Tag Archives: americana

Out & About: Visiting Shinola HQ


This past March while on location in Detroit, I had the good fortune of being invited to take a look around one of my favorite brand’s headquarters. Having been following the resurrection of the once ubiquitous brand since 2011, I was eager to see behind the curtain. Was Shinola in fact a company hell bent on restoring faith in American manufacturing or was it simply another attempt to capitalize on the “Americana” movement? My assumption was that no brand based in Detroit would survive if it were the latter and having a look at Shinola’s inner workings confirmed what I had hoped to be true – Shinola is the real deal.

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Out & About


While driving up to a friend’s house in Hancock Park for a cookout I realized I’d forgotten to pick up beer. Not knowing the area I stopped at the first place I spotted, a rundown looking supermarket called Galco’s. I figured they’d probably have something decent to bring, worst case scenario I’d end up with some Modelo Especial(everywhere has that in Hancock Park.) It didn’t immediately hit me when I walked in that Galco’s was a special place. It looked kind of bare, stark and uninviting. Then I noticed something odd, the place was full of people carrying boxes of sodas and beers. Again, not all that unusual if you’re at Costco but these people were carrying flats of various beverages all lumped together. I started to explore and soon found myself overwhelmed by the selection of hard to find drinks. I’ve always kind of prided myself in finding craft beers and sodas that most people haven’t heard of but in Galco’s I quickly found myself thinking “damn, I’m an amateur.”

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Check Out…

The Levi’s Vintage Clothing site. History of a company that has defined America in more ways than one would think is possible. Even if you’re not a denim obsessed blogger, take the time to scroll through the evolution of the iconic 501 jean. The history of style in the country as we know it is all right there in the changes of the 501. Bet you didn’t know that though the jeans were made in San Francisco, the denim came from New Hampshire and the pair that started it all was put together in Reno. So once you’ve further educated yourself on that, check out the products section. Yeah they’re not going to be cheap but if you’ve got the scratch, nobody has archives to pull from like Levi’s. If you want to go further down the rabbit hole check out a bunch of vintage Levi’s ads. They’re about as classic as classic can get.


Whether you’re sartorially incline or not(if you’re a regular reader I assume the latter) you’ve got to have an appreciation for things made by hand here in America. Denim is as American as it gets and the story of Imogene + Willie is one that should make your heart glow. If you don’t know why selvedge denim costs what it does I think you’ll find this video very informative. I believe it’s people like Carrie and Matt that are the future of our nation. People who believe in learning a trade, finding a niche market, employing masters of the craft, all while keeping jobs here at home. Like Matt says in the video, this is the American dream, the real American dream. People will argue that it’s ridiculous the spend $250 on a pair of jeans. Sure that might seem ridiculous at first but think about this, would you rather spend $40 on a pair of jeans that you have to replace after a year or two or $250 on a pair that will last you a lifetime? Check out the full site right here, it’s one of the best one the web.

Orvis U.S. Patent Collection

Orvis has been doing it right in Southern Vermont since 1865 and now for Fall 2010 they’ve really hit the nail on the head.

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Photo Of The Day

Love this shot.

via WhileIWasSleeping

Nice Digs

Screw a house. Just give me one of these and a nice truck to tow it with.

HEY! It’s Art!

This is one of my favorite works by New York City resident Jon Contino. Jon’s style of art is one of my favorites and serves as inspiration for the direction that I’m taking Nice Life Apparel Co in. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to have Jon do some graphic work for me but until then you can check out his website to get your fix of awesome Americana inspired art.

Great Moments In Advertising

Levi’s Go Forth campaign has been one of the best run in recent memory. Now they got John Hillcoat (The Road, The Proposition) to direct their latest spot focusing on the broken down town of Braddock, PA. I’m a big fan of Hillcoat so naturally I loved this spot right away. Upon doing some more investigating I found out some really interesting things about the town of Braddock and I recommend that you do the same.

Good Read

I’ve driven cross country 12 or 13 times in my life and I’ve seen what this book depicts. It’s easy to get excited about new technology and the “advancement” of society but we need to preserve the history which make us America. There’s no other place on earth that looks like main street America and it’s sad to think that it could soon be reduced to a mere memory. Thank god for rural places in Vermont that just stay untouched and alive. Anyway go out and find a copy of Vanishing America to read if not purchase. It’ll look good on your coffee table. What? You don’t have a coffee table? Better go buy one so you can put books like this one on it.