Archive for the ‘Old Fashioned Things’ Category

Service of the Comfort of Vintage

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

La la Land movie poster

Whatever “vintage” means to you—if you’re 20, 1980s films, fashion and décor might describe it while if you’re 50, it could be all things 1950. For some there’s comfort and perhaps a soothing visual to live with a grandparent’s furnishings; for others, reminiscences shared with an uncle while watching Audrey Hepburn on Turner Classic Movies brings smiles.

I thought of this after seeing “La La Land,” a movie I enjoyed. The writer/director Damien Chazelle is 31 yet he picked the 1940s/1950s romantic musical genre for the setting of his story. He added zero pyrotechnics, violence or gore and none were missed. The film set a record at the Golden Globe Awards winning seven including recognition for best motion picture—musical or comedy—performance by an actor and actress, director, screenplay, original score and original song.

Elle.com ran a article about what’s in or out in fashion. Nikkitight jeans Ogunnaike reported we should “anticipate a shift toward contrast denim styles in vintage silhouettes.” [This look is in contrast to skin- tight jeans popular today.]

I’d saved a December, 2016 section of The Wall Street Journal‘s “Off Duty,” because of its cover story, “Presents with a Past,” that featured 50 nostalgic gifts “whose origins date back decades and beyond.” The subhead continued that the gifts will “conjure a simpler time when the holidays were lower-voltage, but just as bright.”

Sidney Garber bracelet

Sidney Garber bracelet

Speaking of voltage, most of the suggestions would burn a hole in most wallets. There was a gold bracelet by Sidney Garber reminiscent of flexible metal coils first popular in the 1930s for $12,200; a 3-day slumber party at a historic English country estate @ $15,600/night for 16; Prada’s jewel encrusted mules for $1,150; a $685 pair of retro headphones; a mink stole for $5,500 and a chauffer to drive you from Paris to Versailles in a period Citroen starting at $370.

I don’t spend that kind of money for the loved ones on my list. The Wall Street Journal editors chose a few things under $100 too. There was a box of Turkish delight [$35]; a rubber band-propelled toy car [$25]; an apron [$47]; a ‘70s popular fondue pot [$95]; traditional Belgian speculoos cookies [$20]; a Mickey Mouse wall clock featuring a 1930s style rodent [$65], and an Italian knit necktie [[$90].

The J. Peterman Company catalog seems to be going strong with its focus on vintage-inspired men and women’s fashion.

Have you noticed vintage influences creeping back more now than in recent years? Do you welcome them or consider them old fashioned and therefore not worthy of your attention? Do you think that in turbulent times people look back to what they recall or think may have been a calmer period?

 Belgian Speculoos cookies

Service of Looking Back

Monday, April 9th, 2012

look-back

I’ve covered nostalgia and old fashioned things. Based on recent developments and observations, it’s time to do so again.

News in the News

This headline and subhead in an LA Times story by James Rainey caught my eye: “Scott Pelley helps CBS carve an old-school identity: The anchor has assisted in pushing the network’s ‘Evening News’ toward hard news, especially on foreign affairs and domestic economic distress. That offers promise it can escape the ratings cellar.”

scott-pelleyRainey wrote: “The old-school approach offers at least some promise that the nightly newscast, long mired in third place among the three networks, might finally claw its way out of the cellar. The ‘CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley’ is the only one of the three network nightly news shows to score a small year-to-year increase in three ratings categories for the season that began in September. In one recent week, it finished second – behind NBC but ahead of ABC- among the 25-to-54 age demographic prized by advertisers. That hadn’t happened since 2006.”

What’s Boss [Translation in 1960s Speak: Cool]

It’s back to the ’60s as “Mad Men” returned to TV sets across the nation. The show inspired headlines from White & Warren that touted “shirt dresses” new for spring and a line of 60s period fashions at Banana Republic–you’ll see them all over.

When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth

Inspired by an earlier state of mind, one candidate for US President is attracting plenty of votes for antediluvian positions that in this country predate 1775.

Listen to the Conductor, Children!

rr-conductorThere was a time children were told to hush in public so that as adults, they naturally respected other people when out and about. Funny: The railroad is rewarding such comportment now.

Ad man Hank Goldman sent me the link to this news from Metro-North railroad: “Due to popular demand, Metro-North is expanding its ‘Quiet CALMmute’ program to all inbound AM and outbound PM Peak trains on the Hudson, Harlem & New Haven Lines starting Monday, April 2nd.”

In the quiet cars, passengers may not use cell phones; must disable sound features on computers and other electronic devices; must conduct conversations in a subdued voice and use headphones at a volume that cannot be heard by fellow passengers. Good Friday morning over the loudspeaker the conductor advised all passengers to conduct themselves this way in every car!

spring-chickens2Spring Chickens

Jerry Stiller at 85 is starring in Capital One commercials and 91 year old Bob Wolff was entered in the Guinness Book of Records for “Longest Career as a Sports Broadcaster”-73 years!

Is looking back for direction and inspiration a trend?

 

1776

Service of Back to Basics

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

old-fashioned

I increasingly sight or recognize old fashioned solutions and thought processes for a variety of reasons–not just nostalgia.

Feeling My Oats

quakeroatsWalking east on 51st Street the other night, I noticed hanging from brownstone doorknobs and fences small plastic bags featuring the Quaker Oats logo filled, I bet, with a sample. [Wasn't my doorknob or fence so I decided not to inspect.] Who knows how long they’d been in evidence? The bags were still in place at 8 pm! Also remarkable.

The little bags reminded me of the ones with toothpaste, mouthwash and other samples waiting for me to discover, fairly consistently, on my apartment doorknob in days of yore. Like any surprise, they were fun to get.

These days, I sample candy, granola, newspaper, juice and soda that people hand me in and around Grand Central Station, especially in good weather.

Phone it In

oldphoneTravel guru Arthur Frommer interviewed the owner of an online discount hotel reservation website who said that if you call his company on the phone you will often get even better prices than the ones published on the site. Arthur seemed surprised that the most labor-intensive option provided the best price cut. I think it had more to do with the hotels discouraging deep dish discount promotions on a website than with any relationship to traditional service.

Call of the Wild

wyatt-earpFrank Rich wrote an op-ed piece about good old fashioned business flim-flammery in “At Last, Bernie Madoff Gives Back.” Rich’s targets were the big banks and high profile businesses that partnered with Bernie Madoff.  In this regard we are still in the Wild West where bandits ride and rule largely unchecked. Wonder who our Wyatt Earp will be?

Generosity: Always in Fashion

Some may remember Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass–a sound from the past. On CBS Sunday Morning I learned what Herb was up to of late. He doesn’t compose and perform but instead, shares his wealth. He’d read in the paper last summer that the 46 year old Harlem School of the Arts was about to close. His was the largest donation–$500,000–to take the organization off the critical list and the seed to attract additional funds to save it.

Hot Topic

inheritthewindSaturday morning, on Turner Classic Movies, we watched the 51 year old film “Inherit the Wind” starring Spencer Tracy. It’s about a 1925 trial involving strict Bible interpreters who object to a teacher who covered evolution in his class. Evolution continues to be a contentious topic in some parts of the country today as is religion, worldwide. The contradiction of something that is supposed to bring peace creating friction is centuries old and always a head-scratcher to me.

What basic solutions and/or golden oldie issues in this high-tech, top speed era strike you these days?

 goldenoldie

Service of Nostalgia

Monday, October 25th, 2010

bathblogfest-2010-madmen-logo-v3This is my second year to join this blogfest which Christine Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now LLC, directs.

I list Christine’s blogs and those of all the other bloggers below, should you want to see a smattering of takes on the topic and to meet some super bloggers.

The theme for this year’s participants in the Bathroom Blogfest “Still Stuck in the 60s?” is inspired by Mad Men. So the second thing I did after determining my approach was to Google “1960s bathrooms” figuring I’d not find much given that some 50 years have passed. I was surprised to see so many entries about remodeling ideas for 1960s bathrooms. Either buyers through the years have loved pink ceramic tile or they didn’t have the money to remodel or didn’t know how to go about it…….who knows.

Something else was clear: I found this information in a snap when goodness knows  how long it would have taken anyone in 1960 to learn much about bathroom design in 1910.

Chances are Don Draper and Pete Campbell, two of the Mad Men characters, would have  lined up in the morning to take a turn in the bathroom as houses and apartments had fewer of them then. The New York Times, October 22, featured a New Jersey modern classic that was listed as one of America’s 10 best in the 1960s and it had four bedrooms and two baths in 1,200 square feet on 10 acres.

According to the Kohler color timeline, the 1960s “was a decade of rule-breaking styles and colors. It was a time of rebellion as men burned draft cards and the sexual revolution was in full swing. Hot pink, day-glo orange, and acid green broke with conventions for color in dress and home decor. With its introduction of vivid accent colors – Blueberry, Citron, Antique Red, Coppertone, Expresso, and Jade – Kohler captured the energy of the times.”

On to more of my interpretation of the blogfest.

hudsonhomeRichard & Greg from Hudson Home, www.hudson-home.com, a stunning shop and  interior design business in the Columbia County, NY located in midtown Hudson, listed some excellent tips in “Simple Changes for Your Bath,” most of which I agree with.

I’ve commented in green where I don’t or when I want to add something and when I can, I give a nod to the 60s in pink.

De-clutter - This sounds obvious, but it’s true. If you’re like most people you have a collection of products you no longer use; half empty bottles of shampoo, conditioner and hotel soaps. If you haven’t used it in a month then toss it out. I think a month is hasty. I’d make it a year. Some people like to change shampoos so they might have a few open at once and given the huge sizes available, why waste? Bathrooms in the 1960s were tiny in comparison with the spa-sized spaces in today’s leftover McMansions so being tidy was even more essential 50 years ago. Modest sized bathrooms today often have two sinks and a separate shower and bathtub.

homeforblogfest-007Paint - A fresh coat of paint can brighten a tired looking room like nothing else. Since the bath is usually a relatively small space it’s hard to go wrong. If you really hate the color when you’re done just repaint. We painted one bathroom a succulent, saturated orange. It cheers on the dreariest, gray day. But what about wallpaper, a product I represented for eons? It’s no longer as popular as it was in the 1960s and could be a lifesaver if you buy a house with horrendous bathroom tile colors and/or fixtures and you don’t want to live through the remodeling mess. To distract from the tile color, pick a busy, multi-colored wallpaper pattern where only the tiniest accent picks up the tile’s hue. Voila!

Scent - Scent is powerful and transformative. It can bring back fond memories, help melt away the stresses of the day and transport us to a better place. Stickwith scents that are light and fresh; lemon verbena, lavender and rosemary are all good choices. Buy the best quality scented candles, bath oil, potpourri or air essences you can afford. The better brands use pure essential oils, they cost more but the fragrances are truer and they last longer. Verbena is my favorite, but some people get tremendous headaches from scented candles so take care. A splash of a perfume from a sample [I may not care to wear] shaken into running bath water also works. We’ve gone nuts with scents in my opinion though I bet the Mad Men and their entourage would have adored it especially if they’d thought of it.

Towels. In the living room we tell people “invest in good upholstery”. In the bath, “invest in good towels”. If you’ve never had Egyptian cotton towels before you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Good quality towels get softer with each laundering and will last for years. You’ll thank yourself every time you use them. Anything would last longer than the bargain towels I buy. The edges begin to unravel in record time. Bet the Made in America cotton towels of the ’60s at all price points lasted too.

Shower curtain. After the walls, the shower curtain is usually the largest block of color in the room. This is a good place to add a splash of color or pattern to the room. Custom shower curtains can be made with just a few yards of fabric. Add a contrast border for added interest. Outdoor fabrics are especially well suited for this purpose. People weren’t so germ-phobic in the 1960s as they are now. Some prefer fixed shower stalls because of the potential of mold in plastic shower curtain linings so best change these frequently.

homeforblogfest-003Mirror and sconces. This is a good place to update an otherwise dated looking space. Find a mirror with an interesting frame and add some good lighting. Bad lighting is a sure way to make a bath depressing; good lighting will brighten and open up a space. While you’re at it, put the lights on a dimmer switch so you can adjust the light; bright light for hair and make up; soft light for a relaxing bath. To enhance the walls, along with sconces and a mirror noted in the subheading, I’d add decorative plates and objects that aren’t bothered by humidity. I don’t think much wall decorating went on in most bathrooms in the Mad Men era if only because there wasn’t much empty wall space given the small sized rooms. Further, my bet is that wall tile covered a lot of each wall making it hard to hang things. Today, plasterboard helps keep the price down and achieves a less shiny look.

Richard and Greg conclude: So as you can see, there are many simple changes you can make to transform your bath. Look through books and magazines for color and style inspiration and go from there. You’ll be surprised at what big difference small changes can make.

What would you add to Richard and Greg’s bathroom sprucing tips? Do you watch Mad Men? What would their ideal bathroom look like?

bathroom1960

Blogger Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott Customer Experience Crossroads http://www.customercrossroads.com/customercrossroads/
Paul Anater Kitchen and Residential Design http://www.KitchenAndResidentialDesign.com
Shannon Bilby Big Bob’s Outlet http://blog.bigbobsoutlet.com/
Shannon Bilby Carpets N More Blog http://blog.carpetsnmore.com/
Shannon Bilby Dolphin Carpet Blog http://blog.dolphincarpet.com/
Shannon Bilby From The Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com/
Shannon Bilby My Big Bob’s Blog http://blog.mybigbobs.com/
Toby Bloomberg Diva Marketing http://bloombergmarketing.blogs.com/bloomberg_marketing/
Laurence Borel Blog Till You Drop http://www.laurenceborel.com/
Bill Buyok Avente Tile Talk Blog http://tiletalk.blogspot.com/
Jeanne Byington The Importance of Earnest Service http://blog.jmbyington.com/
Becky Carroll Customers Rock! http://customersrock.net/
Marianna Chapman Results Revolution http://www.resultsrevolution.com
Katie Clark Practial Katie http://practicalkatie.blogspot.com/
Nora DePalma American Standard’s Professor Toilet http://www.professortoilet.com/
Nora DePalma O’Reilly DePalma: The Blog http://www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog/
Leigh Durst LivePath Experience Architect Weblog http://livepath.blogspot.com/
Valerie Fritz The AwarepointBlog http://www.awarepointblog.com/
Iris Garrott Checking In and Checking Out http://circulating.wordpress.com/
Tish Grier The Constant Observer http://spap-oop.blogspot.com
Renee LeCroy Your Fifth Wall http://yourfifthwall.com/
Joseph Michelli Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog www.josephmichelli.com/blog
Veronika Miller Modenus Blog http://www.modenus.com/blog
Arpi Nalbandian TILE Magazine Editor Blog http://www.tilemagonline.com/Articles/Blog_Nalbandian
Maria Palma People 2 People Service http://www.people2peopleservice.com/
Reshma Bachwani Paritosh The Qualitative Research Blog http://www.onqualitativeresearch.blogspot.com/
David Polinchock Polinchock’s Ponderings http://blog.polinchock.com/
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond Scarlet Opus Trends Blog http://trendsblog.co.uk/
David Reich My 2 Cents http://reichcomm.typepad.com/my_weblog/
Sandy Renshaw Around Des Moines http://www.arounddesmoines.com/
Sandy Renshaw Purple Wren http://www.purplewren.com/
Bethany Richmond Carpet and Rug Institute Blog http://www.carpet-and-rug-institute-blog.com/
Bruce Sanders RIMtailing Blog http://rimtailing.blogspot.com/
Steve Tokar Please Be Seated http://stevetokar.wordpress.com/
Carolyn Townes Becoming a Woman of Purpose http://spiritwomen.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Weaver Experienceology http://experienceology.blogspot.com/
Christine B. Whittemore Flooring The Consumer http://flooringtheconsumer.blogspot.com/
Christine B. Whittemore Simple Marketing Blog http://www.simplemarketingblog.com/
Christine & Ted Whittemore Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog http://smokerise-nj.blogspot.com/
Christine B. Whittemore The Carpetology Blog http://carpetology.blogspot.com/
Linda Wright LindaLoo Build Business With Better Bathrooms http://lindaloo.com/

Service of Old Fashioned Things

Monday, August 30th, 2010

 oldbluecar

Buggy whips and typewriter ribbons came up in a comment about “Service of Ensuring Work,” inspiring a post about the old fashioned things we continue to use and enjoy, no matter what , such as firewood and knitting needles. In fact, there’s a premium attached to a working fireplace.

babyshoesHand knit sweaters and scarves are extra special. If you know what you are doing, knitting can also be soothing. A friend of mine has carried on her mother’s tradition of knitting a baby hat and sweater set for every infant to join the family. In spite of grueling deadlines and responsibilities, she recently completed two sets for twins.

While I am addicted to solitaire and FreeCell on my computer and no longer use playing cards, haven’t held a print version of a dictionary or phone book in eons, here’s a list of some old fashioned things I love, even if substitutes exist.

**Jigsaw Puzzles: A friend gave my husband one for Christmas a few years ago. We’d forgotten how much fun they are and when people drop in, they can’t stop themselves from adding their pieces.

**Monopoly and watching a child learn-and love-to play, if only for the companionship of adults.

homemadecake**Baking pies and cakes: Time well spent in my opinion.

**Making spaghetti sauce from scratch–or rather, watching my husband make it: Yum

 **Inviting friends over for dinner-we’re trying to do more of this. We so enjoy it when we’re invited to a home, though meeting folks at a restaurant is also nice.

**Mac and cheese: A counter server at the Amish Market, a takeout specialty shop/deli near my office, reminisced about his Mom’s recipe after he described a soup for sale by the same name. He said his Mom made hers from scratch but that he and his sisters and brothers pleaded with her to prepare it the way Aunt Connie made hers. Aunt Connie had Kraft to thank. Kraft still rules!

**Dairy Queen. We found the one in Connecticut we’d not been to in a dog’s age. We were thrilled that it was still there and I was amazed that my husband remembered where it was. I can never decide whether I want a cone with the great hard chocolate cover or a milkshake. I was driving so strawberry milkshake won.

**Listening to the radio in the car, while doing housework and in the middle of the night if I can’t sleep.

And you?

monopoly

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