Stories by Eliza Gray

  • The Straight Razor Business Has a Renaissance

    In Solingen, Germany—dubbed the "City of Blades"—artisans grind straight razors in a one-room workshop that has barely changed since their company, Dovo, was founded in 1906. For decades, business was slow as King Gillette's disposable blades swamped the market. But in 2005, the straight razor began "a renaissance," says Dovo's Anne Rothstein. The company now sells about 30,000 a year and has a nine-month waiting list. Eric Malka, CEO of the Art of Shaving, says overall business is down 15 percent since October—but straight-razor sales are up 2 percent. Why? A $100 blade lasts a lifetime, while a lifetime of disposables costs about $3,000. But that's always been true. What's new is the vogue for retro outdoorsman style among the hipster set. So if holding a freshly sharpened knife to your throat makes you nervous, it's time to man up.
  • Fast Chat: Bret Easton Ellis

    "The Informers," a new movie based on novelist Bret Easton Ellis's 1994 story collection, takes us back to the dawn of the '80s: Wayfarer sunglasses, neon blazers, Betamax. Ellis ("Less Than Zero") co-wrote the script, tracing multiple characters, including a philandering film producer (Billy Bob Thornton) and an ex-con (Mickey Rourke), through a tale of excess and moral decay. NEWSWEEK's Eliza Gray spoke with Ellis. ...
  • Fast Chat: Capitol Hill Watering Hole Owner

    The Hawk 'n' Dove is a Capitol Hill watering hole par excellence—a place for stodgy politicos and eager-beaver staffers to down shots and talk shop. It was twice featured on NBC's "The West Wing" and played host to President Obama's first Beltway fundraiser. Manager Paul Meagher has tended the bar since 1973, and he spoke with NEWSWEEK's Eliza Gray. ...