Friday, October 29, 2010

I'll see you when I get there, Maestro

Dear Kristin,
Goodbye for this three day weekend of mine:

Micah P. Henson

It is so and I cannot tell you it isn't:

Maestro, Townse Van Zandt

I'm leaving my netbook behind. Airport security makes computers, large or tiny, too complicated. And I have many short stories to read. Until Monday, my dear.

J. Benny

P.S.  Remember:

Time Flies

I love you with my heart.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top Five Fall to Winter Jackets

Dear Kristin,
We do not need any more leather jackets:

Oak jacket, featured on Refinery29's Top 20
Do not need. Do not need. Do not need.

This severe coaty, however, we might need:

Bracken Coat, found at BB Dekota, $110

And this little coaty is a cutey:

Fancy, yes?  Flutter Buttoned Coat, $198
 And this little coaty is on sale:

Asos Festival Hooded Coat, $75
 And this little coaty is discounted greatly but, shame, remains far out of our respective price range: 

Swing Pea Coat by Boy from Band of Outsiders, $609 sale price
I'm dropping the "coaty" affect now.  In favor of practicality - and this Uniqlo men's pea coat is nothing if not practical (and wonderfully water-resistant and full of understated sass).  We must purchase.  In a navy, XS, waxed:

Price somewhat unknown, around $70, and available at the SoHo flagship
Also, and I know I've now featured six coats, but one was a Refinery29 pick, so that doesn't count, and another was upwards of $600 on sale, so that's a dream and a wash, meaning I have one more pick left.

And I pick H&M:

From left to right: $149, $60, $80
I cheated.  Because I HAD to.  Who am I to choose between such toppers as these?  I'm a nobody, a nothing.  I am not God, Kristin.  I'm just a girl with a blog that occasionally people in Germany and the Netherlands read.  (That's three hits in the last month from these faraway lands, which is a lot to me, little ol' J. Benny, writing missives to her dear Kristin in a public forum).  I hope these look as refined and imposing in person.  H&M advertises well and it has me a bit concerned that what we see here may not be what we get there.   But what if it is?  This winter shall be a winter of many coats.


J. Benny

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First Aid Kit

Dear Kristin,
A joy:

First Aid Kit, live at Public Assembly (free!)

They played a cappella, the played with a drummer, they played without a drummer, the played without mics, they played with mics, and they play superbly.  Don't believe me?  (I mean, you do, because I'm not a liar and we're best friends, but just play along with the setup).  Here's a bit of proof via the Fleet Foxes cover:

My first video for the blog!  Happy, happy.

As well as a Fever Ray ditty:

(Sorry about the snippets; I was running low on memory and wasn't sure how much she (the camera) could handle.) 

I rest my case.  They're lovely and glow like angels. 

J. Benny

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A good day

Dear Kristin,
Guess who I spoke to today?

A photo from my late afternoon
That's right, my guy, Diamond Rings.  His name is John.  We talked about New York City.

J. Benny

P.S.  It was awesome.

And pre-Diamond Rings, I was musically introduced (for free, mind you!) to She Keeps Bees:

Ate a Meatball Smash ($8)

And ran into my old friend Nate, who played with Arpline a few sets after Diamond Rings:

Nate at far right.
 Which was great:

ArpLine - Fold Up Like a Piece of Paper from on Vimeo. (Nate's the driver.)

As you can imagine.  Damn, CMJ is really the most.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Dear Kristin,
Sometimes you just got to wear your XXL striped Old Navy half-muumuu backwards and belted and as a top.  And you need to revel in the frumpiness that ensues in your doing so.  You know?

J. Benny

P.S.  My new winter cut and style - a Christmas wish:

Nicole Richie's new do, Getty Images from RedCarpet

First Aid Kit

Dear Kristin,
They may or may not be twelve years old:

A little pretty-pretty for your late afternoon.

And, I must:

First Aid Kit covering Fleet Foxes

J. Benny

P.S. The CMJ Music Festival is in full swing. I may pop by Santos Party House tonight after class (The Drums (1am), Apache Beat (12:30am), Wild Nothing (12am), Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (11:30pm), Marnie Stern (11pm), Diamond Rings (10:30pm)) or the Canal Room for GROUPLOVE at 10. I'm leaning toward Canal Room, though - that's a heck of a line up, even if I don't hang out for The Drums. Also, the above ladies are playing tomorrow at The Delancy (10:15) and DIAMOND RINGS has a show tomorrow, too, but that's quite early (Cake Shop at 5).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dear Nick

Dear Nick,
I almost had this delivered to your uptown office yesterday.

Carnation Cupcake, creation/abomination/mad-genius of 1800flowers

But then I thought, no.  Too much of a good thing. 

Only, do you wish I had?  Be honest.

J. Benny

In which yesterday was rough and uneven, but I show you pictures of moments that were unequivocally good and places that will make us happy when next we meet for coffee and food etcetera

Dear Kristin,

Green straw, biscuits, book, vanilla milkshake

Unimaginably tasty, to be found here:

Joey Ramone Street.
Behind this window:

Delicious, solid, meal-type food to be had here, also.

As prepared by these gentle folk:


And served atop this classy bar:

Alec Guinness = Genuine Class
J. Benny

P.S.  They have an upstairs, too. And salty chocolate chip cookies.  And fried chicken.  Friend chicken.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Country Strong

Dear Kristin,
Oh good God.  This is a day maker.  I laughed and laughed and laughed:

Gwyneth Paltrow = country music = wait, what?  Here's a little taste, just something to wet your Country Strong whistle:

Clockwise, from top left: a smile under hat with truck, fiddle, big blond, air guitar, alcohol crisis in underwear, slow dance with/to Tim McGraw. Yeah, that's pretty much what Tennessee/Texas/Countryland looks like. 

J. Benny

P.S. Dear Jamie, can we see this movie together and really see it and and not just plan on seeing it, because WE MUST SEE THIS TOGETHER.  It's going to be a hoot.  Also, we should drug Chad and lug him along with us (only to revive him, lost and terrified, after the previews).  And, to be honest,

I think we might just enjoy ourselves. Well, not Chad. But you and me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Emoticon Moon

Dear Kristin,


That is all.

J. Benny

Brooch bolero
And your clothing:

The jeans are mine.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Parisian Nutshell (a top twelve) and How To Dress Well

Dear Kristin,
Let's tackle that How To Dress Well promise first, because it's a wee bit deceptive of me, fashion-oriented as this blog so often is:

It's a band, How To Dress Well, and they have a nice song to play while browsing my much abbreviated favorites during the rest of Paris.  So behind am I with this final fashion week that you will likely have to do without my collages.  Boo.  Sad-face.  Or not?  Maybe you'll love my nutshell.

Valentino, under their still newish leadership, is perhaps even more appealing to me than ever:

Freja Beha Erichson, my girl
Alexander Mcqueen, our first show of his without his designs:


I love that this is black and yellow (pastel banana!) and she looks nothing like a bee.
Elie Saab was the first of these shows to really tempt me into breaking my no-collage vow:

It's all this beautiful.
A doll's makeup at Miu Miu (though I wasn't crazy about either of Miucci Prada's sartorial efforts this season):

Yvew Saint Laurent's separates.  Texture, I want:

Stella McCartney showed sexy thigh-high double slits (that, while I enjoyed them appearance-wise, I know I'd be annoyed with after a few minutes of walking, the middle strip of fabric caught between one's legs like a sad, backwards tail), but it was the following nutty look that really made me smile.  I'd wear and love this forever:


Chloe's icy glows:

Celine featured my new favorite leather top and blue pant combo:

Never enough leather tanks/blue trouser combos
Viktor & Rolf tails!

Comme de Garcon's jacket, length and form:

And Louis Vuitton, oddly enough (because I wasn't much of fan of Marc Jacobs's other collections this season), was probably my favorite of Paris's second act (the first act was a tie between Dries Van Noten and Lanvin).  So much to cheer about.  It's not as though there weren't other collections featuring such color and swing - it's just that Louis did it best.  You know what?  To heck with the vow.

Ahhh, that's better.

J. Benny

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Giraffe in the Bath, A Story

Giraffe in the Bath

Dear Dad,
The giraffe you gave me is no longer behaving himself. Having been so used to Africa and its wildlife, New York City (and our particular brand of wildlife) has proven to be too much of a shock.

Giraffe in question

Giraffe is so very homesick,

Giraffe in our fire escape basil.  Last night.
New York's changing seasons leave him cold,

So alone.

as do most worldly pleasures.

Where am I?  Who am I?
Too often I come home to find he's drowned his sorrows

"All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever present perils of life."
 in Melville and the best Brooklyn's has to offer:

Classic Giraffe, seeking solace in an IPA
Last night, I fear, was no exception.

Further down the rabbit hole.
We simply cannot keep up.

Beer before liquor, never sicker.
He is out of control.

I can't feel my legs.
And to make matters worse, 

Haven't you ever heard of knocking?

he urinates nightly in my bathtub

and takes comfort, however brief, in the dreamy nuzzle of my stuffed wall kitten.

"Because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself." - Moby Dick

It is a problem.

The End.

J. Benny

P.S.  Many thanks to both Giraffe and Wall Kitten, who donated both their time and their good names to this project.

Giraffe, goofing off during takes.        Wall Kitten took a nap during the shoot.