Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


We have had the incredible good fortune of staying at some stellar hotels lately, and last weekend was no exception as the wife and I along with some of our good friends made the short trip up to Toronto for some celebratory birthday shenanigans. One of the highlights of the trip was our stay at The Drake Hotel.

The Drake Hotel is a cultural, entertainment and hospitality landmark in Toronto. Known for providing one of Canada’s most unique and sought after hotel and culinary experiences, the building, which dates back to 1890, proudly redefines the Toronto boutique hotel experience by being forward thinking while nostalgically influenced. The Drake creates a version of a downtown urban retreat where travelers, culture seekers and neighbours all happily intersect to enjoy the thoughtful contradictions of high and low, new and old.

Relatively unassuming from the outside, once you enter the hotel you are greated by their friendly staff and beautiful grand staircase. While waiting for the rest of our party to show up, the wife and I were led upstairs to their patio bar which was the perfect spot for some sunny day drinking. While we loved being outside, I couldn’t help but wander down to the first floor bar which features some jaw dropping book cases housing vintage radios, stereo equipment and various novels. Once everyone showed up we enjoyed a few more cocktails before heading up to our rooms which were reminiscent of some of the small but beautifully designed NYC hotels I’ve stayed at in the past. While space was at a miminum, by no means were the rooms cramped feeling as everything was laid out perfectly in the room to fully maximize the space.

If there is one thing that The Drake prides itself on it’s design. It’s clear to see that every design decision made for The Drake was intentional, and everything has a cohesively modern look to it, while still staying fun and quirky. The hotel is a designers dream come true as seen by it’s extras laid out in the room, to the hilariously simple “mini bar”. Everything you see in the room is available for purchase, from the french terri hoodie-inspired robes, plush monster dolls, neon colored toilet paper (which is scented by the way) and even, upon some late night, alcohol induced exploration, a full catalog of various sex toys. Yet despite all it’s tongue and cheekiness, we were assured that The Drake is family friendly, welcoming kids of all ages and making their stay just enjoyable as the adults.

The one thing we weren’t quite prepared for after returning to the hotel a little after midnight was the incredible line to get into the bars after dark. Luckily, we were able to walk right in by flashing our room keys, much to the chagrin of the many people waiting in line. At that point our party had little interest in dancing the night away in the clubs as they were far to packed for our taste., so we retired to our rooms and had a small room party with the help our complimentary champagne and various bottles of beer we previously acquired from Bellwoods Brewery earlier that day.

The only word of caution we would give while staying there on a weekend is to request a room far away from the entrance. The wife and I were on the third floor so we slept like babies, but friends of ours who’s room was located right above the main entrance were kept up basically all night as the club goers partied the night away on the floor below. As we stumbled into the lobby the next morning only mildly hungover, you would never guess the place was packed with people the night before, but the look on our friends sleepless faces told us otherwise.

That unpleasantness aside, we had a wonderful time staying at The Drake. We loved the rooms, the bars, and especially their custom gift shop which is located next store from the hotel and we highly recommend checking out here. The hotel is located in a trendy neighborhood on Queen Street West, which is a part of Toronto we had never seen before but will definitely be returning to. If you are looking for a fun weekend getaway in Toronto, The Drake should be on the top of your list for places to stay.


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Ho boy, we’ve got a pretty stellar (and heavily leathered) Father’s Day Gift Guide for you this year on Buffalo Dandy! Our list is comprised of some items which every dad could use and enjoy from grilling and BBQ essentials, useful travel items, scotch and of course, vinyl.

The GrillTimer Watch:
The first one on the list quite possibly could be our favorite. After already doing our fair share of grilling this season, we were frustrated to find out that there wasn’t just a regular grill timing app so you could tell how long to cook your meat. Lo and behold, The GrillTimer Watch comes out and solves this problem in one of the most handsome looking (and affordable) ways possible. The thing looks like a Rolex for crying out loud! $50

Highland Park Dark Origins Scotch:
Dark Origins is inspired by the cunning spirit and courageous personality of Highland Park’s infamous founder, Magnus Eunson. This latest addition to the core expressions uses twice as many first fill sherry casks than in the classic Highland Park 12 year old resulting in a naturally darker, richer flavor. This is currently one of our favorite bottles of scotch. $80

Jack Spade Mitchell Leather Tie Canister:
Dad has to travel for work from time to time and this leather Jack Spade tie canister is a stylish way to store his neckties. The snap closure opens to a lined interior with 2 slots to keep tie bars. $178

Ursa Major Black Walnut Razor:
Handcrafted in Vermont from reclaimed black walnut, this Dandy-looking razor will look great nestled in Dad’s shaving station. It looks like these are currently sold out, but keep checking back for when they become available again because these are one of the best looking and affordable high-end razor’s we’ve seen. $36

J.W. Hulme Co. Leather Desk Valet:
Another gift for the Dad who has everything, why not get him something to store his everything in? A travel valet for personal items, this J.W. Hulme piece releases at brass buttons on the corners to fold flat for traveling. $95

Jayson Home Leather Coolers:
OK, full disclosure, the guys and I are talking about going in on one of these, if only for the sole purpose of straight stunting at every outdoor event we go to ever. The lux version of an outdoor event staple, these incredible leather coolers come in 3 available sizes. Covered and stitched by hand, the coolers themselves are just regular Coleman models, so you get all the insulation and cold beverage keeping technology you need. The price is pretty soul crushing, but if you can afford it, I say go for it. $385–$1495

Discommon Goods Watch Wallet:
Born from back-to-back trips across the globe, the Watch Wallet marries your most prized travel possessions – your watches and passport. The waxed Italian leather is full of character, and the tweed inner is a nod to Discommon Goods Scottish roots. However, the hidden geekery is the collaboration with D3O®  impact protection. The entire wallet is lined with 3mm D3O®  foam. This foam is the staple of the top ski, mountain bike and motorcycle impact protection systems – it stiffens and absorbs energy upon impact. $380

Leather Growler Holster for Cycling:
A must have item when attending any BLRC ride, this leather grower holder fits nicely on the rear part of your saddle, with several leather colors to choose from. You spent the money on that fancy Brooks Saddle, might as well make sure your beer looks just as good! $80

Chet Baker and Art Pepper “Playboys”:
Currently enjoying some heavy rotation on our turntable, this classic album (and incredible artwork) makes a fine edition to any father’s record collection. The third album collaboration by Chet and Art, these thoroughly enjoyable and often high-energy sides are perfect for bop connoisseurs as well as mainstream jazz listeners. Hugh Hefner reportedly objected to the album cover (obviously inspired by Playboy magazine with its near-identical wordmark and pinup photo) and threatened to sue. $20

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The 8th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic was held at the scenic Liberty State Park in NYC this past weekend and as always it was a feast for the Dandy eyes. The outfits ranged from casual to classic, all of which are included in some our favorite looks from the event below. Our friends from KCYouThere were also in attendance this year, with Karina and Curt looking fabulous as always. Definitely going to have to procure some tickets to this event next year because who doesn’t want to sit in a park with a bunch of beautifully dressed people, drink champagne and watch a polo match? In the meantime, slip some Veuve into that morning glass of OJ and start this Tuesday off with some fashion and champagne. Cheers!

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Buffalo Canalside


This weekend the Dandy family along with some friends (and most of Buffalo it seemed) headed downtown to enjoy some fun in the sun, and finally check out the Buffalo Canalside. To say we were amazed is an understatement. The area is incredible. Full of activities for people of all ages from bike rentals, paddle boats, remote controlled sailboats, or just enjoying the waterfront, the space is immaculate and shows a truly transformed Buffalo. This is perhaps, in my opinion, one of the best examples of the “New Buffalo” everyone has been talking about and we could not be more excited for not only ourselves but for future generations of Buffalonians like our son who will hopefully have this park to enjoy for years to come. With the warmer weather finally here, we encourage everyone to head down to Canalside and enjoy everything this amazing space has to offer.

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For our final recap of our trip to Kennebunkport, I had to highlight the wonderful and beautiful B&B where we stayed: 1802 House Bed & Breakfast Inn. Another result of searching the inter webs for where to say in Kennebunkport, 1802 House quickly won us over with it’s charm, incredible looking rooms and affordability.

The perfect getaway for a romantic weekend, the historic Colonial inn is tucked away just a short walk from the village. The house is warm and inviting, exceptionally clean and has the rustic old world feel which we love. Teri, in the inn keeper, not only greeted us like a friend, but her vast knowledge of the area allowed us to find some of the most perfect places to eat during our stay and wonderful places to explore.

Our suite, the Arundel Room,  featured a massive had-hewn mantle and fireplace, luxurious bed and two person spa tub which the Mrs. and I enjoyed at great length. Each morning, the smell of breakfast filled the house as Teri and her staff prepared a three-course culinary feast with muffins, delicious soufflés, organic juice and fresh fruit. Their recipes are so popular, you can even get them online here. Oh, and did I mention that fresh baked cookies are laid out throughout the day? Because fresh made cookies are laid out throughout the day.

The sitting room is perfect for getting lost in a good book and their various patio spaces are great for enjoying the sights and sounds of Maine’s natural wildlife. For those not looking to just relax in a tub, sightsee and day drink, the inn is also located directly next to a pristine golf course and offers package deals for visitors.

Needless to say we had an incredible time at the 1802 House and will definitely be returning soon. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Kennebunkport, we highly recommend checking out 1802 House Bed & Breakfast Inn.

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Portland Dry Goods:


We started out with a store not technically in Kennebunkport, but in nearby Portland. Portland Dry Goods has been on our radar for a while, offering contemporary classics with an American flavor. Perfect for the Maine outdoorsman, the store has everything from rugged outerwear courtesy of their vast Barbour collection, casual workwear and manly accessories. Their impressive collection of Rancourt and Redwing boots had me drooling and I wanted pretty much every woven shirt, selvedge denim jean and pocket knife they had. The Corter Bottlehook I purchased while visiting the store served as a nice keepsake and will surely come in handy this summer.

David Wood Clothiers:


Directly next store to Portland Dry Goods is David Wood Clothiers, a true gentleman’s haberdashery located in the heart of Portland’s coast. The two stores are actually, if I’m not mistaken, part of the same family while David Wood’s caters to a more Anglo clientele. I was greeted when we walked in by the exceptionally dandy David Hodgkins, who showed us around the store and gave a little history of David Woods. The store offers a wide array of Made To Measure services from suits, shirting, and vests. Their accessories collection in massive, offering top quality ties, colorful socks, dapper grooming accessories and classic footwear. The store does an impressive job of balancing the nautical look and feel of Maine with a traditional gentleman’s shop and I had a hard time leaving the store there was so much to look at and explore. Mr. Hodgkins is a true gentleman and if you ever find yourself in Portland, I highly recommend stopping in and speaking with him.



Located right in the heart of Kennebunkport, Minka was one of those shops that we found ourselves repeatedly going back into to have a second, third and fourth look. Specializing in handmade bags, jewelry, pottery, all natural bodycare and home goods, if we could wrap everything up in the store and take it with us, we would have. While their home goods collection was incredible, especially their birchware pottery and handmade nautical rope bowls, the men’s accessories and t-shirts were clearly my favorite. Wooden nautical cufflinks, deer antler pizza cutters, vintage inspired collage prints and the hilarious “Kennedrunkport” flasks would all make fine additions to any Dandies home. Even more impressive is everything in the store is either made by the husband and wife owners of the shop or by other local artists and designers. You are truly buying a part of Maine when you shop here.

Three Dories:


Another shop which consistently showed up on our search engines for shopping in Kennebunkport is Three Dories. Featuring classic preppy clothing similar to brands like Vineyard Vines with bright sun-washed colors, this store seems to be the perfect clothing shop for Kennebunkportlanites(?). Various nautical themes are featured throughout, but I love the store’s small row boat logo used on their collection of shirts and polos. The logo perfectly embodies Kennebunkport with similar boats resting just outside in the nearby port. The store is also much more price friendly then some of the other shops we’ve encountered, making it an idea spot to pick up a shirt or two which can serve both as souvenir and as one of your day-to-day wardrobe pieces.

Daytrip Society:


This incredible shop is like Wes Anderson opened a store and stocked everything in it himself. Vastly cooler than anything you will find in Urban Outfitters, Daytrip Society is a kitsch buyers dream come true, full of quirky nautical gifts, clothing, bags, books, home goods and everything else in between. The staff is incredibly friendly and upbeat, and the store offers some truly unique gifts you are unlike to find anywhere else. A favorite item of ours were the Recycled Lobster Rope Mats by Cape Porpoise Trading Co. Again, we kind of wanted everything in the store and they also have an adorable Kids store located just a few doors down.

Hurlbutt Designs:


Hurlbutt Designs, which has an enormous showroom located just outside of the village, recently opened a smaller shop directly on the port side of Kennebunkport. Full of nautical home goods which would look fine in your house/man cave, Hurlbutt is also responsible for decorating some of the most prestigious establishments in Kennebunkport. They’ve recently published a beautiful coffee table book called Kennebunkport, Maine  which features stunning photography of the community’s people, landscape, artistry and culture with a forward written by one of Kennebunkport’s most famous residents: President George H.W. Bush. All proceeds from the book go to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust. While we weren’t quite ready to spend the $100 for the book by the end of our trip since we’ve pretty much exhausted our shopping fund, the book is available online for purchase so I think we might consider buying it in the near future.

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The wife and I had an incredible time in Kennebunkport last week. If you’ve never been, we highly suggest scheduling a visit, especially now that the warmer weather has arrived. Established in 1653 as shipbuilding and fishing village, Kennebunkport has become over the last 100 years a popular Summer colony and seaside tourist destination. The actual village itself is very small and centralized, full of souvenir shops, art galleries and seafood restaurants. We were surprised when we first drove into town how low the water lever was. Like, just mud… with little or no water. We thought for a moment that we had made a mistake in coming here. We soon found out that the water in town is tidal, with water levels rising as much as 12 feet when the tide came in!

We loved how small and quaint the village was. It wasn’t quite peak tourist season, so it was relatively quiet when we arrived on Thursday. Come Sunday, when we left and it was 70 degrees and sunny, the town was bustling with visitors. It was also nice that it was very much an adult town. Not a lot of kids running around and just an overall older and more sophisticated crowd which was just fine by us.

After exploring the village for a while, we headed out to Portland which was only a quick 25 minute drive away. Portland had a much more “city” feel to it, with plenty of shops and places to get “the best lobster in Maine” as well as a slew of local craft breweries. Also nearby was the Portland Head Light; one of New England’s most famous and photographed lighthouses. It was incredible climbing the rocks and cliffs surrounding the lighthouse which allowed for plenty of stunning photographic opportunities. Another popular site we saw during our stay were the various “Love Locks” seen around both Kennebunkport and Portland. Popular in places like Paris and NYC, couples write their names on padlocks and attach them to the bridge. You can even buy locks in some of the nearby stores as a reminder of your trip and your love for one another.


The Ramp:
While Kennebunkport was full of amazing restaurants (several of which made the top 100 most romantic restaurants in the US) one of our favorite spots we actually stumbled upon by accident while out exploring. The Ramp, which is part of the Pier 77 Restaurant, was an incredible dive bar filled with a vast array of New England sports memorabilia (all of which was authentic). Buffalo fans would surely sneer at the large collection of Patriots gear, but the restaurant was so incredible looking, who cares? The small deck area, which we delightfully had to ourselves, provided a quite spot to sit and reflect with the Mrs. on the adventure which lay before us.

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The wife and I’s 5 year wedding anniversary is coming up this weekend and for this year we’ve decided to plan a long-desired getaway to Maine to celebrate. While exploring various options on where to go along with several suggestions from friends and our own research, we settled on Kennebunkport. Historically a shipbuilding and fishing village, for well over a century the town has been a popular Summer colony and seaside tourist destination. Quaint bed & breakfasts are the preferred venues to stay in while visiting (more on that later) and while it’s not quite as warm there as it has been in Buffalo the past few days, we’re still hoping for some fun in the sun while exploring the waterfront, going on romantic picnics, sightseeing and (of course) shopping. After checking the weather reports rather obsessively, it’s looking to be in the mid 60’s rather steadily while we’re there, so layering will certainly be a must while packing for the trip. I’ve assembled a few of my go-to wardrobe pieces for this trip which will hopefully keep us prepared for whatever adventures lay before us.

Arpenteur Gabardine Jacket | Arpenteur Brehat Tee | Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses | SWIMS George Summer Lace Loafers | Rag & Bone Standard Issue Shorts

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Speaking of goods that are built to last, Burton Snowboards just unveiled their Spring/Summer 15 line aptly entitled “Durable Goods“. Fully embracing their outdoor roots, the Vermont-based lifestyle brand clearly shows that it’s not just all about snowboards: it’s an attitude, a mindset and a culture. From their always on point graphics, to their awesome looking pants which ingeniously include a side pocket for your “pen” (pocket knife), their rugged looking waxed cotton canvas bags, one of the best looking iPad cases EVER, and finally coming as a huge surprise: camping gear. This is an interesting move by Burton but it completely makes sense giving their demographic’s penchant for the great outdoors. Below are some of my favorite items from the collection, which totally have me stoked for Spring. If the snow ever melts that is…



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After our previous post about The Buffalo Club, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to visit another of Buffalo’s oldest private clubs: The Saturn Club. As the story goes, in 1885 the club was founded by a group of men looking to congregate in a less formal setting than the Buffalo Club. Giving a nod to the many “University Clubs” which were popular at the time, the founders modeled their board of directors after that of a small college (a Faculty, a Dean, Registrar, Bursar, etc.). As the club grew in size, a larger space was needed. So in 1922, the club lit a torch from the fireplace and marched down Delaware Ave in a grand parade, carrying the flame of the old building and lighting it in the fireplace of the new.

After having lunch and being assured that it was ok to take photos inside, I was given a grand tour of the space, being regaled with stories of the club’s illustrious past and (without being told too much) about some of the various secret clubs and hidden messages placed throughout the building. There was still a sense of exclusivity to the club, but the entire atmosphere was much more welcoming and relaxed. Dress codes were still in effect in various spaces, and with so many dining rooms (9 bars) and meeting places throughout the club, it’s easy to get turned around in there. The vintage game room was awesome with the old school bowling lanes and oversized pool table and the indoor swimming pool was reminiscent of the Jr. Olympic Pool at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago. The space feels like an ivy league college, which makes sense with it being inspired by University Clubs of old. The dark wood and dim lighting of the hallways were complemented with beautiful stained glass windows, allowing sunlight to pour in and only further enhancing the open environment of the club.

I had a wonderful lunch and an amazing time exploring the Saturn Club. Before I left I was treated to one last surprise upon entering the library, where I was shown a chair which is engraved by special guests who have visited the club. Scroll down to the bottom to see who it was.

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