Posts tagged “artisanal

Further musings on the culture of smoking

Posted on February 7, 2015

It’s no doubt a good thing that smoking is no longer as popular a pastime as it once was. It’s better to live in a world where one can experience the joy of walking into a bar without reeling at the thickness of cigarette smoke. It’s better to not have to wash cigarette smoke out of your hair (let alone deal with the dry cleaning consequences) after sitting in a smoky conference room for hours.  (Yes, boys and girls, back in the day, people were allowed to smoke indoors, let alone within 10 feet of a building. Moreover, there really were smoke-filled rooms in which deals were done.) And obviously there are those nagging little issues of death and disease. But the world is missing something now that many of the…

Consuming Pleasures: Good Food

Posted on February 14, 2014

By Regina Connell. Given a choice, I’d rather stock my pantry with artisanal food: high quality, carefully and lovingly prepared by the hands of independent entrepreneurs, distinctive, with the best ingredients. This is, to me, the kind of luxury and pleasure I can indulge in every day. Easier said than done, however. I’ve tasted a lot of very earnest local, hand-crafted but incredibly so-so stuff out there. How do I know which food or drink is tasty, authentic, and responsible and not (frankly) a waste of time, money, and calories? With the number of indie producers out there, it’s impossible to stay on top of it all, not to mention just one category that’s blowing up, like craft beer. Enter the Good Food Awards, the closest guarantee…

Luxury is dead. All hail the new luxury: AltLuxe

Posted on November 17, 2013

By Regina Connell. Luxury is one of those words that tweaks people, gets under their skins. A lot. Associations: decadent, superfluous, disposable, blingy, trashy, tacky, crass, materialistic, exploitative … the list goes on and on. The irony is that so much luxury is based on the qualities we all hold so dear: quality, exquisite craftsmanship, integrity, careful choice of materials, those lauded ten thousand hours of practice, the absolute rarity of it, the absolute perfection. Those things cost. They should cost. There is effort there. And there is value there – deep value – whether that value comes from the long-lasting, high quality of the object or experience, or the knowledge that it is rare or will last, or the story behind the making. There was…