Along for the ride:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Death by Chocolatini!

I could say that I have travelled to New York for showings of my husband's Art, or I could say that I have driven around Manhattan in a U-Haul truck in the snow; delivering paintings. Both would be equally true.
Every couple of years we book a booth at the Javitts Convention Center and head off to ArtExpo International as exhibitors. Initially under the auspices of another Gallery but more recently under our own steam.
The logistics are stressful; paintings have to be crated and shipped from California. Transporters won't take them too soon as they don't want to store them. There is always someone with the horror story of an empty booth and missing Art. Press releases, invitations and brochures get designed, written, proofed and printed. If they don't get done on time you find yourself bringing heavy boxes on the plane; not to mention fitting one last canvas in your suitcase; with a prayer that it won't be mangled.
Lining up to get exhibitor passes. Everyone fresh in from an airport dragging a wheelie suitcase. Relief that the crate is in the right place at the right time; hours of unpacking, hanging, lighting paintings. Hugs and hello's to co-exhibitors from prior years. Excitement and concern; tomorrow is opening day. Will people come? Will they like what we have to show?
The days are long; the smiles bright; I wear "put-together" clothes with heels and even make-up. I am the sales staff. I travel with my trusty wireless credit card machine.
The show lasts 4-5 days with a day each end for hanging and then repacking art. We are in New York for a week; too tired to go far from our Hotel; making friends with the barman or woman. I have never visited the Statue of Liberty but I have plunged into the depths of the Chocolatini!
One evening we grabbed a drink in the Hotel bar. We were lucky to get a table in a standing-room only crowd. Cuba Libre; a great drink for February in New York. Sweet bubbly coke; spicy rum and the tang of green lime. We relaxed and decided to stay and order food where we were. A Cointreau on the rocks to round out the evening. Damn! They have no desserts. Oh, well sure; let's have an Irish Coffee. 
That was the cusp of a great evening; the moment beyond which it was fool-hardy to linger. We were going to call it a night as soon as we were done with coffee. 
Another couple was obviously looking for seats in the still crowded bar. We offered to share our table as we would be leaving soon. They offered to buy us a drink...
I asked the barman's advice on what I could have to satisfy my craving for sweetness and so I was introduced with little planning and less malice to my undoing: Chocolatini!
The best thing about 2009 is that we are not going to New York this year. They will hopefully have had time to "Forget-About-It/Me" before we show up again next year.


  1. Secrets, secrets, secrets...revealed.

    I am so happy to hear that you are not schlepping Art to NYC this year. It was probably just your English third that slipped over, or under, the line!

  2. Ah, and I avoid NYC whenever possible. It's probably less than an hour's drive from here but I only go when absolutely necessary.

    Never hung out in a NY bar either. Gee, see what I've been missing?

  3. Hi Claire, Thanks for asking. A Chocolatini is a big mistake on top of the other mixed drinks I imbibed that evening. Thank heaven for Alka Seltzer.
    Seriously, it is a cocktail of Vodka, Baileys Irish Cream and a Chocolate liqueur as well. Served in one of those triangular martini glasses.
    When we first came to the US from Europe we would order a Martini thinking we would be getting Martini Rossi, but no. To get that aperitif you have to ask for a sweet vermouth, so we ended up more than a few times with vodka/dry vermouth or vodka/gin with the inevitable olive in it.
    This all makes me sound like a serious drinker but in yesteryear I had a horse named "Britvic" because all I used to drink was Britvic orange juice. A French husband can be a bad influence, non?

  4. sounds a bit sickly....although i do like vodka, and baileys....but with chocolate?

    at least you didn't have far to stumble afterwards LOL - i'd have been flat on the floor, i expect!

  5. and a horse called britvic has to have been chestnut with white socks?

  6. A Bright Chestnut!
    And yes, choctini is sickly which, I now remember, led me to order a gin and tonic chaser. Ugh!
    It wasn't so much a problem walking, it was how ill I felt that night and next morning (remember I was working a trade show)and how impressed the barman was to see me the next time. There are other ways to be memorable.
    One good conversation starter at parties is to ask someone which drink they would never order again, and then ask why. Usually interesting stories follow.

  7. ha, ha even with an Engleesh husband it's hard not to pickle your liver here, that's France for you.