Pizza, Puffers, Huntsman, Harrison Ford on a Budget, the best Canvas Sneakers and more.
Welcome to Signals, my attempt to package together some of the interesting bits from around the internet. 📝🔓🌎
Before we get into this I had a funny sighting of Harrison Ford the other day at Trader Joe’s. (Of course I acted too cool to care.) It was almost as ordinary / interesting as the time I saw Spielberg at jury duty in Santa Monica. They called his name over the loudspeaker to join a jury pool and you could see the “Oh f/ck” on his face when he realized everyone had made him.
I. Puffer City
It’s still cold and the way March is looking it’s not too late to buy a down jacket. When I went to NYC, Chicago and Colorado earlier this winter I started looking for a warmer puffer to buy and couldn’t find anything I really liked. I just don’t really want to wear the outdoor logo of whatever brand — even if it’s one I find to be a great value for money like Montbell.
With my search continuing I noted Adsum’s great new down vest-jacket hybrid as part of its SS23 1 drop. It’s what I have been looking for and I take this as a sign that we’re not out of the woods with the cold weather just yet. Adsum’s puffer is interesting because it doesn’t feature a prominent logo and has zip-off sleeves allowing it to do double-duty as a vest. I’ve said this before — the Adsum guys are some of the greatest people and if this brand isn’t on your radar than you are missing out.
II. Middle Class Pizza
Long before Coggins and I were searching for the coffee middle ground Eric Twardzik wrote this story about middle class pizza for ACL Golf. It was sort of random and not connected to golf, but I liked the story because it was an honest expression of our frustration with the lack of normal pizza. What I mean is: not the $1 a slice joint and not the $14 artisanal stuff. We just want something middle of the road. It’s the same idea that Coggins has with coffee. Most of us just need something decent. Everything doesn’t need to be spectacular.
Eric’s story actually blew up and was one of the most read on the site. It felt like confirmation of my theory that the middle is doomed. The mandate in America is either be cheap, obsencnly offensive or get f/cked. The choices are a $38 Erewhon smoothie or you have to try and feed a family of 4 for $11 at the Dollar Tree. It doesn’t feel like there’s going to be anything left in the middle.
Chris Crowley at New York Magazine noted this disturbing trend as it relates to NYC pizzarias. The normal middle of the road places are dying off and never coming back. This and the rapidly disappearing bodegas are the most concerning changes to me when I go back to the city. There was a little pizza shop named Fiore’s on Bleecker Street which wasn’t really anything special. Just a normal place. When I walked by a month ago it had become a zombie $1 slice joint. I might be the only one who noticed and was disappointed. It wasn’t on any list of best pizzas this was just a neighborhood shop. Crowley said it best. “We don’t want to live in a city where a pepperoni slice has to cost $6, because the mozzarella is hand-pulled and the flour comes from a farm upstate. Some things don’t have to be precious, which is exactly what makes most of the floppy, glossy slices in this city so necessary.”
III. The Best Canvas Sneakers
Ok since I recommended a winter thing (above) when everyone is thinking about spring I will also add-in something I wear every summer. When I was in NYC I went to Muji (they have actually closed all of their stores in California) and noticed my favorite shoes were back in stock. If I didn’t have a strategic reserve of 3 pairs I would have bought a pair. Seeing these shoes at Muji made me think of a story I saw recently on The Wirecutter where they review canvas sneakers. It got me thinking two things: 1. The Wirecutter is not what it used to be. There are some horrible recommendations in there especially when it comes to the clothing (just my opinion). 2. Why consider any other pair of canvas shoes than these perfect Muji sneakers?
The shape is excellent and they don’t have any external branding.
The canvas will come clean easily if you wash them. (Soak for 24 hours in oxygenated bleach like Oxyclean, then wash in the washing machine in a shoe bag. Dry in the sun.)
They cost $29.90 and a pair of Jack Purcells are more than twice the cost. (Someone has to pay for all of that marketing.)
The Muji sneakers hold up as well as any other canvas shoe I have tried.
There are very few things I would considered settled in my wardrobe. When I found these particular shoes I stopped even looking for anything else. I never buy the other color variants, I just stick the all-white style. These come in-and-out of stock which is why I buy a few pairs at a time. Once you wear these you will never need to look for anything else and nothing feels better than to have found the perfect thing.
IV. The Best Everyday Wine Glasses
I have a tendency to break my expensive wine glasses so I am always on the lookout for something less expensive but still good. After vigorous testing I have declared these Made In Cookware wine glasses to be an excellent choice. I ordered four red wine stems to see if they were good — and then I went back for eight more. These glasses are made in Italy, surprisingly thin and they have an interesting shape. I have to declare incredible value for money here. Despite my personal distaste for the Made In logo, I have found everything I have purchased from the company to be good quality for the price. I have a few of the knives, these prep bowls and several other things. I haven’t tried the pans but judging from how my previous buys have gone I would be open to giving them a shot. The wine glasses though. I have been telling anyone who will listen how much I like them.
V. LINKS 🏆👑📚🕯️💾⛳️🍕
The Robb Report had a great list of the best bespoke tailors in NYC.
Anthony Peck goes back to Huntsman for his own gray flannel suit. [Pictured]
This dude has painstakingly documented every slice of pizza he’s eaten in NYC since 2014.
I was quoted in this Amy Odell story about tech style in the 90s.
Wow look how bad that website is. You know this stuff is good based on that alone! Excellent tip. Glad those glasses are working out for you. It's hard to go back from good glasses.
Could not agree with you more on the lack of middle ground right now when it comes to food, especially in cities. Great piece on the same topic https://open.substack.com/pub/everydaydrinking/p/malcontent-in-the-middle?r=8n4t5&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post