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May 1, 2012

Experts' Expert: Jodi Ettenberg's 21 practical tips from 4 years of traveling the world


They're all here, along with insights and lessons the nomadic ex-lawyer [above, in Petra, Jordan] learned the hard way.

Below, a sampling.

• There are things you should not leave home without.

• Your taxi driver knows where to eat breakfast more than you do.

• Oranges are the perfect public transportation snack.

• People are more alike than you think.

• The anxiety and nervousness of newness never goes away.

• Portable chopsticks are your friend.

• Cockroaches are, in fact, as universal as you feared.

May 1, 2012 at 05:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Pure and Simple Soap


I've used this soap for many years.

It's got a wonderful mild scent, pleasing shape, and looks beautiful.

Sounds like I'm describing Gray Cat, what?

But I digress.

Perhaps you're not the sort of person who cares a whole lot about how your soap looks or feels in the hand.

It's a rich-lathering triple-milled soap that's gentle on the skin and works well both on the sink and in the shower and/or bath.


I originally found it in the Chambers catalog, which was then subsumed by Williams-Sonoma, from whom I purchased boxes of six until a couple years ago when Williams-Sonoma stopped carrying it.

My Crack Research Team®™© found it here and I've purchased it from this shop in St. Andrews, Scotland since then.

Turns out Scottish Fine Soaps, the manufacturer, is only a few miles away from their store.


7 oz. bar: £2.71.

May 1, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Airplane lavatory self-portraits in the Flemish style


Wrote Nina Katchadourian,


"While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010,


I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror using my cellphone.


The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture. I decided to add more images made in this mode...."


[via jim`]

May 1, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Blast from the past: Minnetonka moccasins trump Tod's


It's been over seven years since I featured these wonderful deerskin moccasins here, prolly time for an encore.


Here's the March 26, 2005 post.


Above, a group of "high-octane driving shoes" from a recent New York Times Magazine feature on men's fashion.

From top to bottom: 1. Bally suede driving shoe, $275. At Bally stores. 2. Cole Haan Collection deerskin driving shoe, $250. Go to colehaan.com. 3. Martin Dingman nubuck driving shoe, $245. Call (800) 955-2358. 4. Tod's suede driving loafer, $295. At Tod's boutiques. 5. Bottega Veneta chino suede moccasin, $380. At Bottega Veneta boutiques.

Up top, the classic Minnetonka deerskin moccasin, with rubber-pebbled soles.


I've been wearing the Minnnetonka moccasin since forever: so wonderfully comfortable, and just perfect for whatever.

Why anyone would bother paying $245–$380 for a shoe that can't possibly be any more comfortable than Minnetonkas is way, way beyond moi. 

If you just use them for driving and indoors, they'll last for years.

If you wear them for your daily constitutional, the rubber nubs on the leather soles will wear out and then the leather will wear away, so you won't get those years of comfort.

Yes, the price has gone up: they're now $74–$80.

Still cheap at twice that.

May 1, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"The Wilderness Downtown" — by Chris Milk & Aaron Koblin

Screen Shot 2012-04-30 at 10.21.49 PM

An interactive film by Chris Milk featuring Arcade Fire's "We Used to Wait."

Wrote Tom Vanderbilt in the Wall Street Journal, "Viewers enter their childhood address, and as the song plays, they see — thanks to Google Street View — the street where they grew up."


I was utterly enchanted.

Fair warning: there goes your focus.

May 1, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Make your own Hawaiian shirt



Good news, bad news.



The good news: just $29.95 apiece.



The bad: minimum order of 48 shirts.

[via Virginia Moore]

May 1, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Screen Shot 2012-04-30 at 9.55.23 PM


The photo above appeared on page three of Sunday's New York Times, part of a Travel section story by Jennifer Conlin about the rise of East London as the city's trendiest area.

May 1, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Limited-Edition Top Gear Bottle Opener


"This standing bottle opener opens a bottle when pushed or pulled in any direction."


"It goes into 'top gear' with the movement used to open the bottle."


Production limited to 100 pieces.

16cm H x 3.8cm Ø (6.3" x 1.5").

Chrome-plated brass.


May 1, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

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