Archive for June, 2011

Bermuda Tieangle

June 24, 2011

I reached the monumental pinnacle (is that redundant?) of wearing a tie two days in a row, a mere couple of weeks after basically wearing one for 300 days in a row, save for weekends and the occasional Sanity Day. It’s been pretty nice to see that I’m still getting a few dozen page views per day, so thank y’all.

My Tie du Jour was not worn for the full Jour, so it may need to be called the Tie des Deux Heures (2-hr Tie). I’m getting the feeling that it may become a regular feature here at 100 Days, 100 Ties.

Tie No. 304 was sported, as you can see, with my distiller’s shirt from Few. Paul and I were guests of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston, and we gave a short presentation to their members about the new business. This wool strip is from a store called Trimingham’s, a department store that was a fixture on the island of Bermuda. It’s strange in a couple of ways. It was the first tie I’ve worn that could have been tied with either end being in the front – both ends were the same width. And, the tips had fringes on them (you can see it a little bit in the photo). Not sure if that is a Bermudan thing, but I doubt that they bother with ties very much anyway.


I captured a shot of Master Distiller, and many time GWT appearer, Paul Hletko, describing the magic that happens at 918 Chicago.

We had a tie-wearing visitor to the distillery. Bayo, who works for Charter One Bank, braved the heat and put on a tie, not knowing he’d get on the internet for his troubles.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Oh, to be a tie on the wall

June 21, 2011

I’m not an eavesdropper, but I will admit that I have something of a spidey-sense of the conversations going on around me. Every once in a while, I’ll own up to it by proffering some sage bit of advice to complement or correct: “Those scones are actually made right here in Evanston”, “You know, Vladimir Ilyitch Lenin carried his childhood blanket every day of his life, even through the revolution” and “Ma’am, Michael Jackson was NOT killed by the CIA” are all examples of things I have NEVER said. Thank goodness. But, you get the idea.

This post is not about my eavesdropping in on a conversation, but about being the eavesdroppee. Twice! And basically in the same spot. Maybe I just talk loud. Anyway, I was talking about Few Spirits at the YMCA on Saturday and Sunday, and two women approached me to enquire about the status of the first distillery in the heart of Prohibition. I just thought it was funny that it happened two days in a row.

Sunday, for Father’s Day, my Dad and I went to Prairie Joe’s, and I was amused by several tie-wearing paper heads, with quirky comments bubbling from their bodiless visages. Here are three of them…

Monday I was able to get my tie on, for only the 3rd time since No. 300. I definitely miss the daily wearing and the daily writing, but will soon be back on a normal tie schedule.

I had a meeting downtown with my friend John Betterman, about my tie project, and I wore a good one. Somehow that opinion wasn’t shared by its creators at Express Design Studio, as I found it in the clearance section at TJ Maxx. It was specifically picked to match up with the blue threading in my new Astor & Black suit, and look electric at the same time. Not bad for $6.99.

Like an out-of-practice idiot, I forgot to add John to the GWT menagerie. However, I did bring him a tie, in thanks for meeting with me, so I’ll get him to get a shot of it when he wears it.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

And here’s tie you, Mrs. Robinson…

June 16, 2011

GWTAS (Graduate With Tie And Seductress)

I’m surprised to find out that it’s been six years since Anne Bancroft (The Graduate‘s minxy Mrs. Robinson) passed away. But, my title is not in homage to her, or to Dustin Hoffman, who played Benjamin, the actual graduate/seductee. I actually had a graduation on Tuesday evening. It was a dinner and small ceremony marking the end of my year participating in Leadership Evanston. Although, you know…commencement is not an ending. It is a beginning.

Sorry, I’ve heard that speech at every graduation except for this one, since it actually was an ending. Oh, I guess I’ll take part of the Evanston Community Foundation‘s alumni activities with LE, so maybe this is just a beginning. Either way, it was a great experience; plus, it’s good that it’s over.

Of course, I can’t go to any kind of ceremony without sporting a tie, and I was actually excited to put one around my neck. I am having major withdrawal pains from the lack of blogging about the ties.

So, here we go. Tie No. 302 was another from my friends at Paul Fredrick. This one, I actually bought. Although I’ll talk about the ‘why’ very soon, I have to say that Angela and Scott from PF gave me some more ties to support a new venture. 30, to be exact. THIRTY! They are all truly lovely strips.

Anyway, this number is the epitome of multi-colored, as it just exploded my plain-ish blue shirt. Had I gone garish with the shirt, I may have set off car alarms.

I have captured, photographically, a couple of new GWTs in the past week or so, and I’ll gladly share them with you here. First is Graeme Murphy, a freshman in Northwestern’s engineering department. Graeme, sporting a cool Escher-printed tie, and his project team worked with Few Spirits to come up with a plan to reuse our spent grains, and presented it before me and their class. It was one of those ironic days where I chose not to wear a tie, while every other guy in the room had one on. So embarrassing. But, I did have one of my new Few shirts on, so at least I played the part of ‘client’ rather well.

Sunday evening, my dad and I went to dinner with, Pat Green, one of my best friends from my high school days (the first time I had to wear a tie every day…well, actually, that would be the 2nd time. Junior high was tie time, too). We went to Tavern on Rush, and sat next to a GWT. Or, should I say, a RPCLWT (Rainbow PUSH Coalition Leader With Tie)? Yes, Rev. Jesse Jackson was kind enough to show off his tie with two goofballs from Memphis.

Well, that felt good. I’ll be wearing another tie on Thursday, methinks (which is actually today)…

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Rarin’ to bow

June 7, 2011

Well, my two-day tie-atus came to a sudden end on Saturday night, before going to Mudlark Theater‘s Wine (and Chocolate) Tasting affair at Vinic Wine in Evanston. My friend (and GWT alum) Mike Miro is the Managing Director, and he and the board asked me to join their board. ‘Tis yet another step towards my goal of galactic rule. My first decree: Ties for all! Oh, and universal (truly universal) healthcare. I’ll eliminate the DH, too.

In a rare display of brain activity (apparently brought on by dreams of sovereignty), I remembered that I still had a bow tie/cummerbund set with champagne bottles (and glasses) all over it. Very powerful, wouldn’t you agree? I ditched the cummerbund, of course, and sported my new BTdJ. Sandeep over at Vinic liked it so much he asked if he could have it (and the cummerbund) to display with his champagnes.

All is well over at Few Spirits. Getting my bearings as we all get into the work flow. I’ll have much more to report soon. I should have my first outing in the next couple of weeks, and I’ll wear a tie, of course.

Thanks for reading…Brooke



Once…Twice…Three Ties A Lady

June 3, 2011

Three hundred ties, that is…

Lionel Richie (is it he you’re looking for?) takes us in for a smoove landing, calling to mind some of the cheesiest songs (and videos. and haircut) of the 1980s. Do you remember wishing your house could spin around like the video for “Dancin’ on the Ceiling”? Yeah, me neither.

Kind of strange that I should wear Tie No. 300 on this day, as it was my first at Few Spirits. But, there was a networking event – Lawyers, Guns & Money – that I basically had set up, so I wanted to be there. More irony when I was about to go figure out which tie to wear…on my first post-chamber workday, Billie Kershasky from Astor & Black gave me a call and said my new suit was ready.

So, my Tie du Jour, also from A&B, comes with a full ensemble photo. I present my kickass beauty of a suit. It fit like a dream, and it had plenty of sweet details. I’ll reveal a couple with this photo (more with subsequent pix – I’ll wear it a LOT): 1) blue threading on the lapel button 2) the pocket square is actually the pocket turned inside out. Love both of those touches…

On ThreeHundo Day I did manage to get a new GWT: Ramsen Isaac is a Chicago attorney who has come to a couple of LGMs. Thought his strip was pretty sharp, and the crapiPhone captured it pretty sharp-ly.

Well, now I guess it’s up to me to take a few days off from ties. I’m sure that my addiction will win in the end, and I’ll get back to it by Monday. But, I am pretty sure I’ll be down to 2 or 3 tpw (ties per week); maybe 4. We’ll see how I feel getting dressed in the morning.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

I’m so glad we had this tie together

June 1, 2011

We spend a lot of time leaving places, in so many ways. We leave in a rush. We exit stage left. We beat it, we scram. Sometimes we can’t be dragged away by wild horses. Often we are asked to leave. But, just like the the graduation/commencement relationship (you know, commencement not an ending…it’s a beginning!), a departure only means you’re going somewhere else. Usually. I guess you could be kicked out of a bar after last call (“You don’t have to go home, but you can’t STAY HERE!”) and have nowhere else to go. But, commonly, when we depart in a mad rush, or even on time, we have some place to go. Our destination.

I worked nearly two years at the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, a job that, originally, I seriously thought I’d be nuts to leave. Early on, however, I thought that the only way I would depart (well, aside from their catching me stealing paper clips) would be for an even better job. That day came. It took a while to figure out the logistics of my working relationship with Few Spirits, but it became clear that it would be my destination.

As I have mentioned before, I will still wear ties. When I am out in public for Few, I will be sporting a different tie, I will capture new Guys (and Girls) With Ties, and I will post about my experiences. It just may not be 5 ti(m)es a week.

Speaking, and writing, of ties (since that’s usually what I do here), let’s chat about my Tie du Jour. I went seersucker for day the last, and threw this white strip all up in there. It’s fairly vintage, from Towncraft, and very bright. Thought I’d try to call attention to myself one last time. Oh, and it was hot, so the ‘sucker came in handy.

On my last day in Chamberville, I wore Tie No. 299. Most of you who passed number lines in early childhood can tell that the big 3-hundo is next.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for accompanying me on this next journey…Brooke