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Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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In Which Sometimes It Takes Years

The 9 Year Old Pick-Up Artist

by Molly Lambert

"Are you in touch with your inner child? Would you like to be?"

Alec Greven, 9, charms Tiffany and Jessica at Langan's restaurant in Midtown on his "How to Talk to Girls" book tour.


Chuck's Note To Blair: I'm Sorry, I Can't, Don't Hate Me.

The fourth-grader from Castle Rock, Colo., advises Lothario wannabes to stop showing off, go easy on the compliments to avoid looking desperate - and be wary of "pretty girls."


Bill Murray, Brooklyn Party Boy

"It is easy to spot pretty girls because they have big earrings, fancy dresses and all the jewelry," he writes in Chapter Three.

This Guy Is An A Plus Example Of Peacocking

"Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil."

Fuck the slow blogging movement. Medium-fast blogging FTW!

He advises, "The best choice for most boys is a regular girl. Remember, some pretty girls are coldhearted when it comes to boys. Don't let them get to you."

And you, and you, and you, you're gonna love meeeeeeeeeee!

Over a few Shirley Temples yesterday at Langan's on West 47 Street, Alec said that he culled his wisdom by peeking at his peers at play.

Brit Brit & Ellen: Baby I'm A Want You

"I saw a lot of boys that had trouble talking to girls," Alec said. As for his how-to, he concedes, "I never expected people to buy it like a regular book in a bookstore."

Aaron Rose has such unflattering chin pubes

But with classic plain-spoken advice - like "comb your hair and don't wear sweats" - it's no surprise his 46-page book was a hit with boys and girls of all ages.

Wallace Shawn is hawt. No really, think about it.

He believes the best way to approach a girl is to keep it to a simple hi. "If I say hi and you say hi back, we're probably off to a good start," he said.

Bob Dylan peacocking while executing a self-neg

As for his own love life, he said he is not dating anyone at the moment. "I'm a little too young," he confessed.

Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau pitches Hillary an IOI

In his book, published by HarperCollins, he suggests holding off on falling in love until at least middle school. Dating - which he defines as going out to dinner without your parents - is for "kind of old" people, who are 15 or 16.

Ye Olde Consensual Rape Fantasye has been big in 2008

Alec - who just finished a children's book on the Watergate scandal - said he wants to be a full-time writer when he grows up, with a weekend job in archaeology or paleontology.

I predict Jodorowskyian spiritual drug orgys for 2009

On having a crush:

"Many boys get crushes on girls. But it can be very hard to get a girl to like you. Sometimes it takes years! Whatever happens, just don't act desperate. Girls don't like desperate boys. So what do you do if you have a crush on a girl? You need to get her to like you. You can also show off a skill, like playing soccer or anything else you're good at."



If you are in elementary school, try to get a girl to like you, not to love you. Wait until middle school to try to get her to love you. Otherwise, you have to hold on to her for a long time and that would be very hard. Tip: Most boys in elementary school can hold on to a girl for only 30 days."

This was a really good episode, actually

On gifts: "It is also good to give gifts. They don't have to be big. Try to find out what she likes before you give her something. You should go around to her friends to get ideas. And I wouldn't do flowers and gifts until you are older, like in middle school, because it seems weird in elementary school. Unless you go to a school dance."

Nene does not support this 9 year old's fuckery

Greven does not support the "just be yourself" method of dating — he recommends copying someone cool — but let's be honest: sometimes that method doesn't work. He warns against passing love notes, as they tend to get intercepted; he's mercifully still a few years away from discovering the horrors of drunk dialing (ed note: u mean txting).

K Stewart and R. Pattz always look so stoned on their press tour

He refers to winning a girl as "winning a victory" and urges the boy to refrain from celebrating in front of his new girlfriend, lest she disapprove of his happiness and dump him.

Molly Lambert is the Managing Editor of This Recording

He Got The Girl - Marine Girls: (mp3)

She's A Girl - The Amps : (mp3)

It's Different For Girls - Joe Jackson: (mp3)

Girl U Knock Me Out - The Gap Band: (mp3)

First Girl I Loved - The Incredible String Band: (mp3)


Don't Hate The Game, Hate The Players

How To Be Single

Lindsay And Samantha: A Love Story


In Which The Password is "SUGAR RAY"

Feeling Elbows, Rubbing Queasy

by Molly Young

Through a couple of flukes (acquaintances, a cousin involved in the ownership) I've ended up at The Box twice in one week. The Box is a club in downtown Manhattan. It has a live burlesque show and a drinks list featuring $13,000 champagne (did I read that correctly?)

As with many such places, The Box adheres to a mystical door policy. On Visit #1 I was told to say "SUGAR RAY" as a password. On Visit #2 I was not allowed inside until my cousin poked his head out the door and identified me like a perp in a police lineup. Casual humiliation: a staple of the nightlife.

On both visits the atmosphere inside reminded me of an Edith Wharton novel. It is moneyed, socially complex, and devoted to elaborate carousing. The club is full of thoughtful details: paper bags of popcorn, servers in old-tymey costume, live music and a red velvet curtain. There are bottles of Grey Goose the size of rain sticks. It is the kind of thing that sends a ticker tape of WHOA! through your mind.

Whenever I find myself in an elevated position, I always look for something to throw at the people below me. Peanuts, popcorn, coupons.

It is a bizarre place to be - a spectacle with all the theoretical implications of that word. "Fellini-esque circus" works too. Like any cultural Petri dish, The Box felt emblematic and puzzling all at once. Worthy of a witness, certainly, and some documentation. I'll give a little overview of the show we saw on Visit #2 (it was mostly the same show as Visit #1, but shuffled around.) Analysis will follow.

The first act (though it changes from night to night) had a Persian theme. There was a naked blonde babe wriggling on a chaise while a sultan tickled her with a pink feather. Throughout the room men leaned toward their friends and said, "Check it out."

Oh, a brief interruption. On the first night we'd been seated in a balcony booth. The second night we were on a sofa directly in front of the stage. From the balcony, the performers had appeared perfect. From up close the show was less magical. You could see backstage, for one thing, and you could tally the natural flaws of the performers' bodies: stray zits, heavy makeup, pubic stubble.

I hope that crop is made of licorice!

After the Persian act a contortionist came onstage and balanced his entire body on a strap-on penis attached to his assistant. Cool. Then there was a medley featuring a comic midget and some vaudeville renditions of Billy Idol and Rolling Stones songs.

The best acts were the ones with some sort of intellectual component. A girl dressed as Hitler performed a skillful striptease that felt like antique political satire. One routine had a dancer in traditional costume emerge from a Matryoshka doll to perform a Russian dance. At one point she lifted her dress, squatted over a pedestal, and ejected a mini doll from her vagina. (Cue hooting.) More traditional dance. As a finale, she squatted again over the ejected doll and hoovered it back up. The final routine that I can remember was incest-oriented. Details elided here.

Now, let me ask you a question. Do you have a switch in your head that you can flick in order to extinguish moral judgments? Like for when you go see stand-up comedy or a Wayans brothers movie, or when you listen to George Carlin on headphones? There are certain things you can't enjoy, I mean, without suppressing your moral responses. Turning off the switch is the equivalent of playing a game: you acknowledge that it is a temporary situation in which certain rules need to apply in order to have fun.

Shoes on the bed: uncouth.

Well, The Box presents quite a challenge to this switch. There is so much to delight in: the naked girls, the atmosphere, the drinks, the show. And yet, there is so much to panic over! One thing that is apparent from the start is that There Are No Rules For the Rich. Inside the club you can smoke cigarettes and ash them on the floor, straddle your boyfriend amid 300 strangers, laughingly refer to the financial straits of third-world countries and do drugs. No one is held accountable for their bad behavior. Outsiders like us will always find such an atmosphere uncomfortable. At some moments it felt sinister.

"Decadent" might be the exact word for The Box. I should clarify, though, because "decadent" is so often misused as an adjective. Molten chocolate cake, for instance, is not decadent (though it is tasty.) For something to count as decadent, it has to have a strong element of waste and disregard. A touch of pre-apocalypse. Images that recurred to me at The Box: sinking of the Titanic, court of Louis XVI, Tsar Nicholas II.

Allegory alert!

With the economy dissolving into paste, the bar for decadence is falling. Things that used to seem like standard elements of celebrity glamour (private jets, $30,000 handbags) are quickly becoming distasteful. What was glitzy is now gauche. I wonder how Kanye West will adapt.

And what about The Box? Hard to say. When we took the J back to Bushwick at 4 AM (sprinting from the subway stop all the way home because it was the first chilly night of the season), I had that metaphysical hangover you get when you've snooped through someone's journal or eaten your roommate's peanut butter straight from the jar. Bad feelings, both.

Molly Young is the contributing editor to This Recording. Here is her website.

Get that dog out of frame, pls.

"We Have To Respect Each Other" - Department of Eagles (mp3)

"Forty Dollar Rug" - Department of Eagles (mp3)

"Family Romance" - Department of Eagles (mp3)


Danny on the double feature.

Danish burned Malibu to the ground.

Barely safe links for work.


In Which All We Want Is Company During a Thunderstorm

Seduction in Fall

by Georgia Hardstark

By the time I parked my car and headed in the direction the music was coming from, the rain had stopped for the evening. Everything had a blanket of crisp, freshness over it, and it reminded me how much I adore Fall. I inhaled the smell of roasted peanuts and swiftly passed the funnel cake booth, promising myself a stop later in the evening once I had found a friend to share one with.

I was alone, it was dark out, young couples pushing strollers and adolescents buzzing from the excitement of being free from parental guidance passed me as I made my way to the stage. There, I found a smattering of friends in the audience, and a large collection of musicians on stage playing the kind of folksy music that's impossible not to sway to, and fills the air that already feels weightless and light from the excitement surrounding the street fair.

To me, this night is the beginning of Fall. Yes, it's been weeks since the season officially started, and I'll admit to cursing the retail stores that started setting out Halloween paraphernalia in early September, but suddenly, inexplicably, it feelslike Fall. I love this season, it's my favorite of them all, and I'm always too distracted by little strappy vintage dresses and sun-kissed shoulders that Summer brings to fully remember how completely seductive Fall is.

The city looks different with a layer of cloudy, overcast darkness. That anticipation right before a storm starts, the first tiny drop of rain hitting your nose and sending you back inside for an afternoon nap. A nap is such a guilty pleasure when it's raining...so much easier to justify than when it's sunny and beautiful out.

I always fall in love during this time of year. The weather is so conducive to it. Last year it was with a guy whose eyes were like dark pools. They hid everything he thought and felt deep below, which I later realized. He'd smell my skin while we'd lay, fully clothed, on my bed. The window would be open and the sound of the pelting rain on the tin-roofed awning outside was deafening at times.

Ours was a confusing friendship that only went beyond that a couple times. I'd wait with baited breath for his next phone call, or a knock on my bedroom window. He'd leave little notes tucked under the blades of my windshield wipers. They were meaningless, but I'd cross my fingers in hope every time I approached my car.

It faded pretty quickly. One minute I couldn't stop thinking about him, and the next minute we were just friends, honestly and purely. My desire for him went out the window as quickly as it had started the first night we met - a night we stayed up til dawn and rode our bikes along a deserted Sunset Blvd. He fed me mushrooms from a beat-up baggie the night before Thanksgiving. I drew pictures in a sketchbook and giggled on his couch while he put on record after record, occasionally forcing me to stand up and dance to a particularly catchy Smiths song. He'd sing along and twirl me around the room. By then we had the close platonic relationship that only comes after having made someone cry.

Who will it be this year? Whose hand will I hold when running through the rain, laughing and trying in vain to reach the car before we get soaked? He'll fumble with his keys to open my door while I jump up and down and exclaim "hurry, hurry!". My bangs will be plastered to my forehead and I'll reach over from the passenger seat and unlock his door. Whose face belongs to the lips I can clearly picture myself kissing in my dark bedroom. The sound of the rain hitting the leaves of the giant tree outside my bedroom will eclipse everything else, as the warm pajamas we had put on before bed - as an act of best intentions - are shed. What will he feel like? What will he look like? Best of all, what will he smell like?

This is why I love Fall.

Georgia Hardstark is the contributing editor to This Recording. She tumbls here.

"The One I Love" - The Flaming Lips (R.E.M. cover) (mp3)

"I Predict A Riot" - Kaiser Chiefs (mp3)

"Jaded" - Girl Alliance (mp3)


Thea Lim on Wes Anderson’s Jungle Fever.

A tense encounter with my homophobic cousin Marly Guthrie.

Tess demonstrates how easily an acting class can get you laid.


In Which You Autocomplete Me

Texts on My Lunch Break

by Georgia Hardstark

"But can't I just send him a text?" I whined to my friend Katherine last night over pints.  "We only went on one date, and I'm horrible at the phone thing."

"Nope," she told me with authority, "you've got to call him."

The above conversation centered upon a pleasant-yet-forgettable date I recently went on, and my wanting to back-out of any further dates that this fellow was persistently requesting.  Did we really, after a single night of two drinks and a friendly cheek-kiss, have to go through the whole conversation of "I'm sorry, but I'm just not interested in going on any further dates with you, thus leading you on and possibly resulting in you hating me and leaving me drunk, angry voicemails at 2:30 in the morning"?  I didn't think so.

I don't know where this person came from, though - the girl who insists it's perfectly acceptable to deliver clearly personal messages via the 12 or-so words allotted by Sprint in a single text (14-15 if the word "you" is changed to "u" and douchebag is changed to "db").

Before moving back to Los Angeles from San Francisco a year and a half ago, I had probably sent only a couple dozen texts in my life.  My dad's weekly messages of the seemingly urgent "PLEASE CALL" (one of the ten-or-so default texts offered on his phone) was pretty much all I had to indicate that there was another way to communicate via cell phone than the "Place phone to ear.  Talk." antiquated manor I was accustomed to.

I was resolved that I wouldn't become one of those annoying people I scowled at in bars: the girl who sat hunched over her glowing phone, thumbs moving over the keypad at the speed of light, having secret conversations with someone who wasn't fortunate enough to be at this location, but was important enough that they warranted a narrative RIGHT. NOW.  "All my conversations can wait," I thought to myself.  "I need to be mysterious and not so readily available."

That all went out the window pretty damn fast, as I'm sure you guessed, and I have the "unlimited texts" cell phone plan to prove it.  Directions, Saturday night plans, deep secrets, play-by-plays of the evening's activities, angry rants, Jameson induced declarations of an healthy obsession with taco trucks, Twitters, nonsensical ramblings, drunken revelations of undying love for an ex or my cat, and even emo-cons are now expertly punched into the keypad of my cell phone with the very thumbs I once swore to keep still.

Texting now has a firm position in my life. It is my preferred mode of communication, right after face-to-face interaction, and I'm sorry to say I've become that girl hunched over her glowing cell phone, nursing her drink and informing some secret person on the receiving end of the night's debauchery...or lack thereof.

Worst text I've ever received: "I hate you." - sent at midnight by a guy I met in a bar, gave my number to, thought better of it the next day, ignored his many texts throughout the week which became angrier and angrier as my silence progressed, and finally culminated in the above text and resulted in many sleepless nights behind my lock-secured bedroom door.

Best text I've ever received: "some rad Hispanic dude w neck tats adopted my hamster @ the pet shop!" - this one wouldn't be as good with an explanation.

Favorite T9 (auto-fill) adventures:

My best friend and I calling our bi-monthly drink-n-bitch fests "Wind Parties" due to T9's insistence that I use the word "wind" when I'm attempting to use the word "wine".

The realization that only a certain type of person's T9 will offer the word "douchy" as the first suggestion when writing a word that begins with the letters d, e, or f...and being a-okay with being that type of person.

The many hilarious sentence conclusions T9 offers when I'm writing perfectly innocent prose: "Can't hang out, have to go to my grandmother's [vagina?]."  "I'll call you if [I will for sure put out?]."  "He once dated [pancakes?]."

Georgia Hardstark is the contributing editor to This Recording. She lives in Los Angeles. You should text her. No, don't. Well, maybe. No, seriously don't. She tumbls here.

"Kitten Revolution" - Xiu Xiu (mp3)

"Oceanus" - High Places (mp3)

"Am I Alone" - The Antique Toys (mp3)

"Higher" - Soft (mp3)


Danish is the man but then you knew that already.

Molly scissored to victory.

And discussed Baudrillard.


In Which It's Time To Tie The Knot

With your pending nuptials in sight, the New York series continues as Andrew Zornoza takes you through all the important steps in getting married in the city that never sleeps.

A Wedding Guide for Grooms in New York

by Andrew Zornoza

Yogi Berra is one of few baseball players whose fame somehow eclipsed his actual playing ability. He was the ultimate bad ball hitter, threw out quite a few runners despite an average throwing arm, and had a penchant for quotations.

In an abstract sense, Yogi was very similar to Zsa Zsa Gabor. Zsa Zsa managed to sleep with a battalion of rich men, took them for all they were worth once divorce proceedings started, and also had countless interesting things to say about the sport of her choice.

Zsa Zsa on marriage: You never really know a man until you have divorced him.

And: I know nothing about sex because I was always married.

And: Husbands are like fires—they go out when unattended.

Getting married in New York is daunting. Everything is expensive, there are headaches, crowds, subway closures, $6 bottles of water: your ego will undoubtedly be tromped upon.

What follows is some advice for the curious bride, the gentleman looking for sartorial advice and, most importantly, the NYC groom.


Plopping down $300-$10,000 on a ring is scary. Especially when it's likely your fiancée is simply going to return it and pick out her own. This may lead you to choose one of the larger chain jewelry stores. Even if she does return the ring, picking it out from a classy and chic boutique shows you have style.

First thing to do is get your girlfriend's ring size. Use guile and cunning (sleeping gf works well).

Second, analyze the jewelry she wears already: is it quirky? sleek and contemporary? does she favor gold over silver? classic or postmodern?

a classic ring

Picking a metal is not everything, but it will narrow your choices. Platinum is everywhere these days—but that doesn't mean you have to go that route. High quality 18k gold comes in white, rose, and yellow tints; any of which may better complement her skin tone. And gold is cheaper than platinum.

Decide on your price range, decide on a metal, and then hit the stores, looking for shops that match her aesthetic.

Here's some specific suggestions for pleasant jewelry shopping:


Karen Karch on Mulberry Street tastefully steers away from schlocky designs. Eponomously named, Mrs. Karch crafts rings out of a variety of 18 carat golds and platinum. Many of her rings are hammered or hand textured; purposeful irregularities give them a wonderful handmade aspect.






They can seem slightly gothic—forged in Mordor, if Mordor was a place filled with artsy hobbits rather than orcs. The store displays may seem underwhelming— there's not that many rings to choose from; if your fiancee likes sleek, clean lines you may also want to skip Karen Karch.


Karen's rings are understated and elegant, with just a touch of funk. Bonus: after popping the question you can name drop stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson who've been seen wearing Karen's work.


If you need help charming the skirt off your fiancee—take her in arm down the cobbled streets of Soho before the crowds start, ring the bell of a tiny studio at 63 Burberry, and then enter Jelena Behrend's quaint and cute jewelry workshop.

Everything about this store cries Parisian farmhouse chic—but no, that's my mistake, Jelena is Easter European, from Serbia, and she will help guide you to pick a suitable ring, or craft a unique design from scratch.

Beware, you can't just stop by: call for an appointment. Jelena's designs vacillitate between delicate and sturdy—pin-thin interlocking rings of gold sit next to a over-wide band of platinum—but all her styles show a wonderful handmade attention to detail. Jelena's rings can get pricey, but that's up to you: if you want a simple ring with a handmade flourish, you may be able to squeak by with something for under $500.

yao's wedding

If your girlfriend likes clean, no-nonsense, high-quality, almost German design—and if you have a little more cash than the average Joe (well maybe just a little more that the average reader here) you may want to give Stuart Moore on Mulberry a try. Their sales staff is annoying, but if you're patient and willing to ignore them until you're actually ready for help...well, after that, they can actually be helpful.

In Brooklyn, Debbie Fischer on Court Street is a nice store with a helpful, non-aggressive staff. There's a lot of beadwork and not that much wedding-worthy jewelry—but the designs are unique and there's some good quality here. Even though the work is Indian/East-Asian influenced, if your bride-to-be has a bit of Taos in her, a bit of new age look...well you may find the perfect piece at Debbie Fischer.

And if you're in the area, definitely drop by Swallow, a few blocks away on Smith Street. In the back of Swallow (it seems as if you're entering a verboten studio zone) there's a small upright box with some rings. If your budget is small, and your girl just needs something pretty and non-classical (say, a delicate hoop ring with a single ruby), Swallow has a nice selection that may set you back less than $100.

Erie Basin deep in Red Hook also has some cute and affordable alternatives. If the girlfriend is a little less serious, likes her jewelry simple and unobstrusive, then you may easily find something special in this small shop. There are some great rings here for less than $200 and a beautifully youthful Philip Crangi diamond ring is a gorgeous steal at $385. And if the ring gets returned, she will undoubtedly find some earrings to be happy with.

Located in mid-town, on 54th street, Aaron Faber has a good mix of vintage and new stuff. A good store to get you started, with a wide range of prices and designs.

Also north of Union Square: New York Wedding Ring. If you're a take-cooking-classes-together, do-yoga-together type of couple, this may be for you. Here you can make your own rings, in a supervised studio with private workshop instruction. There are a variety of metals to choose from and prices range from $1075 to $2250.

If you're not ready to make your own and looking for a vintage look with a bit of a rock and roll edge, try Catherine Angiel in the Village. It's another store with excellently crafted rings.

A couple notes: first, jewelry design is a billion dollar businesses, but swamped with bad designs. Don't feel bad going into jewelry stores and feeling like everything is expensive and god-awful. Even the good stores will have their share of Nefertiti inspired turqoise.

Second, I steer away from shops with desperate sales staff. I don't need to be sold a ring—I'm shopping for one, and it's going to be an annoyingly large chunk of my monthly pay (er, my annual pay)—if sales staff starts putting pressure on you, just ignore them.

Not a fan: Dinosaur Designs (designs look fun, but should be extinct), Fragments (ugh), Me & Ro (smacks of cultural appropriation, if you like Madonna and the first floor of ABC's furniture store on Broadway, you may want to give them a try).


The most important thing about your wedding is that you, the Groom, looks good.

Some quick tips: at Barney's and other big stores, bring a best man. And bring a camera. Also, think about what you might want to splurge on. In my case, it was the tie—and a hot dog vendor at our pre-wedding softball game. For you, it might, be a pair of tricked out wingtips, a snazzy tailored shirt, a belt with your name on it in faux diamonds, some silk Zegna boxers, or (if you have plenty of cash) a bespoke suit.

If you have more than $5000 to spend on your attire you can splurge on everything. If you have less than that (and you can look fantastic for $700—head to foot), pick one item that'll give you some extra mojo on the big day.

Also, when you shop, bring what you've got with you. If you know what shirt you're wearing, but don't have a tie, bring the shirt along. It will make a world of difference when putting colors together.


Go to Barneys. Barneys has one of the world's greatest men's departments. And some great sales staff. Be unafraid and use Barneys kindly but mercilessly. At Barneys you can try on a jaunty Brit-style Paul Smith jacket, compare it to a sleek Italian Armani suit and then try on a Brooks Brothers All-American blazer. Then you can try on a $1400 pair of shoes and a $200 Brioni tie. This is clearly more fun with a friend.

Together, corner a highly experienced Barneys employee and get him to help you try on a few ensembles. Try the tux, try the white cowboy suit, try the raccoon fur underwear. After that, pat your sales helper on the back, take his business card, slip it behind your wallet, promise to return, and walk out the door and take your buddy to Prime-Burger—across from St Patrick's Cathedral.

You may very likely end up buying something at Barneys (I purchased my matching groomsmen's ties there), but it is more likely you won't. It's much more likely you will get the double Prime-Burger with fries. But at Barneys you can get a great idea of what looks good on you, what styles you prefer, and what colors you're looking for.

Finding a good sales guy is paramount and one of the great perks of Barneys. Always keep your eyes open for an employee who seems to be a part of your karass. If you get stuck with a Lenny Briscoe type who's showing you nothing good—move on, trade him for another.

brady quinn at sis' wedding


Charles Tyrwhitt, on 44th and Park, is making one of the best value shirts in town. The shirts retail at $99 but seem to be permanently on sale for much less. Metal collar stays, decent stitching and good fabric put their shirt a notch above Pink, Brooks Brothers, and the horde of other shirtmakers found in the department stores.

If your paunch is less than, say, Phillip Seymour Hoffman's, try to go with the slim-fit shirts. Always have someone size you up in the store. You want to have as little fabric as possible bunching up. Trust me, I'm large. But baggy doesn't help, especially under a suit.

If you're semi-splurging on a shirt, across the isle is Paul Stuart. For $150 and up, you will get a fine piece of tailoring. And if yours is a Tuxedo Wedding, Paul's has a nice selection of pricey but well made evening wear in the back of the store (expect to pay $1700-$3000, though).

Remember to get French cuffs. It's priceless having your sloshed buds trying to figure out how to put cufflinks on you 45 seconds before the ceremony. If your father or grandfather has some of their own ancient cuff links to lend, you can add a nice touch of history to your outfit.

Bespoke. If you haven't heard that term, bespoke means custom made. A tailor measures every little crook and cranny of your sweet self and then picks a fabric and makes a suit just for you.

If the idea of this intrigues you, go to Seize Sur Vingt in Soho. A sales staff that manages to be a deadly combination of slightly snobby, slightly cliquish and slightly hipster, isn't quite bad enough to turn customers away from this excellent shop. They will make you a sweet suit for $2000 and up.

That may sound like a lot, but a Zegna, Canali, or Armani will set you back just as much—and to be honest, a lot of the big names aren't that good these days, you're often paying through the nose for just decent (if not mediocre) quality. Seize Sur Vingt also always has a few interesting ties—and they make one of the best dress shirts in town, for $200+. Another good reason to check out Seize Sur Vingt is the off-the-rack suits they have left over: excellent quality and a good value. There's also Saint Laurie on the West Side.

If British-Jaunty is the style you're going for, make sure you check out Paul Smith near Union Square. Boxy jackets, pipe cleaner pants—his suits look good and are filled with interesting pimpish details: colorful liners, useful fasteners, interesting lapels. His shop is also an excellent place to shop for fun cuff links for you and your best men. A Paul Smith ensemble can be had for close to the $1200 mark.

If your wedding is super casual, or if you want some snazzy clothes for pre- and post-nuptial activities, I highly recommend Watts on Smith street in Brooklyn. Watts carries Penguin, Ben Sherman, Modern Amusement and all the other usual hip and not too expensive labels. Items go on sale often and the clothes are well chosen.

If you want a roughed up cordoruy sports coat, a fun seersucker jacket for the beach, or a smooth pair of slip on Vans for your feet: Watts is your place. Dogs are allowed in the store, if you're bringing your true best friend along. Watts is great for rehearsal dinner outfits.

If you need a good formal suit, but are trying to save some money, there's one clear winner: Linus. Linus is hands down the best menswear store in the city if price and quality are weighed equally.

The store is the size of a large closet and there aren't more than a dozen design to choose from, but the suits are of impeccable quality with nice proportions. And they can be had for $300-$500. Really, these German-made suits and tuxedos are superlative. If you were thinking about getting something off the rack at Men's Wearhouse, do yourself a favor: don't. Linus also has a nice selection of ties.


About ties. If you want to wear the fanciest tie in the world at your wedding, go to the ultra snobby Brioni outpost on 54th street. Pink is a good place to shop for ties, as is Barney's—both for the breadth of selection. Monochromatic, matching ties can really make your groomsmen look good—if, as with many wedding parties, they arrive wearing a hodgepodge of slightly different colored suits.

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As for that outpost of New York City thrift, Century 21, my advice would be to skip it. Unless you need shoes. You can get some nice leather designer makes at C21 for less than half what you'd pay uptown. I also highly recommend staying away from Men's Wearhouse for most things, but it is also a good place for shoes—and belts. It's possible to get a perfectly acceptable pair of Johnstone Murphy cognac colored cap toes there for just over $100.

Remember that black isn't necessarily the best option when it comes to footwear. Any good Italian will tell you that. Black terminates your look—if you're not wearing a black suit, consider brown shoes.


If you have a guy on St. Marks who you trust, save your moolah and go to him. If not, I highly recommend making an appointment at John Allen's. This mini-chain has several locations in the city, although I favor the Trinity Place version. It's fifty bucks or so, but . . . well, how to describe it? There's beautiful women. There's beer; for free (well, it's included in the price). There's a pool table. There's ESPN. There's massages and manicures from the above-mentioned beautiful ladies.

If you missed out on a bachelor party, this is a great way to spend some pre-wedding time with a couple of your friends. And if you're by yourself: you'll be one happy little piggy.

What else? Remember to book your wedding location as far in advance as you can. Popular places like the parks and museums get booked way ahead of time. If you have a favorite place in the city, don't be afraid to ask.

Some restaurants like Frankie Spuntino's will host small wedding parties. And bars are often amenable to being taken over by 100 paying customers. By staying away from the usual suspects, you may save thousands.

And the wedding cake. Any time you drop the word wedding, stores will tack on an extra couple hundred dollars. A good caterer can turn a plain birthday cake into a marvelous wedding cake. Same goes with the flowers: avoid using the word wedding.

You've been warned.

And here's some parting words worth remembering from Zsa Zsa: Macho doesn't prove mucho.

Andrew Zornoza is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is in hiding. His first book, Where I Stay, is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press.


Pablo is This Recording's Fashion and Dance Consultant. He is a contributor of color. He is a Spanish Water Dog.

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