Imported from Detroit.

Published in: on February 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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Tough Traveler

Growing up where I did, between Albany and Saratoga, NY, there were exactly two types of backbacks you could own.  An L.L. Bean one or a Tough Traveler one.  The L.L. Bean ones were known for their warranty.  The Tough Traveler ones were known for never needing a warranty. (That, and for being made in the good ol’ USofA).

These bags had a solid reputation. In fact, we almost didn’t like them, because we knew we’d be stuck with the same bag for years. Everyone knew how tough they were.  My friends and I really tried to test their limits. We played tug of war with them, pulled them out of the dog’s teeth, dragged them through the snow and shoved them in the tops of our lockers.  We’d haul stuff around in them all summer playing army and come the new school year there wouldn’t be so much as a broken zipper.

Tough Traveler is based in Schenectady, NY and has been making all of their luggage, backpacks and child carriers in upstate for over 40 years.

From their site:

All of Tough Traveler’s products are made in our own USA-factory, primarily using American-made materials. Every bag is made by our staff of skilled craftspeople in a sweat-shop-free environment. We employ the highest standards for design and durability. Tough Traveler’s bags are known for attractive design and superb workmanship, and many of our customers tell us they appreciate our manufacture in the USA.

It’s hard to find bags made in America at these prices, especially of this quality. I guess they saved some money by not investing too much in their website or ever advertising anywhere.

Published in: on February 2, 2011 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Boston Parking


Urban chair from Ikea

Light enough to take with you to your next nine-month-lease apartment.

Price: $40

Illustration by Liz Noftle


Continuous Arm chair by Thos. Moser

Pedigreed, understated—just like the two Volvos it will save space for.

Price: $1,325

Illustration by Liz Noftle


Barcelona chair by Knoll

Finally, a turf-holder suitable for the image-obsessed Toro regular.

Price: $4,523

Illustration by Liz Noftle


Antique Louis XVI armchair

Subject to neighborhood-council and historical-society approval.

Price: If you have to ask…

Illustration by Liz Noftle


Overlapping squares side chair from West Elm

Plays equally well with midcentury furnishings, Queen Anne–style architecture, tribal mask collections, and Subarus.

Price: $189

Illustration by Liz Noftle


Wooden rocking chair
Perfect for holding a space and for sitting in while reading the Herald.

Price: Whatever Aunt Maureen paid for it in 1974.

Illustration by Liz Noftle


Tattered La-Z-Boy recliner

Procured from the BU students down the street in exchange for a case of Natty Ice.

Price: Sometimes $14.49, at Blanchard’s.

Illustration by Liz Noftle


Metal folding chair weighed down by a cinderblock

Great for taking out the back window of the car that stole your spot.

Price: Free. Claim one 48 hours after the next nor’easter.

Illustration by Liz Noftle

Editor’s Note: All pictures, descriptions and text stolen directly from (

Published in: on February 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm  Leave a Comment