The first 24 hours surrounding Tales of the Cocktail. is a hectic and joyous period. No matter when you arrive and begin your activities, that first day or so is always an intense, gleeful mixture of anticipation, participation, and disorganization. Here’s a few thoughts and observations from my initial 24:
~ I know it doesn’t rank very high on the list of existential dilemmas, but I always have trouble deciding whether my first drink during Tales of the Cocktail should be at the Carousel Bar or on the plane to New Orleans. (Yes, Tales officially begins when they board your section of the plane. Wasn’t that covered during orientation?)
~ Speaking of which, why does a can of Coke always taste better on a plane? I think it has something to do with altitude. And maybe that an attractive woman opens it for you. And maybe that mine had whiskey in it.
~ Not to beat the plane thing to death, but when did commercial airline flights become flying produce stands? The guy in the seat in front of me brought an entire bag of plums as a snack, and the woman two seats over had a banana and a sack of strawberries. I really had to fight the urge to muddle something.
~ After flying all day, stepping out of the airport shuttle in the middle of the French Quarter is a bit like landing on Mars…if Mars had a bar every 15 feet
~ Some hotels have a basket of fruit or a flower arrangement waiting in your room as welcoming gesture. Mine had a bottle of gin. I think I prefer that option.
~ Never, ever, underestimate the simple, restorative properties of a nice shower. With gin.
~ In most busy places, you can cause a riot by throwing fistfuls of cash into the crowd. In the Monteleone lobby you can achieve the same result with bottles of obscure bitters.
~ I was starting to get uncomfortable with the New Orleans heat, then I went to the Beefeater party and saw a ballerina dancing inside a plastic bubble. Remember: it can always be worse.
~ I’m not exactly sure how using goats and cows to promote your product works, but I predict that all the PR and marketing types will pounce on it, and we’ll be seeing a lot more livestock at future cocktail events.
~ I didn’t think it was possible to make an Airstream trailer any cooler-looking, but putting retro tattoo designs on it is a decent start.
~ Drinking in a big crowd can be fun. Drinking in a big crowd while wearing a whimsical sailor hat and surrounded by old tanks and fighter planes is bonus fun.
~ I know the local bars and restaurants make a ton of money during Tales, but whoever is selling mutton chop sideburns and tiny hats is making the real cash.
~ Did I mention the showers already?
~ Based on how crowded the Kahlua bar at the Monteleone is, I’m guessing next year we’ll be seeing a satellite event titled “Tales of the Coffee” where everybody gets jacked up all day and then has to spend the next morning drinking booze to get settled down.
~ While it’s probably not ergonomically correct, sitting on a nice, cool marble floor and leaning against a nice, cool marble wall is an ideal way to use a laptop computer. A nice, cool cocktail helps too.