Posts Tagged ‘new york times magazine’

Flipping Bling

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Old school snake hunters call looking for snakes, “flipping tin.” Why? On account of that’s what you do.

Are you too fat, too old, or your weather too cold to go out and dig through trash for reptiles?  Don’t worry, it’s Oscar season. You can go reptile hunting without leaving your sofa.  From the advert pages of Vanity Fair and New York Times Magazine to the latest awards ceremony there’s plenty of opportunity to flip a little bling and find a python or two.  You’ll see snakeskin shoes and bags, alligator belts, and more. If you’re good, you can even ID the species.

So where do these come from?

I don’t agree with Peta on its anti-pet shop policy but I do think they’re on track with this video:


Inside the Exotic-Skins Trade.

I have vid of a far larger operation in the videos section.

A Little Weekend Snakehunting

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

A writer’s work can be pretty dreary stuff, especially if what he likes to do is spend time in the field.  Sitting at a desk in the middle of summer is the worst.   But I’ve got a good story in the works so it’s got to be done.  This morning I did a little urban herpin’, which is to say I went through the news.  It has been a big week for snakes–a green mamba in Hollywood, Florida bit a cable worker (Mark Lucas of Strictly Reptiles comments), the BBC covered python hunting in the Everglades, and in mouse-sized space the St. Louis Post-Dispatch managed to grossly mis-report the goals of the reptile lobby, which supports a ban on Burmese and African rock pythons, and opposes a ban that would eliminate the keeping of appropriately-sized snakes.  And I missed this ditty about a border patrol officer smuggling leopard tortoises into the US from Tanzania.  Any guess on who his supplier was?

Finally, I always like to see how many pages it takes to get to a dead reptile in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. This week it’s one.  On the inside cover Hermes has its “So-Kelly” bag in matte alligator.  That’s so-kelly.

Snakehunting the Oscars

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

If you’re like me, I’m sorry.  But if you’re like me you’re always snake hunting.  You judge the distance between the dumpster and the woods behind your local Target…on road trips, you keep a running ticker in your mind, evaluating the time of day, the temp., and the last time it rained as you look for downed street signs and decaying barns, nodding to whatever the driver has to say about the Phillies or her new problem at work.  You notice snakeskin bags and boots, lizardskin wristwatch straps and business card cases.  You open magazines and look for snakes.  You can find them easily most months in Vanity Fair (e.g., page 9,  March 2009, www.bally.com)), and the Sunday New York Times Magazine (page 53,  Feb. 15, 2009 Marc Jacobs –but also look for the reptilian bits this week on the shelves of Yves Saint Laurent, pp. 44-45 (see star tortoise shell?))–really, there is no out of season when it comes to reptiles killed for fashion. 

If you’re like me you try to ID whatever you find from the snatch of skin.  (The correct answer is almost always reticulated python.)  It’s The Year of the Python.   Last year I was invited to where all those python skin fashions begin.  This year, while watching the Oscars you may see a python or two walking the red carpet, or maybe a monitor lizard (on a watch strap) shaking hands with a star, giving you a chance to flip some tin without ever leaving your sofa.  Try it.  You’ll be amazed how much reptile is all around you.