It was the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer who was the first to record St. Valentine's Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem "Parliament of Foules". In 1415, Charles - Duke of Orleans wrote the oldest known valentine still in existence today, a poem to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. But it's that mischievous, chubby cherub with the golden arrows that plays with our mortal emotions - inciting love and chaos. We added a bit of cocktail chaos mixed with some red-hot raciness & Matt Haugen of Haugen Racing. We caught up with him before his trip to Japan to compete in the Formula D Japan Ebisu Circuit - The Home Of Drifting. Roses may be red, ITALICUS ROSOLIO DI BERGAMOTTO is blue, this is a dreamy, drifty, punch-drunk Valentine's issue for you...
SCENE + SEEN
speakeasy in Hollywood
Hollywood's private membership speakeasy, Botanical Oasis Botanique is a Victorian-style sanctuary with natural botanical surroundings serving Artisan signature cocktails and locally sourced organic infusions with seasonal eclectic small bites and modern tapas. International DJ performances DISCOTIQUE & live music showcases.
ROSOLIO - THE DRINK OF KINGS
"ITALICUS ROSOLIO DI BERGAMOTTO TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY FROM NORTH TO SOUTH ITALY ENCAPSULATING THE INGREDIENTS, ART & CREATIVITY OF THIS WONDERFUL COUNTRY IN LIQUID FORM, REINTERPRETING THE ALMOST FORGOTTEN CATEGORY OF ROSOLIO, KNOWN UNDER THE KING OF SAVOIA THROUGH THE 18TH CENTURY AS 'APERITIVO DI CORTE'..."
CITIES REIMAGINED / ART OF ITALICUS 2021
Hemp-Infused Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Aplós was designed to replicate the ritual of drinking a spirit. Debut flavor is citrus-led, bold and nuanced, with notes of ginger and rosemary. 20 mg of broad-spectrum hemp per serving, it offers a calming & uplifting effect without the negative effects of alcohol.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RITZ PARIS
The RITZ PARIS has a new showpiece cocktail lounge centered around a circular bar crowned with a beautifully etched brass lantern fresco of the zodiac. Every evening at 5:30 there's an alluring light show where guests can experience the Star Ritual - ceiling projections of the constellations accompanied to DJ mixes by Polo & Pan. The magic of this night sky is an homage to César Ritz who founded the 5-star hotel in the late 1800s - reinterpreting the spirit of the Belle Epoque when zodiac signs were all the craze - as seen again today!
Matt Haugen is a Professional Drift Racer, Show Car Builder and USC alum. Matt has been into cars since the day he was born. He loved playing with cars and had an extensive Hot Wheels collection that he would line up around his room & windowsills. Matt helped his father work on his 32' Ford with a 502 big block Chevy. Together they would attend car shows in all categories, from hot rods and muscle cars to exotic vehicles. At age 16, Matt acquired his first car which was a 2008 Toyota Tundra. That car made it in SEMA as the debut show car for his career. Since then, he has had over 7 vehicles in the SEMA show from his 1 of 1 Liberty Walk Lamborghini Murcielago to his 1JZ swapped Rocket Bunny 350z, called the 351JZ. Matt fell in love with drifting after trying road racing and time attack & attending racing school and has been pursuing drifting professionally since 2016.
Once considered a niche sport, drifting (or the controlled skid) is the hottest and fastest-growing motorsport in the world right now due to the exhilarating and mesmerizing display of style & control.
Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. These drivers are experts at intentionally steering too much, causing the car's rear tires, or sometimes all the tires, to lose their grip on the road, which is, of course, highly risky. Haugen Racing has partnered with Buy Now Japan, Japanese parts and cars importer/exporter. They will be one of his main sponsors for Formula Drift Japan 2022, where Matt will be competing at the Ebisu circuit "The Home Of Drifting".
In addition to racing Matt also designs a line of Japanese and car culture-inspired streetwear, stickers, and accessories under the Haugen Racing brand. Since grad school and making it to the Formula Drift in the United States, Matt has been focused on the merchandise side of the business. Currently, Haugen Racing releases apparel and stickers bi-monthly to keep the designs fresh. The apparel line has an obvious Japanese vibe to the artwork, with bright '90s colors. Matt’s interest in SEMA and showcasing cars inspired his interest in playing with color to create combinations never seen before in the trade association event, which ultimately translated into his apparel. He loves focusing on primary colors and weaving his favorite palette into everything he does, from accent parts on a vehicle to the details on his apparel. Matt continues to have an active role in the designs of his products but also loves to collaborate with other designers to see how far they can go.
Matt has over 97.9k Instagram followers, 125K YouTube subscribers, and 104.3K TikTok followers at the time of this writing - actively becoming one of the biggest content creators within the growing Drift scene.
Subscribe to Matt's YouTube channel:
Q&A with Matt
If you were to describe yourself as a car which car, would you be?
- Multicolor yellow Lamborghini with red wheels and blue flames.
What's your all-time favorite song to drift to?
- I really don't listen to music when I'm drifting but the ultimate drift song would be Tokyo Drift by Teriyaki Boyz (video here)
Have you been to Japan before?
- Yeah, I have traveled there for drifting a couple years after I got into it. I haven't gone to too many tracks yet. I'm really excited to try a bunch of other ones. Japan is one of the most special places in the world, especially for drifting circuit which is in Nihonmatsu - the Fukushima region, it's a four-hour car ride north of Tokyo. And the Ebisu Circuit known as drift heaven. For a long time, this was the only purposely built drifting racetrack. Because drifting is fairly new, generally it was just using sections or preexisting racetracks. But this is an entire compound of six tracks that were all built for drifting.
With your design background, do you have a favorite designer?
- It would be Virgil Abloh - he was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection who was given more creative freedom across the brand... That was pretty special because it was the first time that high fashion and streetwear kind of respected each other and actually made products together - pretty insane and historic.
So where do you like to hang out when you are in Scottsdale (Arizona)- What are some of your favorite places?
- Usually the maximum fitness gym, or my gym. I like going to Old Town. I don't go that often anymore. I love to go to breakfast at JJ's Deli! I try to go once a week with my dad and my dog. Those guys are awesome. I love the skillet breakfast - eggs, potatoes, meat and vegetables all mixed up with a bagel on the side and a vanilla iced coffee.
Tell us about your dog?
- His name is Gaijin; he is a Japanese Chin. Gaijin means outsider or foreigner in Japanese. And I thought it was fitting because I've never really felt like I've belonged in any group, kind of being like a lone wolf type. When I got him, he was this little Japanese dog in the United States - like an outsider and I also feel like an outsider. So, I was like, your name is going to be Gaijin and we'll just be our own little group.
Can you tell us more about your inspiration from Japanese culture?
- I fell in love the first time I visited there. And of course, drifting being originally a Japanese Sport, that's where it was invented. Setting the automotive stuff aside - when I went to Japan the first time, I just walked around Tokyo by myself for two days. You can't really do that in too many cities, because it's kind of unsafe. I went to the fish market using my phone to get directions and then I turned my phone to airplane mode, and I just walked from 6am to 10 at night. I just loved everything - the little shrines, the food - I loved the people. I'm learning to speak Japanese right now - taking four classes a week so I can be conversational when I go compete over there and be able to talk with everybody. The more I get into it, the more I love it - as weird as it sounds I just feel comfortable, and I don't feel as much of an outsider.
Thanks so much Matt!
Cloudy Day - Tones And I
Les Hasards Heureux de L'escarpolette
oil painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard
THROWBACK 1767 - "The Swing"
This painting was considered to be one of the raciest back in its day. A woman swings over head of her paramour, playfully tossing him her shoe as an older gentleman (scholars say is her husband) pulls on the strings that propel her - all the while cupid casts his gaze amused by the spectacle... This painting is currently on display at The Wallace Collection in London.
Please share with the loves of your life
Savoring in the sunshine
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