The Kempt Five
Upstate Stock. “Back when I was wee, my mom bought me a pair of fingerless gloves to help facilitate my need to look cool and tough and more like Judd Nelson. Which is basically nothing more than a forced segue into the fact that I recently picked up some new fingerless gloves from fledgling made-in-America-handsome-slinger Upstate Stock that I’m kind of loving right now. They’re warm and fuzzy and fingerless in all the right places. And since winter is cold, I also grabbed one of their wool beanies to help make winter less cold.” —K.L.
Drew Magary’s Someone Could Get Hurt. “You probably know Magary’s name—he writes for Deadspin, GQ and other Websites of Interest to People Who Read Kempt. He’s not universally beloved; he WRITES with a lot of CAPS and has a FUCKING habit of SWEARING GRATUITOUSLY. But this book, well, it’s something. It’s calmer. Mellower. Hilarious-er. It’s about fatherhood, and is written in a voice that’s much more ‘real talk at the end of the night’ than ‘guy shouting at you from a blog.’ My book jacket blurb would say: ‘I laughed, I cried, a must-read for recent fathers or fathers-in-training.’ And I would totally mean it.” —P.L.U.
A Trusty Letter Opener. “Another unfortunate side effect of the digital age: letter openers seem to be few and far between. Yet opening your mail: still a pain (possibly even more of a pain now that we’re not as accustomed to doing it as often). Luckily, Izola makes this handsome brass ruled letter opener, which was gifted to me recently. All of a sudden, I’m more inclined to open my bills—and therefore pay them on time. As if having a handsome piece of brass sitting on your desk isn’t reason enough for becoming a more productive member of society.” —N.B.
Going to the Opera. “It’s something everyone (especially residents of opera-having cities) should experience at least once. I ended up getting some cheap rush tickets to see La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera—now in its 109th year of performance there (you let me know if people are still watching Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit in the year 2123). And while I’ll admit I was more captivated by the tuxedoed octogenarians, champagne flutes and live donkeys parading on stage (yep), there was a great moment when I turned off the subtitle reader, sat back in my chair and just let time stop while a man belted out some beautifully incomprehensible Italian.” —J.W.
Alpaca Socks. “In an admittedly odd turn of events, my brother’s ex-girlfriend’s sister nabbed me a hand-knit-by-villagers pair while she was in Chile recently, and though I laughed when she gave them to me, I now don’t plan on taking them off until this frigid bitch of a storm system has left the tristate area. They’re incredibly warm, lightweight and somehow have yet to begin smelling like, well, feet. I’m sure a local pair will have the same benefits.” —S.P.
— Najib Benouar
— Kelly Larson
— Stephen Praetorius
— Paul L. Underwood
— Jason Wire