"One martini is all right.
Two are too many,
and three are not enough."
- James Thurber
I suppose we must each find hobbies in our lives that make some sort of sense to our view of the world. Amateur photographers want to document the world around them, as painters do but in a different way. Other people collect those works and (hopefully) display them as some sort of commentary about themselves as art lover
Among other things, I collect martinis. Images of them, I mean.
Maybe I ought to start from the beginning.
As a traveler, over the years I have several things and collections which I indulge when I'm on the road. They would be called hobbies in most cases. For example, I collect shot glasses. Lots and lots of them, it turns out, as the years have gone by.
Each glass represents a destination and adventure, some more than others. I have more than a hundred, a total which does not include those places I visited prior to collecting. Yes. I get around.
|San Diego, CA|
So collecting shot glasses became a hobby, which I happily indulge pretty much upon arrival at any given (new) destination.
Separately, however, as a photographer and aspiring travel-writer, I found myself fascinated with documenting our adventures in various countries. One of my favorite categories became focussed -- excuse the pun -- on wine. One of our favorite activities in places like France, Australia, the Napa Valley, Virginia and elsewhere is the tasting of local wines. In fact, tasting wine in each of the world's top wine districts has become one of my Life List ambitions.
|Rapid City, SD|
I've also photographed rum drinks in the Caribbean, Mai Tais in Hawaii, and tequila in Mexico. Bourbon in New Orleans. But collecting images of various mixed drinks, while interesting, never caught my artistic imagination the way the martini has. Or maybe it's just because I love martinis and it's a sneaky way to order them without appearing to be a borderline alcoholic. ("It's for my Art".)
So how did I end up collection martinis --or more accurately, images of martinis -- more than wine and other mixed drinks?
You have to go back quite a few years, probably into my childhood. The martini, during the days I was in my formative years, was an icon. Of glamor. Sophistication. (And, in doing research for this blog entry's quote, above, I discovered I was far from alone. It seems the martini influenced many a mind and imagination of people growing up in the sixties and seventies.) It represented an image I wanted to aspire to -- that of Hollywood parties, Vegas. Washington DC and New York sophisticates, and of course, James Bond himself.
|Las Vegas, NV|
The martini as all that and more.
|Port Douglas, Queensland|
Yeah, well. Picky I was not.
But the martini is what stuck with me. Not for everyday drinking any more, but as an echo of that one-time fascination with the glamorous life. Now, when it travel, I like to relax in the evenings with a martini or two.
One thing leads to another, and one fascination combines with another, and sooner or later in this visually-oriented world, I began photographing my martinis. For the last three years it has gone from a mild "every once in a while" sort of thing to a hobby. It gives me something to do during my down hours, and I've managed to build up a decent collection of martinis worldwide.
Some photos are low quality. Whether a result of low-lighting conditions, my lack of skill with the camera, or the low image quality of the camera I was using (the iPad, for all it can do, is not a good photographic tool, though it lets me post my martinis in a real-time basis.)
Some are naturals: Las Vegas. Del Mar. New York. Washington. Some are less so: El Paso. Rapid City. Honolulu.
(You haven't lived until you order a martini in El Paso. And you may not live long after doing so. Just sayin'.) (And you may note the Honolulu martini -- to the right -- is in a plastic wine glass. The waitress happily brought it, but apologized for the glass saying "we don't get a lot of requests for martinis.")
Some hobbies are fun. Some hobbies are full of memories, of emotions. Some hobbies are healthful. Some make no sense to an outsider, but have meaning to the collector.
And some, like collecting martinis, are just damned indulgent.
|Whistler, British Columbia|