Christian M. Chensvold

Wardrobe: Hides and Seek

Chuck Vodicka describes himself as “very fussy.” When Vodicka, who lives in Miami and is a partner in an independent insurance company, needed a new briefcase, he knew exactly what he wanted but had no idea how difficult it would be to find it. Vodicka contacted several retailers and makers of premium leather goods in […]

Wardrobe: High Gear

Patrick Noel Sance tried not to make a sound as he hid in a crevice high in the Andes, near the border between Peru and Bolivia. He had been leading a mountaineering expedition on that day in 1989, when members of the Maoist revolutionary group Shining Path raided his camp. For Sance and his half-dozen […]

Finance & Investment: The Music Man

As an undergraduate strolling the halls of the University of Pennsylvania, David Pullman used to gaze at the oil and canvas likenesses of once-prominent financiers adorning the walls. He longed to become as famous and one day have his own portrait hanging alongside these walrus-whiskered captains of industry. Pullman would indeed make his fame and […]

Symposium: To the Tuxedo: A Tribute

About 50 years ago, an old Frenchman declared that a man has not really lived until he has undressed a lady wearing late- 19th-century finery. Savoring the gradual unveiling of the woman through endless layers of dress, crinoline, and corset was truly a welcome exercise in deferred gratification. Unless your paramour has a Scarlett O’Hara–inspired […]

Symposium: The Gentleman’s Journey

The notion that it takes three generations to make a gentleman is clearly an American one. Only a culture bred from democracy and capitalism would suggest that this lofty moniker does not require a hereditary title and a fox hunting outfit. The difference between the English and American gentleman is one of being vs. becoming. […]

Symposium: A Smart Home Becomes Too Clever

Good evening, sir,” my house said. The face recognition camera cued the front door to open. I wiped my feet and stepped inside. “Hello, Alfred,” I replied as I removed my coat. “I sense tension in your movements, sir. The deal did not go well?” “No, Alfred, it did not. Could you fix me a—” […]

Symposium: A Lament for Leisure

There is a scene in The Magnificent Ambersons, Booth Tarkington’s tale of the Gilded Age, in which George, the young scion of what used to be called an American dynasty, is asked what profession he intends to take up. “None,” he replies. “Lawyers, bankers, politicians—what do they ever get out of life?” “But what do […]