On a trip to Manhattan for business, yes it sometimes gets in the way. I was staying at the Lombardy Hotel. It was a unique hotel, in that it was managed by a company, but the building was a condominium building converted into hotel suites. The rooms were owned by individuals and they allowed the management company to lease out the suites. As I understood it, the individuals furnished the suites with furniture, dishes, etc and the management company handled the daily maintenance. Since we were not cooking in the room, I found that I had to get fully dressed and go out the lobby to get a cup of coffee to start the day, but that may have been the only fault I had with the hotel, otherwise it was a wonderful stay.
I was attending a clothing show, and it was being held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel which was just a short walk from my hotel. Walking into the lobby of the Waldorf was heady, even if you had never been to Manhattan, you had been in the Waldorf’s lobby from seeing it in movies and television shows. To be there in person was to be in awe for a moment at the grandeur and history of the establishment. The different hotel rooms were converted into show rooms for the individual companies to display their wares and to write up orders for the following season. To be a buyer, mandated absolute intense study and to make notes, when one got back to the store to start writing orders.
After the day’s work at the show, it was now time to relax and enjoy a well earned dinner and some wine, knowing that the next day would be a repeat of this day, just with different vendors and a different venue. I went out in the evening with the principal of my company and some other merchants and a couple of vendors for an evening of great Italian food, not in an Italian neighborhood, but in midtown Manhattan. We all went to Il Tinello for some wonderful Northern Italian Cuisine. I had so much new knowledge crammed into my brain from looking at thirty some lines of apparel, which I can not remember exactly what I had for dinner, but I do recall that there was pure bliss and a very well fed feeling when I left.
I do remember that I was called upon to select the wine for everyone, as my employer informed everyone that I was a “wine maven.” I hate being put on the spot, to select wine, when someone else is paying, as well as trying to choose a wine that I think will be appreciated by the table. As I looked at the wine list, I zeroed into the Chianti Classico listings and tried to order a wine that was in the middle of the pack. I did not want to select a wine that was inexpensive and may prove to be a poor representative of the district, nor did I want the host to think that I was gouging him and his company for a major outlay of money. A “Gordian Knot” in the offing, was how I viewed my predicament. I selected Chianti Classico by Gabbiano, as much as I wanted to try the Riserva; the price differential was enough to deter that choice, as I appreciated the largesse of my host. I am glad to say that everyone enjoyed my selection, especially since we were all having beef or veal entrees. To this day, I still am concerned when I am asked to select wines for a group.