May 5, 2003
Metropolitan Diary by Joe Rogers
A few weeks ago I was shopping at a menís store in the Flatiron district for a birthday present for my husband. Of course I had procrastinated and his birthday was the next day.
I was looking at the sale neckties and just couldnít find one I liked. (Maybe thatís why they were on sale.) I turned to a well-dressed man next to me and asked if he thought the tie I was holding up would be too wild for my relatively conservative husband. Without hesitation, he confirmed that it would be. Then he offered up one in return.
"Yuck," I said. Then I showed him another. "Nope," was his reply.
We played this game for a while until he finally said, "This is the tie you want," as he pointed to the one he was wearing.
"Exactly!" I said.
Then he confessed that he was in fact a necktie designer named Lee Allison, visiting from Chicago. Since I seemed to be in such a time crunch, he even offered to sell me the tie right off his neck after saying that heíd just put it on for the first time that morning. But I also needed a gift box, which of course he didnít have.
He then called his studio to see if he had another in stock Ė he did. Given my last-minute predicament, he offered to pay for overnight shipping to New York and gave me the name of his assistant, whom I could call directly to expedite the order. I was saved.
Back at my office, I visited his website, just to make sure he was for real. And sure enough he was not only legit, he had the most amazing ties with the funniest stories for each one. And there was my tie, PowerDot in navy. I called the company, bought it and got it the next day, packaged in a perfectly square cube-size box (no ubiquitous tie box to give it away). My husband loved it almost as much as the story that came with it.