• CW Pencil Enterprise

    Top Drawer | Store Profiles  

    “The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser—in case you thought optimism was dead.”
    —Robert Brault

    Caroline Weaver's favorite pencil is a 1950s Eagle Black Warrior. More my words than hers, she technically doesn’t have a favorite, but it’s the pencil she’d resurrect in The World According to Caroline Weaver. It’s a writer’s pencil…the pencil writers put in the hands of their characters who are writers. She has one left. But she's not sweating it.

    Since she opened CW Pencil Enterprise in March, a Lower East Side reliquary of wood and graphite, Ms. Weaver has developed a knack for mining large veins of vintage (1980s and older) and discontinued pencils. Aging collectors and enthusiasts (mostly men) have been ringing her up, looking to hand down their expansive personal collections to a steward worthy and just as zealous about the preaching the pencil gospel as they are.

    Aside from the collectible and rare, the shop has something for everyone. Neighborhood school girls with discerning taste pop by for supplies, curious passersby wander in off Forsyth street, and nostalgic thirty-somethings wonder at no. 2 pencils, sharpeners, and erasers. I enthusiastically discover an Emilia Braga composition book that immediately transports me back to high school chemistry. Founded in 1818, these iconic Portuguese notebooks have remained largely the same for nearly a century. It’s $26. A tiny 3 1/2” pencil that looks exactly like a cigarette (the 12 year-old boy inside me instantly wants a dozen), $1. A vintage 1960s Eberhard Faber Pink Pearl eraser, $2. The most popular pencil in the shop? The Blackwing 602, which counts John Steinbeck, Vladimir Nabokov, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, and Truman Capote amongst its myriad of devotees, will set you back $50…or $2 for the current reproduction.

    Not simply an aesthete, Ms. Weaver is a monomaniac—an appellation she proudly wears on her sleeve, literally. A black Dixon Ticonderoga® sharpened three times, drawn to scale by her mother, graces the inside of her left forearm. On her tiny frame, it’s imposing. And it starts as many conversations about pencils as you think it would.

    Her mom was a messy designer whose work flooded every corner of the house. Growing up, pencils were everywhere…beautiful, gorgeous pencils. When her mother would travel, she’d bring Weaver back really nice ones. The most prized possession being a set of Caran d’Ache colored pencils in a little tin from a trip to Italy. Weaver still has them at home, barely used.

    “I like things that have a story,” Weaver says. “I just…I just like beautiful things.” Pencil in a visit. The middle schooler in you will be glad you did.

    CW Pencil Enterprise
    100a Forsyth Street
    New York, NY 10002

    May 26, 2015 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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  • The Blue Album

    Top Drawer | Music & Books  

    Mar 24, 2015 | Permalink (9) View/Leave Comments

    be nice left a comment on 5/24/2015 at 11:58 PM:

    be nice.

    scaleworm left a comment on 5/3/2015 at 12:29 PM:

    I’ve had this happen to me.
    .... my interpretation of your post:

    Scenario: I use all tube gear (not boasting, it took me a long time to get all of my ingredients (components and cables} in place: my sound stage is the product), and it takes about 20 minutes for them to warm up to sweet perfection level.

    I get it all hooked up ( have to switch my main speakers from a digital multichannel system for film/netflix, or streaming digital music {Alpha Boy school radio}, to play LPs, or tube-DAC converted CDs.

    I FINALLY get the system where I want it, I swear to God, when someone drops over, and I have to lift the stylus… “Say it ain’t so” indeed.

    p.s. I have the ten year old lime green plinthed P3, it is a great little TT and use it exclusively in my office two channel system.

    I hope that you and your family are well.

    Harry left a comment on 4/6/2015 at 1:28 PM:

    Rugby? Fail. Shirts? Fail. Ties? Fail. Candles? Fail. Pillows? Fail. Slippers? Fail. Hats? Fail. Poetry? Fail isn’t the word. Now we have ‘made to measure’. I wonder.

    JFK's Ghost left a comment on 4/3/2015 at 10:19 PM:

    The comments are good. I miss this blog.

    Jennifer left a comment on 3/28/2015 at 10:18 PM:

    The poetry is so terrible, creepy and painful to read. Egan needs a friend to save him from himself.

    Corey left a comment on 3/28/2015 at 3:43 AM:

    Mr. Castleberry, why not allow your readers to comment on your original content but allow your readers to comment on content borrowed from others (the you tube clip)? Your blog seems to have less energy as it once did, and I rather enjoyed the comments as much as the content itself. At one time, I really enjoyed the photography of random people (some not so random?) because I liked to see others dressed as I like to dress. In short, your photography of others who embrace preppy style offered variety but it seems you only post photos of yourself and disable the comment feature. Not good, in my opinion. Your blog could be so much better…

    RCP left a comment on 3/27/2015 at 1:01 AM:

    “And if you look to your left, you’ll see the rapid decline of what was once a really great style blog!”

    Fred left a comment on 3/26/2015 at 2:49 PM:

    This is what you do now - aggressively, constantly ape Wes Anderson and tweet about whole foods. Jesus.

    Sam left a comment on 3/25/2015 at 8:28 AM:

    Saw them play this album at LIU Post in 1994. Still one of my favorites.


  • Brilliant Thief

    Top Drawer | Miscellany  

    Brilliant Bicycle Company launched their beautifully simple bicycles today in what is sure to change how America buys a bicycle. While cutting out the middle man in the industry is disruptively exciting, what's even more alluring is the insurance program Brilliant is rolling out later this year. For a paltry premium each month, Brilliant will insure your bike against damage, theft, and astroid collision. No questions asked. So go ahead and feel free to finish that bagel.

    Mar 23, 2015 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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  • Dream American

    Top Drawer | Miscellany  

    Oct 13, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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  • How to Be Parsian Wherever You Are

    Top Drawer | Music & Books  

    I don't know what it is about women's style books, but I love them (Amanda Brooks' I Love Your Style is still heavily dog-eared). Perhaps it is because they celebrate everything I love about women. Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas have been friends for years, making up a Parisienne clique that is all too common—and necessary—in French society. "Without her girls gang, the Parisienne is incomplete," they confess. And they're right, everything is better with friends: cocktails, heartbreaks, and spontaneous countryside getaways.

    In How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, the authors—unmarried but attached, with children—take you inside what it really means to be a Parisienne woman today. They let you in on their secrets and flaws while also making fun of their complicated, often contradictory feelings and behavior. With deft advice from their experiences, their mothers, and their lovers, How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are will have you laughing out loud and tapping into your inner cool. Here, in their signature tongue-in-cheek delivery, a handful of my favorite beauty and lifestyle tips.

    • Find "your" perfume before you turn thirty. Wear it for the next thirty years.
    • Your look should always have one thing left undone—the devil is in the details.
    • If you only own one sweater, make sure it's cashmere.
    • Always be prepared, he could be just around the corner.
    • Age should never be an excuse to go to bed early.
    • Be financially independent, so that you love only for love.
    • Spend a fortune on lingerie no one will ever see.
    • And don't forget to daydream in the bath, just like when you were little.

    Audrey, Caroline, Sophie, and Anne

    Sep 19, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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