MY OWN BREW
What looks like a pitcher, acts like a thermos and brews coffee? It’s “My Own Brew,” a combination of all three made by Hammar-plast. My Own Brew is perfect for the up-and-coming executive: It’s quick, easy, attractive and extremely functional. Just put five scoops of drip coffee into the brew funnel, add a standard coffee filter, pour six cups of boiling water down the funnel, cover and pour. And the coffee will stay hot -and portable – for hours. My Own Brew ($18.95) is available at Plate and Platter, 4401 Lovers Lane. Open Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30. 521-9980.
Military chic has been around for quite a while, but here’s a new twist on the phenomenon: an international Army-Navy surplus store called Maneuvers. At Maneuvers (which caters to both men and women), you can find such exotic apparel as Spanish bush jackets (pictured here with a dummy U.S. ammo belt, U.S. GI’s helmet and U.S. Army goggles), Canadian nurses’ uniforms, Italian fatigue knickers, Israeli women’s army dress shirts and miniskirts, French naval liberty pants and battle jackets and Dutch cotton tank tops. Owners Lynda Rachofsky and Colette Holleran say they’ll offer a few U.S. items, but plan to gather the bulk of their surplus from Europe. Rachofsky used to work with high fashion, but decided that much of what was being offered at exorbitant prices was being copied from military apparel, which could be bought much cheaper and was probably a heck of a lot more durable. The result: Maneuvers, which Rachofsky and Holleran put together in just seven weeks. Also offered are international accessories such as French NATO berets, Rhodesian camouflage face veils, French engineers’ bags and Swiss first-aid kits. Maneuvers, 2825 Greenville (next to Greenville Bar and Grill). OpenMon-Sat 11-6. 823-1310.
For most of us, belts have long since surpassed their original function -keeping our pants up. They are, however, still frequently treated as more or less an afterthought, something we throw on because we know we’re supposed to wear one. But a great belt (like the one pictured here) can save an otherwise nondescript ensemble. At $145, this one-of-a-kind black leather and sterling silver belt from Featherstone is a real investment, but it’s worth it. Featherstone, which carries many accessories by New York designers who create only one-of-a-kind or very small-quantity items, has dozens of unique leather, suede, snakeskin -even bugle-beaded and rhine-stoned -belts with all sorts of buckles, from large hand-forged brass ones to small ceramic glazed ones. Featherstone, Turtle Creek Village. Open Mon-Sat 10-6. 521-9071.
TOASTING YOUR” SWEET TOOTH
The next time you’ve indulged in a hefty gourmet meal and you don’t think you have room for both an after-dinner drink and a gooey dessert, consider combining the two. At Kron Chocolatier, you can toast your sweet tooth with sinfully rich white cherries aged in cognac and dipped in either milk or dark chocolate. They’re $12 per half-pound box. Kron Chocolatier, 11 Highland Park Village. Open Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30. 526-4722.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
As the saying goes, they just don’t build trains like they used to -especially miniature ones. For Pat Neil, owner of Collectible Trains and Toys, that’s sort of a blessing in disguise. He specializes in the buying, selling, trading, repair and appraisal of antique trains. According to Neil, almost 85 percent of American boys owned toy trains during the Fifties; and nowadays, people are buying up those same trains (they were the most-durable ones ever built, he says) as investments. For example, the Blue Comet, which features a, removable roof, metalseats, moving doors and even a toilet, sold for $75 in 1930. It’s worth much more now. And trains provide one benefit that most investments just can’t match: They’re extremely fun to have around. Neil’s trains range in age from the early- 1900s to 1982; prices for complete sets begin at $75 (for a reconditioned set). Collectible Trains and Toys, 109 Medallion Center. Open Tue-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5. 373-9469.
WINDFALLS Pastel Protection
By Lucie Nelka
By Katherine Dinsdale