Nov 30, 2009


William Claxton (Oct 11, 1927 - Oct 11, 2008)

The photographs of William Claxton define the essence of cool--"jazz for the eyes" as he said. Claxton's portfolio features many of the most influential and indelible artists of the 20th century, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando.

Frank Sinatra HOLLYWOOD, 1954

In the 1950's, his album covers for Pacific Jazz Records reflected a sound born of beachside jazz clubs and balmy California nights. Claxton's unique and sensual images of Chet Baker have become icons in the world of jazz photography. He often claimed that Baker's relationship with the camera taught him the the true meaning of the term "photogenic."

Chet and Helima REDONDO BEACH, 1955

Arguably his most revealing and accomplished photographs capture the legendary film actor Steve McQueen: Over the years Claxton photographed McQueen on numerous occasions, a 1962 shoot that yielded a celebrated shot of the actor peering up over the rim of his sunglasses while navigating his Jaguar along L.A.'s Mulholland Drive.

Steve McQueen, at break-neck speed in his Jaguar XKSS, Mulholland Drive - 1962

Claxton's photgraphs of jazz, Hollywood, fashion have appeared in numeruos publications including Life, Time, Newsweek, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Playboy, and Paris Match. In 1967, he directed and produced acclaimed fashion film "Basic Black." It is now part of the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection, alongside a number of Claxton's still photos. Two books that showcase his Claxton's imagery and experience, are JazzLife and Steve McQueen.

Clax's Theme, Composed and Performed by Till Bronner

Nov 28, 2009

Required Listening: Tahiti 80

The French-Pop group, Tahiti 80 just released their long awaited album, Activity Center. I haven't given it a good listen yet but this track caught my ear. Tahiti 80's influences draw heavily from 60's pop groups like the Zombies and Kinks with a twist of French electronic rock. Enjoy!

Nov 20, 2009

Have an Adventurous Weekend!

Hemingway with trophies 1934

What are your plans this weekend? I will be seeing some interesting Asian art this evening at the Crow Collection in Dallas and hopefully spending some time reading, relaxing and fit in some work here and there. Stay tuned next week for our piece on constructing your personal Life List or list of goals you want to achieve in your lifetime.

Whether it's hunting big game in Africa, writing your own book or learning five languages we'll tell you how to achieve these goals and make them happen. If you think I'm kidding I can discuss how I ran with the bulls this past summer. We'll also discuss Life List creator John Goddard and Earnest Hemingway who although lead a somewhat troubled life, also lead one of the most extraordinary. Have a good weekend readers!

Nov 19, 2009

The Pocket Square

The pocket square dates back all the way to ancient Greek times when wealthy aristocrats wore perfumed hankies to protect themselves from the stench of the streets and to wipe away the tears of a damsel in distress. By the 1900's a gentleman never left the house without a pocket square. Today, the pocket square has gone the way of top hat and tails but this is one accessory that can add quirk and flair to any suit or sports coat.

There are several ways to fold a pocket square, the most popular is the straight fold which is the pocket square folded in half and stuffed in the breast pocket. I prefer the puff fold which is attained by pinching the middle of the pocket square and stuffing it in the breast pocket. Try a high-quality silk or linen pocket square for best results. You never know when you'll need to wipe the tears of a woman who just got her heart broken by the uncultured bastard who wasn't wearing a pocket square.

Straight Fold

Puff Fold

Nov 18, 2009

Mixology: The Classic Martini

Know how to make one drink and make it well. Nothing beats the classic Martini: Suave, sleek and sophisticated. Mix one up right now. You know you want to you. And of course...shaken not stirred.

Classic Martini

2½ oz Top shelf vodka
1½ oz dry vermouth
3 Green Olives

Rinse martini glass in dry vermouth and pour out. Shake vodka with ice until chilled. Pour into martini glass, add olives.

Nov 16, 2009

Women of Style









There's something extremely sexy about a woman with style. For men, when looking at a woman it's all in the details; the way a woman puts on her lipstick, the way she walks, the way she stares at you from across the room.

Her attitude and how she wears her clothes become much more sexy than what she's wearing. When I was in Paris, European women had a flair for dressing sexy without showing too much skin; it was all in their charm and charisma. From past to present the women above exude a strong and stylish sex appeal that is well deserving of the term HOT + COOL.

Nov 15, 2009

The Jacket

I'm on the hunt for a new winter jacket. I dig the tailoring on this jacket. Notice how broad the shoulders are and how slim the waist is. The effortless cool of this look is classic. Camel jackets are also great because they can be paired with a suit or jeans.

Photo courtesy The Satorialist

Nov 12, 2009

Fall Essentials

Drink Me

It is said that when Dom Perignone had his first taste of Champagne he cried out, "Come quickly, I am tasting stars." Champagne is created by wines produced in the AOC Champagne region of France using the "methode classique". All other Champagne-styled wines are considered sparkling wines. Some have the notion that Champagne/sparkling wine shall only be enjoyed on special occasions, this is a myth. Pair it with fried Calamari or strong cheeses like Chèvre and Maroilles and drink it often and anytime. You have my permission, thank me later.

One of my favorite sparkling wines is produced in my home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico by the Gruet family. The Gruet family, originally from France migrated to Albuquerque to start a winery for the inexpensive soil and its perfect climate conditions for making wine. At 4300 ft., the Gruet vineyards are "some of the highest in the United States", the temperatures at night can "drop as much as thirty degrees, cooling the fruit and slowing down the maturation process", that coupled with "sandy and loamy soil and lack of humidity" gives Gruet consistent fruit year in and year out. I highly recommend Gruet Brut, it has a crisp full bodied taste with hints of citrus and green apple and a toasty finish. You can purchase it here.

"My only regret in life is that I didn't drink enough Champagne"
-John Maynard Keynes

Nov 11, 2009

Art Car

Andy Warhol was commissioned to paint the fourth BMW M1 art car in 1977. Unlike the other artists who painted the vehicles in 1:5 scale first then had technicians reproduce the work, Warhol painted the vehicle in full scale. It was reported that Warhol painted the full design in only 23 minutes.

Warhol explains the sweeping strokes and lines as portraying the vehicle in motion where "all the lines and colors are blurred." When asked what Warhol thought of the finished design he replied that he loved the vehicle and it was "better than the work of art itself."

"Art is what you can get away with."
-Andy Warhol

Nov 9, 2009

Frank & Ava

"I'm supposed to have a Ph.D. on the subject of women. But the truth is I've flunked more often than not. I'm very fond of women; I admire them. But, like all men, I don't understand them."
-Frank Sinatra

Nov 8, 2009

How to Handle Yourself in a Bar Fight

The worst possible place to get in brawl is at a nightclub or bar, but let's face it, we've all been there; a guy bumps your shoulder, mouths off and before you know it you're on the 5th grade playground again talking about each others mother's and bumping chests. The liquor and testosterone is pouring through his veins and your seconds away from screaming, "Adrian!"

But the bar is different than the ring and on the street. There are bar stools, glasses, innocent bystanders and a big bouncer named Tiny at the door who isn't so tiny. So, what do you do? Here are five ways to handle yourself in a bar fight without looking like a chump:

1. Tom Petty was wrong: There's no shame in backing down. Of course this is not always possible but try and stop a fight before it begins at all costs. Bar fights are dangerous and can get you banned from an establishment or even worse, jail time. Try offering a handshake and walking away from a potential fight, if this doesn't work then alert a bouncer or manager. If this still doesn't work put your dukes up and see number 2.

2. Time is NOT on your side: Take a few steps back to analyze your opponents weaknesses and then spring into action. Be swift and hit with short direct punches and take another step back. Remember the elbows. Elbows can be thrown from any angle and sometimes more effective then a punch. Bar fights are unlike any other you want to get out of there as quickly as possible before his boys show up or worse yet, the boys in blue.

3. Oh, no he didn't: Oh, yes he did. Give a fast kick to the growing and your opponent will go right down. Most intoxicated bar brawlers leave their stance wide open and this will bring him right down. Keep in mind, you aren't trying to win style points here. You're trying to kick his ass and get the hell out of there.

4. Unleash the beast: Unload every combat fighting move you know, you have about 30 seconds until the adrenaline rush wears off. Protect your growing area and your face. If you're wearing glasses, take them off. Hitting someone in the Adam's apple is also a good way to bring someone down quickly and gasping for air allowing you to leave the situation.

5. Elvis has left the building: Before you even get in a fight try and locate the exits quickly. You want to be out of the bar as soon as Palooka hits the ground.

Disclaimer: Fighting can land you in jail, or worse dead. Think extremely hard before getting in a fight. Is it worth it? Worse case scenario try not to swing first. Hitting first is usually grounds for assault no matter who was at fault.

Breakfast is Served

It's Sunday morning, you wake up, the sun is shining and you're feeling good, really good. You glance at the cereal box and it just isn't going to cut it. You're longing for something more, something like fresh scrambled eggs, luscious bacon, buttered toast and hot black coffee.

But if you're like me you've mastered all of the above except the scrambled eggs which sometimes come out great and others come out dry and tasteless. Here's how to do it the right way...and have some fun with it. Throw on some good music like something you might hear in a fifties diner and enjoy yourself.

The Perfect Scrambled Eggs

2-4 Eggs
2 tablespoons butter
Salt & Pepper

Step 1:
Heat a non-stick pan at low heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Crack two-four eggs onto the pan and let them sit for about 30 seconds. Then gently split the yokes massaging the eggs around the pan with a rubber spatula. The trick is to keep the whites white and the yokes yellow and moist or you will lose all the flavor. And while the eggs are still wet now is the time to add your herbs, salt, pepper or cheese.

Step 2:

You will know the eggs are done (about two minutes) when the eggs are a bit runny and still moist, just a little underdone. Serve with toast, bacon or sausage and don't forget the hot black coffee to help ease last nights indulgences.

Nov 5, 2009


Rocket '88


Ladies and gentleman I introduce you to the first rock song in history...a little song called, Rocket 88 recorded March 5, 1951 at Sun Studios by Mr. Sam Phillips. The song was originally put together by Ike Turner of Tina Turner fame but Jackie Brenston Saxophonist of Ike turner's old band is the artist who brought it to the charts. The song was based off of Jimmy Liggins Jump Blues classic, Cadillac Boogie and off the popular vehicle of the time Oldsmobile Rocket '88. Enjoy.


I was recently introduced to Schott Zwiesel wine glasses and they are awesome. If you've ever shelled out $70+ for nice wine glasses just to wind up breaking one or two the first time you used them then Schott Zweisel glasses are for you. Schott Zweisel glasses are high quality but dishwasher friendly, break and etch resistant.

The Forte series is the most popular and what I have. You can purchase Schott Zwiesel at most local wine shops or department stores but you can also purchase them online here. Salud!