Fisher Men

12/31/2008

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Remember these?  I had so much fun with Fisher-Price Little People.  I’d love a massive clear fishbowl full of these on our coffee table.  The new ones aren’t nearly as cool.

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James Lileks chronicles the hideous homes my generation grew up in with Interior Desecrations.  I hate dating myself, but this may explain certain psychological issues children of the seventies are prone to.  You just can’t have an accurate grip on reality when you’re surrounded by stuff like this.  Lileks’ commentary that accompanies each shot is absolutely hilarious…

Note how the drapes coyly admit a view of the outside world, which is substantially less yellow than your room. You might be able to go outside some day and see this strange non-yellow world for yourself.

I actually dig the kitchen.

Get your own copy HERE.


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Can you tell the boys apart from the girls?

Proper Peppermint

12/17/2008

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Run by two families since the early twentieth century, the Piedmont Candy Company still uses the original recipe for its pure sugar candy, producing over 2000 pounds per hour.  These people know their peppermint sticks and puffs.  The perfect packaging doesn’t hurt either.  Get yours for Christmas at your local CVS, Eckerd/Rite-Aid, Walgreens, or Dollar General.

Meet The Flockers

12/15/2008

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I love love love little flocked animal figurines.  Ever since I was three or four, I’ve secretly wanted to stockpile them.  The best ones were made by Josef Originals and were designed by Muriel Joseph George in California and Japan from 1945 to 1962.  She also made straight ceramic pieces but the furry ones were my favorites.

The company was sold to George Good in 1982 and he continued to make Josef Originals until 1985.  Good sold the brand to a larger conglomerate which put and end to the fuzzy menagerie within a few years.  You can still find the occasional great piece on ebay, usually around the holidays.  Some faves below.

Kemp It Up

12/09/2008

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Readers know I’m a huge fan of the Botánica – the Spanish-Afro-Carribean beauty-health-spiritual wellness shops that are found in Latin and West Indian neighborhoods, where resources are scarce and superstition is about all you got.  I grew up with these stores and I still believe they offer the only perfumes and soaps any girl could ever need.  At the top of the list are Florida Water and Rose Cologne by Lanman & Kemp.  

Lanman & Kemp was established in 1808 by Robert Murray at No. 313 Pearl Street in New York City (a couple of blocks from our apartment!) and was renamed Lanman & Kemp in 1861.  They moved around a few times – from Pearl Street and to William Street to Water Street in 1900, finally ending up in Westwood, NJ.

Their marquee item – Florida Water – has been made famous around the globe for its host of personal and household uses.  No doubt this is what made it so popular among the Cubans; we are notorious for using Windex and Vicks as absolute cure-alls.  Florida Water is an astringent, a lotion, a deodorant, a shaving aid, an insect bite / headache / nervousness remedy, a salve for sore muscles, a room freshener, a conscience-clearer, and a hair tonic.  It also looks quite chic on your dresser or in your medicine cabinet!   Read the rest of this entry »

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Syrupy sixties chanteuse France Gall was the quintessential face of Sixties French pop. The Serge Gainsbourg and Michel Berger collaborator released over 65 singles and twenty albums during her singing career. Though many see Gall as a purveyor of fast-food audio fare that met a steep decline, Gall was actually the guileless vehicle for Gainsbourg-written lyrical jokes, resulting in a string of hit singles with hidden meanings that sullied her image. Songs like “Les Sucettes” (about a girl eating lollipops) and Bonsoir John John (written to a deceased JFK and tinged with hints of necrophelia) caught her unawares and hurt the success of subsequent releases.

In my opinion, Galle was a confident style icon, blindly in love with her husband Michel Berger, and all too trusting in a world that traded on her brand of naivete.

My favorite song of hers was the Gainsbourg collaboration, “Laisse Tomber les Filles” (“Forget the girls”)… Read the rest of this entry »