Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races | 120 Film Photography by Jungle Pat

 

TSY THE SELVEDGE YARD PENDINE SANDS HOT ROD RACES JUNGLE PAT 2

“With caffeine levels topped up for the five hour journey to south wales, I was finally going to experience the buzz that surrounds the VHRA Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races.Stepping back in time doesn’t quite do it justice. It’s one of those events that people can’t stop talking about, and they assure others that haven’t been that they need to make the pilgrimage. Everyone congregates on the hill waiting for the tide to go out before the racing can begin– and when it did the two hundred strong fleet of rods seemed endless making their way to the pits on the historic beach.

TSY THE SELVEDGE YARD PENDINE SANDS HOT ROD JUNGLE PAT 2

With the sun bursting through the few clouds in the sky, it was as if our brothers across the pond at the east coast The Race Of Gentleman in Wildwood NJ, had sent some sunshine to the U.K. as rods and customs were kicking up sand on both sides of the Atlantic.

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STEVE MCQUEEN REMEMBERED | FORMER LOVER, FELLOW RACER

1960 Lime Rock Nationals– Denise McCluggage sits on the grid  while SCCA gets things straight.

Back in 1955 or so, a young Denise McCluggage had a chance encounter with a then unknown Steve McQueen which led to a brief affair and a long-lasting friendship. They would be separated by their own career ambitions, and the many demands and erratic schedules that come with the territory. That said, McCluggage managed to stay in touch over the years. She herself would go on to become a legend in the world of auto racing– a renowned driver, writer, and photographer for over 50 yrs. McCluggage has won trophies around the world and raced for Porsche, Jaguar, Lotus, Mini Cooper, Alfa, Elva, OSCA, Volvo, among others. In 1961 she won the grand touring category at Sebring in a Ferrari 250 GT, and in 1964 McCluggage scored a class win in the Rallye de Monte Carlo for Ford. She shared her remembrances of McQueen and their relationship years after his passing, published in AutoWeek magazine back in 1981. She recalls a young, lean McQueen who was already obsessed with cars and racing, who swept her off her feet with his searing looks, charm and well… incongruity, as she puts it.

1955, Steve McQueen as he looked back in the day, running around the Village w/ Denise McCluggage – Image by © Roy Schatt

Shortly after our reunion he had sidled up next to me and whispered in my ear: “I’m falling in love all over again,” and given me the full brunt of the smile. My response had been an instantaneous hoot of laughter. –Denise McCluggage

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TRUMAN CAPOTE’S HAMPTONS STUDIO | THE INTENTIONALLY UNTENDED LOOK

It’s not to say that I’m not a fan of his written works, but what I love Truman Capote for more are his brilliantly bitchy Black & White Ball of 1966 to celebrate the release of In Cold Blood, and his subdued and soothing studio hidden among the scrubs in the heart of the Hamptons that he personally designed as his own private oasis. I believe that most of these pics of the Mid-century modern beach studio were actually taken in 1965 (except for the last pic of Capote seated in his robe), though this story is from the archives of Architectural Digest, ca. 1976. Sadly, it no longer looks quite as charming as it does in these old photos. Through subsequent updates by later owners the beach studio has been sterilized a bit and is sorely lacking Capote’s self-proclaimed intentional untended chic and quirky touches.

1965– Truman Capote standing on the ledge of the fireplace in the living room of his Hamptons country studio near Sagaponack on the South Fork. –Image by © Condeˆ Nast Archive/Corbis

From Architectural Digest, 1976–

It is virtually impossible to find his Long Island home in the Hamptons, but that’s exactly the way he wants it. Hidden behind scrub pine, privet hedges and rows of hydrangea bushes is Truman Capote’s two-story, weathered-gray beach house near Sagaponack on the South Fork.

He lives in the heart of the Hamptons—a stretch of rolling potato fields and lush farmlands married to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. A year-round farming community and a summer place for city people, it is here that antique farmhouses vie with modernistic glass houses for the dunes and fields. Mr. Capote once called Sagaponack “Kansas with a sea breeze.”

1965– Author Truman Capote relaxes in a wicker chair outside his Long Island home in the Hamptons. –Image by © Condeˆ Nast Archive/Corbis

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TEXAS’ OWN “GONE WITH THE WIND” | GEORGE STEVENS’ 1956 EPIC– “GIANT”

Icons James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson sharing the silver screen– ‘nuff said? Not quite. While I love the glamour, legend, and lore behind the making of “Giant” (and trust me, we’ll get to that), it rings the social bell– truly ahead of its time, during the largely superficial values of the 1950s.

George Stevens’ 1956 masterpiece “Giant” has been described as– Texas’ own “Gone with the Wind.” Star-studded, sweeping and epic– that bravely chronicles the evolution of the Mexican people from a subservient status to a people worthy of equal rights, respect and dignity through their hard-fought, slow-earned absorption and acceptance in America.  It’s a story about social change and ethnic growing pains that was told on the big screen– before the issue was thrust front-and-center in American living rooms during the civil rights movement.

America has a history of making the path to assimilation and acceptance (in this fine country of ours that I love) a downright bloody one.  Hatred comes from fear–and fear is born of ignorance.  I’ve been down that road myself– most of us have at some point.  Like it or not.  Maybe the melting pot analogy is fitting here– throw it all in, boil out the bones, cook under high heat until palatable, and serve up warm.

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“In the beginning of “Giant,” the rancher Bick Benedict is always correcting his Eastern-bred wife for treatingthe Mexican servants as deserving of respect. By the film’s end, however, Benedict, played by a young Rock Hudson, comes to blows with a cafe owner attempting to remove a Spanish-speaking patron from his restaurant. Above all its themes, “Giant” is about social change. Hollywood for the first time addressed anti-Hispanic racism.‘Giant’ broke ground in the way it celebrated the fusion of Anglo and Hispanic culture in Texas– and anticipated the social gains that Mexican-Americans would make over the next generation. The movie is as much about race as it is about Texas.”

Benjamin Johnson (Author and Historian)

The Reata Ranch House (seen above in the background) in “Giant” is based on a actual Texas mansion– the Victorian era “Waggoner Mansion” that still stands today in Decatur, northwest of Fort Worth, Texas. George Stevens rejected the hacienda architecture of the traditional Texas ranch house (which is how the Benedict place is described in the Ferber novel). Stevens worried that a Spanish-looking house would be alien to non-Texan viewers. via The huge façade (of the Reata Ranch house) was built in Hollywood and shipped to Marfa on flatcars. It was erected in a corner of the Worth Evans ranch, one of the more imposing holdings of the region. And it was a strange sight, its towers visible for many miles, in the middle of the plains. As it was about a half enclosure rather well constructed, Stevens left it to serve the hospitable Mr. Evans as a hay barn. via

1955– Elizabeth Taylor & James Dean in George Stevens’ “Giant.” –Image © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

“We were working on’Giant’, and we’re out in the middle of Texas. It was a scene that takes place just before Dean discovers oil on his land, where Elizabeth Taylor comes by and he makes tea for her. It’s the first time Dean has ever acted with her. But even though we’re out in the desert in Marfa, there are a thousand people watching us film behind a rope. It’s a scene where Dean has a rifle on his back. He brings her in and makes her tea, and then, suddenly, he stops. And he walks a couple hundred feet away to where these people are watching us, and in front of all of them, he pisses– facing them, with his back to the set. Then he comes back in and does the scene. So, later, we’re driving back to Marfa, and I said, ‘Jimmy, I’ve seen you do a lot of strange things, man, but you really did it today. What was that all about?’ He said, ‘It was Elizabeth Taylor. I can’t get over my farm-boy upbringing. I was so nervous that I couldn’t speak. I had to pee, and I was trying to use that, but it wasn’t working. So I thought that if I could go pee in front of all those people, I would be able to work with her.'”  –costar Dennis Hopper via

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AN AFTERNOON WITH… | PHOTOGRAPHER MICHAEL MUNDY

AN AFTERNOON WITH… IS THE WORK OF ACCLAIMED NEW YORK PHOTOGRAPHER MICHAEL MUNDY.  I HAPPENED UPON HIS INTERVIEW WITH DWELL MAGAZINE AND WAS IMMEDIATELY DRAWN TO THE SEXY / CLEAN / PERSONAL / RESPECTFUL APPROACH TO HIS SUBJECTS AND THEIR SPACES THAT FEELS… RIGHT. BIG FAN OVER HERE.

“Our home is our greatest mirror. People can hide behind their clothes, but their home speaks volumes about them. The things we own and choose to hold on to say so much about who we are.”

–MICHAEL MUNDY

 

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A JAMES DEAN TRUE LIFE LESSON | DON’T ACT IT, OR SHOW IT– JUST DO IT

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James Dean– from the haircut and setting, I’d say it’s during the filming of Rebel Without a Cause.

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Dennis Hopper said that when he was around 18 or 19 years old,  he thought of himself as one of the best, our at least on his way to being one of the best, actors in the world.  That is, until he met James Dean. Watching Dean in action as they worked together in Rebel Without a Cause, Hopper witnessed Jimmy doing things so far over his head as an actor, that at the time he couldn’t even comprehend it.  He knew Dean knew something, had something, that he didn’t, and it made him special– set apart.

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 Dennis Hopper, Natalie Wood and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.

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GREAT AMERICAN HOME IMPROVEMENT THE OLD SCHOOL BASEMENT BAR

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From the desk of Contributing Editor, Eli M. Getson–

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Our Grandparent’s generation got it right, man– the fully loaded, properly-appointed basement bar. via here

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Like a lot of us affected by the ongoing economic instability, I’ve had to tighten the purse strings a bit lately.  Simply put– I’m spending more time at home, and less dough on going out.  That said, my penchant for enjoying a stiff drink with friends has inspired me to bring back something my Grandparent’s generation held sacred and all had– the basement bar.  Let us be clear before anyone reads on– this is not about having an additional fridge stocked with Corona you bought from Costco, a jumbo bag of chips, and a few crappy bean bags that reek of stale beer from your frat house days.  That’s the JV approach, and not an atmosphere where anyone serious about drinking and socializing wants to hang. In short– it is not a bar.

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Can I pour you a tall, stiff one?  Does anyone wear a tie at home anymore, let alone in their basement? Circa 1965– via here

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The home bar craze started post WWII, as more Americans realized the dream of home ownership (late 1940’s to early 1970’s being my unofficial Golden Years).  As families migrated more and more to the suburbs, they found themselves enjoying entertaining at home.  Probably because as first-time home owners, they truly busted their asses to get into a house– saving every nickel (they’d never even consider defaulting on a mortgage), and when they finally settled on their dream house, they were truly proud of it, and wanted to show it off to friends and family alike.  Also restaurants and bars were still largely urban back then.  It would be many years before the suburbs were teaming with every silly “TGI– what is that ridiculous friggin’ costume” restaurant/bar franchise.  The other great thing back then– the “politically correct” culture of today was not around to stop grownups from socializing– sans kids. Back in the day, entertaining the children  was what the TV upstairs was made for.  With the kiddies safely locked away watching Rawhide, the adults were free to to enjoy top-shelf spirits, Chesterfield smoky treats, and boozy, adult conversation in the privacy of their own homes– truly paradise on earth.

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Circa 1949– Glamour gal, Eileen Howe, having a drink on New Year’s Eve in Samuel Spiegel’s home bar.  Photo by Peter Stackpole for LIFE magazine.

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FUTURISTIC MODERN DESIGN | STANDING THE TEST OF TIME

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Modern Design

Luxurious bath, "Palais Bulles" in Theoule-sur-Mer, France -- Designed by fashion designer Pierre Cardin and architect Antti Lovag, ca. 1970s.

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“Palais Bulles” was an inspired collaboration between fashion designer Pierre Cardin (it was to be his home) and the Finnish architect Antti Lovag.  Nestled in the stunning red rock face, this masterpiece of modern design was built utilizing entirely curved surfaces. The network of anti-seismic, self-sustaining bubbles extend over almost 5,000 square feet, and are dramatically perched 2,000 feet above the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea.  The views, they say, are absolutely unbelievable.

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“Palais Bulles”, or The Bubble Palace, sits atop a hillside in Theoule-sur-Mer on the French Riviera, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The futuristic mansion, comprised of rounded rooms with rotating floors, was designed by Pierre Cardin and architect Antti Lovag in 1968.

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THE NEW AGE OF ANTIQUARIANS | BROOKLYN’S FINE YOUNG CURATORS

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Collectors like Hollister, left, and Porter Hovey, sisters with an appetite for late 19th-century relics like apothecary cabinets and dressmakers' dummies, are turning their homes into pastiches of the past.

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The New York Times is featuring TSY favorites Hollister & Porter Hovey as part of the “new antiquarians” in Thursday’s Home section.  Also featured is another multi-talented and all-around tasty guy– Sean Crowley, neckwear designer extraordinaire for Rugby Ralph Lauren.  From bones, to bitters, to bric-a-brac, there is something to satisfy everyone’s vintage era itch.  Get a better taste of it online here.

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Taxidermy, clubby insignia and ancestral portraits have been decorative staples at trendy Lower East Side restaurants and clothing stores for a while, but now they are catching on at home. Sean Crowley, a neckwear designer at Ralph Lauren who has a voracious interest in, for example, the restoration of English and French umbrellas from the 1930s and '40s. He also collects arcane cocktail ingredients, including seven kinds of bitters.

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Sean Crowley with his girlfriend Meredith Modzelewski and their incredible Fort Greene, Brooklyn apartment, which is chockablock with Edwardian-style portraits, heraldic devices and mounted antlers.

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Artists Francois-Xavier & Claude Lalanne | Abstract Animal Instincts

 

I find this kind of artistic creation so inspiring and attractive; for it’s a true reflection of all the art, design and genius in nature that surrounds us daily– with an amazing abstract twist.  

 

“The supreme art is the art of living.”  –Francois-Xavier Lalanne


Husband and wife Francois-Xavier (F.X.) & Claude Lalanne at work in their Ury, France studio.

Husband and wife Francois-Xavier (F.X.) & Claude Lalanne at work in their Ury, France studio --1967.

 

For more than four decades, the French husband-and-wife artists François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne have charmed the art and style glitterati with their whimsical, sensual sculptures. François-Xavier’s famous bronze-and-wool sheep and donkey or rhinoceros desks, and Claude’s botanical-inspired furniture and flatware, are elegantly oblivious of the boundaries between fine and decorative art.

Now, in their later years, the Lalannes are hotter than ever. Their work is bringing big bucks at auction: Reed Krakoff, Coach’s creative director, paid a record $380,000-plus for a 1968 set of sheep by Francois-Xavier; and four bronze garden armchairs by Claude.  Krakoff, who owns several Lalanne pieces in addition to the sheep, produced the first English-language book on their work, Claude & Francois-Xavier Lalanne.

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