Archive for April, 2011


April 29, 2011

Whether the world (or I) was ready or not, it has now seen me in High Definition.

Yes, today was the day that my “Uniquely Chicago” piece ran on WCIU-TV (Channels 26 & 183 here). At 6:05 AM, to be exact, my 15 minute of fame began. Of course, as a couple of my Facebook friends have pointed out, it ended 12.25 minutes short. But that’s okay.

Without further ado, I’d like to thank Jane Monzures, the reporter who interviewed me, and Dustin Aldrich, the cameraman. They both made me feel super comfortable, and told me just what to do and where to look. Hard to believe they cobbled my hour (or two) of babble into just under 3 minutes. I’d also like to thank my friends Diana and Dominic Turcotte, who told Jane about my tie obsession and told her to get in touch with me.

So, all week I’ve been paying homage to Uniquely Chicago with my Unique Tie Wique. I thought I’d pull out a good Tie du Jour to keep that going.

The flat-bottom on this strip (damn, the picture doesn’t show it) makes it just about unique enough for UTW, but the constellation map puts it over the top. It’s from Rooster, which is a vintage label. The fabric is almost a denim, it’s so thickly cotton.

I have an interesting Guy With Tie picture today. Maybe even unique, as it starts a new category. The CCWDT…Cardboard Cutout With Drawn Tie. Here, Dave Steiner, GM of the Hilton Garden Inn, poses with a cutout of his new boss’s boss (can’t remember his name). The staff of the hotel were posing with this picture as part of a PR campaign about Interstate Hotels & Resorts taking over management of this (and other) HGIs. Once this picture was taken, they were to overnight the cutout to another HGI location. Good to know that large corporations can act like they’re at summer camp sometimes.

Thank for reading, and watching…Brooke


Do You Have Any Threes? Bow Fish!

April 29, 2011

Sorry, Wednesday. I know you deserve to be treated just like the other days of the week, but I really need to get to Thursday’s post. I’m sorry. It’s not you…it’s me. I’ll make it up to you. I promise I’ll be a better blogger. I hope we can still be friends.

I would like to use today’s Tie du Jour, which is evidently a Bow Tie du Jour, to herald next week’s Bow Tie Week. I feel it is unique enough to fit into Unique Tie Wique, as well.

Any fish you wish

I hope you can see the fish pattern, which is an MC Escher design. Escher created a lot of the optical illusions that you see out there: hands drawing hands, stairs that run into other stairs…you see them all over the place. Here’s a closeup on the left if you need it.

Besides being a sign that a BTW is on the verge of happening, this bow tie is a loan from my friend Dan Murrell, who wears bow ties almost exclusively. Dan, do you have more than 100 bow ties? He sent me about 10 or a dozen, to fill my BTW needs. I may end up wearing more than one in a day, see if anyone notices.

I was able to add another GWT to the mix. I don’t know him, just liked his tie. His name is Peter, and he was at Davis Street Fish Market (ah-ha, fish…a coincidence!).

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and adverties…

April 27, 2011

I always laugh at that quote from news magnate/sailing champ Ted Turner. Ol’ Tie-One-On Ted sure had a way with words…probably still does, as I don’t really think he’s kicked off quite yet. I’m sure they’d report that on CNN…or he’d kick their asses.

My Tie du Jour had nothing to do with CNN, Ted Turner or any of Time/Warner’s other holdings. It was chosen since I was going onto Northwestern’s campus on a Chamber call.

So, yes, of course, the TdJ is mainly purple. A beautifully striped strip from Astor & Black, I like the way the different textures capture the light in, um, different ways. Not sure why this gets it into UTW (Unique Tie Wique), but let’s just say that it does.

The countdown continueth for my segment on WCIU-TV’s “Uniquely Chicago.” While it will be on (I assume) one of the three morning time slots for “You & Me in the Morning”, it will also be available online at some point. Of course, I will post a link here…

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tie-er, Tie-er, Pants on Fire

April 27, 2011

If plans go as, um, planned, this will be Unique Tie Wique. As I am coming up with this on Tuesday night, it’ll be something of a stretch to actually come up with reasons why the ties that I wore on Monday and Tuesday were particularly unique, but I’ll do my best. The real reason I want to be unique is that my interview on WCIU’s Uniquely Chicago is scheduled to air on Thursday. I’m sure I’ll post it when it shows up on their website, unless of course I come across as a total gique (I can feel y’all nodding at the distinct possibility).

So, Monday was unique in that I made another Lee Allison tie my Tie du Jour. Well, since it was my 4th or 5th, maybe it wasn’t so unique. But, what did make it unique is that I wore it to dinner with Lee Allison himself! Yes, my friend Lawrence Neisler (not a GWT alum…yet) and I accompanied Lee and Trideep Das, his head of sales and marketing. Of course I didn’t capture this moment on camera. Doy.

Centaurea cyanus

Anydoy, my TdJ is probably my favorite color for a tie, kind of a cornflower blue. Not sure if the flowers on there are actual cornflowers (don’t think so), but…I like it.

Not sure if I mentioned, but my friend Dan’s first shipment of loaner bow ties arrived over the weekend. Soooo, what does that mean for moi and yoi? Bow Tie Week next week! I may even sique to snique one in for Unique Tie Wique.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tie and the Family Stone

April 23, 2011

Now that my confusion of Wednesday and Thursday is in the rear view mirror, I should get right back down to basics. So, of course, getting back to the basics means taking a flying leap into something incredibly complex. Lately I have been on a rock-n-roll lyrics kick, and now I will jump magnanimously to the rock/soul/funk fusion magic of Sly and the Family Stone. Hit it! Believe me, this is actually one of the more docile pix of Sly. There was a LOT of money spent on his and his crew’s outfits. That would have been an incredible show to experience, back in the day.

But, I digress (which I like doing)…My Tie du Jour was a gift from the night before. We had gathered for the YPE/Kiwanis Charity Poker Tournament, and David “DFish” Fisher (one of the first two members of the Guys With Ties organization) had gotten a tie back from a friend who’d borrowed it a year before. So, of course, DFish passed it onto me.

And here it is, in all its glory. It’s an Italian silk tie, from the house of Frangi. This seems to be the luxury mark of the company, Tie Rack. You can read about Tie Rack’s history here. So compelling. You get nothing but compelling here at 100D100T.

Thanks for being compelled (compulsed?). And thanks for reading…Brooke

You Have the Right to Remain Tielent

April 23, 2011

There is evidence, hard evidence, of a scam, executed right here in 100 Days, 100 Ties. It truly puts the blah in blog, and stems from my penchant lately (my mom’s saying, “mm-hmm, told you so”) from being over a day late with my posts. Let’s take a look at the facts:

Exhibit A

For the Tie du Wednesday, I described a red, polka-dotted Perry Ellis tie, which I did wear. Here is a photo of it on the right. Here’s a partial transcript of the trial:

Brooke the Attorney: Mr. Saucier, did you describe, in Wednesday’s post, your attendance at the Chamber’s Business After Hours, which did occur on Wednesday, April 20?

Brooke the Accused: Yes, that is correct. I took photos of Guys With Ties. In fact I could get you and your tie if you’ll just stand still for a sec…

Exhibit B

B. Attorney: Your positive response is duly noted, Mr. Saucier, please do not add such comments or triviality, which shall be stricken from the record. But, yes, this is a lovely tie, is it not? Anyway…Your Honor, I would like to enter this photo into evidence as Exhibit B. Mr. Saucier, is that you in the photo?

B. Accused: Yes, it is. Here, I’ve got my camera, hold st…

B. Attorney: Silence! And is that photo depicting your speaking (or is it singing) to those gathered at the Chamber’s Business After Hours hosted by the Rotary Club of Evanston?!

B. Accused: Yes! Say cheese!

B. Attorney: Cheeeeeeese! There, you got the photo. Satisfied? Can I get on with this? Does the tie that you are wearing match that of Exhibit A, which was posted in your blog of the same date?

B. Accused: No! No, it doesn’t! Mercy, your Honor! Mercy! I was tired, it was late, I had two posts to write, and hundreds of pictures at my disposal! I’m a fraud! Mercyyyy!!

B. Attorney: I rest my case.

So, dear readers, I hope that you will forgive me. My Tie du Jour is actually my Tie du Yesterday. The old switcheroo.

The Real McCoy (McCoy = Tie du Wednesday)

It is, however, a lovely tie. It’s a multi-colored piece of magic from Paul Fredrick. Here’s a better shot of it…

Thanks for your understanding, and thanks for your forgiveness. And, if you don’t understand and don’t forgive, thanks for reading…Brooke

See Spot Tie. Tie Spot Tie.

April 22, 2011

Oh, ladies and gentlemen, the next Few days are going to be filled with fun and excitement.

The stills at Few Spirits are mostly built, and are just waiting to have interesting liquids put in them, which in turn will turn into more interesting liquids. Oh, the gin & white whiskey will pour soon, my friends.

The goings-on at the Chamber are getting exciting. Apart from our regularly scheduled networking events and our quotidien ramblings and workings, we are about a month away from welcoming a brand new Executive Director. Eve Doi, from the Ames (Iowa) Chamber of Commerce, will be taking over in mid-May. Oh, the gin & white whiskey will pour soon, my friends.

Next week I’ll be having dinner with some tie guys, Lee Allison and Trideep Das, whom y’all know well from their mentorship of 100 Days, 100 Ties. Oh, the gin…ok, I’ll stop.

What I’m trying to say, besides the gin/whiskey thing, is that you should keep reading (I’ll thank you, certainement). It’s gonna be exciting.

No, you are not seeing spots. My Tie du Jour is a classic spotted tie from Perry Ellis. Red with navy polkas, it is exactly the same as the royal blue with sky blue spots Perry Ellis that I wore a few weeks ago, save for the obvious alterations.

So, another 3rd Wednesday of the month, another Business After Hours. We were hosted by the very hospitable ladies and gents of the Rotary Club of Evanston. Of course I caught a couple of them wearing ties…

Herbert Rivero is the owner of Minuteman Press, and a GWT alum. He’s also a new board member, so congrats.

I crossed the room to snap a shot of this bow-tied gent. Bruce Kaiser, who was director of the Norris Center at Northwestern, is a Rotarian and was great to chat with about ties (what else do I know?).

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Bridge On the River Tie

April 20, 2011

This was a pretty easy subject to concoct, for reasons you’ll see in a moment. Pretty amazed I didn’t use this one before.

If you haven’t seen this movie before, you should either spend the 2 hrs, 40 mins to watch it, or spend the next few moments agreeing with me that it should go on your list of stuff to do when you get a bunch of time freed up. Alec Guinness plays Col. Nicholson, who is the lone Jedi who fights Darth Vader and dies but keeps talking solemnly…oh, wait, wrong Sir Alec flick. Col. Nicholson commands a bunch of soldiers in a Japanese prison camp while they build a bridge (if you guessed that it was on the River Kwai, you get a donut) that has strategic value to military supply trains. I was a bit surprised that there aren’t any pictures of him in a tie—he’s a British officer for cripes sake—but then I realized he’s in prison. Prisoners don’t get ties. Bad for morale when morale is bad enough to hang one’s self with it, I guess.

The Bridge to my Tummy

So, on to less depressing topics…my Tie du Jour should lighten the mood! It’s a whimsical depiction of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, from the creative mind/desk of Ralph Marlin. I think the blue color just captures exactly what all of us in Chicagoland wished what our weather could be like on a mid-April day. But, no, we got soot gray with bone-chilling rain and hail on a 38 degree day. Felt like friggin’ February. In Canada.

Anyway, the tie just jumped out at me this morning, and I thought it would go okay with this shirt. The tie’s so unique that it probably doesn’t matter what shirt I put it with. Oh, yeah, it probably did. This could be really ugly with the right/wrong shirt…

So, I’ve figured out my Bow Tie Week, I think. My friend Dan is loaning me some of his bow ties, and I’ll wear one or two thru the end of April, then, starting May 2, I’ll have my first Bow Tie Week. If you’ll recall, I previously had Bow Tie Fortnight. Maybe if he sends me enough, I’ll just plow through and have BTF II.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Prettie in Pink

April 19, 2011

Our nation was fooled. Fooled into thinking that Molly Ringwald was a lead actress. Oh, sure, she headlined “Sixteen Candles,” one of my top 10 favorite movies, but didn’t Anthony Michael Hall steal that show? I have mentioned several times, often in the face of dumbfounded looks, that AMH’s turn in that coming-of-age flick is/was the finest performance in acting history. Could Hall have replaced an Olivier, a Brando, a Nicholson, a Burton? Well, perhaps not. But I riposte and say that none of those acteurs could have taken on the role of Farmer Ted.

My role-crush causes me to digress. Molly Ringwald conned an entire country of movie-watching suckers with her turns as a desired teen in “Pretty in Pink” and “The Breakfast Club.” We, and John Hughes, finally figured it out and she was left to pick up the pieces in a world that finally figured out that there were actually cute actresses—and Kathy Bates—ready to take on major roles.

So, my pink Tie du Jour? It’s a simple paisley from Mark Shale, and it was given to me by my friend Paul Giddings, who owns Folk Works Gallery along with his wife Cease. They moved house last year, and they bagged up about 30 or 35 ties, in order to donate them. Well, signals were crossed and the bag made the trek to the new condo; once they found it, they already knew about 100D100T, so they gave the bag to me. I could have a Giddings month! But, seriously, there are some pretty nice ones in there, so I should be okay for a while.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell “Whiskey Fest” without T-I-E

April 16, 2011

Gentlemen, start your glencairn glasses!

A glencairn glass is a special whiskey tasting glass, used to great effect at events such as Friday’s Whiskey Fest, down at the Hyatt Regency in the city. There were about 250 different whiskeys—scotch, bourbon, craft, etc—on gorgeous display, and they were all sippable.

My buddy and GWT alum, Paul Hletko, took me down there to learn more about whiskey. He’s the one that is starting Few Spirits, a microdistillery here in Evanston. We are just a Few days away from putting the stills together, and it will be a beautiful thing.

It was generally a pretty dapper affair, with many men in ties. I was not in camera mode, except for this one shot of Master Distiller Craig Beam. You may guess that he’s the MD for Jim Beam, but you’d be wrong. His grandfather left Jim Beam about 80 years ago to go work for Heaven Hill, and a Beam has produced every drop of their whiskeys (their most famous is Evan Williams) ever since. He had some funny stories and a GREAT Kentucky accent, both of which I can remember because I sampled responsibly.

My Tie du Jour, or Tie du Whiskey Fest, as it may come to be known, is kind of a vintage one. It’s brown with tiny blue dots, and it’s from Rooster. An additional tag tells us it was sold at Lord & Taylor, seemingly many years ago. I thought it’d go nicely with my plaid Ben Sherman shirt, and I think I was right.

Well, it’s the weekend, and that means the work week is coming up [a collective groan emanates from the readership]. I will be gearing up for another Bow Tie Week in the next 2 or 3 weeks, so keep an eye out.

Thanks for reading…Brooke