It’s Always a Good Time for an Oyster Roast

The near lifelong friends Alexa Brazilian, Aaron Dickson Millhiser and Courtney Broadwater met in the late 1980s as children on Nantucket in Massachusetts, where their families would spend time each summer. They’d ride their bikes together and pass the days at Siasconset Beach, at the far eastern end of the island. In the years since, each has followed her own creative path: Brazilian, 43, is a writer, consultant and T contributing editor based in Little Compton, R.I.; Dickson Millhiser, 43, is a creative consultant, and a former head of men’s and children’s wear design at J. Crew, who lives in Manhattan; and Broadwater, 43, is an illustrator and artist based in Brooklyn. But the friends still keep in touch daily, often via a group text filled, alongside the usual news and jokes, with recommendations for things — from the best hot water bottle to an easy margarita recipe — that they love too much to keep to themselves.

From left: Broadwater, Dickson Millhiser and Brazilian walked along nearby Lloyd’s Beach at sunrise to gather rockweed for the table.Credit…Séan Alonzo Harris

Over the years, the trio talked occasionally about sharing these finds with a larger audience and, last summer, “we all had a window of opportunity where we were finally able to focus our energies and actually do it,” says Brazilian. The result is The Perfect, a monthly newsletter of items that range from the newly discovered to the generations old. Since the project’s debut last August, tips have included nostalgic patterned socks from the French hosiery brand Bonne Maison; buttery anchovy-and-scallion biscuits from the Brooklyn bakery The Rounds; and a shark-shaped brass comb by the Brooklyn-based company Siren Song that evokes the scrimshaw versions carved by 18th-century whalers. There’s also an emphasis, says Broadwater, on “stuff we loved when we were younger, in our teens and 20s.” After the friends reminisced one day about a cap with a long waterproof bill that their parents wore in the ’80s, Dickson Millhiser tracked down the original, from the heritage brand Quaker Marine Supply, and it earned a spot in the September edition.

Lobsters roasting on a grill designed by the Argentine chef Francis Mallmann.Credit…Séan Alonzo Harris

The Perfect also has an online shop, offering small batches of vintage items, like worn-in tote bags and denim shirts, embroidered with the newsletter’s name. The pieces were available at a pop-up shop that Brazilian, Dickson Millhiser and Broadwater opened in Newport, R.I., last summer, and the friends plan to host more events. “We’ve known each other through all sorts of chapters of our lives. But professionally, we’ve never really worked together before,” says Dickson Millhiser. “It’s exciting to learn about your friends in a way you didn’t think you could.”

From left: Ross Millhiser, Ian Broadwater, Brazilian, Broadwater, Kate Marshall and Dickson-Millhiser drinking celery margaritas and oyster-infused Bloody Marys beside the fire pit.Credit…Séan Alonzo Harris
Back to top button