blogging bow ties and all things gentlemanly

366 Bow Ties: Day 54 – NYC

Apparently this gentleman has been working in Grand Central Station for as long as anyone can remember. When I approached him about his willingness to be photographed, he replied that his likeness has been carted off all over the world by tourist-photographers, so this was just par for the course. A true gentleman.

And fittingly attired considering the grandeur of his workplace. Truly a breathtaking building. Thank goodness they didn’t tear it down to ‘modernize’ at some point. And thank goodness they never asked him to ‘update’ his uniform.

I had the privilege of hearing a lecture by Japanese-American abstract artist Makoto Fujimura about his childhood and adult experience with Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware. He blew to bits all the nonsensical political correctness surrounding attempts to exclude the painting from the history canon due to its excessive patriotism and nationalism, pointing out that there’s a black man, a woman, and a Native American in the boat with Washington, and that the painting was done by a German national.

Then we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and got to experience the painting first hand. A 45 minute subway ride and walk in order to see just one painting. It looks big there. It’s actually bigger. Very, very big. And stunning. It was actually a very emotional experience for me, being humbled under the mastery of the painter, his work, and his subject. And I couldn’t help but think beyond the American experiment into the realm of the church and its hope for the nations. More to say here than is appropriate for a blog about bow ties, I’m afraid.

I contemplated all this in the company of another scholar-haberdasher hanging out at the Met. Notice all the fabric bolts in the background, the books in the foreground, and the chap’s impeccable attire. Ralph Earl’s rendering of the early republic’s gentleman-entrepreneur is pretty fantastic. Apparently Elijah Boardman founded Boardman and Medina, OH–very close to my hometown.

I spent the rest of the day hitting up some of the men’s stores I’d been wanting to see: the Brooks Brothers and J. Press flagships on Madison Ave. (That’s me and Eddie Brooks hanging out above; and that’s a tailor who used to work at Brooks and now works at J. Press below. He’s been doing made-to-measure suiting on Madison Avenue for some 35 years.

Our friend and collaborator Jesse Thorn from Put This On interviewed this fella recently. Give it a watch.

I also got to see the J. Crew Liquor Store, a men’s capsule store that features great brands beyond J. Crew. A very, very cool place.

Image from Refinery29.com

And of course we had to do some touristy things, see iconic movie scenes, etc.

The bow tie, you ask?

The bow tie is a glen plaid rendered in club diamond shape, and snazzy as can be. The micro-pattern of the glen plaid allowed me to experiment with an otherwise tough-to-pair-with-patterned-ties J. Crew gingham oxford. Different scales make pattern pairing work. And you can’t get more classic than glen plaid–even though it’s not typically a neckwear pattern. And that’s just the thing: take something traditional, use it in a non-traditional way, and boom—you’re automatically freaking awesome.

Be awesome and buy this bow tie. And then wear it to all the places I got to see in NYC.

[PS–I know I’m getting behind on my posts. Fear not–I’ve been wearing a new bow tie every day, and eventually they’ll all get blogged. But the NYC trip has got me backed up–there’s just so much to blog about. Once I get through that, the posts will be quicker, and boring-er. (“So, I wore a bow tie to Chick-Fil-A again…”) Hang in there.]

PSS–I almost forgot! The Levi’s Meatpacking store! What a great place. I enjoyed talking shop with Ashley their merchandiser, and we hope to carry some more of our bow ties and neck ties there soon–as we did when they opened just over a year ago. Read about all that awesomeness here.

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