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So much cooler than air conditioners.... Look, summer in the city is about sitting out on stoops, and tank tops, and misty, pollen-drenched views through open windows. Reasonable people may disagree, but having lived in San Francisco for enough cold summers, I dig the heat and prefer to go natural in the home. It's also a bit more economical. I mean, air conditioners are right for some, but I'm a fan man. If you want to make it difficult, the right way to buy a fan is to go to the Chelsea flea market on Saturday and pick up a vintage General Electric model with a fuzzy cord and no saftey cage. OR, you can simply log on to or walk over to Restoration Hardware (935 Bway at 22nd) and pick up one of their Allaire models. The twelve incher sells for $79 and the 16" for $129. Those are not steals, but the fans are metal and well made, and they are are good looking in just the right old school, Sam Spade sort of way -- and they're powerful. I had hoped Restoration would have figured out how to make them silent -- not the case -- but they're no louder than any other fan. And, really, the noise is part of the charm. OHR

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