Main-hattan Transfer by Five - 1

I spent a couple of lovely golden autumn days in Frankfurt where my two daughters are living. The European banking capital surprises me every time I am visiting. I love to stroll along the river, to get immersed in the busy streets of downtown Main-hattan or to watch the mostly Asian tourists taking pictures of the medieval town centre. Hardly any other European town of this size can boast of such a concentration of high rises, while preserving the heritage of an old market place. Smart young bankers rub shoulders with newly arrived Eastern Euopean immigrants and tourists from China and Japan.

On my first evening my daughter had invited me to Antonin Dvorak's opera Rusalka. I indulged in the longing call of the French horn and the silvery drops of the harp evoking the romantic scenery of the water nymph's tragic love for her prince. Her aria to the moon was captivating.

Frankfurt's modern opera house is right in front of the huge Euro sign symbolizing Frankfurt's speci…

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood in the midst of French greenery and no wolf to be seen.

The red turtle neck jersey and the knitted beanie are staples of my winter wardrobe. All the fashion gurus advise that you get rid of older items once a year. I confess to be guilty of conservatism. At least the mocassins from Geox are new.

Hunters and Gatherers

Last winter a pack of wild boar came close to my neighbour’s house in search of food. The numbers of wild boar are growing fast as they are omnivore and have hardly any foe.  I have no objection that they are kept at bay by the local hunter’s association. 

I, myself am more a gatherer than a hunter. I gather the appropriate outfit for the après hunt so to speak where a delicious boar roast will be served. It can get quite cold out there in the woods. Long woollen stockings, gloves and a muff are not out of place. I use to carry the few things I need in my felt cartridge pouch which I will hardly ever put to its original use.

If you care for sitting in the wee hours on a perch to wait for game to pass by you cannot do without loden. This densely woven woollen cloth will keep you warm. The real stuff comes from Feller in Bavaria.

 I once was invited to a perch hidden in the woods for listening to the rutting cry of the deer. Although I had the privilege to be in the company of an offic…

Sheep & (Lower) Saxons

The country side of Lower Saxony in Germany where I used to live can be somewhat rough and the weather unpredictable. Still, it is a lot of fun to do long walks along the fields of sugar beet and herds of sheep in the Lüneburger Heide.  You may happen to look into a black face. It could belong to the Heidschnucke a breed of sheep with long hair and impressive horns typical of Northern Germany. Wide vistas and the bizarre shapes of juniper bushes add to the austere charm.

The fun is depending not the least on your outfit. Warm wools and tweed is a must. You wouldn’t think that a rustic tweed jacket with knickerbockers is Made in France, but it is. Gaston Jaunet is responsible - now sadly out of business.

Ricky’s Suede Temptation

The boots are the stars. Ricky Sarkany is the master of the suede ankle boots and the long, long riding style boots.

No wonder, thinking of Argentina is thinking of leather. Ricky may have the material at hand, but it is his genius that produces shoes and boots to die for.

The mauve suede ankle boots are too precious for walking the streets of Buenos Aires. I would have to jump across potholes and dog poo. I rather take one of the asthmatic black-and-yellow cabs. There are literally thousands of them roaming the streets in search of customers.

In my neighbourhood are some small shoe shops which cater for another sort of customer, for the aficionados of tango. I am always wondering how the women can dance this passionate and complicate dance in those fragile high heeled shoes, but they can. They have rhythm flowing in their veins. Every now and then there are spontaneous dance parties on Avenida de Mayo in central Buenos Aires and everybody is skillfully dancing like a professional.

Poncho & Tupo

Argentina and Chile are Poncho countries. The Indians and later the gauchos used to ride across the Patagonian pampa wrapped in their poncho which doubled as blanket at some make shift shelter during the night.
The gaucho is nearly a figure of the past, but the poncho stayed.

I can testify to the warming capacity of an ample woollen poncho. I did not cross the wind swept plains on horseback but even as a pedestrian ambling in the street of some forlorn  Patagonian town I experienced the fierce wind and was happy to have my poncho tightly wrapped around me.

The dark red one is coarse but quite warm. The soft grey one is the city version from Mandra Diseño in Buenos Aires.

The poncho has no button or zip. You best close it with a tupo, the silver pin known since times gone by. And it serves as a welcome excuse to endulge in ornate silver jewellery which comes in many enticing shapes.

Autumn Leaves

I built this outfit around my venerable leather jacket from Arfango in Florence. The Italian manufacturers are proudly displaying their refined techniques of leather processing dating back to the fifteenth century when Florence already was an important centre of Renaissance fashion and couture.

My jacket’s cloth lining, the knitted waistband, the leather coated buttons and the matching vest are showing craftsmanship at its best. Orange-golden autumn leaves and the fiery red of the wild grape vine are adding their bit.