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Queens Chronicle

Father’s Day gift and travel guide

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Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:34 pm | Updated: 12:39 pm, Tue Jun 12, 2012.

It is impossible to properly thank the man who most shaped your life, but Father’s Day is one time to show your appreciation. Here are some gift ideas for all budgets.

Getting dad a tie for the big day is a hoary cliche but there are plenty of other clothing ideas that are far more creative. Lands End and Old Navy have plenty of summer pants, jackets and shirts that take their inspiration from when JFK and his family would spend summers at Hyannis Port. Tommy Bahama, with its line of wild Hawaiian shirts, and Sub 70 with its colorful golf shirts and pants, are other fun summer clothing options.

If dad likes preppy footwear pick up a pair of Sebago docksiders. Neat Feat Zori and Vineyard Vines both make flip-flops with arch support that dad will enjoy wearing at the beach or by the pool.

If pop is a Beau Brummel, or you simply wish that he would dress a bit more stylishly, you can’t go wrong with shirts and sport jackets from Armani Exchange or American Eagle Outfitters. Sure we are heading into summer but fall and winter are inevitably going to come. Columbia Sportswear, and Eddie Bauer, and LL Bean all have winter jackets and coats that keep you warm without the bulk and so do a pair of newcomers to the market, Salence and Bouclier. Auri Footwear and the Fitzwell line from Zappos.com offer stylish dress shoes that are surprisingly comfortable to wear.

There is a cowboy lurking in nearly every guy. Stetson makes great belts, boots, and western hats like the kind Clint Eastwood wore in all of those 1960s spaghetti westerns.

Every man wants to feel a bit like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner at times. Luxor Linens (luxorlinens.com) makes plush Egyptian cotton robes that will make anyone feel like Hef, whose passion for robes and pajamas is legendary.

Exercise is a key to both longevity and feeling younger than your age. Nike and New Balance both have running shoes in all styles and prices but if you’re willing to go off the beaten path, check out the shoes from Spira Footwear that have metal springs in the heels to reduce shock when striking the ground, while Ahnu also makes a lightweight athletic shoe.

You don’t have to be Lance Armstrong to appreciate bike riding along the Long Beach and Rockaways boardwalks or through Flushing Meadows Park. Cannondale, Schwinn, Raleigh, and Paul Frank all make bikes for riders ranging from beginners to serious enthusiasts.

Sunglasses provide invaluable protection from harmful ultraviolet rays and they have become an in-demand fashion accessory as well. Carrera is still deservedly the king of aviators while Oakley is the emperor of pricey wraparounds. Newer optical companies that are gaining market share by making quality sunglasses at moderate price points are Zeal Optics and ICU Eyewear.

Watches are the most popular form of jewelry for guys. If you are a member of the One Percent (to use Occupy Wall Street lingo) then by all means select a Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega or Longines. The good news is that Timex, Fossil and Long Island City-based Armitron all make watches that look fancy, keep time accurately, and are very moderately priced.

Not too long ago, men would never admit to being concerned with skin care, smelling good or even the remotest notion of being pampered. Thankfully times have changed. Shiseido, which just celebrated its 140th anniversary, makes a moisturizer that prevents both wrinkles and dry itchy skin. The Body Shop’s Maca line has face scrubs, body washes, and shaving cream at very affordable prices.

If your father is a Yankees fan, picking a cologne is fairly easy. Cloudbreak’s NY Yankees fragrance is sold at the Stadium as well as at Macy’s and Lord & Taylor. Bronx Bombers centerfielder Curtis Granderson is a spokesman for Cloudbreak and he has made appearances at both stores. Not to be outdone, Avon still produces Derek Jeter’s Driven lines of cologne and skin care items.

The Mets have not entered the fragrance market yet but die-hard fans of the Amazins’ may want to support longtime season ticketholder and die-hard fan Mark Crames, whose company, Demeter Fragrances, makes such humorous-scented colognes as bubble gum, apple pie, clean windows, chocolate chip cookie, creme brulee, and yes, dirt.

Muscles inevitably get tense and the resulting knots can be painful. Dad will be appreciative if you purchase a massage session. The Oasis Day Spa, Spa Martier, Red Door Spa, Spa Merge and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Spa all offer a wide array of massages and other spa treatments. If you want to know the best spa deals at a given moment, log onto  spaweekmedia.com.

Many men are sensitive on the topic of hair loss. If your father is not uptight about trying products that purport to stimulate follicle growth here are some suggestions aside from Monoxidil. Grande HAIR is a spray that you apply on your scalp after showering that makes one’s follicles appear thicker. Lexington International’s HairMax LaserComb claims that it will stimulate new hair growth from dormant follicles. Lexington says that it has the approval of the Food & Drug Administration to make that statement.

Cigars and spirits go together for special occasions. Even Mayor Bloomberg, who is arguably the biggest health advocate in the history of elected officials, agrees that there is no harm in moderate enjoyment of most things. Camacho and Macanudo have long been popular brands with cigar aficionados. When it comes to premium liquor you can’t go wrong with such top-shelf icons as Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, Macallan scotch and Beluga vodka, which is making inroads against well-regarded rivals Stolichnaya and Grey Goose.

Red wine reportedly possesses cardiac benefits and there is no shortage of quality reds at all price points. There are many fans of pinot noir from the Pacific Northwest, and Oregon’s Benton-Lane Pinot Noir has long been a  favorite. It can be purchased for under $25. Cameron Hughes Meritage is a good reasonably priced Napa Valley red. Believe it or not, Virginia is becoming the Napa and Sonoma valleys of the east, as evidenced by the full-bodied and mild Kluge Estate New World red wine from the commonwealth. If dad is a connoisseur and is partial to Italian wine, pick up either Luce or Lucente, red blends from the Luce della Vite estate just outside Florence.

Granted, this is the computer age, and there is even a TV commercial that pokes fun at someone using a pen and pad at an office meeting, but there is still something special about a fine writing instrument. Parker Pen has long been the leader of the field and the company continues to prove that calligraphy isn’t dead.

Everyone needs a change of scenery from time to time, so why not dad? If he likes to golf, then he will enjoy a long weekend in Bermuda. If fishing is pop’s passion then he’ll love a weekend in Maine. While in Freeport, Maine he can hit the LL Bean Outlet Store for his fishing and clothing needs. Long Island City-based JetBlue serves both Hamilton, Bermuda and Portland, Maine.

Since casinos are now located in many municipalities, including right here in South Ozone Park, out-of-town casinos are offering great deals to get your business. The Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. offers some of New England’s best dining and there is name entertainment nearly every weekend. The WNBA’s Connecticut Sun play their home games there.

Atlantic City has been facing stiff casino competition from Philadelphia, a mere 50 miles away from its famed boardwalk. Jershey’s gambling mecca is answering back with a huge “Do AC” ad campaign, and nearly all its hotels are offering deals, even during the high summer season. The Taj Mahal, located at the north end of the boardwalk, has great restaurants, spas, and nightlife. Even the chic Borgata is feeling some heat from the new kid on the boardwalk, Revel, and is offering great packages. The Borgata generally gets the best in name entertainment of all the AC hotels.

If you’re a Mets fan, there’s a very high probability that your father helped shape your baseball allegiance. San Diego is a great place to escape the August heat and humidity of New York, and the Mets will be at beautiful Petco Park, located in the city’s downtown, from Aug. 3 through 5. You can’t go wrong staying at the La Jolla Hyatt Regency or the historic Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla Village one block from the Pacific. JetBlue has two daily flights to San Diego.

Of course you can’t enjoy a vacation unless you have decent luggage. Lands End’s Flight Time is perfect for long trips, as are the Expandable Uprights and Spinners from Briggs & Riley (the first company to put wheels on a suitcase back in 1970).   

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