Friday, November 19, 2010

can i close out my tab? that'll be $460,000 ma'am

When Zoe asked me if I wanted to come along to watch people bid on some "really really old whisky" at Sotheby's, little did I know that we would witness a record-breaking auction. Last Monday, we went to Sotheby's where an open bar flowed and a crowd gathered around this treasure: a Lalique carafe, intricately crafted using the lost wax method, encasing 1.5 liters of the finest and rarest 64-year-old single malt whisky produced by Scottish distillery Macallan. We witnessed the exhilarating bidding that started at a humble $10,000 and initially involved members of the chi chi crowd gathered at Sotheby's on York and East 71st. But soon it became clear that the big players were not even in the room. As bids skyrocketed, it was as if we were in a tennis match. Heads swung from the left side to the right side of the room where Sotheby's staff members were burning the phone lines and transmitting bids from all over the world. It was quite a sight to see.

In the end, the lot went to an unidentified female bidder who bid $460,000 for the whisky and the carafe. I'm still stunned by the amount. I wonder if they'll ever even drink that whisky. Maybe every child who comes of age in her family moving forward gets a sip.

All of this was for a good cause (*cough* tax deduction *cough*), of course. charity: water is dedicated to providing clean water to communities in developing nations. They've managed to create a business model where the organization itself is funded through sponsorships so that 100% of donations go towards providing sources of clean water. I can only imagine what impact this event will have on the communities supported by charity: water.

At the very least, the evening had a great impact on Zoe and I. We had a great time! There was a river of cocktails generously infused with Macallan flowing from the bar. I really liked the Blood & Sand, which incorporated 10-year-old fine oak Macallan with cherry heering (a Danish cherry liquor), Carpano Antica (a red vermouth) and good ol' OJ.
The bartenders had a verrry heavy hand with the whisky in the Rob Roys. We gave up on those drinks two thirds of the way since our stomachs were only very slightly insulated from hors d'oeuvres and bite-size burgers.
We had a quick chat with the evenings DJs, AndrewAndrew, who had a pretty clever little schtick. Can you spot the DJs?
No you can't because they're not at the DJ booth! Where, pray tell, are they? Why spinning music on their iPads while milling about in the crowd, of course.
Clever sons-of-a-gun. Way to write off iPads as a business expense. PS: They are, in fact, both named Andrew. I presume they have other matching sports jackets, as well.

So in all, it was a good night. Thank you Zoe, for letting me tag along on yet another a phenomenal New York adventure!

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