*No more standin’ there beside the walls/
I have got myself together, baby/
I’m havin’ a ball/
Long as you’re groovin’/
There’s always a chance/
Somebody watchin’ might…
Unlike words like “nifty” or “groovy,” the word “cool” is so apt a term it’s stood the test of time. Early uses of “cool” can be traced to Lower East Side beatniks in the 40s, Daddy-o, and the concept continues to be so irreplaceable we’re applying it today to everything from cars (see page 88) to T-bones (page 81). The very thought of cool relaxes our mortal ninety-eight-point-six to an immeasurable chill. And while some flirt with their cool, letting it come and go as the winds change, there are those who epitomize it from head to toe, inside and out, forwards and backwards.
LL Cool J, for one. This Long Islander is so true to his name, it’s more than a trademark. The day I met him was one of the hottest, most humid days of one of the most oppressive summers on record (that would be this last one). The American Red Cross, Suffolk County Chapter, was honoring him at a private home in the Hamptons, and this cat showed up for an afternoon outdoors wearing a three-piece suit, tie and hat. A hat! And he was far from breaking a sweat. Granted, the getup was linen, but the rest of us were melting and he’s red carpet ready in full ensemble. Cooler than that, not only is he charming, LL is smart. Our interview with him in this issue looks at the legendary career of this cool Islander born in Bay Shore and “raised out in Queens,” (as the song goes).
Music is indeed a perma-cool—it gives it, gets it and makes it. Just ask John Varvatos, the cool chap who planted his Bowery store in none other than the former CBGB. Our cover model is celebrating ten years of his eponymous fashion label this season and when you look at his repertoire of men’s designs it’s hard to believe rock stars ever existed before John was there to dress them. In his one-on-one with our Aileen Jacobson, this cool image maker talks about his love of clothes, family and the 40,000 songs on his iPod.
Our annual Cool List is back too, giving a nod to the people, places and things that make life on this sandbar, well, cool. The list compiles our favorite Long Island realities and a few from beyond. Lady Gaga is an heir apparent, if you didn’t already live through Madonna, but no, she didn’t make the list (too obvious). Montauk was nominated, (again, obvious), so we went with some other zip codes instead. And I’m not going to even get into the thing about the pigmies. No one took me up on Ray LaMontagne, poor me, but “The Dude” isn’t a bad consolation prize (page 81). Our method of compilation was far from scientific, but you can join us in the dialogue by chiming in at our home page with your own nods to the snap on your fingers—cool baby. For now turn to page 77 and get it on. All hail Randi Dresner (page 81)!
Had enough? Leave. Try Anguilla, for instance. Karen Jones did and put it together for this issue to get you started. Or, go ahead and give in to your inner recluse, but first, give your comfort zone a facelift. This issue also features our annual home design supplement. The best, coolest interiors cross roads on our pages. Jean Paul Gaultier? Got him. Roche Bobois? Yup. Speaking of crossroads, the two came together to create the first of the “Ten Commandments in Decor” which is so icy slick, you’ll understand the need of a couch for the first time since…Castro convertibles, which is also being (re)born on the pages of this issue.
Me? Cool moments? Maybe you’ll Facebook me and ask real nice and I’ll tell you. Or maybe I’ll lie. But either way, you’ll think it’s…
*Move it up/
Turn it down/
Shake it down!
*Got to Give it Up, Marvin Gaye, The Maestro of Cool