Fantastic Man

There’s much to like about this magazine—its paper, typography, subjects, recommendations, and style. But what I love more than anything is its tone, exemplified by this erratum slip.

Fantastic Man

Laura Smith Scooter Helmet

I saw a friend of mine with this helmet recently and immediately inquired about its provenance. I can guarantee you that its Italian hand-stitched leather is more beautiful than anything you’ll see on a bike helmet in the States.

Caran d’Ache 849 Ballpoint Pen

When it comes to writing instruments, I’ve long subscribed to two rules: 1) don’t spend much money on them and 2) don’t buy ballpoint pens. My tendency to lose pens and pencils explains the first rule. Sure, I would like a Mont Blanc, but I can almost guarantee that, if I made it my primary pen, I would lose it within two years. My distaste for the experience of writing with ballpoints and the visual results of that experience account for the second rule. Last year i gave a friend a Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint pen for his birthday, and I told him that if I used a ballpoint pen, that was the one I would use. This year, I received a special edition of the same pen for my birthday and have been using it ever since. The results are hard for me to distinguish from those of other ballpoint pens, but the experience of writing with it is phenomenal—organic, smooth, and inspiring. Its weight, size, and balance are perfect. Is there a better ballpoint pen to be had for under $30? No, there is not.

Buy the Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint pen

Polaroids by Marion Dubier Clark

I was at the Bibliothèque nationale de France the other day to see the Gallimard exhibit and afterwards stopped by the gift shop. There I found some postcards of photos by Marion Dubier Clark. I especially liked the above photo, “Course” from Le Rozel. It reminded me of a line from Katell Keineg’s song, “At the Mermaid Parade”: “Kicking into the waves / with the last children.” It’s one of the most evocative lines I heard last year, and “Course” pairs perfectly with it. The photo appears in Clark’s book, 100 Polaroids.

Download 100 Polaroids by Marion Dubier Clark.