Category Archives: Life & Style

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That Prince Among Shampoos

“His two battered suitcases came and he unpacked leisurely and then ordered from Room Service a bottle of the Taittinger Blanc de Blancs that he had made his traditional drink at Royale. When the bottle, in its frosted silver bucket, came, he drank a quarter of it rather fast and then went into the bathroom and had an ice-cold shower and washed his hair with Pinaud Elixir, that prince among shampoos, to get the dust of the roads out of it.” — James Bond checks in, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

I reckon I’ve made the joke often enough about Pinaud Elixir, that prince among shampoos, that I should probably write a little about it beyond its role as my go-to joke whenever I mention James Bond. Pinaud is a venerable men’s grooming company, having been established — if you believe the label — in 1810 by French perfumer Edouard Pinaud. But since Pinaud himself wasn’t born until sometime around that year, one assumes a bit of poetic license is being taken by the brand. Still, it’s been around for a long time. Pinaud opened his first shop in Paris in 1830, and in 1833 his “lilac vegetal” product became so popular with the Emperor Napoleon that the ruler had Pinaud appointed “Royal Parfumer,” and the company’s Lilac Vegetal after-shave became the official facial pick-me-up of the Hungarian cavalry. Never mind that Napoleon had died in 1821, and that Napoleon III, while alive at the time, wasn’t in France and didn’t have much of anything to do with Hungary’s cavalrymen. But what can you do? Let truth get in the way of a good story?

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Gatsbycore

Rambling thoughts inspired by a billboard I pass during my daily stroll to work

This might be the first case of this site ever being timely or tied in with current events. Savor it like a fine tobacco smoked in an antique pipe on a chilly winter’s eve in front of the fire, with a tumbler of single malt close at hand. And then I will thank you to kindly stop smoking in my parlor. Anyway, the impending release of The Great Gatsby, in which Australian director Baz Luhrmann has decided a Jazz age drama demands more pointless CGI than The Hobbit, reminded me of the time my college roommate and I decided, round about 1993 or so, we were going to invent something called Gatsbycore. It was to be a flippant combination of the styles of the Roarin’ Twenties and our own, more familiar (at the time) punk rock aesthetic. There were really only two small problems with the idea: first, we had no idea where to get 1920s style clothing in Gainesville, Florida in 1993 on a $30 a month living budget; and second, we were pretty terrible on following through on weird ideas we had at two in the morning.

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Late 1990s: still not really getting it, but the company is still wonderful

Let’s Play Dress-Up: The Rambling Preamble

It has been my intention, forever derailed and distracted from, that Teleport City would spent time here and there discussing style and clothing. However, I did not want to simply reiterate and regurgitate, and I did not simply want to post an occasional photo or comment about some fashion show that recently happened,especially since I more frequently attend shows revolving around the removal of clothes rather than the donning of them. So what was it, in other words, that Teleport City’s peculiarly skewed perspective on the world could bring to the table that might prove different than the usual, even the usual I enjoy reading? I decided I would keep mum on the topic until I could come up with an appropriate angle from which to approach it. And I think I finally have one.

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Les Fleurs de Shanghai at Duane Park

She was the Paris of the East. And the Whore of Asia. Shanghai in the 1930s was a dizzying mix of glamour, seediness, decadence, intrigue, and political turmoil. A city divided up by conquering countries, where her own people were relegated to third class citizens. A city would-be adventurers and femme fatales came to make their mark or destroy themselves in those opulent dens of vice. Spies, warlords, gangsters, gamblers. And drifting through it all was the sound of Shanghai music driven by the voices of its divas. Vamps. Coquettes. The voices of a city whose name was synonymous with vice. The city, the country, the entire world was about to go to war. But in her smoky nightclubs and dancehalls, the sirens of Shanghai enchanted everyone.

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The Great 52 New Things Adventure

I am a contradiction in that I crave variety and new experiences yet am also prone to becoming a creature of habit. As I get older, the tendency to simply go with what I know or stay at home for the night is getting increasingly powerful. In these moments, the dandy rakehell in me must furiously wave a handsome silk handkerchief in my face until I admit that lying prone on the couch, eating Cheerios straight out of the box is not what’s going to make for an interesting story in the future. And as I have perhaps said before. I pay to live in New York. If I was going to spend my free time sitting around at home, I’d choose to do it in a much cheaper city.

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