Beyond the red door

So there I was, trying to decide if the bracelet was worth going through that door.

I’m not sure how I first learned about Giles & Brother, but I’d had the website bookmarked for at least half a year. I was particularly interested in one piece but preferred to see it in person, so during my most recent trip to New York I went in search of the line.

The “Contact” section of their website mentioned a store, so I did a little research and Embarked* my route.

* Tangent: I would be lost without the Embark app; it won Best Mobility App at the 2012 “Big Apps” contest, and I can see why: Plug in where you are and where you’re going — by address, landmark or subway station — and the app will map out subway route options, even if you don’t have access to the Internet. Take that, Google Maps!

But one weird thing: When I ran the address through Google, just to double-check, the restaurant Pastis kept showing up in the search results. “I’m sure it’s a big building,” I told myself. “After all, buildings have multiple floors in New York,” which is somewhat of a novelty to flat-living Phoenicians. So off I went on a sultry-hot summer day, popping up out of the L train at Eighth Avenue and finding … Pastis, a Sephora, and nothing else on the block.

Just then my friend Kathy called while she was cabbing her way home from a party in Beijing. We chatted for awhile, then I begged off so I could find the place … and then I saw The Door.

Outside B&E

Inside B&E

Yes, I tried ringing the buzzer.  I was thinking: “Remember Beauty & Essex, where the front is set up like a pawn shop but when you walk through the back exit door you enter a sleek-and-chic restaurant and bar? Maybe this is like that, only crazier. These folks want only the most daring people to be their customers!” But the fact that the door didn’t even have a handle was a pretty good indicator there was no way to go inside. Foiled!

My next step was a quick, friendly “Hey, WTH?” email to both addresses listed on the website — and, to their credit, I got a reply within 15 minutes on a Saturday morning. Sadly, the store had closed, they reported, and suggested I check out Odin or Bergdorf Goodman.

My first reaction: “Aaargh — Odin is within blocks of my hotel! What a waste of a subway trip!” (My second reaction: “Hey, Pastis is open for lunch.”)

Back near this trip’s home base, the sales associate at Odin said they weren’t carrying the line anymore, and I didn’t feel like trekking to Bergdorf’s, especially after a quick search of their website brought up only women’s jewelry. Defeated, I decided to just order it online, after all.

It showed up today, and I couldn’t be more delighted. Now two out of the three things that I ordered as late birthday presents to myself have made their way to Arizona. (C’mon, Uniqlo – I have faith you’ll show up tomorrow or so. Please?)

WHAT SAM WORE: 7-10-12
The shirt: Cotton button-down, from the J. Crew outlet store at Anthem.
The pants: Boot-cut jeans by 7 for all Mankind, from Nordstrom in Chandler.
The shoes: Converse All-Stars, on final clearance
at the PacSun outlet store at Anthem.
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