Escaping with Filson

With this treacherous winter nearing an end, our cabin fever is beginning to burn like fire. Luckily, the long days of bundling by your heater are fading away. Below-zero temperatures have forced us inside, completely devoid of fresh air and natural light. We’re craving fresh greenery, wide vistas, an escape from the the city’s slushy sidewalks, incessant horns, and raging sirens. READ MORE

Uncharted Territory: The Flower Shop

The flower shop—it’s a place you’ve likely never explored, one that may seem a bit daunting to the average man. But you’re not average at all; you’re a modern gentleman. You’ve already mastered the art of tying a perfect bow tie, keeping your leather monk strap shoes devoid of scratches and knowing the difference between a patch and welt pocket. This should be an easy hurdle to jump—a skill worth growing comfortable with. The proper floral arrangement can set the tone for a first date and even land you a second, liven up your home with an aromatic display of luxury and add an unexpected detail to your favorite suit. So, negate all preconceived notions regarding your local flower shop—we’ve enlisted the help of Wicker Park’s Asrai Garden at 1935 W. North Ave., and broken everything down to make the concept more approachable. READ MORE

Have a Seat

In a world where fleeting trends seem to take precedent, there are certain examples of timeless design that stand out. Yes, indulging in a new style can be a great way to refresh your wardrobe or liven up a space. But, it’s the iconic staples that will never have an expiration date. That isn’t to say that the designers who first created these looks weren’t pushing boundaries: it takes an acute understanding of the past and uninhibited expectations for the future to conjure brilliance. You can imagine the 3 a.m. mornings spent furiously sketching at their drafting tables, a nearby trashcan brimming with rejected designs. All it takes is one great idea to stand the test of time. READ MORE

New Year, New Workout

It’s safe to say that you’ve probably gotten all the the partying out of your system by now, which means it’s about time to jump on your annual resolution to get in shape. Of course, I wouldn’t be doing my part if I didn’t provide you with a playlist to get you motivated. So, without further delay, I present to you my workout list for the beginning of 2014. READ MORE

Storied Venture x Filson

There is so much to be said about life on the road. So much that is said, so many books, so many travelers, so many points of view. It as a way to escape, a way to break the norm in our everyday structured life. The unexpected road conditions, the unprepared mishaps, the surprise costs of a sandwich at a rest stop. With any new adventure there are challenges facing each new destination. We are wired to find comfort in structure, for the mind though, it is important to live outside of that structure. To find comfort in oneself, to trust oneself, to feel alive. READ MORE

St. Patrick’s Day Survival Guide

A girl sits on the curb crying into her cellphone, complete with a shattered screen and Hello Kitty charm. Another consoling her, rubbing her back and repeating, “It’s okay, you can do better than him.” Both are adorned in green beads and knee socks.

A young man sings a Drake song in the background, “Started from the bottom now we HERE…” His arms hanging desperately around the necks of his slightly more sober friends, as if they were life preservers. Their shuffling feet scatter and crunch the plastic cups that litter the ground. Somewhere a siren wails…

Bear witness to the biggest day of public intoxication in Chicago: St. Patrick’s Day. Bask in all of its glory. By now you have been e-dragged into a social event. Most likely a Facebook invite named “IRISH PRIDE IN THE CHI 2013″ or “Kiss me I’m Drunk, and Irish 2013.” Your girlfriend RSVP’d yes and, being the good boyfriend that you are, you agreed to escort her through the madness. READ MORE

Ode to the Independent Bookstore

A long, long time ago, there was a time when a trip to the local bookseller was as vital as a trip to the supermarket—the chance to stock up on brain sustenance, under the helpful tutelage of a seasoned reader. Going home with my brown paper bag of neatly stacked, barely cracked spines? Bliss. Today, such independent bookstores are few and far between, especially here in Chicago. Enter City Lit Books.

After a long career in healthcare and management consulting, owner Teresa Kirschbraun was ready for a change. “I know how to manage a business and I love books,” she says, with a smile, “It seemed like a good idea.” After two years of research, everything began to fall into place, beginning with signing a lease at 2523 N. Kedzie in Logan Square, right next to the widely acclaimed Lula Cafe. “I’ve lived here for 25 years; I knew I wanted it to be in Logan Square,” says Teresa. READ MORE

The Great American Pilgrimage

With 2,500 official artists and over 100,000 attendees, it’s easy to see why the eyes of the world fixate on Austin for South by Southwest. “Diversity” doesn’t even come close to explaining the fantastically wild mix of culture. In a single block you’ll hear a dozen different music genres blasting into streets packed with a dizzying array of humanity. Like a guy swallowing a sword for tips ten feet away from a cowboy playing harmonica for a rapper. Or, a shirtless man who has tattooed his entire body black, dancing bizarrely with a beautiful brunette in skinny jeans and 5-inch heels.

Yes, all of that happened last year… in a single afternoon. READ MORE

Know What You’re Talking About: Cigars

“If smoking is not allowed in heaven, I shall not go.” —Mark Twain

There are few things in life that are as relaxing and enjoyable as cigars. The ritual of choosing the world’s greatest tobaccos, gathering with friends and taking an hour or so to give your life a rest and untangle the mind is something all should partake in. My preferred spot for the last three years is Up Down Cigar, located at 1550 N. Wells in Old Town. Opened in 1962 by cigar legend Diana Gits, it is a staple and offers the most expertly curated selections and service that rivals any shop in any business. You can walk in an day of the week and find regulars discussing their lives, welcoming each other in the door while sipping whiskey and beer out of the shop’s many coffee cups. READ MORE

How To: Spruce Up Your Apartment

Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood—especially Clark St.—is as vibrant as ever. With world-class restaurants, bars and entertainment, it’s easy to see why nearly 50,000 people visit the neighborhood on summer weekends. Andersonville has also become the city’s go-to spot for furniture. With dozens of stores running the gamut of style, one consistently stands out for men looking to take their homes to the next level… READ MORE