Our Thanksgiving turkey arrived FedEx at our doorstep yesterday. Her name is Red, as in Bourbon Red. She's a small-breasted beauty from a good family who enjoyed spending time outdoors, ate only natural foods, and was drug and disease free her entire life. She lived a good life, never having had her beak or her toes trimmed or her wings clipped.
Red is a Heritage Foods turkey (www.HeritageFoodsUSA.com), one of only 12,000 heritage breed turkeys raised this year by Good Shepherd Ranch farmers. Ten years ago, there were only 1,400 or so heritage turkeys left in the US. The trend towards heritage foods is just one example of our continuing love affair with the old...as in 'good old days.' Except this isn't just nostalgia for the sake of nostalgia. This macro trend is about taking something old (not old-fashioned) and interpreting it in a new way that adds meaning to our modern lives.
In "The Hummer and the Mini" I offer many examples of "Everything Old is New Again." Here's a half dozen or so of my latest new "old" favorites:
1) The Mega Ink.Ball by Monteverde is the only rollerball pen that acts like a fountain pen but looks more like a ballpoint. It uses a converter filling system in the same way as a fountain pen, and can be filled by dipping it directly into a bottle or it can be used with ink cartridges. The result is a uniquely smooth writing experience reminiscent of the old fashioned elegant era of hand-written correspondence. Why not try one out for your holiday thank-you's?
2) The world of portraiture has gone digital for the most part, but you can still commission a self-portrait cameo, carved by hand in conch (www.cameos.com ) of yourself or a loved one.
3) It's only a game. Not. Restoration Hardware offers exclusive versions of the original Clue and Monopoly games that are true collector items. The 3-dimensional Clue game comes in a wood-paneled box that encloses 9 sunken rooms. The Monopoly game is faithfully replicated from the original 1935 edition. If you're looking for something more modern day high finance, there's an electronic version that does away with the cash in favor of a mock Visa debit card. Cha-ching!
4) If you're hitting the road this holiday season, why not bring your privacy with you and arrive in style? Airstream, the iconic brand of travel trailers founded by Wally Byam in 1931, offers new models that would astound your grandparents. Chose a pricey 28' trailer from the International Signature Series with a sleek, minimalist interior, or opt for the Base Camp, a $20,000 trailer with a pop-up Kelty Tent at the other end of the price spectrum. A third option is an incredibly chic 16' model for $49,066, recently featured on the cover of Design Within Reach. Today's Airstream customers tend to be design aficionados; they repurpose them in new ways (think guest house, bachelor pad, or for 'glamping,' as in glamorous camping.)
5) Train travel, once the transportation of choice for the masses, is making a resurgence at the luxury end of the travel market. The NY Times recently featured an article entitled "Riding the Velvet Rails," noting that "in a world of cramped and unpleasant planes, trains may be the last respite of luxury." You can satisfy your wanderlust on Rovos Rail through South Africa, tickle your taste buds on the Orient-Express through Europe and Asia, or relax in majestic splendor as you travel across India on the Taj group's Deccan. Just remember to pack your dinner jacket.
6) While you're riding the rails, relax in your velvet armchair and read the latest unlikely best seller called "The Dangerous Book for Boys." Two fathers, who yearned for a return to simple pleasures and realized that their kids needed to learn how to play something besides their PlayStations, wrote it. The female counterpart, "The Daring Book for Girls," is also available now.
7) If you have millions to spend and are in the market for art, Old Masters are ridiculously undervalued, according to a Vogue Living article that inspired the title of this newsletter. As the red-hot contemporary-art market slows, there's a countertrend to back to the old guys.
It just goes to show you, Everything Old is indeed, New Again.
Heritage Bourbon Red
Mega Ink.Ball pen