Writing, reviews, interviews, shop.

Yosemite National Park: A Photo Retrospective

Posted on September 22, 2014

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A few months ago we were fortunate enough to grab a coveted campsite near the base of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park here in California. Getting a reserved site is tough given that Yosemite is one of the most popular national parks and almost twenty years ago there was a huge flood that wiped out a good number of the sites. We woke up at early 3 months in advance in order to get our spot and we got the last one left within a three month window. Feeling fortunate, we prepped for our trip.

Traveling to Yosemite was a great excuse to turn off and focus on things we like; camping, drinking lots of good whiskey, taking photos, and traveling. Here I present a series of photos from our trip highlighting a few of our hikes and cool sights. If you need a creative recharge or a respite from the working world, I highly recommend taking a trip to Yosemite. If you can’t swing that type of travel, find a campsite near you and get out of your own bed for a few days. It’s worth it. We’re not hardcore outdoors people and Yosemite caters to all levels of woodsy-folks. Camping between two streams at the base of an incredible mountain near the basin of several waterfalls while also being close enough to a few restaurants and a grocery store has it’s merits.

We hiked the Vernal/Nevada Falls trail which takes you through some of the more lush greenery in the park. There’s two major waterfalls along the way with plenty of views of the valley, Half Dome, and the opportunity to dip your feet in the river (be warned: do not get in the water as you could be easily whisked over the edge to a certain death). One of my favorite points of this trail was coming around a corner and the mist from the first waterfall beating the cliff face on your right. The rocks were soaked and covered in moss. It was a slippery climb but felt like something out of Lord of the Rings. Rainbows, massive rock formations, heavy mist, sunshine, and greenery abound. We ate lunch at the very top, the halfway point, which is the top of the second waterfall. There’s plenty of places to grab a rock and relax while recharging for your hike down the mountain.

You’ve probably noticed that things have been fairly sparse on the site recently. We’ve been busier than ever working on a variety of creative projects for clients around the country from music videos to photo shoots and haven’t had a chance to focus our time on producing the content that we love doing; free stuff for the world to enjoy. Recently the going motto has been if it doesn’t pay, don’t do it. Fortunately right now we’re able to jump back on board and do a little more with The American Classic. Whenever something you love becomes time prohibitive, it’s time to take a break and wait for the right moment to come and spark you with some inspiration. We’re happy to be here and hope you enjoy the content we have coming over the next few weeks. Click here to read the full article.

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In Support Of: Boldfoot Socks

Posted on July 8, 2014

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I wear socks 7 days a week. Even if it’s just for a few hours, I put socks on at some point during the day either to keep from getting blisters or to keep my shoes from smelling like an armpit. I primarily wear leather shoes (Rancourts or Red Wings) and socks with heavier leather shoes are crucial for longevity of the shoe itself and from keeping your feet from looking like calloused tree stumps. As a result, I burn through approximately 5-8 pairs of socks per year and usually have about 10 pairs on hand at any given time. I’m always on the lookout for new designs and I typically go for the more subtle patterns that mix well with my existing wardrobe but in this particular case, the socks found me and they’re far from subtle.

Boldfoot Socks is a D.C.-area startup specializing in very bold-patterned socks made in the USA run by Brad Christmann. They’re currently on Kickstarter (for the next two weeks) with some great deals on their initial run and some super neat patterns to choose from. These patterns are not for the weak-in-the-knees; chunky lines, bold colors, and strong logos will get your sock-swaddled heart pumping a mile a minute but this is a great way to freshen jeans up or make a more dressy pair of pants look a little less formal. As a general rule, many socks are very similar in construction and pattern. Boldfoot certainly sets themselves apart in the pattern department, sporting a range of designs I’ve never seen before. Click here to read the full article.

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Fi3 Santa Monica

Posted on July 7, 2014

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I’ve been super fortunate to have made some new friends over the past few weeks. They’re putting on a really awesome event in Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport this week featuring a shop collection curated by our favorite LA-transplant, Wittmore, and a speaker series including a number of names that you’ve definitely heard of (Sonja Rasula from Unique USA, Davide Berruto from Shelter Half, Stuart Ramsey of Krochet Kids, and our friend Tristan Pollack from Storefront to name a few). The opening event features food trucks, plenty of booze, and live music. We’ll be there and hope to see you there, too!

Field Trip: LA Foodshop

Posted on May 27, 2014

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Everything comes and goes with time. Trends rise, appearing from seemingly nowhere with no explanation for their popularity, climb to significance only to disintegrate as they fall from grace, perhaps lost in a fog of neglect: the ultimate void into which hipness disintegrates. In chronicling the ever-changing “cool”, we see this quite a bit. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s for the best, and sometimes it simply is what it is. There are very few things in life that do not succumb to these delightful and tragic pitfalls but two that will forever be a part of our lives are food and fellowship. These two things alone can drive communities to be built from the ground up, serve as the foundation for neighborhood economies, and solidify one’s self-perception within a group.

In 2012, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles with my girlfriend.  I had moved most recently from Philadelphia where the burgeoning food industry provided many of my friends with gainful employment and gave me the opportunity to sample a variety of high end offerings in the area. The food in Philly is unusually good; that is to say that due to the compact spread of the city, the ratio of exemplary food offerings to neighborhoods is second to none in the US today. I had extraordinarily high standards set by the time I rolled into LA and without a doubt they were blown out of the water, though in ways I hadn’t expected. We found the most diverse selection of ethnic foods I’ve ever seen anywhere. The Mexican food is obviously fantastic but the offering across the board, representing nearly every culture in the world, is paralleled by none. While you might try to go to a bar or restaurant in Philly that’s too crowded and be in luck with a host of 10 other offerings within walking distance, LA’s a different animal but as long as you’re willing to jump in your car for 10-20 minutes the options are limitless.

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Doughboy Watch Co. Revisited

Posted on May 16, 2014

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Just barely over a year ago, we introduced to you our friends at Doughboy Watch Co. in Philadelphia, PA. Tom, the man behind the loupe, takes turn-of-the-century mechanical masterpieces refurbishes them into the precision timepieces they once were, before putting it on your wrist in the style of a WWI trench watch. These beauties belong on your arm, and the absence of batteries means you will always know what time it is no matter what part of the world you may find yourself in, and no matter how long you’re there.

Playlist: Spring ’14

Posted on March 28, 2014

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It’s time for our third playlist, just in time for the Spring season that is upon us. I started compiling this in November with an intent to release it in December…and then again in February. But here we are and it’s almost April (can’t believe it). A lot of the darker tracks were taken out and more upbeat ones replaced them because it is, in fact, almost spring. Here in Los Angeles the weather is always fantastic but I’m very well aware it snowed recently on the East Coast. There’s a few well known tracks on here: Father John Misty has been spinning at our West Coast HQ lately even though it came out a few years ago, same with Real Estate though they have a great new record out. There’s a few mostly-instrumental gems in this one, notably tracks by Blockhead, J-Walk, The Octopus Project, and Working For A Nuclear Free City and a quick visit to the opening tracks off of Beck’s new album. Hang in there, folks; warmer days are right around the corner and enjoy Vol. 3 of our playlists. Be sure to click the button at the top right of the embedded Spotify player if you’d like to follow us and add the playlist on your Spotify account. Click here to listen to the full playlist.

Alfred Lane Solid Colognes

Posted on March 5, 2014

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On today’s docket, we have a small company in Chicago selling “solid colognes”. Ever heard of it? Neither had I. Unsolicited reviews are a tricky beast here at The American Classic; our policy is typically that we’ll take a look at whatever you’ve got but there’s no guarantee you’ll get a review. We’d much rather talk about the things we love and think you should love, too, rather than dwell on negative things. The gents from Alfred Lane reached out a few weeks ago for a review and following our policy, they’ve found themselves with this review because their product is fucking cool. Based in Chicago, these guys have released a line of compact, solid colognes that are designed to be thrown in a bag and reapplied whenever. They’re unobtrusive, packaged in a super slick vintage-inspired sliding tin, and provide an easy way to apply with zero mess. Read the full article here.

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