GIFT GUIDE 2009: Break the Bank

Written by Staff on . Posted in Gift Guide, Posts.


Break the Bank

Criterion’s AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

$399.00 at Barnes & Noble, 97 Warren St. (at Greenwich St.), 212-587-5389

We
know the price tag is mad steep. If there’s a director you’re going to
splurge on, though, it might as well be one of the all-time cinematic
masters, whose astonishingly varied and rich oeuvre is very much
represented in Criterion’s expansive boxed set. And truly, there’s
something for everybody here: ruminations on mortality and kick-ass
samurai battles, Shakespearean grandeur and noir-ish intrigue. Complete
with an illustrated guide that offers notes and commentary on each
film, it will blow the chunky glasses right off your favorite cineaste
this holiday season.


Little Horn Speakers

$1,500 for a pair at www.littehornspeakers.com

For
years we’ve been subjecting our ears to iPod headphones and whatever
crappy speakers happen to be lying around. No more! Specimen Products’
Little Horn Speakers are not just good for listening (handling 24-watts
each) but are damn fine to look at. Sure, everything we’ve listened to
this year has been fuzzed-out, overblown and scratchy, but it’s not
going to sound any better coming out of a laptop; nut up and get these
bad boys (or buy ’em for us if you don’t need a pair) to show your
ears—and your home décor—the respect that they deserve.


Sam Adams Utopia Brew

$200 , get it anywhere you can

When
Jim Koch started brewing Samuel Adams beer 25 years ago, he wanted to
expand America’s definition of good beer. In 2009, his Boston Beer
Company unleashed Sam Adams Utopia, an extreme beer with an alcohol
content of 27% by volume (typical beers are 5%). It is called beer
because of the fermentation process, but this is not a regular brew. On the technical side, it is brewed with multiple strains of yeasts including champagne yeast, pounds of special malts and three kinds of noble hops.

It
is a blend of batches, aged up to 16 years in different casks including
bourbon, muscatel, brandy and cognac casks. On the flavor side, this
beer, when served room temperature in 2-ounce servings, brings to mind
a sweet malty vintage port, with warm and spicy vanilla, maple and
caramel notes. We’ll drink to that.


Washlet

$880-$1,990 at TOTO Soho Gallery, 25 Mercer St. (betw. Grand & Canal Sts.), 917-237-0665

We
admit, it may seem strange to buy an expensive gadget to wash (and dry)
your bum, but we also know quite a few guys who really like to spend
some quality time on the toilet. The Washlet by TOTO actually works out
perfectly for anyone—even renters—since the seat retrofits on any
existing toilet. And yes, it first aerates your naughty bits and then,
if you so desire, dries them. There’s something called the “pulsating
cleanse” that we haven’t quite figured out, but we’re sure someone
will. If you want to test drive it, visit the Soho space or try it out
at over a dozen Manhattan restaurants. Oh, and no more buying those
embarrassing jumbo packs of TP.


Fuji Instax Mini 7 Instant Camera

$130 at Urban Outfitters, 526 6th Ave. (at 14th St.), 646-638-1646

The
discontinuation of Polaroid’s instant camera sent fashion mavens into a
tizzy and us on the hunt for a new instant photo fix. And thankfully
Fuji’s Instax Mini 7 camera will have you saying Polaroid schmolaroid.
It’s both compact and cute and the credit-card-sized photos it delivers
will help you capture— or remember—your many mistletoe partners and
moments of holiday merriment this year. Lightweight and more unique
than the typical night out digital camera, it’s a little retro and the
color photos are ready in minutes, which is a hell of a lot faster than
the six weeks it takes people to upload photos to their Facebook
accounts.

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