Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sail Me to Wales and Bring Cheeks

To-Do List/ Friday:

1. Pre-artwalk party at Emrick Flats
I'd been eager to see the inside of these condos since they'd opened and I finally got the chance when music friends invited me to a party in their sensationally art-decorated home. I met J-Ward neighbors, music lovers and three people who recognized me although I couldn't reciprocate. Coolest elements of the building: the old elevator that would move the cars from floor to floor when it was a showroom and the rooftop deck, perfect for watching fireworks from both the Diamond and RIR. The view is stunning; who knew how many rooftop gardens there were in Jackson Ward? My friends have even slept up there. I aspire to sleep on a roof with someone I love.

2. Gallery 5 opening
Upon walking in, a G5 stalwart comes up with a guy in tow and introduces me saying, "And here's a woman who looks as good from the back as she does from the front." The stranger introduces himself as a solo transAtlantic sailor ("I did it twice. Both ways!"). He also tells me he was the first white guy in Carver and my friend informs me that he's an incredibly talented furniture maker. "Wanna come over now and see my etchings and I'll make you dinner?" he asks. I am tickled to hear that chestnut of a line. When I politely decline he tells me that I'm missing the chance of a lifetime. Damn! Again?

3. Metro Gallery and ADA Gallery openings
The group show at Metro contains a drawing with my favorite title of the evening: "When We Get There, I Will Love You More" by Carly Troncale. Over at ADA, Kate Woodliffe's fabric collages convey a sense of unsewn whimsy in cloth, but I realize her hands must have become gnarled and cramped from so much precise cutting. I see various guests from the party earlier, receive a compliment on my bangs and get invited to a house show in Monroe Ward. I chalk it up to Tinkerbelle hovering over me from a collage above.

4. Reynolds Gallery  opening (late addition)
One of the paintings in my friends' apartment at the Emrick Flats had been by a student of artist Heide Trepanier, and after admiring the follower, I couldn't resist going to see the teacher's opening. As is always the case at Reynolds, local art luminaries were in attendance (Richard Roth, Joe Seipel) and and the place was crowded with artsy types having earnest conversations. Trepanier's large-scale works were fluid, detailed and defined by color. A woman says to me, "Who would have thought those colors go together?' about a piece with pinkish red, aqua blue and pine green shapes. Heide Trepanier, that's who.

5. Dinner
Restaurants on Broad Street and Main Street were out because of their respective artwalks, so I drove down to the Slip to Bistro Bobette. When I'd seen Chef Francis yesterday, he'd told me that pork cheeks were in the house, but wouldn't last long (fallling off the fork-tender, served cassoulet-style with carrots, potatoes, celery, pearl onions no doubt had something to do with that); I ordered almost as soon as I sat down. Bartender Olivier immediately introduced me to a Welsh-born chap who moved to RVA from L.A. yesterday. Full of presumptions, I asked him if he wanted company. He did. Cotes de Ventoux Les Blaques, a rhubarb/vanilla rum cocktail and blood orange wine came next.  If I am to be believed, scintillating conversation, extensive laughter and loads of innuendo also followed. His version would be, "They had a chat and he buggered off," but not before acknowledging that men give women their power (thus proving that he has a clue). Note: he did not bugger off; I left him sitting at the bar with lipstick kisses on both cheeks, European-style. He'd already stated how much he wanted that. Welcome to Richmond.

To-do list done.


  1. you are much cooler than I am. It's official.

  2. I was leaving Chop Suey yesterday and as I passed a girl earnestly telling a guy, "And because I am the coolest person on earth..." I interrupted, "Wait, you mean I'm not?"

    And she dismissed me with a wave of her hand. "You are the SECOND coolest," she informed me.

    Cool is in the eye of the beholder.