Saturday night I found myself strolling up Sixth Avenue with the melancholy opening melody from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto stuck in my mind. I’d just heard the piece at one of those sparsely attended church concerts where you can hear classical music for practically free but we live in an era when you can’t even give classical music away.
I passed Brooks Brothers’ store near Rockefeller Center, and if there hadn’t been a sign on the door I wouldn’t have recognized it by merely looking at the mannequins.
For a nostalgic glimpse at how Brooks used to look, head over to the website Navy Blazer, which just put up scans of a Brooks catalog from 1988, the year Brooks was acquired by Marks & Spencer and the beginning of its gradual divestment of all that made it unique.
Fall of ’88 was my first semester in college. After one essay my English teacher (an Englishman) took me aside and said I already had my A for the semester and that I can just concentrate on writing without worrying about my grade. No one bats a thousand, so eventually I turned in something he felt was a tad uninspired, and told me, “Just so you know, this one’s a B.” — CC