Tote in Style
It’s hard to schlep in style, but Lotuff & Clegg’s handcrafted leather tote has the situation totally under couture control. Utterly unadorned with logos or hardware, the tote bag features a clean and classic design that is as versatile as it is chic. Fill ‘er up with books, baubles or even use it as a bohemian briefcase as you travel across the globe. The tote features natural suede backing and double-stitched handles so it will never buckle under pressure. But just in case one of your adventures gets a little heavier than usual, all of Lotuff & Clegg’s products are guaranteed for life.
West Village’s Rustic Italian
We’ve heard that everyone’s flocking to the new Italian eatery Spasso in the heart of New York’s West Village, where the delightful din of the open kitchen rings over the 65 seats. The decidedly rustic restaurant is a clever collaboration between Experience Hospitality Founder Bobby Werhane and Chef Craig Wallen (think Lupa Trattoria and Convivio), serving up a combination of local and specially imported ingredients amid polished provincial design, which uses, for instance, reclaimed barn wood and hand-pounded metal. Be sure to try the fritto misto di mare or the house-made Stracciatella cheese with olio nuovo and grilled bread. Boasting a full bar, Spasso also serves a cornucopia of Italian cocktails and spirits, including aperitifs, digestifs and vermouths. For jetsetters looking for a little fruit of the earth, check out the underground wine cellar housing 150 top-of-the-vine labels from Italy.
Outfitting Men in Posh Chicago Style
We’ve heard that Shrine, an old-school haberdashery, has opened on East Oak Street in Chicago, and is sure to keep jetsetters dapper in the doldrums of the winter months. Shrine serves up old-world wares like chapeaus imported from Argentina, silk jacquard neck ties and handmade Italian umbrellas with wooden handles. (Rumor has it they even sell hand-stitched gloves from the world’s oldest glove-making firm, circa 1777.) Shoppers can grab a seat on the tufted leather sofa, take a gander at the vintage poster collection or peer out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the city streets below.
Fledgling and seasoned snow bunnies alike will dig the latest incarnation of snowboarding—Alter Action Sandboarding in Swakopmund, Namibia. After an early morning drive through Swakopmund fog, boarders will cruise down a 300-foot dune with seven different “faces” offering a range of speeds from slow and serpentine to a heart-pounding 50 mph on the Dizzy-ride dune. Two types of boarding are offered: Lie Down Boarding, which is reminiscent of tobogganing, and Stand up Boarding, which is one part surfing, two parts snowboarding and one part all style and stance. We hear you can see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the dune, so even if you get “cold” feet (tricky in the African desert, to be sure), you can still feast on the sweeping vista below.