Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Après London-LFG and a Merkin Parcel

Whew! No surprise to me when I manifested the “no good vacation goes unpunished” phenomenon yesterday. I’ve long since given up on the proverbial first day back from vacation being anything but clearing email and opening regular mail. This trip was only slightly different in that my iPhone was fully functional for text-email and voice calls during my stay. I was anything but a slave to the virtual connection back to the office and the iPhone was really handy for GPS purposes and address searches. Enough about the damned iPhone.
Oh and before I forget it…thanks to whoever it was that suggested I bring back a bunch of inexpensive-random things for LFG. The suggestion was a hit to say the least. Candies that are unique to England-coins for her to share with friends at school-key chains and baubles to adorn her school back pack and finally a gift from a stranger. An antique baby doll from the mother of the toy soldier dealer on Portobello Road. She deals in high end antique dolls and was delighted to learn that she and LFG share the same first name and it’s spelled the same way. She insisted that I bring “L”FG a doll from another “L”- this one in London. Oh, and the Virgin Atlantic Passenger Travel Kits are always a hit back home.
My LFG weekend as always-was bliss. More so since I didn’t get to see her during the week and for some reason-she seemed excited to see me too. I realize that as this young lady continues to evolve, the competition for her free time will ever so increase. So I’m just taking it one grateful weekend at a time. Cashmere and cotton blend gingham shirt-New and Lingwood-half price.
Snow greeted me upon my return but fortunately not a crippling episode like before-just enough to make things pretty and wintry. My half price Polo overcoat came in real handy-breast pocket flap and all. 
Said pocket flap upstaged by a pair of ten year old Flusser "Genuine Peccary" gloves tucked in the breast pocket. The upcharge for peccary versus pigskin in a pair of unlined gloves is laughable. Marketing spin-who contrives such sh_t? And to those of you who gave me some shit about that little pocket flap treatment-stay tuned. I’ll address that issue in a separate post on polo coats. Also you seemed to have forgotten that I remain the quintessential fuzzy dice man ergo that kind of gaudy accoutrement is right down my dark ass alley.
Uggs and R.M. Williams shodding were appropriate for our weekend weather.
But at home-it was off with R.M. and into house slippers. Shut up.

My jet lag lined up nicely with the LFG bedtime routine. In other words, when she hit REM sleep at eight thirty I was right there with her. Comfort food defined our culinary endeavours this weekend manifesting in a chicken curry on Saturday night-this kid is crazy for a mild curry-and spaghetti on Sunday night. Anyone wanna swing by for leftovers? Both of these concoctions get better after settling in the fridge for a few days.
London was great but I get no greater level of joy in the world than from hanging with my kid. Sunday saw me with three women-I know, I know…you are wondering how a man with such limited attributes can draw in the gals like I do. I got no answer for you my friends. Other than maybe their parents were ready to get them out of the house for an afternoon and I was willing to pop for the price of a movie and popcorn. BTW the margins on popcorn are stunning. LFG’s friends are so diverse and I love it. Her gang is akin to the United Nations-in ethnic diversity only-not in irrelevance and international impotence.
Tragic update. LFG suddenly decided-as did her friends-that they required eyeglasses. So they popped the lenses out of the 3-D glasses and voila…the new Tom Ford eyewear collection incarnate.
Here’s LFG relaxing back home with The Rake. A magazine so well done that it can’t survive. Superb writing-great photography-excellent layout-the finest paper stock production. All the things that one would expect in a top tier magazine and in my irrelevant and not so humble opinion-all the reasons that it will fail. Print media is dying a slow death and unless you get circulation numbers out the ass-you can’t make it in the new media world with an old media vehicle. Thank you-this concludes my discourse on new media. Luca Rubinacci adorns the cover of this issue of the Rake. There is no more passionate sartorialist on the planet. I met him in London and will do a post on him sometime soon.

Now on to the mundane task of opening post London mail. LFG and I pick up my bundled mail being held by our buddy Ralph. There is a semi flat brown cardboard packet with a Merkin return address. I have to tell you that the sincere note and the contents just overwhelmed me. I love what Alan Flusser said about Richard Merkin in one of his articles and I loosely paraphrase…. “Coming upon Merkin in the street is like walking into a bazaar in Marrakesh-you don’t know what to look at first”. The same held true for me when I opened the parcel from Richard Merkin’s wife. Her words, written on his personal stationery were more than kind. 
She couldn’t have assembled a menagerie of tokens more emblematic of Merkin. Richard Merkin was a devotee of the finest things that one could happen upon on Jermyn Street or Madison Avenue and he was also a devotee of camp-kitsch and things borderline dodgy. My Merkin packet contained all representations. 
There’s a pair of socks from a London source. 
An old and delightfully patinated cashmere and silk scarf from J. Press. 
A monogrammed handkerchief with an appropriately large “R”.
A  pair of handmade red suede driving gloves. 
A red silk-white polka dotted pocket square. 
And finally on the kitsch-camp side of the menagerie-a rayon handkerchief with the greetings hello and goodbye in a plethora of world languages. 
I’m beyond humbled and gratified by the gesture and have already worn the polka dot square and the J. Press scarf. The other items are going to be framed together in a nice homage/assemblage.

I have a final Merkin tribute post brewing. It will focus more on his legacy as an art teacher and mentor to students during his over thirty year tenure as an art professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Ok, I’ve gotta get to work and make so 2010 dough. Onward, with gratitude for all my blessings but today I single out LFG and the kindness of the Merkin family. 


ilovelimegreen said...

Love those house slippers - but with those socks??? Looks like you were up the street from me on Sunday when you went to the movies.
I can't say it too many times- you have NO IDEA how lucky LFG is.

Chris said...

Just wait til Tin Tin sees those slips...

DAM said...

While the package from the Merkin's would surely bring tears to one eyes upon reciept, my favorite part of the post is by far the red cap and Rugby slippers.

Oh and your endless affection towards LFG.

LPC said...

My favorite is the line of 3 little girls, arm in arm, girling it. And then, to the horror of those who hate anything maudlin, they grow up and have apartments with roommates.

Gail, in northern California said...

It is just JOY to read you, pure joy.

James said...

Wow what a avalanche of emotions hit you this weekend! What a classy gesture from Mrs Merkin,I'm sure she know what it would mean to you. I read your comment on my site, I'm really sorry to hear that. As for LFG,what ever good karma you've made has come back to you tenfold in that child. OK go make some money so you'll have time for more post.

Summer is a Verb said...

Wow. What a fabulous gesture and loot pile. My vote is for no framing. Wearing. You don't want to encapsulate all that great energy! XXOO

Mal said...


Welcome back! Glad to see you acknowledge the curse of all vacations: the work waiting for you when you return.

I appreciate the words/thoughts regarding Merkin. Objects like what you received evoke memories and for a moment, its as if those who have passed are with us again.

Thanks again and welcome back..

Toad said...

I am glad you're home. I was uncertain why the Brits raised the security level, but was certain it had to do with your arrival. Now mayhaps they can relax a bit.

red ticking said...

great post....happy to have discovered your blog...

ADG said...

LimeGreenGal…yes… With those socks. Indeed, we were at the theatre on Wisonsin Ave. in Bethesda. Be on the lookout for a thank you note from me. Thanks as always for the affirmation of my feeble efforts with LFG.

Chris ...Tintin? Who’s Tintin? I don’t know no Tintin.

DAM ...Thanks buddy.

LPC ...Yep-I’ve reached a level of acceptance on these inevitable twisty-turny episodes of LFG’s journey. NOT.

Gail...Thanks as always.

James...Thanks and indeed-there’s still plenty of gentility in England.

Allie vonSummersverb…can’t wear no cherry red suede driving gloves.
Mal...Thanks and well said about the Merkin tokens.

Toad...Scary ain’t it? As soon as I hit the dirt over there the security level goes off the meter. I calmed them down a bit while there and abetted commerce by dropping a quid or two as well.

red ticking...thanks.

Anonymous said...

Did you get as far as Meyer & Mortimer? My source could only recall that you had been to "a number of gentleman's tailors." Not exactly the kind of exacting detail I had been hoping for. Anyway, glad you had a good time and that your lead soldiers made it back safe. The Colonel

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - you met Luca Rubinacci - best dressed man in Europe?!! Bet you gave him a style tip or two. So perhaps Luca was the blond you were spotted with in Claridges bar??

Giuseppe said...

I knew I shoulda gone to RISD after high school like I wanted to. Damn it!

Mal said...


How does one obtain a copy of The Rake? Seriously, talk on other blogs likens it to hiring smugglers from Singapore.

Scott Alexander said...

So glad for your safe return! The photo of you and LFG together is simply priceless. Also, that red driver's cap is quite something. The items from Mrs. Merkin are something to be treasured always, and I'm with you on framing some of them.

You've been a great inspiration, and I've quite recently started my own blog, the Cable Knit Collegian. When you have time, I'd love to hear your feedback!


Best wishes into the new year!

ADG said...

Colonel…thanks for your suggestions. I did not get to Meyer&Mortimer. I simply ran out of time and money! I had a final fitting for a blazer that I’ll post about when it arrives. But that’s the fun of London no? Always one more place to frequent-one more thing to do.

Anonymous English Female…Luca is bald so no-he wasn’t my drink mate at Claridges. My cocktail companion was a female stunner.

Giuseppe...Yep. When you got to the RISD tibute site and read what his students have said about Merkin-you come to appreciate him even more.

Mal...The Rake remains unobtainable in the States. I ordered copies from Singapore.

Scott Alexander...Hang in there with your bog. Looks like you are having fun with it.

Brian said...

LFG looks happy to have Daddy home. Cuban's and London now you have me and the boss green with envy!

Summer is a Verb said...

I beg to differ...XXOO