Greetings from Le Roi of Randomosity-and before I get rolling-let me say once again how smitten I am with the words being posited over at Mon Avis Mes Amis.... Only the Brits can cobble such tight little observational quips like...."Our postal system is up the spout, commie bastards….".
I rolled out of National Airport on Monday and had enough time to hang out in the Continental President’s Club before departing. Certainly a bit of a step up in décor but not as posh as the clubs used to be prior to the airlines’ tenuous financial situation.
The Continental Club is on the periphery of what used to be the original terminal at Washington National. There remains a hint or two of the deco-esque bones that used to characterize the terminal. I can see the terminal in the late 1930’s through the 1950’s as the venue of only those who travelled on business or those families wealthy enough to use air travel for pleasure. I see everyone dressed properly for travel and I see lots of cigarettes and cocktails. Mad Men…I’m channeling Mad Men.
I’m prone to nostalgia and I worry that when I’m an old man-the nostalgia will morph into curmudgeonly melancholia. Young people will hide from me when I attempt to regale them with stories of the good old days. LFG will have to give her kids a pep talk before they visit me at Shady Acres. “Be nice and let him hug you-I know he smells funny and wears his pants beyond his nipples but he is your grandfather. Yes-I know he smells funny but if you aren’t nice, I’m gonna make you spend two entire days with your great uncle Tintin. Now you pick your poison. And shut up”
I’m semi-slumming for the flight up to NJ. Levis 501s-Paul Stuart Gingham spread collar shirt-Flusser Cavalry Twill bellows pockets-three/two-chest pocket flap…could I have tarted this thing up with any more bells and whistles?
It’s the small touches that make sartorial pursuits interesting.
Side seam gussets on the Paul Stuart gingham would support not only the seam but my assertion.
Paul Stuart Man on the Fence embroidered on the shirt tail.
It seems that I'm not the only one sporting horizontal stripes these days.
Brown shell cordovan tassels from Ralph. Yes, shell cordovan comes in colors other than the classic Alden color 8. Stand back-these shoes will hurt you. Socks? Not so much today.
Floor and ceiling appointments in the President’s Club are a bit nicer than in the terminal. Wonder if these guys could come over to my pad and finish my crown moulding?
I’m not sure what’s going on in NJ that has booked all of the typical convention-business traveler hotels that I usually frequent. They were all booked this week so I had to seek other lodging options. I ended up abut twenty miles south of my client’s office in Bernardsville, N.J. as a guest at the Bernards Inn.
I know the area well-having friends from my N.J. days who used to live just around the corner.
I need scores of electrical outlets-strong water pressure for a quick hot shower...you know-the typical requirements of one who is on the road for business-not pleasure. Ambiance is manifest at the Bernards Inn but not road warrior amenities. Slow to warm shower water propelled like five year old kiddies doing slow tumbles in gym class is what you get here.
The Bernards Inn opened in 1907 so there's tons of history and patina but...Two electrical outlets which had to be traded from time to time for various appliances accompanying my visit. I had to inflate my blow up doll manually.
The Somerset Hills area of New Jersey is beautiful and especially so this time of year. Those who have settled on an opinion of N.J. based solely on the visual offense registered when landing at Newark airport need to take a drive out to Bernardsville. The adjacent towns of Peapack-Gladstone-Bedminster-Far Hills etc are quaint and lovely. Golf House-The USGA Headquarters is out here as well. Great way to spend a few hours if you happen to be in the neighborhood.
The USGA moved out here from its Murray Hill townhouse sometime in the 1950’s I think.
Ok…it’s off to the shower and one more day of Renal Medicine Service Line Strategies. Then I get to go home.
Onward-with brown shell cordovan and a turn down truffle from the Bernards Inn.
Our buddy Longwing recently commented on my “Man Cave” and thus the genesis for this post…..
Every man needs a space. A study, a library, a workshop…whatever. My office in Old Town has always been the repository for things that weren’t “allowed” in the house…caricatures...old toy soldiers…vintage military stuff…guy stuff. A guy needs a room with which he can do whatever…décor wise…tidy or not tidy…you know. My office was my principal man cave until I became "re-single". Then, it was “man cave central” at home too. Oh, with one exception…LFG has a cute pink bedroom.
It’s obvious that my stuff at home is the manifestation of a former life. Too much stuff in a much smaller space. Dividing the stuff wasn’t too difficult. There were only a few pieces of furniture that I insisted on and the premarital stuff was a no brainer. Interestingly, there was a bumper crop of kilim, heriz, bohkara, hamadan etc. carpets. I'm a bit of a slob and I've gotta tell you, persian/oriental carpets are a sloppy guy's best friend. They show nothing. Red wine spills actually enhance some of the coloring! You can go years without using a vacuum. Just pick up the big pieces and let it roll!
So, here’s a random display...mostly art... of the Man Cave Collection…
Kilim Chaise....bought at an auction when I lived in New Orleans. I'm glad this thing can't talk.
Algernon Charles Swinburne. Pre-Raphaelite hanger on...weak chin...kinky hair. Decadent poet.
Hall bathroom...bad wallpaper...Cartier Bresson, portraits of , family pics and a pic of the Allison Brothers and Cale Yarborough...signed by all three...the legendary Daytona Speedway Fist Fight all on one wall. Yes, we have problems over here. Shut up. The Spoon-Nose Trick....Can you do it?Carlo Pellegrini... the caricaturist "Ape" from Vanity Fair. Beerbohm idolized him. So do I. We don't drink cocktails. The booze is for guests only.Papier-mâché-plaster Penfold Golfball advertising display from the 1940's. Just noticed that his hat needs dusting. I ain't doin' it. The Help....where's the Help? I got none. Drypoints of Whistler by Menpes and Rajon. My old office...caricatures....LFG's mom used to call them "baseball cards for big boys".
Helleu, Pellegrini, Haden, , unk. artists pencil sketches and drypoints.
Andre Plumot Self Portrait-1862. ...
, William Nicholson, Rockwell Kent....lithographs, watercolours, etchings and pencil studies.
Watercolour of W. G. Grace, M.D. ...the "Babe Ruth of Cricket"
Vanity Fair prints including the Prince of Wales at the top. Pre-Edward VII and Duke of Wallis....no wonder he reteated to that maternal-erotically inclined twice divorced acrobat from Baltimore. They dressed his a_s in sailor suits till he was a grown man/boy.
Great little 19th century oil painting on board from Boris Wilnitsky in Vienna. Wilnitsky has an impressive inventory and I think, very fair prices with shipping fees from Europe that are quite reasonable.
Ok...that's enough of the Man Cave for one day. There's at least one more post on this theme. Wait till you see the kitchen. It's scary as hell in there.
Tata from the Cave. Have a blessed day.