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Another One Bites the Dust: RIP Prime Burger

Photo: Molly Woodward

And now, a personal message of discontent from bicoastal Kempt contributor C. Brian Smith.

First, a caveat: I’m hardly the first person to bemoan the fact that things today are different than they were in the past (Andy Rooney cornered the market on this way of thinking years ago). But I’m mad as hell, so I’m going to do it anyway. I’m sick of seeing so many iconic New York City bars and restaurants close—institutions with decades upon decades of history cast aside in order to make way for another bank branch or pharmacy. It’s been bothering me for a while.

But when the Prime Burger on 51st Street closed last week, it got personal.

We each mourn the closing of landmarks differently, since we each experience New York City differently. Some avoid the Bowery altogether for fear of mistakenly walking by CBGB and seeing carefully distressed suede pants in the window. For others, the kick in the gut was Chumley’s crumbling to the ground in 2007. (It will reopen this year. Sort of.) Then there was Elaine’s, and Totonno’s, and the Fulton Fish Market and Bill’s Gay Nineties—sadly, the RIP list goes on and on, each new entry stinging a little bit more than the one before. And with every closing I can’t help but feel we’ve let down the past, and for the very worst reasons. Like we’re forgetting a little more, each time, about what makes a place a place.

Here’s what made the Prime Burger a place for 74 years...»

Kate Upton Wrote a Song About Her Bikini

  • Najib Benouar

via Beach Bunny

Shorts Illustrated: Menswear always looks better in pencil form—courtesy of N’East Style. [Well Spent] Reporting Live from Turn 3: At the Indy 500, “where irresponsible behavior is mandatory and clothing is optional.” [Grantland]

Casting Dept.: In case you ever end up on the wrong end of a ski trip: Men of Habit digs up an old editorial spread featuring well-heeled men wearing casts. [Men of Habit]

Where Brooklyn’s At: A new form of urban cartography: mapping NYC by the stomping grounds of famous rappers. [A Very Small Array]

Theres Alexandersson Is About to Crab Walk

  • Najib Benouar

via ZAC

Target Acquired: On the heels of successful capsule collections with a few womenswear bigs, Target is now planning one with the impossibly stylish New York men’s shop Odin. Definitely something to keep an eye on. [A Bullseye View]

As the Crow Flies: An aerial slideshow of the secret New York City rooftops that lay hidden to most city dwellers, high above the fray. [NYMag]

Suit Yourself: Mark Zuckerberg’s hooded-sweatshirt-ness has been all fine and dandy until now—when you’ve got a few billion dollars (of real money) at stake, it might be time to get serious. [Bloomberg]

A Good Vintage: Mr. Lean embarks upon the yearly pilgrimage to Brimfield, MA, with fellow vintage enthusiasts, Americana-philes and our very own camouflage-panted editorial director. [A Continuous Lean]

Back When Only the Ballplayers Wore Caps

  • Najib Benouar

This photo, from the New York City Department of Records’ recently released batch of about 800,000, was taken at a baseball game—but you’d never have guessed it with all those fedoras in the grandstands. Aside from the sight of Babe Ruth signing autographs front and center (this was snapped right before Game 1 of the 1936 World Series), we might as well be looking at Times Square in the ’30s. There’s not a single Yankees cap in the bunch. Compare that to a baseball game nowadays (or anywhere outdoors, for that matter) and it’s a much different story.

We Can’t Wait for Flag Day

Americavia YHBTI

Censored Content: Have we started designing browsers explicitly for porn? The latest version of Chrome suggests that we are. [Buzzfeed]

My Fellow Americans: The coltish Mr. Springsteen’s latest lyrics have been recut into a stump speech. [Vulture]

The Carter Family: Some early looks from Greg Chapman's H. W. Carter line. Very nice. [Selectism]

One Last Convertible: And finally, a 1955 Porsche Spyder. [Driven]

Stanley Kubrick’s Loose Snapshots

Stanley Kubrick

Before Stanley Kubrick got into film, he made his bones shooting pictures for LOOK Magazine—and now, a batch of the photos are hitting the market, courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York, shot between 1945 and 1950. His main subject was the nooks and crannies of New York, from boxers to carnival barkers to street kids, all shot with his famous eye for surreal compositions. We’ve thrown together a few of our favorites after the jump.

Take a look at Stanley Kubrick’s early photos»

I’m Willing Irene to Manhattan

We were thrilled to learn that an actual hurricane was headed all the way to Manhattan.

Those of us in the northeast only got the tail ends growing up – the oozing (yet benign), detached organs once belonging to Hugo and Andrew and Gloria, and so on. Kids our age in Miami and Charleston and some magical place called “The Outer Banks” were being interviewed by Tom Brokaw on the evening news while horizontal rain pelted them every which way – the type of natural disaster that looks a whole lot like the coolest water park in the world.

The tri-state area, on the other hand, was soon thereafter blanketed with five-to-seven days of non-descript gray piss – just enough to cancel a little league game or a weekend camping trip or (almost) anything else a 12-year-old boy had to look forward to at the end of the summer.

But under the right circumstances, it can be a grand old time…»

Hattie Watson is Well Inked

Hattie Watson via WBE

The Tucked Tie: Some lookbook-quality stuff from Ryan Plett’s latest collab. [You Have Broken the Internet]

Expected Duration: Forever: The Wu-Tang is seeking interns, although we really prefer the term “disciple.” If we stop style-blogging tomorrow, this will be why. [Boing Boing]

The Turtleneck: London’s Fiongal brand is looking pretty handsome. And the pomade doesn’t hurt. [This Heart’s On Fire]

The Mighty Oak: A cinematic tour of one of New York’s last repositories of yesteryear cool. [Atlantic Wire]

Reflections of a Style Guy


On of the most reliable sources of style wisdom in the business, Glenn O’Brien has finally channeled his wit into an all-encompassing 300-page guide to life. The book is titled How to Be a Man, and it lives up to its name with chapters like “How to be Sexual,” “How to Exit” (on death), and “Immortality: What to Do Later.” We sat down with Mr. O’Brien for a conversation about manhood, manners and when New York was at its coolest.

Our conversation with Glenn O’Brien»

In the Mansion


As you may have heard, Ralph Lauren overhauled their New York store in the Rhinelander Mansion, and the result is a pretty spectacular new men’s only shop. The new version sprawls out over four stories and 20,000 square feet—an easy contender for the largest single-brand men’s clothing store in the world, and the perfect capstone for a $4 billion behemoth of branding.

There are already plenty of gushing tours through the place (hey, here’s a good one), but what struck us passing through is exactly how many nooks and crannies there are in the RL empire and how much space it takes to do justice to them all. There are tons of collaboration mixed in contextually, stuff like glass skulls, motorcycles and vintage dumbbells—all genuinely for sale. Even if you don’t buy them, they say a lot about what Ralph is, and the different personas of Black Label, Purple Label, RRL, RLX and Polo. It’s a smart move, and it makes the space feel more like a museum than a mansion. “Store” is a distant third.