Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mr. Williams and His Pink Suit

I met Mr. Williams in Charleston. I loved his pink suit and his facial expressions.

Originally from New York, Mr. Williams told us that he met Muhamid Ali once and that Ali complemented him on his style.

Even his tongue matched his outfit.

Pink "Gator'" shoes as he called them.

He reminded me of the Mayor in "Do The Right Thing," offering sage like advice to all.

Here are some more links,
Mr. Williams and His Pink Suit (Picasa),
Seersucker in Charleston SC (A.R.T).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Seersucker in Charleston SC

When I think of seersucker, I think southern, of men wearing pastel bow ties and colonial towns like Charleston, South Carolina. Adapted from the Hindi words shir o shakar, meaning "milk and sugar," seersucker was originally worn by British colonists in warm climates. The 100% cotton fabric gained popularity with gentlemen in the American south during the colonial period because of its comfort in hot and humid weather, resistance to wrinkles and ease of washing.

The architecture on this recently repainted block in Charleston reminded me of the seersucker fabric worn by so many of its inhabitants.

Here are two different seersucker patterns, made by Rogues Gallery, compared to buildings in Charleston.

Red and white;

I am pretty positive that the owners of these buildings referenced seersucker fabrics when they were picking colors.

Blue and white;

Not only do the colors remind me of seersucker, but the rough stucco resembles the texture of the cotton fabric.

Designers often reference architecture, like RRL referencing Ralph's ranch in Colorado for example, but rarely does architecture reference fashion. I don't know if it was intended or if seersucker references southern architecture but I certainly see the connection between the seersucker-clad southern gentlemen and their townhouses in Charleston.

Edge wearing an LL Bean Norwegian sweater, Rogues Gallery seersucker shorts, and Common Project Desert boots.

Here are some more links,
Seersucker (Wiki),
Seersucker (Picasa).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The People of Bristol

The people at the Food City 500 were happy. They were not concerned with impressing others or what they were doing on Monday. Here are some people I saw.

Note the cozy protected Busch Latte and the cooler packed to the rim.

This guy was one of the nicest cops I have ever met.

I would not mess with this guy's daughter nor ask him for his second cigar, in his breast pocket.

America Fuck Yeah!

NASCAR cars use bright colors to differentiate themselves from the other racers. These neons, reds, yellows and blues translate into the t-shirts worn by avid fans.

Who's looking at who?

I love his Wallabee style boots and denim overalls.

Note the cigs in his sleeve.

After the race, this guy was grinning.

Looking good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Food City 500 at Bristol

The amphitheater-like seating of the Bristol Motor Speedway opened its doors to NASCAR fans on July 21, 1961 . Although relatively small and slow (speeds hit about 120 mph on its .533 miles), the track quickly gained popularity due to its 27 degree banking, narrow turns and reputation for crashes. On Sunday the 22nd of March, I joined 159,999 other screaming, drunk and sunburnt fans to experience the sound and the furry of a southern NASCAR race: the Food City 500.

The view from my seat.

Despite the excitement of watching this for three and half hours, I fell asleep only to be roused from my impromptu cat nap by a bulging stomach/crotch of a corn fed, 215-pound mother of three.

Everyone was wearing earplugs.

The belly of the Bristol beast.

The wreckage after the storm. I would not be surprised if there were at least one million empties in the stadium. 1000000÷160000=6.25 beers per person. This may sound a bit preposterous to a "yuppie" yankee like myself who is used to buying $7 dollar Bud Lights at a Blazers game and who thinks drinking 6.25 beers during the course of three and half hour game seems like a lot.

However to a NASCAR fan, like this fine gentleman above, this is a way of life. Each sizable fan has the option to bring one cooler, 14" by 14", filled with beverages of their choice, into the stadium. Needless to say, I think this guy could dispatch 6.25 beers with ease.

The boys post race between turns three and four.

The next morning I learned that a young man named Kyle Busch, named after the illustrious brew consumed by many an avid NASCAR fan, had won after leading the majority of the race. It was news to me. I was too busy napping, hydrating, making frequent stops to the bathroom and taking photos to follow what was happening in the race itself.

Here a more links,
The Food City 500 (Picasa),
The Food City 500 (Vimeo),
Tailgating at Bristol (A.R.T.),
Bristol (A.R.T.).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tailgating at Bristol

Tailgating is a big part of any outdoor American sporting event and a facet of the utmost importance at a southern NASCAR race.

Like the Christian religion that many NASCAR fans abide by, the tailgate has it's own trinity: drinking beer, eating copious amounts of red meat, and passing time with good company. In order to properly understand the NASCAR experience, we embraced the tailgate like seven-year-old at a McDonald's play structure.

Packing those patties.

Although small, the Webber Smokey Joe cranked out BTU's.

The finished product; you wont find any vegetarians at a NASCAR tailgate.

Edge enjoying the fruits of his labor.

and Panzer his.

Bruce grabbing two long necks.

Chris planning the next leg of the trip before festivities started.

These bros were tearassing around the parking lot the whole day with a sign saying "Beads 4 Tits." Note the Igloo cooler strapped to the front.

This is middle America.

After lubricating for three hours with hamburger grease and cheap beer, we walked down the Yellow-brick road towards the Food City 500.

Here are some more links,
Tailgating at Bristol (Picasa),
Beer Cooler (Vimeo),
Tailgating (Vimeo).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Bristol

As you are reading this, I am in a 2002 Chevy with five other dudes heading towards Bristol, Tennessee in search of the American Dream, AKA the Food City 500 Nascar race. Few things are more American than beer, tailgating, barbecue, living beyond your means, and racing cars. I can't wait.

For the next week I will be out of internet contact gathering content. Here is a rough plan for our trip.

View Larger Map

Clothes from the LL Bean Archive

The majority of our time at the LL Bean Arts and Archives department was spent sorting through racks of clothing. I was like a boy in a candy shop, well actually more like a boy in a camera shop. Here are some great pre-war, except for the 29 year old River Driver shirt, finds from the archive. Enjoy.
You can get a new one these here, but it wouldn't be made in the USA.
My mom had one of these that she wore for years.

Amazing label.
Ruth told us that US airman during the war wore LL Bean jackets like this one to keep themselves warm in the unpressurized cabins of Allied bombers.

Shearling lined cotton jacket.

Blaze orange, hunting pea coat from 1940, how sweet is that?

I wish all my tags looked like that.


Its hard to tell, but these buttons read LL Bean, Freeport Maine. I also really like the pocket's leather lining around the openings. This jacket had awesome details.

This shearling-lined jacket weighed a conservative 15 pounds and smelled like your great grandmother's quilt.

I really liked the corduroy elbow pads on this cotton jacket.

I hope you enjoyed these jackets as much as Max and I did. I will let them speak for themselves. Have a great weekend.