Walking on Hot Cole… Haan

By Michelina Docimo

Nolan Calisch - Farmer

I’m still on my way to Manhattan, reading through a page of The Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency, when I look up as the train stops at a Westchester station.  Usually, I just examine the commuters getting on and off, what they are wearing, and wonder where they are going.  This time my eyes fell on a billboard for Cole Haan.  I looked, then looked away, and looked again.  I had been reading the Dalai Lama’s poem, The Sheltering Tree of Interdependence, when my eyes gazed off the page and fell onto another image of a tree.  The Cole Haan advertisement was of one tree, massive, that divided in two, and in the center, a man (holy hotness) dressed in casual urban style.  My gaze traveled lower to his shoes (Hank Lace Boots), and then I noticed in the lower left corner, in a cream font, purposefully placed something private… his name, Nolan Calisch, and then, Farmer.   I wrote his name down – there was a story behind the image, even though the ad had no other words.

Lorenzo Ghiberti's Porta di Paradiso, Florence, Italy. Photo credit:

Strolling on 5th Avenue, I come to Cole Haan at the corner of Rockefeller, in the British Empire Building.  I lean into the windows looking for more clues on Nolan… he’s not there, but I notice similar print ads of other seemingly beautiful ordinary, extraordinary people.  I think about going in and as I head for the handle I look up at the door.  The black and gold remind me of the Gates of Paradise on Il Duomo’s Baptistry in Florence.  Each panel is a story.  Built during the Great Depression (providing jobs for thousands of laborers), the art deco figures on the British Empire building are dressed in occupational costumes of Britain’s nine main industries, commodity allegories of: Fish, Salt, Coal, Sugar, Cotton, Tobacco, Wool, and Wheat.  The central figure of a sailor with an anchor is unlabelled.  Why is the central figure not named?  Afterall, Nolan was named.

British Empire Building Door, Rockefeller Center, NYC. Photo

Nolan is part of Cole Haan’s The Inspired Life campaign: “Lived by individuals who are driven by passion, vision, and curiosity.  They make their mark on the world with creativity, imagination, and style.”  With friends, Nolan started the Wealth Underground Farm – a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in Portland.  They are committed to sustainable and organic practices that strengthen the local food system.  Read about his passion here: and here

What is your walk?

Cole Haan's Inspired Life Ad Campaign

Photo Credits:

For more information on and the benefits of Community Supported Agriculture, read this:


5 Comments to “Walking on Hot Cole… Haan”

  1. Cole Haan says:

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  3. The doors are the kind of utilitarian, commonplace thing which I use, without noticing. I appreciate your description of them. Who knows what you’ve prompted me to notice now myself? Thanks.

  4. Otelia says:

    You’re about ten steps ahead of the game, because you already love your hobby.

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