Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Art on the walls and on the table

This evening in our never-endingly interesting city found me traveling across town to Roxas Boulevard to attend the celebration party of our partners, the Business Mirror, in the penthouse of the new Midas Hotel. Business Mirror was named Newspaper of the Year by a very distinguished panel and this is the second time in five years that they are receiving this very prestigious award. We at Travelife Magazine are very happy for them, and we're very pleased to be associated with such a good publication.


We were also in very good company tonight. It was a pretty intimate party, but when I looked around the room, I saw so many big names and CEOs of major corporations. Like us, they were all there to help Business Mirror celebrate, and most of them stayed for much of the party.

It was my first visit to the Midas Hotel (which used to be the Hyatt Regency). Upon entering, I was struck by the designer boutique-feel of the lobby and its very clean lines. The decor that stood out, however, were walls of orange boxes on both sides of the lobby.

"Wow, those look like Hermes boxes," I said. They were almost exactly in that same shade of orange. I thought nothing else of it, however, until I reached the elevator where -- true enough -- a display of Birkins and their Hermes orange boxes were displayed in a row.

I'd budgeted exactly until 720 PM to stay at the cocktail party as I had a 745 dinner back in Makati. But obviously, when you try to cram too many things in one evening, schedules never stay on plan. There were just too many interesting people to talk to, and when I looked at my watch, it was close to 8 pm.


Fortunately, my art collector friend who'd invited to dinner was pretty understanding -- especially as I finally walked into The Goose Station at Fort close to 9 PM. We'd actually planned on a Japanese dinner at Kobikicho in Legazpi Village, and it was supposed to be yesterday. But I had to switch dinners around and so our next plan was to have dinner tonight at Sala. But over a series of texts to coordinate logistics today, we changed restaurants a couple more times. We'd already decided on Opus when I got a text from him at the Business Mirror cocktail party: "Do you mind if we make it Goose Station instead?"

I like Opus a lot, but Goose Station was good too, so we decided to have the 24-hour steak at Goose Station. Fortunately, he'd ordered ahead so that when I finally sat down at the table, my dinner literally got served to me within a minute.

Over our excellent steak, we talked of course about art. This is the same friend who'd convinced me to trade with him for a very large red painting that is now hanging in my dining room wall. He's constantly buying art -- I reckon he picks up a piece every week, although he (modestly) says it's more like once a month -- and his collection is now so big that much of it is in storage until he builds a larger house.

Tonight, we made plans to attend a local art event together in October. It's fun going to art events with like-minded people, after all.

"I can't believe we're having dinner in June and planning to attend something in Manila in October," I said. "That's over three months away." He replied: "It's your schedule that's the problem."

It's true. I'd just arrived yesterday from close to three weeks in Europe and I'm leaving again for Dubai over the weekend. And every single night is busy for the next few weeks, and every single month for the rest of the year is going to be like this, if not worse.


"What's your August like?" He asked, to prove his point on the impossibility of my schedule. I looked at my Blackberry. I was traveling so much that I couldn't even remember what was coming up on what month, without looking at my phone. Then I replied: "Actually, it's a relatively light month. No long distance trips. I just have Japan and Malaysia, as of now. But September and October are killers. I'm going back to Europe in September, and I have Taiwan as well. Then in October, it's Indonesia and Turkey -- and maybe Nepal."

Just then a little goodbye gift arrived from the chef in the form of a truly scrumptious macaron fashioned to look like a hamburger sandwich. We took one each and popped it into our mouths in one go. It was so good.

"Now that's what I call art," I said. Just another Tuesday night in our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.



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