INDULGING IN HIGHLY SPECIFIC HOBBIES NOT typically SUITED TO CITY LIFE

Unless you are a high net worth individual, as industry parlance goes, making the choice to live in a city means you accept some sacrifices in your life. For most people that means giving up square footage - wave goodbye to that workout room in the basement or personal home theatre - and accepting the noise and crowds woven in to the fabric of urban dwelling. It also means letting go of patio cookouts, since barely-contained fires and wooden porches built in the 1950's don't go well together (though it's shocking how many cities simply look the other way on this one), and losing the comfortable, suburban blanket of easy parking.

On the other hand, living in a city means access to more restaurants, bars, shops and cultural explorations than one could possibly take advantage of, and a life influenced by socioeconomic diversity not usually found in cul-de-sacs or cookie-cutter housing developments. Public parks make up in spades what you might lose in owned foliage, and there's something about seeing an entire city populace outside en masse during the first or last warm days of the year that communicates a higher purpose than an afternoon spent in a private backyard pool.

If you're looking for an, "O'Doyle rules! F--- the suburbs!" take though, you'll have to keep waiting. While certain people's proclivities may mean an upturned nose at a driving fifteen minutes just to buy milk, the one thing suburbs inarguably afford their residents is the space to pursue eccentric, niche passion hobbies. Building single-capacity backyard roller coasters, setting up sprawling basement-wide model train sets, or mountain biking through fields and forest preserves are relegated to vacation time activities only when you live on the fifth floor of a six story walkup.

One hobby that has surprisingly not vanished from city life, despite all signs pointing towards obsolescence? Keeping bees. If you walk around long enough - and you know what you're looking for - there's no doubt that you will spot an apiarist or two honing their craft amongst the city's squirrels, rats and pigeons. And if you're wearing this Square Tail Beekeeper's Cloth shirt from Tender Co., don't fault the general public for lumping you in with the larger honey-com(b)munity.

If you do have one of these metropolitan insect farmers in your area, you likely recall with great clarity the first time you realized what your neighbor did for fun. As you walked your Golden Retriever through the neighborhood, you thought to yourself, 

"I wonder if there is a power line or breaker out because that's a really weird buzzing to b-

Holy shit , what are those hornets? Wasps? Bees? What's the difference? Bees are the furry ones I think.

Well that's definitely a lot of bees, I better get out of here!

Huh, they're staying over by that strange wooden obelisk thing and not coming towards me -  

Oh, wait, is that weird guy who only wears half marathon t shirts from the 90's a hobbyist beekeeper?"

Outside of the obvious first requirement - adequate space to erect a bee house - being an urban beekeeper also means you have to fall in to one of two personality camps: so weird that people probably weren't going to talk to you anyways, or friendly and approachable enough that strangers will call out to you on your patio, while you're in full mask and gloves, to ask you if you've got any honey to spare. If a local apiarist chats you up while wearing your Tender Co. shirt, stay cool; the probability is low that they carry bees in their pockets, and more likely than not they're just lonely for some bipedal company. 

Bets on the outcome of your conversation? Best case scenario: you find a new plug for local honey. Worst case scenario: you find a new plug for vintage 90's half marathon t shirts.

 

Price:  $220

Brand:  Tender Co.

Store:  The Hill-Side

Why:  If you are one of the, admittedly small, group whose interests in both menswear and bee keeping intersect, you certainly don't need to be convinced as to why this Tender Co. shirt makes sense in your wardrobe. For the rest of you who prefer that the closest you come to a bee is putting honey in your tea, this shirt elevates itself in the details, like a slightly oversized fit (even the chest pocket is larger than normal) that will drape well on any body type, and a box cut on both the rear and front hems that differentiates itself from rounded hem, buttondown masses. Off-white is less formal than white, so it can be worn casually alone or underneath a sweater or jacket, plus the honeycomb pattern fabric makes for a convincing "About Me" anecdote if you find yourself bored at a party and feel compelled to lie to other unsuspecting attendees about your weekend hobbies.