The Vine: March 22, 2013
Two authors, two cocktails, cannot find out how to make them:
In one of the Fletch novels, Gregory McDonald has Fletch call down to the hotel desk for a Bath Towel (which they turn out not to have).
In Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco has Casaubon and Amparo in Brazil drinking mamaia.
I have researched cocktail recipe books. I have asked bartenders. I have asked Brazilians. Of course I have Googled — "Bath Towel" gives you links to Macys and Bed Bath and Beyond; "Mamaia" is a resort island; and when you type in "literary cocktails" you get two things: lists of authors and what they drank, or drinks made up after novels. I don't need to know that Ernest Hemingway really really really liked whiskey; and no, I don't want to make a "No Country for Old Fashioned" or a "Gryffyndor."
If Gregory McDonald were alive, I'd just email him. But, honestly, who emails Umberto Eco for a cocktail recipe???
Help me, Nation.
I've re-soled my cheapo pair of knee-high boots for the last time and am ready to invest in a quality pair. Are Frye boots really worth their $300 price tag? Are there any other awesome brands out there I should know about? I don't have any size requirements but I would like a knee-high boot and a flat heel, I chase around a toddler all day. Also because of said toddler my style is very…minimal, and so I would like the boots to be cute enough to help me look more stylish, but they can't be too too — they would look out of place with my ubiquitous Target T.
Anyone out there in TN have an amazing pair of boots that has them waiting for winter, just so they can wear them every day? Please tell me. These are the boots I want to buy.
I can't say if Fryes merit the $300 price, because for boots that pricey, I head to eBay or wait for a steep sale on Zappos or Endless. It's a great time of year for those, though, because now the merchants want to shill the latest variation on the Liberty espadrille no matter how cold it still is outside.
I do have a pair of white Fryes, the Campus 12L, that go great with everything; I got them "previously owned" for $75 on eBay. That particular Frye line is comfortable, but does have a big block heel and some "movement" if you're not wearing thick socks; it might not be for you. My go-to boot this year is the Swedish Hasbeen — and it's going to cost you, but again, haunt Endless and you can probably find a good deal (my Women's Worker boot is like wearing a fuzzy cloud, it's gorgeous, and I got them for $165 when they were listed at $400; look for a color "nobody" wants, like red or kelly green, to get the big discounts, and then practice snorting, "Um, it's a 'new neutral,' so." Heh). They're classic, they're well-made, you can wear them with sweats or a dress…to me, they're worth it. Not quite knee-high, but flat and comfy. You could also try Bjorns, which are usually flat-heeled and dress up and down equally well.
My advice with boots is twofold: 1) don't settle, or buy a "name" boot that's "supposed to be" awesome if you're not feeling it; 2) when you find a three-season boot you love that fits great, invest. My Campers seemed like a splurge at the time; I still wear them eight years later (the Bjorns are even older). $120 for Docs back in college was a huge outlay, but I wore those bad boys every single day for 18 months. I totally sympathize with not wanting to spend $250 on a boot, and if you don't have experience with a brand, trying to get them for half price is probably a better move, but think about it: the right boot, you will wear seven days out of 10 and it won't need much maintenance. You price that out, $250 is cheap.
Readers, commence group boot therapy!
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