Side Dish

Mommy, What's a Harry?; Harry's Spring Fashion Preview, Spills and Thrills

Mommy, What's a Harry?
Dear Harry,
How did you get hired at theWeekly? Your column is the most vapid waste of space I have seen in either of the weekly rags. Are you a food critic or a gossip columnist? Maybe there's less difference than I thought . . .
Chris Parnell

Regular readers of this gray box may think I reprinted this paean of love (unedited and unexpurgated) only in order to scrape the writer against the fine grain of my box grater sarcasm, but this is not so. I have included this nugget of constructive criticism in this week's column because it raises a good point -- what is Harry?

Fortunately, one thing Harry isn't is a navel gazer (though he does like boating). So, I will leave you to ponder my purpose -- or lack thereof -- and get on with today's column . . .

Harry's Spring Fashion Preview
I didn't have an opportunity to ask Donald Fisher about it when I spied him dining at Florio last week, but what is withthose Old Navy messenger pants? (No, Don was in basic tweed blazer and slacks.) I mean, yeah, messengers are hella cool and all -- lounging around across the street from Old Navy's flagship store, smoking cigarettes and waiting for their next calls. But fashion juggernauts? And their chopped-off cycling pants aren't their only forward pedaling trend to be co-opted by the style machine -- Gucci is now offering its own version of the cross-slung messenger bag for those that have and dig the big Gs. I'm not sure which is more insulting: being ripped off by Old Navy or by Gucci.

And how, may I ask, do you stow your pashima when you're out to dinner? Most diners I've observed won't part with their shawls long enough for someone to mistake them for blankies. The options seem to be a) keep it wrapped around your neck; or b) fold it up and put it on the chair next to you. I initially welcomed this whole shawl invasion, picturing a San Francisco peopled with women wrapped in sophistication and mystery à la Roma. But no, the shawl has been led astray, down the same path as those silly high-water jeans with the add-on embroidered strip. What it all amounts to is the re-emergence of the gypsy look. Look for the new Stevie Nicks album in stores soon...

One last thing: I know they beat us in that sailing thing, but drawstring shoes?

Spills and Thrills
Stupid invention (from the advertising pages of the March Food and Wine.) Demeter Fragrances (out of Pennsylvania) has developed perfumes and colognes for those who would just as soon spray on their favorite spirit than sip it. The five scintillating scents include Martini, Gin and Tonic, Hot Toddy, Mint Julep, and Bourbon. A perfect gift idea for your on-the-go CEO: Now he can smell like he was on a bender last night, when he actually stayed at home in bed with a vid and take-out. That'll give him an edge at the next board meeting! I prefer to spill my cocktail when necessary. $12.50 for one ounce.

Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.

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