Wild River Review
Wild River Review
Connecting People, Places, and Ideas: Story by Story
May 2010
Open Borders

October 22, 2009

Wild Culture

A Bucket o'PBR's at Billy Reid.  Photo: Warren Bobrow

A Bucket o'PBR's at Billy Reid. Photo: Warren Bobrow

1-Year Anniversary of Billy Reid

Has it been a year?  My discovery of Billy Reid has given me a new way of dressing, in keeping with the spirit of my “look” over the years.  From the moment I walked into the shop on Bond Street in New York City, I felt something familiar.  My wife and I shopped in the neighborhood and we stumbled in.  There was an article in the New York Times waxing poetic about bespoke Southern Clothing and I am constantly intrigued to find that Kentucky bourbon and hand sewn bespoke clothing makes for a good conversation.  Perhaps it is the casual elegance of the clothing.  Maybe the music playing puts me in a good place.  Then there is the sales help.  I’ve always been spoken with, not spoken at.  This is a good Zen exercise on manners if there is anything that a person can learn about great service.

Then there is the Bourbon. Great Kentucky bourbon can be offered to you if you know the secret code.  There is a lesson to be learned regarding a glass of brown.  That lesson is the art of listening for the queue.  The secret code is somewhere between the actual word meaning,  “yes, I’d enjoy a glass”… and that knowing smile…one that comes with a steady hand and quick wit.  This is the Southern way of thinking.  Offer a glass and reap the rewards.  A new friendship is born!

Billy Reid-Photo: Warren Bobrow

Billy Reid-Photo: Warren Bobrow

You don’t know what I’m talking about?  Then Billy Reid is not the store for you. With their 1-Year Anniversary on my mind, having the chance to enjoy a brown cocktail seems very friendly.  Too bad the last few nights freezing weather killed off most of the mint. I’ll bet  in a few days of warm weather, some sweet sprouts will pop up and a fine mint and bourbon cocktail will be offered up.  If not, there is always Fee Brothers Mint Bitters-  used only in very small drops!

Southern Gentility/Billy Reid  Photo: Warren Bobrow

Southern Gentility/Billy Reid Photo: Warren Bobrow

Billy Reid’s clothing embodies a deeply Southern sensibility.  Inside every person who wears this clothing there exists a good old boy (or gal) who is “fixin’ to get some barbeque” from a restaurant like Skeets in Darlington, SC.  This is pit style meat.  Cooked low and slow.  I once drove all the way from Charleston for Barbeque at Skeets.  This was before Hugo.   When I called asking for directions- the kind person on the phone said:  “When you smell Hog, you’re almost there.”   That in itself is the metaphor for good cookin’ and fine eatin’.   So in the spirit of the 1st anniversary of Billy Reid’s store on Bond Street in NYC,  grab yourself a tall-boy PBR or a short glass of Brown and drink in the smell of Pit Barbeque, which just may be on the menu tonight.

You need the right music to get all y’all’s in the mood.  A bit of Vassar Clements is in order:

Magnolia Springfest, Live Oak, Florida 03/24/00  www.archive.org

Wild River Review contributing editor, Warren Bobrow grew up on a farm in Morristown, NJ. A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Film, he spent his senior year as a research assistant in visual thinking at The Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT. He worked for many years in the corporate world.

His column on food, wine and life, Wild Table appears daily in the online magazine, Wild River Review. In addition to Wild River Review, Warren writes for NJMYWay.com, NJ Monthly Magazine, and SLOWFOODNNJ.org. He has upcoming work in Edible Jersey Magazine on the topic of Organic and Biodynamic Wine and upcoming submissions for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed., 2. February brings an article to NJ Savvy Living.  Please follow his moving about and drinkin’ ’round on Twitter @ WarrenBobrow1.  Thank you!

Trust your instincts and cook with passion!

You can support Warren’s work on Wild River Review, and his column, Wild Table by making a donation: Wild River Review, PO Box 53, Stockton, NJ 08559. Wild River Review is an international website and 501c3 non-profit organization so your donation may be tax deductible.
Please put Wild Bite in the subject line. Thank you!

Billy Reid/Bond St.  Photo: Warren Bobrow

Billy Reid/Bond St. Photo: Warren Bobrow

1 Comment »

  1. Great little shout out Warren. You hit it right on the head! Looking forward to seeing you later. No BBQ tonight, just some home baked goodies and Bourbon. Take care.

    Comment by Spencer — October 22, 2009 @ 10:30 am

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