February 19, 2012

February Assortment: Taxidermy to Fine French Wine

Here are a few recent topics of interest, perhaps more non sequitur than usual.
First taxidermy. The word conjures either meth lab or a Victorian parlor. Paxton Gate, a store on Valencia in San Francisco we recently visited, is more of the latter. The shop is chockfull of mounted butterflies, fossil samples, beakers, and, yes, stuffed animals. Sure, some things are a bit on the creepy side (say mice skeletons dressed in the doll sized period costumes), but overall it is like stepping into a cabinet of curiosities.

Butterfly from Paxton Gate
Framed butterflies, Paxton Gate's less morose offering.  Yes, one came home with me. Photo from Paxton Gate.

Paxton Gate runs a children’s outpost a few doors down, mostly thinking child’s toys and books. On the walls there were a few specimen of plush mounts. I have my eye on a certain monkey and a couple bears in the toy room.

Plush Trophy from Paxton Gate
I am thinking this will be just the right finishing touch for the playroom. Photo from Paxton Gate.

I do not write nearly often enough about wine. To restore justice behold this lovely chardonnay from Mâcon Villages. The villages, 43 of them, are in Mâconnais in Burgundy but that’s not important. What is important is that Burgundy’s whites are glorious, chardonnay grape at its best, unlike the trampy heavily oaked version passed off as chardonnay. So please get yourself a bottle to sample.

Photo from my kitchen, just before the bottle was polished off.

For years I've been planning to buy a proper trench coat. No ruffles or vampy spikes. Simple and clean. Not too short, not too long. Not sure why it took me so long, but now this one is on is way from the good people of J.Crew.  Once the package arrives in 3-5 business days, I will be set for spring.
Trench coat from J.Crew
Photo from J.Crew.

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