Paris is a magical city. The lights, the people, the wine…the art. The energy is unlike anywhere else, a joy for life and an appreciation for the beautiful things that borders on hedonism. Quality tattoos and tattoo culture are revered and celebrated here, possibly more than any other location. One of the largest and best international tattoo conventions, Mondial du Tatouage, took place the first weekend in March.
Last year in 2015, I was lucky enough to attend with my husband as well, to really get a taste of the insanity and the crowds. The Paris tattoo convention was completely unlike anything I had ever seen–Fender Guitars and MTV sponsor, lines that wrap around the convention hall for several city blocks the entire weekend, a well orchestrated madness of entertainment and artwork.
This year, due to business and life not lining up the way we had hoped, Lefty and I had to miss Paris for March 2016 . It’s such an incredible event, that there was no way I wanted to skip a post– so I asked a couple of friends and fellow tattoo wives to send me some photos from this year. One of the things that I absolutely love about being in this tattoo community, is the sharing and support that we often find! Thank you, ladies!! You rock. Truly.
Dawn Danroth, wife to veteran tattoo artist Clint Danroth and owners of Craftsman Tattoo Parlour, BC, kept me updated on what stood out to her-for her first time at the show! Dawn’s highlights were GOOD red wine in food courts (!!), excellent red wine EVERYWHERE, a gift of Pinot Gris from Alsace and Steph at Octopus Tattoo, and reportedly some of the best French Onion soup she had ever tasted at a café on St. Denis!
The lovely Ellen Chaboya also ran a booth with her multi-talented tattoo artist husband Nick Chaboya ( Nick Chaboya private studio, San Fran Bay Area) and sent me some awesome photos of the crowd, the custom Mondial Nissan Juke by Tin Tin, as well as shots of the Fender guitar Nick customized especially for the show! We spent a bit of time together last year, and it’s always a blast.
Welcome to March in the Finger Lakes! We have had an incredibly mild winter 2015-16 (so far, not one use of the snow blower), so it feels a bit presumptuous to embrace the upcoming return of spring. Last year on this date, we were sitting on a runway, delayed in snow at Newark, waiting to take off for Paris and the Mondial du Tatouage Paris Tattoo Convention. It was my first international flight, first major European Tattoo Convention…and I was beyond nervous…but did it anyway. No regrets. Get on the bus….right?
This year, European tattoo travel is on hold until summer, and my focus is on writing. I’ve had an entire world open to me in the last year; travel, tattoos, wine, all mingling in my experience and memory. A wine info book, peppered with tattoo life stories and on the road experiences….what would you want to read about? What are you intrigued with? Help a bitch out! Shoot me a message, I’m all over FB or tweet at me @boozylife 🍷
Side note–this is my 100th post on the BoozyLife! Thank you for reading and following the journey!
The first leg of our trip this month had us flying on a multiple city ticket–last minute flight purchases–and ended up with an overnight layover, to ourselves, in Paris. Terrible, right? What to do…we wanted to stay near the Gare du Nord train station in order to stay close to the morning train commute to the airport…cheap night in an Ibis hotel nearby…research! My husband found a spot called Chez Casimir about 100 meters from us–it’s the sister restaurant to the famous Chez Michel bistro, and actually SHARES A KITCHEN with them. DONE! We walked over and took an outdoor table overlooking the evening Paris streets. Google them if you want to see more articles, they’ve been written up in CNN travel amongst many others….
There is either an ala carte menu or the standard four course pairing (appetizer, entrée, world-famous cheese tray, desert), so we went traditional and ordered off the prix fix menu. At less than forty euros each, the price was more than a casual dinner, but presented to be a more upscale bistro fare. I chose a portion of beef with mushrooms and a pepper sauce as my entré…and then, I got to pick our wine! Best part!
I ordered a French Beaujolais wine (young and fruity red, easy drinking and good with a bistro meal like this) from the menu, and was invited to go grab MY bottle!! The wines were stored in the Cava de Vino (wine cave…in this case, a climate controlled side room/closet area) and you were asked to grab the bottle you want yourself, and a server will open your selection(s) and add them to the bill at the end of the meal. OK. YES. Several of the bottles were small batch, organic, or from harder to find producers! HOW TO CHOOSE? After a good amount of standing still with my mouth open in a happy place, I grabbed a bottle of GAEC de La Tallebarde – Séléné Beaujolais Gamay, a very young red wine, lightly aged and traditionally made in the Burgundy region of France. It also happily had an artsy label, plastered with a painting of Frida Kahlo-which was a nice marketing surprise for me and appropriate as well I suppose!
The young red wine -once popped -was fruity, funky, and complex, without being heavy–a fun pairing for casual outdoor dining. The acidity cut through all of the rich flavor of the meal, from my beef and mushrooms, all the way to the incredible treat of the Chez Michel style local cheese platter course.
Really, no words–the cheese tray comes after entirely too much food, so plan accordingly! Desert was an incredible raspberry chocolate concoction that melted in my mouth with silky perfection…lovely sweet ending to a delightful night in Paris. Check out Chez Casimir next time you are in town–BoozyLife approved and recommended! See you on the road….
BoozyLife is on the road in Southern France! I have amazing pictures and video of the weekend we were invited to from Holiday Ink 5 as well as from some of our travels through Pertuis, AIX Provence, and now Corsica on the Mediterranean! Thank you to David de Pertuis, his wife Stéphanie, and his beautiful and gracious family for hosting us in such comfort and hospitality. Truly, we feel so blessed and can’t wait to see you all in NYC this fall!
My wifi availability is spotty at the moment, and the adventure has provided way more than I could squish into one post anyway….so there will be a few on this journey once we return to the States. Currently, we’re visiting friends at the studio Generation Tattoo in Ajaccio, Corsica–incredible local farmers markets, and a view of the port that will never leave me. Enjoy a few GoPro shots and keep your eyes open for more posts in the coming week! See you soon, Ithaca—
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The amount of talent at this show is staggering. Booth after booth, internationally known tattooers buzzed the weekend away.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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!
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. 😉
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 🙂
It has been a VERY frigid February in the Finger Lakes, with temperatures falling below zero for extended cold snaps lasting multiple nights. The Finger Lakes themselves are freezing over, with only Cayuga and Seneca not completely iced over. Seneca has not frozen over for generations, and the view of the lake with ice crusts floating on the surface is stunning. Time will soon tell if the temperatures have caused damage to grapevines along the shores of the Finger Lakes. The lakes create microclimates that help keep temperatures just a bit higher near the deepest bodies of water (Seneca and Cayuga are deepest), but this February has been brutal. Although the cold is difficult to bear, the beauty of a frozen winter here is beautiful.
Today Is February 22, which means in ONE WEEK I will be headed to Paris, Corsica, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam with my husband Eddie-I’m a lucky bitch. Keep checking in on this BoozyWife, things are about to get interesting!
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!