les cycles victoire: the ultimate bicycle to go with your berlutis


the french bike maker les cycles victoire has certainly made quite a few unusual bikes, all made to measure and personalized… in an age were most bikes are covered with flashy stickers and fluorescent paints., this one is all about pared-down beauty

the berluti edition comes with leather shoe straps to cuddle your loved ones


specially made berluti shoes for your specially made berluti straps

 a little about how it’s made

i am personally quite pleased with my british made armstrong 3 speed bike sporting a brown leather brooks seat, a black lacquered bell ring and metal basket. but for a few dollars more you could perhaps go for the french made les cycles victoire berluti edition (available now). and while you are at it, you may want to also pick up the pair of shoes berluti created specifically to go with this bike. after that, if you have any change left, you could then stop off for a cup of new york’s finest 50 cent coffee to complete your look and regain your sense of dignity. just be sure not to park it anywhere near the 5 boroughs. a great bike to store in your loft, but not very practical for the streets. we’re having trouble retaining our $300 brooks seat with out having to chain it down. one could just imagine the vultures descending on this piece of steel and leather ars. that aside it is a beautiful piece of chivalry. by dd

geek out: and now a few words about pencils and pencil sharpeners

how to sharpen pencils: the el casco pencil sharpener approximate price $400-$600 pending finish

x-acto 1700 series pencil sharpener $30-$50

blackwing dual blade pencil sharpener: this one requires you to 1- sharpen the wood, 2-switch blades to sharpen the lead tip… and now how cool is that? approx $10

the results of the 3 sharpeners on the worlds finest pencil, the blackwing 602 cedar wood pencils, are displayed below

from left to right:

1- using blackwing dual blade pencil sharpener

2- using el casco pencil sharpener

3- using x-acto 1700 series pencil sharpener

there is no question that the middle pencil using the el casco pencil sharpener wins

above the legendary blackwing 602 pencils about $2 a pencil sold in cases of 12

first a little about the pencil: the palomino blackwing 602 are considered the best pencils in the world and have developed a following amongst pencil geeks like us. they are made of cedar wood (easy to sharpen with out causing “chips”) and feature a firm and smooth graphite core that combines lead with wax that helps it deliver on its promise of “half the pressure, twice the speed”. its unique and iconic ferrule allows you to extend and replace its eraser after extensive use or for super nerds to even “hack” their pencil to give it a custom look. erasers come in black, white, red. the pencil was used mainly by artists, writers and musicians and when the pencil was discontinued years ago, known writers such as joseph finder and stephen sondheim tried to convince eberhard faber to continue production or at least said some warm words about the tool they were so used to. while the company says that other pencils with similar leads are available, the devotees are convinced that there is no adequate substitution for the 602s, and we must agree with those devotees.

now a little about the sharpeners used: while the el casco pencil sharpener does an amazing job it takes some getting used to and in my opinion its not worth the cost of $400-600. that said once you get the hang of it it does do an amazing job sharpening the lead to a steady point that makes the nib stronger than any sharpener you’ve seen…. not to mention that it also looks wicked on any desk. but for nearly $600 its disappointing that when you sharpen a pencil some of the dust falls out of the casing in the front area and that the pencil grip in the sharpener damages and marks your pencils stem. it is the best sharpener resulting in the best nib but not $600 better…

the xacto sharpener is in word a piece of “garbage”. very disappointing for a company that is known for making blades. the motor is a DC motor using AC current (meaning its equivelant to a battery powered one) and can barely shave a rod of butter. the weak motor combined with, let’s assume a layman’s pencil, using inferior wood, results in a saw dust hell of a point with chips and dust all around it. not worth the postage we paid.

this brings us to the $10 blackwing sharpener which has 2 blades and openings. one is used to sharpen the wood alone and does not touch the lead point. you then insert it into the 2nd opening and sharpen the lead. i love this sharpener for its detailed attention and simple production cost that makes it cheaper than any other sharpener on the market and resulting in a very acceptable nib. while we purchased all three because we hate pens here we recommend the $10 socialist version over any other. ok so now you know… you can go around and say what complete geeks we are… by uh+kt

nick tucker: primitive gold skate deck

riddin on gold, its so ghetto… but i want it

damn d we missed out on these!! solid gold it aint but sold out it is… nick tucker’s limited edition primitive gold skate deck made with 7 ply maple and topped with gold foil. you can ride wall street with this shit… now don’t tell anyone but it was priced at $54.95 and if you called now you’d get a pair of gold teeth to go with it. that’s cool… no matter if you get it or not. jeff koons would be proud. by dd

punk love

around the bunker, we blogging bandits have already started talking about holiday gifting. it is my pleasure to kick off this season with one very expensive yet necessary item, the punk vase by laurence brabant. anyone who is a tomorrow started fan may deliver one to a secret, but convenient new york city location. and then we will blog about you.

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“a fresh and interesting interpretation of the vase, laurence brabant redefines the typology with the punk vase and infuses the common glass object with subtle twists and intricate details. the sinuous, blown glass form of the vase is penetrated along its axis eight times with deep impressions into the glass that angle downward to hold water and a stem, resulting in an innovative display of floral. the simple yet refined glass object is indicative of brabant’s oeuvre; age-old glass techniques are utilized to create compelling versions of standard objects that are suitable for a modern lifestyle. made in france” described by the source  by kgb

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jordan betten: lost art

new york based jordan betten, founder of lost art, the handmade leather goods merchant to the music elite (steven tyler, sean lennon, lenny kravitz …)  has released a collection of 5 t-shirts on his website for $60-80 each. we are kind of diggin’ ’em. wear art, not brands, people! by kgb

the new classic

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it is not every day we stumble upon a new and great design. we don’t have anything against contemporary product design, in fact, there’s a lot of good new stuff popping up here and there… but… when we see something new that feels and looks like it should have been there already, we know that we have something really amazing. manufactured by flos, the italian company that have brought to life some of the most iconic lamps in the past 50 years, the ic-lights designed by michael anastassiades are definitely a new classic worthy of the honorable lamp producer. hit the link to purchase one or more of the 8 versions available from the series. by kt

finger lickin’ good, y’all

elBulli 2005-2011 Cookbook copy

Dom Perignon - a cookbook

for all gastronomical minded heads, make sure to check out the latest compilation from ferran adria and his el bull restaurant. the set of seven books retails for around $600. if you have any extra bucks left, make sure to pick up the super limited edition dom perginon 2008 cookbook, bound in super rare japanese sea-green galuchat leather, if you can find it, it will cost you another $1800. by kt

buoyantly transformer shoes by nihomano italy

bit stiff and hard to wear, but if you’re longing for some unwarranted attention–you’ll get it with these fancy sneaks. the ‘buoyantly transformer’ mid-top sneaker from nihomano, (an artisanal handmade leather shoe company from italy) is made of raw white opanca leather with leather laces, and can be fetched for around $800. by xy