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TRAVEL: A magical Saturday roadtrip

June 4 was a busy day. Like a driving-across-the-state-of-Missouri kind of day with lots of stops along the way and a little hop over to Kansas. (Map of our gallivanting and peregrinations.)

9 a.m.:
Jeff: Wake up in Columbia from wedding-dancing-coma and shacking at 1613 for the last time. I call my mother because I’m a good son (that, and I’m driving—you always gotta make those check-in phone calls when you’ve got a good commute). She tells me that she and Bill (step-dad) are going to NASCAR like any good Midwestern, blue-collar family does on a Saturday. They have extra tickets. I say, “Hell yes.”
Seth: Wake up in Joplin and ignore Jeff’s phone calls and demands. (Editor’s note: because he is legitimately busy with reporting on tragedy and devastation.)
Cam: Sleeping.

11 a.m.:
Jeff: Stop by my favorite place in Independence, Cargo Largo. It’s the island of misfit toys with sweet finds, like Sperrys, Jack Spade dopp kits and Clarks.
Seth: Car troubles. Turns out his car just needed a little T.L.C. Come on, Seth. Don’t go chasing waterfalls.
Cam: Sleeping.

12 a.m.:
Jeff: Go back to my homestead and consume various forms of food that I won’t buy for myself.
Seth: Back on the road.
Cam: Still sleeping.

1 p.m.:
Jeff: Hop in Seth’s car.
Seth: Let Jeff hop in Seth’s car.
Cam: Get up to go pee and then go back to bed.

2 p.m.:
Jeff & Seth: Arrive at Kansas Speedway and drink beer.

My thrifted brown woven and wine fringe leather loafers by Allen Edmonds.

At the end of the race, the winner does a little dance.

4 p.m.:

Drive to Columbia, surprise our friend Kimberly at “the Winery.” We sneak out back and romp around in the vineyards.

Straw fedora with chambray trim ($14) by Target; thrifted shirting; khaki shorts by J.Crew ($20); thrifted woven loafers ($4) by Allen Edmonds; thrifted woven leather belt ($1); watch ($18) by Timex.

Shirting ($30) by J.Crew.

5 p.m.:
Eat a pint of Lavender Honey from Sparky’s. Lament the fact all the cicada ice cream would be gone. (But not to worry; there would be plenty of cicadas later.)

This is the only ice cream you need to eat. Lavender Honey. It will change your life.

7 p.m.:

Leave Columbia and head to a pool party.

9 p.m.:

Arrive in St. Louis. Hop in the pool.
10 p.m.:
Someone pushes Seth over the edge and he eats a cicada.
11 p.m.:
To Duffy’s! Kirkwood’s frattest finest.
The early-morning hours of the next day:
@katiestipo and @emlew: “What are you doing, Jeff? Carrying your shorts like a school boy?”
@jeffkies: “Yeah….”

Thrifted shirting ($3); floral board shorts ($40) by EVER; blue lobster shorts (gift); thrifted woven belt ($1); canvas tote by Filson; waxed dopp kit ($50) by Jack Spade.

THE GOOD GUYS: (Patio) Seth on Wrightwood

Meet (Patio) Seth.
He’s a recent graduate from Tel Aviv University (you know, in Israel) with a degree in Public Policy and a double minor in long-boarding and vagabonding. Between schooling and world traveling, Seth’s been using his green thumb and spending a few weekends in Chicago before he embarks on another journey. He’s headed out west to Colorado on a fellowship handling public affairs at an alternative high school. Oddly enough, I met Seth two weeks ago while friends Katie and Emily were also visiting…

“Do you know that there is a half-naked man asleep on your patio,” says Katie, full of sass and already on her second cup of coffee as she cracked opened my bedroom door.
“No, what?” I reply as I rolled over on my (air) mattress.
“Yeah, come here,” Katie shouts. Then, across the hall: “Hey! Emily, come check this out.”
As the sun beamed into the screened in patio, Katie, Emily and I peered out the kitchen window and saw our newly found patio denizen. Shirtless and decked in board shorts with his hands trying to shield his face from the 8 a.m. sun, Patio Seth held onto slumber on a thrifted Persian rug next to a empty box of Wheat Thins from the night before.
Emily: “He looks hot. I mean, like it’s gotta be hot out there.”
Katie: “Yeah, there is no way that is comfortable, sleeping on that floor. Why isn’t he on the couch right next to him?”
Me: “I’m not sure. I wonder who he is.”
Luke, my other roommate, from out of nowhere: “Oh yeah, Seth stayed the night last night. He’s one of my buddies from college. He just got back from Tel Aviv. I guess he slept on the patio.”
Luke trails off and reaches for breakfast. He continues nonchalantly, “Naw, he’s cool.”

ON PERSONAL STYLE: “The west coast influence of long-boarding inspires my style with the bright colors, and much of the same comes from my time in Tel Aviv. My clothes are generally brighter and lighter than most of my Midwest friends’ style.”

Seth grew up in a small town an hour or so outside of Chicago with a handful of siblings. While you and I spent our summers putzing around internships and lifeguarding at pools, Seth spent his summers being dropped out of helicopters to extinguish forest fires. See:
“Helicopters would give us lifts to fires and we’d tackle the beast. It was the perfect: daily doses of adrenaline and making my wallet thicker. It doesn’t get much better.”
He’s already checked off long boarding and world traveling from his list. With blue-collar roots and homeschooling under his belt, Seth saved his pennies from forest fire money and set sail for the other side of the continent.
“I picked up long boarding after I came home from traveling in Asia for a year. My younger brother taught me when I was 24. We’d be done drinking and hit the roads, skating for an hour or two at a time. I felt like a kid again.”

On Seth W.: The “Henley” jean by Baldwin Denim; denim button down shirt by Topman; thrifted denim jacket by Wrangler; engraved silver bracelet from a jeweler in Katmandu, Nepal; skate shoes from Castro in Tel Aviv.

midweSTYLE: Summershine

A couple of weeks back, when we were finally getting used to the sun warming up the streets, Jeff and I caught up with our compadre Anthony Barlich, photographer extraordinaire.
The three of us generally palled around for the afternoon, first snapping some frames on a defunct freight track (known to some as the “Bloomingdale Trail”)*, then running away from the rain, then scarfing down a few sweet, tasty Epic Burgers.
Solid day between hard-working friends.
Sartorially, I’ll keep it brief. Here, I suppose, I’m endorsing the idea of fit and a splash of color. I don’t think I’ll get tired of a non-baggy silhouette any time soon. It makes us short-folk look not quite as dumpy. I’ve also been noticing that there’s way too much blue in my closet. In school, I found that the color worked for me and overstocked. So I’ve been experimenting with other stuff. Took me a while to warm to the idea of sea-foam and grey, but there it is. I’ve also found myself woefully undersupplied in the short-sleeve shirt area. But no need to go out and buy a new shirt if it’s not in the budget; just roll ‘em sky high.
So, folks, buy something that fits. (Don’t fulfill GQ‘s read on Kansas City.) And if you get the chance, throw a pop of color into the mix. Just a little.




On Seth: Button-front shirt by J.Crew; slim-fit carpenter trousers by Levi’s; natural leather belt by Urban Outfitters; thrifted loafers by Giorgio Brutini.


*An earlier version of this post misidentified the Bloomingdale Trail, which was actually a track for freight transport from a manufacturing district on the northwest side of Chicago. It discontinued service in the 1990s, and these days there’s a campaign to beautify, restore and develop the land into a park and trail for commuters, contemplators and those who would like to find “refuge from daily urban life.” There are also 12 schools near the Trail, so it could double as a safe way for kids to get to class. For more info, check out the group’s website.

PHOTOS: 8,000 Words on Dose Market in Chicago

July’s Dose Market, by all accounts, was a smashing success. The place was packed with loads of people—farandaway more than last time—possibly wooed by the promise of a complimentary Grant Achatz cocktail. We hear (and hope) there’s more menswear coming in the future.

Champagne cocktails from The Aviary (video).

Meat from Old Town Social. ‘Nuff said.

Tats of the trade.

Pure joy from Max Wastler (AllPlaidOut), ladies and gentlemen.