About a month ago, while helping friends man a fresh mozzarella stand at the Williamsburg, Brooklyn food bazaar Smorgasburg, a simple question came up.
There was a moment when we needed to cut some rope and I called out for a knife. Someone responded, "Who carries a knife?" Well, no one nowadays. But my grandfather, a market vendor coming from a long line of fruits and vegetable sellers at Cincinnati's Findlay Market, always had a knife on his person. And he still does to this day. His knife is his lifeline. A symbol of utility and craftsmanship. Today, the most ubiquitous item we carry is an IPhone. And since that is fucking sad, I vowed to get myself a knife.
The next day I noticed a little write up on knives in Field & Stream. I've never been into knives per say, but I thought that this nice-looking, classic French designed Opinel was what I wanted.
Manufactured since the 1890's in the French town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, this time-honoured peasant's knife has since become the iconic symbol of French culture and lifestyle. Pablo Picasso used an Opinel to carve his sculptures and the Savoyard alpine guide Roger Frison-Roche never made an ascent without one. The Opinel was also selected in the 1985 Victoria and Albert Museum's "100 Most Beautiful Products in The World", alongside the Porche 911 and the Rolex watch. It's handsome, sturdy and has a great history. Online is costs about 40 dollars with my name engraved. Someday, I'll pass it down to someone equally appreciative of history and craftsmanship.
(Note that I bought the auxillary version with corkscrew, making it even more useful until I master the French Shoe trick.)
Up at the Tribeca Film Festival, two good friends of mine Keith Aumont and Jennifer van der Kwast are debuting Boys of Summer. Chronicling the journey of the 2008 Little League® Baseball team representing the tiny Caribbean island of Curaçao. An island so focused and talented in the game that it's sent it All-Star team seven consecutive years to the World Series. They have a tough match up in 2008 though against a maturing and talented Puerto Rican team. Bad News Bears but far more charming. Check it out.
Foreign Policy's photo gallery of Teru Kuwayama and Balazs Gardi embed Hipstamatic photos with the Marine Battalion 1/8 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Just a few samples of the multi-platform (photos, social-media/feeds and digital maps) collaboration known as Basetrack.