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The Essentials: The BIG Fall Preview

As the summer winds down for the better half of the world, it's almost kismet that we find ourselves left with an absurd amount of time to reflect on many of our sun-filled shenanigans--some more memorable than others--and once we're able to come to terms with that tequila-induced stupor during Cinco de Mayo or that less-than-glamorous weekend of Independence, we can all find a sense of closure and look to the future. Namely: that comforting purgatory between blazing heat and freezing cold...

1. Secure Your Earnings.

It never hurts to ditch that over-stuffed file folder you call a “wallet” for something that saves a little more space in your pockets and adds a great deal of style to your already budding fall wardrobe (you do have one, correct?).

Nova Money Clip, $20, thingsremembered.com

Besides, if I’m even remotely correct about the ways of our government, you’ll own a money clip around the same time the rest of us receive that much-fabled economic stimulus check. Perfect timing!

2. Discover Your Green Thumb.

With the cooler weather approaching, there’s not only a change in primary wardrobe, but something magical happens to the world’s vegetation: some of the hardiest, best-tasting vegetables ever become readily available, ripe for the picking.

Avocados (which need not be cooked—just a quick chop session; add olive oil, salt and pepper, toss into a salad and presto!), along with bok choy, kale, carrots, watercress, collards and even the unwieldy rutabaga will all have a place on people’s tables this fall. Why not get into the spirit and visit your nearest farmer’s market or vegetable provider for the freshest produce the season has to offer?

Assorted veggies available at your local market.

Here’s an example of that “freshness” I was talking about earlier:

Skinny Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes


1 garlic bulb, unpeeled
splash of olive oil
4 large potatoes (Idaho or russet)
about 1 cup Basic Chicken Stock (see recipe), or low-sodium canned
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

-Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the garlic cloves in an oven-proof dish and drizzle with olive oil. Place the dish, uncovered, in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the garlic is golden brown and soft.

3. Remove from the oven and let cool.

4. Peel the potatoes and cut them in half. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork, about 30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain.

5. Bring the stock to a boil, and turn down to a simmer.

6. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves to release each clove of garlic. Mash the garlic with a fork and throw the skins away.

7. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork, or use a food mill. Add the roasted garlic. Slowly add the stock until the desired consistency is reached.

8. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Size: about 1/2 cup

Adapted from Discovery Health’s: Guide for Fall Vegetables Recipe Guide

3. Up Your Street, er, Surburban Cred.

What started as a simple blog created and moderated by a nice couple from Canada boomed into an online encyclopedia of white culture, with a multi-million-hit count and a book that
has been flying off the shelves since July 1

Stuff White People Like on paperback, $11, amazon.com

“Stuff White People Like” is an effigy of all things considered ‘white’ and covers everything from Asian women (#11) and coffee (#1) to unpaid internships (#105) and Barack Obama (#8). And with the introduction of the book to the market, you can expand your ‘white’ knowledge with sections that help you learn, “How to Name a White Child” and to, “Determine Your Level of Whiteness”.

4. Dress Up.

One of the essential pieces to any man’s wardrobe, the v-neck sweater is dressy enough to pair with a crisp Oxford shirt and a skinny tie and just this side of versatile enough to wear with anything from a suit and nice shoes to a rumpled shirt, a pair of broken-in jeans and some canvas sneakers.

Cashmere V-Neck Sweater by Vince, $245, neimanmarcus.com

Buy one as soon as you possibly can. As a matter of fact, buy two for good measure.

5. Or Down.

This very modest shoe, as of late, has become something of a cult classic with the scenesters, hipsters, hip-hoppers and their groupies, indie folks, graffiti artists and, well, I think you get the general idea.

Nike Dunk Retro High-Tops, $80, sneakerhead.com

Nowadays, you can get a clean-slate pair of this ubiquitous shoe and put your own personal stamp on it by visiting one of the sneaker gods found on major cities like Tokyo, New York and L.A. If you don’t have direct access to such luck than you can always find and commission an artist via the Web to get your shit tight just in time for the fall.

6. Wrap It Up.

Just as long as it is lightweight and nothing too busy, you should be absolutely fine. Wear it with a t-shirt and jeans to get that rakish, devil-may-care look or combine it with a suit and overcoat for a cleaner, more refined look.

College Stripe Scarf by Paul Smith, $80, paulsmith.com

7. Play It Straight.

As much as I tried to devise a comprehensive review of one of the most anticipated games of the season, I just don’t have proper credentials to get anything more than the generic press release (Trust me, I tried). So, without further adieu I’ll let the professionals take it from here:

E3 2008 Interview. Provided by gametrailers.com

One of the many box art possibilities floating about the Internet. Estimated release date: 11/30/08

8. And Cap It Off.

I’m not exactly sure why more men aren’t wearing these iconic yet enigmatic pieces of head gear? Is it the underlying stigma attached to it that only makes persons over the age of 65 allowed to don one? Perhaps someone may mistake you for a newsie, toss you a nickel for your trouble and pat you—curmudgeonly, no less—on the head as they go about their way?

The British Tweed Driving Hat available in charcoal and brown, $28, hatsinthebelfry.com

Regardless of what anxieties or insecurities you may have about it, the fact still remains that you need a driving cap in your collection. So take a minute, toss out that pre-frayed, ‘AE 99’ baseball cap and go for the upgrade.