Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tasting the Winter Blues While Sporting My Favorite Coat

There are two things I am absolutely sure of: my name is Nick, and I like hot weather. You probably know that the 2013/2014 winter has been a pretty rough one. I am only twenty-six years old, but this is definitely the coldest and snowiest winter I have ever experienced. Do people up north think this 'polar vortex' thing is very unusual and troublesome? I guess I could ask Joey; he hails from Michigan. The weather has been quite the story here in the lower part of the mid-west. We don't really prepare for multiple snow storms and so many days dipping into negative Fahrenheit temperatures. Personally, I am sick of the bitter cold. Luckily I finally found one thing I love about this winter: my maroon pea coat.

I stumbled upon the fine vintage garment at a St. Louis area estate sale in late 2012. I never have much luck with finding vintage clothes. They hardly ever fit me properly, and when they do, they usually have a big hole or a stain. I saw the great looking coat hanging in the closet with a few men's shirts. I was doubtful, but to my surprise it actually fit! I can't say that I have ever seen anyone else wearing a maroon pea coat, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. I did some quick Google research on the Sleigh Bell by Lo-Bel brand, only to find some obsolete trademark information and an address of 1350 Broadway, New York, NY. Even though I'm not able to guess a date on it, I know that it is in impeccable shape for its age.

Joey was kind enough to photograph me, wearing my favorite piece of outerwear, last Saturday. He was headed back to school near the end of his winter break so he stopped here in St. Louis for a bit. I took him to Blues City Deli for lunch, where we were able to snap the pictures for this post. Anyway, If you haven't heard of Blues City Deli, it is an amazing sandwich shop in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis, MO. The place is tiny but the food is so good that it is worth the wait even if the line is out the door and down the sidewalk. Even during peak hours you'll be handed a white bag full of delicious food quicker than you can say, "THIS IS THE ONLY RESTAURANT I WOULD STAND OUTSIDE IN THE SNOW WHILE WAITING FOR MY FOOD." The main reason we couldn't get a seat inside that day was because it was Saturday and that meant a packed house to watch the live music. This time the acts were the always incredible Little Rachel and The Loot Rock Gang. We would have loved to stick around for more than one song but it was far too cold to stand outside the door.

Here's to hoping the weather starts to warm up so I can save my classy old coat for another winter. Either way, don't be surprised if you catch me eating all of the Chicken Shack Ranch sandwiches from the deli at 2438 McNair.

Standing in the snow next to Blues City Deli.
The only tag left in the coat. Sleigh Bell by Lo-Bel.
Mat Wilson shown stepping outside before his band performs.
Blues City Deli on a cold, snowy January day.
Blues City Deli. Saturday January 18, 2014