Imported from Detroit.

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

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  
Tags: , , ,

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  

Flame throwers and snow removal.

Mayor of Boston to President of M.I.T.- Should we use flame throwers or chemicals to melt the snow?

President of M.I.T. to Mayor of Boston- Salt works.

Sourced from MIT Archives.

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

A Nation of Free Men.

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?– Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

From Lincoln’s Lyceum Address,  January 27 1838 (173 years ago, today)

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  


All pictures sourced from here.

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm  Comments (1)  

Obligatory Raw Denim First Wash Post

I bought my APC New Standards from the good folks at Stel’s in October of ’09.  For my friends who don’t read menswear blogs (guilty) these jeans are raw denim.  They come out of the factory never having been washed at all.  They are a dark, uniform indigo.  Since the color has never been washed out at all, they develop fade/ wear lines where your body actually bends and moves.  In essence, they become shaped and colored to you in a totally custom way. The “whiskers” on the backs of the knees weren’t there when I got them.

They have been worn for 15 months without a wash.  I don’t wear them as much in the summer, but when I wear jeans, it’s usually these.  I kept holding off on the first wash because I was wanting to see their break in continue.  However, they were getting a bit saggy and dirty.  I’ve been thinking about washing them, and when I saw this, I knew it was time.

Washing these was a tad emotional. They have been with me through some breakups, a move, the end of one job and the beginning of another.  But they were too stretched out.

Pre Wash:


Post- Wash Fit:

I soaked them for about an hour with Woolite and pretty warm water (because I wanted them to shrink down a bit). They now fit lots better (especially around the knees and waist). Also, they didn’t lose much color or fade.

Operation clean jeans is a success.

Published in: on January 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , ,