like all art movements there are those who study, document and analyze tattoos.

BLACK & GREY TATTOO 1-3: From Street Art to Fine Art is a tome, if there ever was one, at over 1,000 pages and weighing 22lbs.

The book traces and documents the evolution of Black and Grey tattooing from its origins on the streets and in the prisons of California to the several distinct modern styles and school.

The work also contains interviews with titans and pioneers of the black and grey style. Far more than your average coffee table book, this collection is sure to help settle any discussions about if tattoos are “art” and will hopefully help a few sorority girls reconsider their desire for a trendy tramp stamp.


Damien Canvas Boots from Zuriick

Looking for a new pair of casual boots for the spring and summer and want to try something else other than leather?

Try the Damien ankle boot from Zuriick. It has a leather sole with a canvas upper and comes in black and chocolate. The blue eyelets on the black boots are lovely flourish. The ankle boot retails for $139 and is available at Zurich.com.


David Wondrich Gives A History Lesson On Punch

So, yeah, you’ve whipped up a batch of eggnog from scratch and you even lived on the wild side by using raw egg whites. But are you truly ready to delve deep into the history and tradition behind punch?

Written by David Wondrich, the witty bard behind Imbibe! and Vintage and Forgotten Cocktails, Punch focuses on the magical properties behind the communal punch bowl. And not the hangover inducing Jungle Juice that you consumed at frat parties.

Wondrich explores the punches that were consumed by the founders of nations, defenders of freedom, and tyrants alike.

If Wondrich’s previous works are any indication, this work will be thoroughly researched, humorous, full of tempting recipes, and will avoid the proclamations of drinking dogma that are too common in other cocktail books.


Your Guide to Men's Slippers

Ralph Lauren Pink Monogrammed Slippers

If you would be so bold as to attend a black tie affair in a velvet jacket than your sartorial swagger had better extend to you foot wear. Velvet slippers at a black tie event boldly declare that while you respect tradition, your individual self-expression will not be stifled.

One word of caution, these shoes are traditionally strictly reserved for home usage and should not be worn if you must walk any great length to your soiree. Hopefully your evening includes chauffeured transport and your slippers never touch concrete unless it is covered in rose petals or red carpet.Read more


How to Keep Your Spirit Animal Warm

As the East Coast plunges ever deeper into the bitter cold of winter, I am left pondering upgrading my current head-ware. My current knit hat is an obnoxious shade of burnt umber, awesomely warm, brimmed and has ear flaps.

But, Spirit Hoods offers an even better option.

Yes, you read that correctly: Spirit Hoods, as in spirit animal. These hoods are made out of faux fur and come in a variety of styles designed to mimic the pelts of your favorite four legged friends.

I’m partial to the Black Wolf and Brown Bear styles, as I fashion myself to be a one man wolf-pack. although I’m likely closer to a teddy bear in real life.


5 Gift Suggestions For Your Favorite Boozehound

The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender's Craft

Knowledge: You have to crawl before you can walk. And you should understand the science behind and history of cocktails before you go off making crazed infusions influenced by molecular gastronomy. This book will teach you relationships between a margarita and a whiskey sour and prepare you for a lifetime of knowledge driven boozing.  Buy it here

Tovolo King Cube Extra Large Silicone Ice Cube Trays

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Vanilla with Studs On Top

Every young boy had dreams of one day growing up to be a guitar god. Far too often, that young boy abandons those dreams to become the sort of generic worker bee who passively accepts that practical needs trump rock star dreams and descends into a vanilla lifestyle.

Burberry’s Fall collections offers an alternative take on beige. A trench perfect for the gent who has a 9 to 5 but afterwards still hits the scene, hard. Peep the studded upturned collar. Don’t miss the studded belt and passants. Get it here.


What’s Better Than An Iced Out Platinum Jesus Piece?

Limited edition pendants and chains of pop culture phenoms, that’s what! Let’s file this under do want, but can’t have, so now I’m cranky.

These intrepid young French men have created a series of neck bling with a random assortment of pop culture icons including: Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Terry Richardson, Grace Jones, Karl Lagerfeld, and Spike Lee. The detail in each piece looks great and the variety of finishes is sure to compliment whatever trendy shirt you have on for the evening.

I am partial to the Karl Lagerfeld all black piece because old Karl is a former chubber who now hates all fatties and loudly proclaims his disgust whenever the subject comes up.

More importantly, one is not likely to get robbed on the subway wearing a Karl Lagerfeld pendant as most hoodlums will have no clue who he is.

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A fly Michael Jackson, circa Thriller, piece will get stolen five minutes after leaving the home.

And here’s why I’m cranky. The blog has no instructions on how to acquire said pieces!

Is there anything more annoying than finding something you are obsessed with and having no way to possibly but it, even if it is well outside of your budget?

Images Via Nous Sommes


Flashback Fridays: The Old Fashioned

I've been accused of being a person of low moral standing whenever a bottle of CC is about. And while that may be true, there are good reasons. It is imminently mixable and provides all the basic components of a whisky that you need, slight sweetness, a touch of wood, and the bite of the grain. I'm referring to the classic 6 year old expression that every wino and bon vivant is familiar with - white label with black script on a brown bottle. I prefer my Club mixed with ginger sans fruit. It also makes a perfectly satisfactory mixer in any whisk(e)y cocktail.

And speaking of cocktails, a word of two on the Old Fashioned.

There is much debate and hoopla on the proper way to make said cocktail: scotch, bourbon, rye, whisk(e), muddled fruit (try the truly old school version with pineapple), only citrus peel, served on the rocks or straight up.

Beyond proving yourself a font of cocktail esoterica, one must ask: what’s the point?

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When at home, make an Old Fashioned to your personal spec. When in a bar, call the drink the way you prefer and pray your bartender is skilled enough, and properly motivated, to make it is as you specify.

Before I’m off to quench my thirst, here are a few interesting versions of the Old Fashion, and a word or two on Don Draper.

Old Fashioned, Cubed and Syruped

Don Draper, Canadian Club, & The Godfather of Whisky

Bourbon and Birch

The Classic Old Fashioned Revisited