The American Cool

A look at the style icons, brands, and attitudes that define the American man


A Look Back at Spring Training from the Golden Era

Friday 28 March 2014 @ 3:37 pm

Spring training is one of my favorite parts of the year. While in other sports the preseason is more of a formality and warm-up to the regular season, baseball’s spring training has a way of warming up fans from all over the country after a long winter.

The sports calendar can get a little weak following the Super Bowl each year. Sure, there’s basketball and hockey to be played, but those sports have such long and drawn-out postseasons it seems like even some of the players take little interest in the regular season. When pitchers and catchers report in Florida or Arizona it’s like that first bud appearing on a tree. You just know it’s only a matter of time before things get exciting and colorful once again.

Someone recently posted this video of a spring training game at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1947. That was the first year the Yankees used this ballpark for spring training games, and teams including the Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Orioles, and Devil Rays would continue to inhabit the field during the month of March until 2008. It has since been converted to a soccer stadium for the Tampa Bay Rowdies.



Tagged as: baseball, spring training





PSA: Baseball is Back

Saturday 1 March 2014 @ 4:41 pm

Don’t let the winter blues get to you. Just remember, somewhere in this country people are playing baseball right now, and the national pastime will be making its way north soon enough.



Tagged as: baseball





Why I Ride – Episode 1

Saturday 4 January 2014 @ 7:39 pm

The second half of this video is one of the most profound statements on the subject of life I have ever heard. You don’t have to buy a motorcycle and ride across the country to experience life, but you shouldn’t be afraid to do it if it’s something you want. It’s so easy to get sucked into the routine of every day life that we forget how to have adventures. Living life on automatic mode is not really living at all.


Why I Ride – Ep1: Passion At Work from ALCHEMYcreative on Vimeo.

Tagged as: motorcycles, zen





The 5th Anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s Death

Thursday 12 September 2013 @ 11:28 pm

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been five years since David Foster Wallace decided to end his own life. The novelist, whose magnum opus was 1996’s Infinite Jest, had been battling depression for decades and was having issues weaning himself of the antidepressant phenelzine in the weeks before hanging himself.

Some people — myself included — considered David Foster Wallace among the greatest living writers before his tragic end. I would put him up there with Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon, and Don Delillo. Although Wallace didn’t write for awards, I always hoped I’d see the day when he’d be given the Nobel Prize in Literature. That day will never come now, and it saddens me. The unfinished The Pale King, released posthumously in 2011, showed Wallace still had plenty left in the tank despite the pressure he put on himself.

Tagged as: david foster wallace





The First Summit Of Mount Everest

Monday 20 May 2013 @ 1:38 am

May is officially Mount Everest climbing season — a momentary shift in the jet stream that pushes the devastatingly strong winds at the summit away for just a few weeks a year. The path up the popular southeast route of Everest is becoming more crowded every year, and the foot traffic actually led to a physical confrontation between climbers and sherpas two weeks ago.

There was a time when Mount Everest was beyond the skill level of even the most experienced of climbers and a mystery to the rest of the world. Long before it was a luxury tourist destination, it was a challenge only the bravest of adventurers would accept. I present to you one of the most inspirational videos I’ve ever found on the web. I hope nobody watches this video and thinks they need to climb Everest. There are already plenty of people in that line. Go out and find your own challenges. There’s still plenty of this world to be conquered.



Tagged as: everest





As if you needed a reminder about Mad Men Season 6

Wednesday 3 April 2013 @ 12:37 pm

The Season 6 promo poster looks like it was made by some of the best ad men in the business. Absolutely stunning, with a subtle late-1960’s aesthetic.







It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

Friday 21 December 2012 @ 5:25 am

It’s December 21, 2012…


Leonard Bernstein


Leonid Brezhnev


Lenny Bruce


Lester Bangs

Could these be the four horsemen of the apocalypse?

Tagged as: it's the end of the world as we know it, rem





Steal of the Day – Wolverine 1000 Mile Addison Boots

Monday 17 December 2012 @ 12:16 am

If you happen to wear a size 12 shoe and are looking for a nice pair of boots, don’t miss out on these beautiful Wolverine 1000 Mile Addisons in tan. There are only a few hours left to bid and they’re at $180 with $10 shipping right now. Listed as size 11, I recommend sizing a full size down on the Wolverine 1000 mile line. I wear a 12 shoe and fit nicely into a pair of size 11 1000 mile boots. If I hadn’t bought my pair a few months (for about $40 more) ago I would be all over these Addisons.



Tagged as: 1000 mile, boots, wolverine





Where To Buy A Men’s Cashmere Sweater That Doesn’t Suck

Sunday 18 November 2012 @ 12:20 am



It’s time to start pulling out those sweaters, because the dress shirts just aren’t cutting it as temps dip down below freezing even during the day in the northern states. Wool sweaters are great, but cashmere wool is where it’s at. It’s also very expensive. Oh, and to top things off, finding good cashmere is getting harder and harder. I’m not an industry expert, but something has happened in the past few years that has caused just about every popular brand name to downgrade the quality of their cashmere. I’ll blame it on Obama, because that seems to be a popular thing to do.

There is a solution. Buy used cashmere sweaters that are more than a few years old. Better yet, find some new old stock (that’s a term that means stuff that was never used and was just sitting on a shelf somewhere with its tags probably still on it) from a reputable brand. Of course, searching for every brand can be tedious, so I’ve gone through the trouble for you and created an eBay supersearch for men’s cashmere sweaters from companies that used to actually know what they were doing it. You can use that search HERE.

You can also copy down the brand names from the eBay search field and take that list with you next time you go to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. There are some great finds in those places mixed in with all the junk. Just wash it after you buy.

Tagged as: cashmere





How To Tie A Bow Tie

Wednesday 7 November 2012 @ 9:47 pm

I should just call this the ultimate video for tying a bow tie. I see so many videos for this subject out there, but almost all of them are useless. They get to the part shown about 39 seconds into this video and then it’s just a mangle mess of hands and bow tie, and nobody can tell what’s going on. This video fixes that. Now you can finally see what’s going on during that critical step.



In other news, I highly support the wearing of bow ties, and particularly real bow ties and not the ones with the little strap and hook. Get yourself a bow tie and spend 5 minutes practicing what you see in the above video. It’s one of the easiest “man skills” to learn, and you won’t regret it.

Tagged as: bow tie, how to tie





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