Links to Enlightening Products, Services & Venues
An Eclectic Array of Things Worth Sharing
Click on Any Image to Learn More, Patronize, or Maybe Even Purchase
An Eclectic Array of Things Worth Sharing
Click on Any Image to Learn More, Patronize, or Maybe Even Purchase
The Art of Flânerie
A collection of essays here which speculate on the significance and future of flânerie. A rather fascinating read from Routledge Library Editions, albeit a bit pricey.
A memoir of a Parisian flâneur who wandered the streets of Paris for 16 years into parts virtually unknown to visitors, as well as to many Parisians.
Interesting and certainly on-topic, but it doesn't quite float my boat. Maybe yours.
ESSENTIAL The seminal book authored by the original 20th century American flâneur, Charles H. Baker, Jr. Originally Vol. 2 of the classic Gentleman's Companion, this book belongs in every man's library.
ESSENTIAL Originally Vol. 1 of the classic and previously out-of-print Gentleman's Companion by Charles H. Baker, Jr.
ESSENTIAL Another classic volume from the master documenting the best South American libations from the last century. Available as a reprint from Cocktail Kingdom, NYC.
ESSENTIAL A reprint of the original, available for a limited time. Get it while you can. The definitive culinary and cocktail guidebook for the urbane gentleman during the Golden Age of 20th century travel.
A valuable book in its paradigm-changing application of the Pareto Principle in how to you live your life. Don't spend 80% of your time engaged in activities that only account for 20% of your joy and satisfaction. Do it the other way around, and delegate or contract out those other tedious activities of life that contribute nothing to your happiness.
One of virtually hundereds of books on how to have an engaging conversation. This is a good one to get you started.
ESSENTIAL The basic bible for good manners and civility that was once common in American social interaction but is now largely forgotten. Clearly an essential volume that belongs in every library.
A solid, supplemental volume to the standard reference work above - geared specifically to men.
"The Art of Civilized Conversation: The Art of Expressing Yourself With Style and Grace." The title essentially says it all, eh? Highly recommended reading for those who need some guidance.
A good, practical guide for overcoming the anxiety of social interaction.
ESSENTIAL Not so much to con, but to be savvy enough to keep from being conned. Todd Robbins is a friend and a genius. This book also belongs in every man's library. Period.
ESSENTIAL When we think of love in our modern day culture, we more often than not think of the carnal kind. C. S. Lewis' classic work shows how we can appropriately love those whom we meet and make our own lives richer and more fulfilling in the process. The Blog will address this important life issue at length.
From American author, designer and NYC custom tailor, Alan Flusser.
ESSENTIAL Another reference volume from Alan Flusser. I refer to this volume as much now as I did when I first bought it 30 years ago. Principles of fine men's dress don't change.
A treatise on the art of being a gentleman from a European perspective. Parisian, of course.
Written for women who wish to be timelessly chic, with elegance, grace and poise.
Historian and expert dressmaker Linda Przybyszewski provides an informative history of how it was once done correctly. There is certainly much to inform here.
Carol Lombard & Associates: Image Advisors International
The Finishing School
Sometimes nothing is better than face-to-face instruction and coaching if you're unsure about how to go about improving your Image or Social Interaction skills. This company offers a comprehensive suite of modules that covers everything from proper dress, etiquette, and grooming to developing a commanding "presence," with studios based in suburban Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco. Exploring the website is an education in itself.
Here are a handful of great places with which to do it. Limited geographically of course, but these are personal favorites that provide good, eclectic examples of the kinds of places I seek to spend my time.
Keens Chop House
72 W. 36th Street, NY, NY
I've exchanged more business cards, made more friends, and transacted more real business at the bar here than anywhere else in New York City. What else needs to be said? Other than a meal or a drink at this establishment should be on everyone's bucket list.
365 Van Brunt Street
This is a restaurant and bar in downtown Red Hook, Brooklyn, opened in 2009 by writer, bartender and Charles Baker aficionado, St. John Frizell. If you're looking for a place that has a true appreciation for what the Gentleman's Companion is all about, and which serves a number of cocktails that are faithful to the recipes found in Volume 2, this place might be worth your while to check out.
565 W. Jackson Blvd.,
Best breakfast in America, and only a 5 minute walk from Union Station. Not exactly the Parisian café of the flâneur, but if you want to get your day off to a good start, this is the place to do it - American style.
Harry's New York Bar
5 Rue Daunou, Paris
Whenever I'm in Paris, I make it a point to stop here. It's where Americans go, and it's a place to feel welcome along with a little bit of home. Oh, and it's okay if you don't speak French here. But you should.
100 Old Gulph Road
Gulph Mills, PA
A good example of a close-to-home restaurant with a great sociable bar, both casual and fine dining, and the largest wine cellar in the state. Another bar at which I have made many friends.
30124 San Marco, Venice
Not quite as inviting or intimate as Harry's NY Bar in Paris, and Hemingway's been dead for well over 50 years, But the place is off the Grand Canal in Venice, and there certainly is a lot of history here. Although the days of Giuseppe Cipriani and Harry Pickering are long gone.
Weber Grill Restaurant
539 N. State St., Chicago
Barbecue is a very subjective subject - everybody has their own favorite. This is one of mine. Smokey Joe's Bar is also a fine place to meet and talk with new people - plus the bar food is good.
The Algonquin Lobby Lounge
9 W. 44th St, New York, NY
The preferred hotel in New York for my wife and me. The lobby is an extraordinary place where you can take a meal and have a quiet, relaxing, focused conversation with the person in your company.
26 East 63rd Street, New York, NY
Presently my favorite cigar lounge in Manhattan, introduced to me by my favorite blogger and lifestyle writer, Lisa M. Barr. Great cigars, great food, superb cocktails, and a refined, elegant, relaxing atmosphere. Hard to beat, unless you can get a membership to the Grand Havana Room.
A handful of resources to provide you with some ideas for a life lived as well as can be within your means.
ESSENTIAL Currently out-of-print but still available through third-party sellers (check Amazon), this book was first published 45 years ago, and for me it's still the definitive, most practical reference manual for entertaining at your home with fine libations. Everything you need to know for throwing a successful cocktail party is in this book. And a good cocktail party is one of the most sophisticated, sociable forms of entertaining you can do in your home - regardless of its size.
Carolyne Roehm A favorite author of my wife and lifestyle doyenne, Patricia Nogar. Check out Amazon's Carolyne Roehm page to see many of her ideas and applications for graceful living - from gardening, to parties, to presentations, to interior design and more.
One of our favorite interior designers. Alexa Hampton will define for you the elements of great interior design, regardless of the type of space in which you live.
"Living Well with Pat Nogar" Check out my wife's Facebook page for all kinds of free information to improve the quality of one's lifestyle. I can provide first-hand testimony to the fact that her philosophy and knowledge will provide you with the tools you need to live a style of life that will exceed your expectations.
The YouTube Channel
"Living Well" w/ Pat Nogar
My lovely wife's local cable shows and other videos with lots of ideas, inspirations and tips for living as well as you can afford.
"The Family Meal Table" w/ Nancy Campbell. How you can reap great blessings and benefit from reclaiming the family meal table at home - from a Biblical perspective. Yeah, that's right. I guarantee you, you'll never look at sitting down at the dinner table in your home the same way again after watching this video.
The title says it all - particularly as far as Hemingway was concerned. A fascinating bar journey and look into the liquid lifestyle of Ernest Hemingway. Very well researched by Philip Greene.
"The Eden String Quartet: A Bountiful Blessing" An interesting counterpoint to the the Hemingway lifestyle depicted above. This for me is a very inspirational documentary about a cattle rancher's commitment to raising his family in a God-honoring way, recognizing also the power of music to add quality to the lives of those around you. The next time you hear the term "fly-over country" used in a pejorative way, you'll realize how little those who use the term in such a fashion really know. I'm frankly in awe of how this man raised his family.
PEOPLE WORTH REMEMBERING
Marilyn Monroe It could be argued that no other actress or entertainer had the allure, sex appeal, extraordinary presence and charm as Marilyn Monroe - either before or since. She had a beauty and a look that will never be equaled - it will always uniquely be her own. But she also had a vulnerability that captured our hearts. If you want to learn more about the human being behind the image, start with this book. It's her story, in her words, dictated over a period of years. You will discover a woman of great sensitivity, complexity and intelligence. She must never be forgotten.
Marilyn Monroe This would be a companion volume to Ms. Monroe's autobiography highlighted above. It is a collection of her poems, intimate notes and letters - most of which are in her own handwriting, carefully complied and organized by two researchers. As stated in the Editors' Note in the book, "Through these poems and written papers, she's more alive than ever." I would have to agree.
This can include absolutely anything you want. As long as it includes something. Follow the interests that God has given you. Here is an eclectic mix of some of mine.
Classic American swing and vocal charts scored for big band, transcribed from the original recordings. A fabulous selection of arrangements with new scores added every month.
An authoritative treatise on how American jazz began and its early development, by the late Gunther Schuller.
The companion volume to "Early Jazz," tracing the continued development of the genre from 1930-1945.
ESSENTIAL Currently out-of-print, but generally still available through third-party sellers (check Amazon), this outstanding reference profiled all of the jazz legends while most of them were still alive - including their home addresses! With well over 200 photographs.
Henri Selmer Paris Manufacturers of some of the finest musical instruments in the world - for well over 100 years. And yes, I think taking up a musical instrument of your choice to round out your life and make yourself more interesting is a very good thing. If you can afford it, this is the place to go.
The Harlem Swing Dance Society
Learn how to Lindy Hop and Swing Dance not too far from where it all started at the Savoy Ballroom. No experience or partner necessary. Just bring $7 on Tuesday nights at 7 o'clock for an hour lesson. The most exuberant, fun dancing you will no doubt ever experience.
WRITING & LITERATURE
John Steinbeck Probably my favorite American author. Check out his Amazon page. Virtually everything he wrote is worth reading, I think. The short stories in, "The Long Valley," plus "Cannery Row" and "Sweet Thursday," rank among my favorites. He was also a favorite author of Marilyn Monroe.
Ernest Hemingway An interesting character indeed. I always appreciated his earlier writing - particularly from his years in Paris. He too would rank as a favorite American author. The picture here links to his Amazon page.
Charles H. Baker, Jr.
This man, his writing, and the life he lived, are the inspiration for "The American Flâneur." He was the original. He is principally known for the 2-volume "Gentleman's Companion," and for his enviable lifestyle. The link here takes you to a great introductory article by author and restaurateur, St. John Frizell.
Another fascinating author who in some ways led a life as interesting and adventurous as Hemingway. The Third Man and Our Man in Havana are particular favorites.