Category Archives: Travel

This Weekend- Athens, Copenhagen, and Halifax- on the International #TattooConvention Circuit #BoozyLife

Spring has officially sprung, and the international tattoo convention circuit has kicked off with a vengeance. Yes, that IS a thing for those of you not in the tattoo industry. Business conferences often take place in some exotic, lovely locations in order for the conference go-ers to enjoy some travel as well as work–why would the tattoo industry be any different? Serious professional tattoo artists (as well as many tattoo collectors) travel the world to expand their collections, as well as practice their craft on an international level. According to worldtattooevents.com convention calendar, there are at least sixteen major tattoo shows around the world this weekend of May 15th! This weekend alone, there are tattoo conventions in Texas and Nevada in the United States, in Copenhagen and Athens (and even Croatia!!) in Europe, as well as the Maritime Tattoo Convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lots of new upcoming spots to try locally sourced wines and spirits for this Boozy Wife!

With all of this opportunity to travel, it’s fun that my love of adult beverages and body art seem to be working hand in hand. The wine folks are learning quite a bit about the tattoo world, and the tattooers and their assistants usually already have an interest in wines and spirits, but would like to know even more. A great meeting of the minds, over a bottle or two 🙂 See you on the road!

Atwater Estate Vineyards Rosé of Merlot and the first day of Ithaca Farmers Market

Rosé of Merlot

Rosé of Merlot

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imageI made a special trip up Seneca Lake (after a visit to the first outdoor Ithaca Farmer’s Market of the year) specifically to taste Atwater Estate Vineyards 2014 Rosé of Merlot. I had a haul of root veggies and sunchokes (also called Jerusalem Artichokes, they are the tuber roots of a type of sunflower. Taste just like artichokes, roast or use just like you would potatoes), and was finally starting to readjust to real life and post Europe jet lag and exhaustion. My husband was home, in between a month long tour and going back to work at our home tattoo shop The Hand of Fate Tattoo Parlor, and I felt like making a nice meal and having a lovely bottle of vino to go with the return to our local reality. Pork loin, veggies, and a bottle of rosé…and I already had one in mind. The joy of living in the Finger Lakes! Hop in the car for a quick trip to one of the hundreds of local wineries…

I love the Merlot grape, I always have, and the more styles I try, the more hooked I am. Atwater’s 2014 release of the Rosé of Merlot has taken Double Gold at the 2015 Rosé Competiton at Simi Winery in California, which is a nod for the Finger Lakes area as well! According to the tasting notes: “The first vintage from our young Merlot block, planted in 2011 on the south farm, just above the water’s edge. Hand picked and cold soaked on the skins for two hours before pressing off. Limited to 38 CASES.” I heard from the tasting room that this very first harvest of merlot was almost blended into another wine, and that the rosé was a very happy accident, and incredibly limited in production to thirty-eight cases (twelve bottles per case, people. That’s it!) While I tasted the Rosè of Cabernet Franc (which I enjoyed the very delicate acidity and fruitiness) and their Pinot Bubble (which was fun with strawberry and raspberry notes and slightly sparkling), I left with a bottle of the Rosé of Merlot, even though it wasn’t available at the tasting bar. Limited release doesn’t always afford for pre-tasting! So glad I grabbed one, will be back soon for more. Very soon, considering it’s such a limited bottling! Sometimes the best wines come in th smallest batches, especially in the Finger Lakes. Winemakers here often take risks that would only happen in an up-and-coming area like this, which is still a bit on the wild side….which is more than fine with me. This merlot rosé might just be one of my new favorites!

Veggietastic

Veggietastic

My farmers market goodies

My farmers market goodies

A very simple oven roasted pork loin over fresh root veggies (and lots of garlic) was a great meal with the rosé. The Merlot was a drier rosé wine than others I had tasted at Atwater, but the light cherry/red fruit flavors and bright acidity was balanced and very complimentary with our meal. It showed very nicely with both the pork and roasted veggies-even the sunchokes! I’m glad I gave it a shot, the best experiments often happen at home around here. Perfect springtime coral pink color against a blue sky, this is a bottle of wine to grab if you have the very limited chance! (BTW Right after I went and tasted, the crew at Atwater refinished the tasting room original wood floor. I’m sure it looks spectacular-make sure to look down next time you’re there!)

April is Discover Dry Rosé Month in the Finger Lakes! Great Reason to Drink Pink

Rosé in Paris

Rosé in Paris

With April comes the start of spring-longer days, warmer temperatures, welcome sunshine and the snow melt. Blue skies see people coming out and about on the local wine trails, so the Finger Lakes has made the most of it! The month of April starts Discover Dry Rosé Month (follow the link for the website and more info) in the Finger Lakes, and it’s also THIS BoozyWife’s birthday month…a happy coincidence that I plan to take advantage of!

Dry rosé wines are gaining in popularity among younger, experimental wine crowds willing to try something different. Rosé is often associated with sweet, pink, fruity wine….and is therefore passed over. Many Finger Lakes wine makers are working hard to change that perception during the moth of April. Dry rosé wines, styled in the more European fashion, are the perfect compliment to cheeses, appetizers, and the lighter, fresh flavors that coincide with springtime locavore menu selections. Easter dinners would love to be paired with Riesling and the local dry rosé of your choice. Both are easy to drink with a difficult mashup of foods, which most large holiday dinners are. Thanksgiving as well! Dry pink (sparkling or non) is always a good bet for the table.

Pink grapes don't always make pink wine

Pink grapes don’t always make pink wine

There has been a lot written recently about the new Dry Rosé trend in the Finger Lakes, and even I wrote a post about it a couple of months back. The New York Post had a recent article ‘It’s time to give dry rosé the recognition it deserves.’ (click the link, winos) which touts the upswing in rosé sales, in addition to enlighten readers on the food friendly nature of this very easy to pair wine. It’s gaining in popularity for a reason, and the producers are noticing. Dry rosé production is way up locally in the Finger Lakes, and sweet was queen here not long ago….sweet rosé is still very popular, but not always the assumed style here nowadays (thank the gods). I personally love a dry merlot rosé, as well as a few of the many blends we have here…and am SO excited to try the new releases this month around the Finger Lakes! I’ll definitely let you in on my favorites (Already looking forward to Atwater, Damiani, Keuka Springs, Hosmer, many others!!) around the lakes this month.

Rosé paired with steak tartare in Paris

Rosé paired with steak tartare in Paris

BoozyWife side note ** I (yes, little old me) paired our incredible meal of steak tartare at Au Boeuf Couronne (after the Mondial tattoo convention) with a lovely dry rosé and it was PERFECT.

Husband highly approved, although even HE was sceptical of a dry rosé on my recommendation. Once he tasted the light acidity with the delicate flavors of the dish, he was sold. Initially, there was some resistance to something he rarely drinks. I think the pairing made an impression on him, but who knows, it could have just been an evening out in Paris.

Happy husband with dry rosé and beef tartare in Paris

Happy husband with dry rosé and beef tartare in Paris

Ramblings from Rotterdam

Streamline diner in Rotterdam

Streamline diner in Rotterdam

Booths in Rotterdam

Booths in Rotterdam

Well, I’m writing this wandering around the floor of the Rotterdam show, reflecting on my time spent abroad with my artist husband. I’m overwhelmed, honestly. I’ve met so many people with such a powerful drive and commitment to tattooing. Not just to the trade, but the lifestyle and worldwide community that I’m embraced into. It’s a traveling circus, a carnival of oddities, and a selected family. Very open, accepting, and ultimately enjoyable people on our travels.

Jan and I after Mondial

Jan and I after Mondial

Some of our most endearing tattoo community members might look rougher intimidating, and possibly might act that way if hungry or stressed out (including yours truly). Most are incredible people, true individuals and accepting, hospitable, and excited to share their culture or country with us–and help with train machines and ticket windows 🙂

Hubby. Orange with a straw for my cold from Jan.

Hubby. Orange with a straw for my cold from Jan.

Family is important, and we’re all considered as such at this level. Travel gave me a new perspective that I didn’t have before, even though I saw the pictures on InstaGram and heard all of the stories. To actually watch a lineup in Paris reach around the entire hall blocks long is much more intense. To finally meet people that I only existed to on the interwebs was alone worth the journey. I can’t wait to get out there and meet more of you!!image

Happy St. Patty’s Day from #BoozyLife in Amsterdam

Absinthe in Paris

Absinthe in Paris

Today is the last day that I will be touring around with the husband! We’re on the train from Rotterdam headed towards Amsterdam, and I’m really excited to check out the city, the canals, and of course have a couple of drinks. Absinthe IS green, after all 🙂 It really looks like a romantic little city, and the perfect way to end this adventure. Flying tomorrow, but you’ll hear from this BoozyWife soon 🙂

Mondial du Tatouage 2015: Paris, Artistry, and Wooden Balls

Me and Lefty at the Eiffel

Me and Lefty at the Eiffel

My first journey overseas has been one hell of a trip! Some dream of seeing the Eiffel Tower and the city of lights, but I was more interested in attending the Mondial du Tatouage 2015, one of the greatest tattoo shows on earth.

Artist booths at Mondial

Artist booths at Mondial

Simone also created trophies for the tattoo contests-incredible artwork

Simone also created trophies for the tattoo contests-incredible artwork

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The start of the entrance line

 

Tin-Tin (of Tin-Tin Tatouages, Paris) and his incredible team of minions put on the show with the highest attendance record ever for a show in 2014, so I went in expecting this one would be another crazy weekend. I had no idea. This is a show like no other, anywhere. There is no way to cover everything in one post…but I’ll add the boozy stuff later on!

Mondial is heavily promoted and sponsored – MTV, Fender guitars, commercial promotions- and it shows. The que for the first day entrance was one of the longest lines I’ve ever seen, and I worked for Disney World…I know long ass lines. I actually got a little nervous waiting for the incoming herd of bodies to hit the open doors and flood the aisles. The line was that long every single morning of the three day show. Clients had come in from all over the European Union to get tattooed by world renowned artists.

Custom painted Fender guitars

Custom painted Fender guitars

Above the floor at Mondial-there were 2nd floor booths as well this year

Above the floor at Mondial-there were 2nd floor booths as well this year

This year, there were booths on the first floor as well as on the second floor balconies, which did help to split the crowd and make walking around a little more manageable. Last year I heard aboutforty five minute travel times from booth to stencil maker-this year it felt easier to navigate (I’m also short and a New Yorker, so I can usually slide through the gaps). It was a huge crowd, but very well managed.

That Hanford smile

That Hanford smile

The amount of talent at this show is staggering. Booth after booth, internationally known tattooers buzzed the weekend away.

The judges

The judges

Filip Leu, Luke Atkinson, and Bill Salmon were the tattoo contest judges the entire weekend (pimped out in fancy in suits, no less!) and the trophies were one of a kind creations by the incomparable Simone El Rana.

Shige at work, the artist that won Best Bodysuit for this year's contest

Shige at work, the artist that won Best Bodysuit for this year’s contest

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The Leu Family Iron booth

Jondix in the booth

Jondix in the booth

Selfie with artist Titine Leu (wife of Filip Leu) -Leu Family Iron Booth

Selfie with artist Titine Leu (wife of Filip Leu) -Leu Family Iron Booth

This show has no room for mediocrity, no scratchers, no one that can’t hang with the best of the best. Mentioning this now (but it will have its own separate blog post soon) — Henning Jorgensen released his book “The Royal Tribute” and had an exclusive signing during the last day of the show. Lefty escaped long enough to walk around and grab a copy to have signed. Always gracious, Henning’s book spans thirty years of his shop Royal Tattoo and is broken into two parts, including his flash and paintings. It is definitely worth looking into to grab a copy for yourself if you’re a collector, absolutely beautiful work.

Sleeps on fancy lettering

Sleeps on fancy lettering

We had a lot of friends visiting Paris, which speaks of Lefty’s level in the game, but also made for a few very entertaining evenings as well. This is a really fun show for the artists as well as fans, and in addition to all of the hype…the feeling is something special… I believe the French would say it’s own ‘je ne sais quoi.’

Norm rockin fancy letters

Norm rockin fancy letters

It’s an exclusive group I get to socialize with, but no snobbery is witnessed, no shade thrown. The VIP Sunday night after party was on a boat located on the River Seine. Music, booze, and a smoking deck we overran that faced the twinkling Eiffel Tower.

Bubbles and Paris at night

Bubbles and Paris at night

Everyone talking about ten or fifteen years ago, where they first met, at which show, and the changes in the business since then. Many of the artists brought spouses, or had family that they rarely get to see come through as well. The vibe was friendly and all around tired but jovial. image

On a total side note…Tin-Tin plays a mean game of Fooz Ball…the ball is made of wood instead of plastic here, so you can do some crazy serving shit with it! I was definitely watching a very intense match of incredibly talented individuals blowing off steam after a completely successful weekend. I can’t wait for next year! Thank you to everyone that put in so much work, so that we could enjoy Paris in such a remarkable way. I can’t wait to come back and do it all again next year!

Mondial du Tatouage 2015 in Photos

Norm rockin fancy letters

Norm rockin fancy letters

Selfie with artist Titine Leu (wife of Filip Leu) -Leu Family Iron Booth

Selfie with artist Titine Leu (wife of Filip Leu) -Leu Family Iron Booth

Shige at work, the artist that won Best Bodysuit for this year's contest

Shige at work, the artist that won Best Bodysuit for this year’s contest

Jondix in the booth

Jondix in the booth

Tahiti Tattoo

Tahiti Tattoo

This past weekend was one of the best tattoo shows on earth, Mondial du Tatouage 2015, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the excitement! Thank you to Tin-Tin and his incredible crew and production staff for putting on one of the busiest, craziest, and best shows I have ever witnessed. I’ll have a full wrap up soon, but there was so much to see and do, I’m still a bit overwhelmed (and I’m in Paris playing tourist, so blogging happens whenever the carnival stops for a minute)…much, much more coming up! Until then, here are a few shots from the show – as for the selfie with artist Titine Leu of the Leu Family Iron, that was her idea. I swear.  😉

Above the floor at Mondial-there were 2nd floor booths as well this year

Above the floor at Mondial-there were 2nd floor booths as well this year

Artist booths at Mondial

Artist booths at Mondial

Sabine's booth

Sabine’s booth

Last day of #MondialduTatouage

Today is the last day of the Paris show! It’s been an incredible week, from Corsica to Paris – and we have a few days in Paris before heading to the Netherlands. There will be TONS of good stuff from this trip that I can’t wait to share, from beautiful tattoo work, to local booze that I found along the journey. More soon from your newly international BoozyWife 🙂

Mondial du Tatouage 2015

Mondial du Tatouage 2015

Mondial du Tatouage 2015 Teaser-ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!

Mondial du Tatouage 2015

Mondial du Tatouage 2015

Hey kids! Check out the new video promoting the Paris Tattoo Convention! It’s a short spot, highlighting what’s so great about this show–amazing artists, tattoos, music, culture, and a high-end, selective representation from the best in our current tattoo community. Have a look, BoozyLife will be there in exactly ONE MONTH from today!