Monday, April 27, 2009

Milan Report

What a fast and crazy trip. I guess I will start at the beginning and leave out all the businessy stuff for a separate post. ("Businessy" refers to the really cool modern furniture design I saw.) I am traveling with a friend/rep/furniture importer who only lives about a block away. I have known him and his wife for a few years so when he invited me I jumped at the chance. He goes to this shoes every year so he has most of the details down.

We left Thursday afternoon for the marathon flight to Milan. As ranted before, I hate air travel. Well, due to karmic payback for all the complaining I have been doing, I got one of the worst seats on the plane. On a Delta Airbus 330 they have video monitors in the back of the seats - that's good. I requested a window seat thinking I could then have something to lean against to sleep (who am I kidding, I NEVER sleep on a plane.) Turns out that they stick the hardware for the video monitors under the window seats, cutting your foot room in half. I couldn't stretch out which made me miserable and crabby.

Here - let me do this in a bullet pointed format and then I will get to the good stuff.

Things I hate about air travel (I actually wrote a list to keep from going insane or on a murderous rampage at 60,000 feet):
  • A330 window seat has video hardware under seat = no leg room
  • The guy in the seat in front of me eating beef jerky (maybe this would have been worse)
  • US security measures getting out of Amsterdam are ridiculous and redundant
  • Sitting next to huge people who hog the armrest
  • Terrible Food! (That I eat anyway and then feel horrible, gross, sick, bloated and gassy)
  • The stupid Delta preflight video
  • The world's most dis-gusting bathrooms (I am afraid to touch any surface in one of those stand up petri dishes)
  • Surly flight attendants (Northworst and Delta) and the fact that the KLM flight attendants are more attractive and friendly
  • Drunk Germans
  • The woman behind me who sprayed hairspray ("Lady, this is an enclosed aluminum tube with no air circulation!")
So that is that.

On to Milan.

We grabbed the train into the city from Malpensa Airport. It was cheap and easy and took us right where we needed to go. Why couldn't things be this easy in the US? We were meeting a couple of other designers who had flown in from Doha, Qatar and we were staying in two different apartments. The original apartment we were supposed to be staying at was right in the middle of a satellite design fair - we gave that one to these folks out of courtesy. Our apartment was "further away." That is the only way I can describe it because I really have no idea where it was. Their apartment was kick ass - our apartment was ass.

Their apartment:

Our apartment:

Their view:

Our view:

Thursday night the four of us wandered around the Zona Tortona - the design fair in the neighborhood we stayed in. There are so many great pictures I will post a few here and provide a link to a web album after them. 

One of my favorite things about Milan - great coffee! I never had a bad cup. Here is a very pretty cup that I had just down the street from the KAA (Kick Ass Apartment.)

People watching was also very fun. There were lots of them around. 

These next pics are a cool party we crashed. 
This was the entry.

This was a three story wall of plates.

Many, many more cool pictures here.

We decided to find a place for dinner and ended up having about a three hour meal with lots and lots of laughs. Bed time by the time we got back to Apt. A (Apartment Ass) was about 12:30 AM. I never stay out that late, especially with jet lag, but endless cups of coffee certainly help. 

Friday was show day. I had 10 buildings and 250,000 square meters of contemporary furniture to see. I had my walking shoes on. 

We ate dinner at MIDNIGHT. But it was a FANTASTIC meal. We totally stumbled upon this steak house in the middle of Milan. I couldn't have been happier as I had eaten only one small meal the entire day. 

We had to get home. We walked the Doha designers to their KAA and then walked up a few blocks to catch a cab. Apparently, at 2:30 AM in a particular neighborhood in Milan, if you you stand on a certain street corner and try to hale a cab and you look, oh, pretty much like ME, you get propositioned by male prostitutes. Like three times. Needless to say, I was a little freaked out, not because men find me attractive (who doesn't, right?) but because macho Italian guys aren't huge fans of gay men. Combine that with the high-vis white shirt I made the mistake of wearing and a large number or extremely drunk and rowdy men milling around and I wanted out of there in the worst way. My traveling companion - who apparently is not at all attractive to male prostitutes - found all this incredibly hilarious, like laugh until he cried hilarious, which made me want to kill him. 

We started walking in the direction of Apt. A and after about a half hour or 45 minutes we finally got a cab. Bedtime 3:30 AM. One hell of a long day. 

Saturday was my day on my own. I will report on that next.


D said...

The woman with the hairspray would have heard a few words from me. Perhaps a punch to the tit too.

Now, I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you what my reaction to the male prostitutes and you would have been.

Maggs said...

Dinner at midnight? I thought 9PM dinner in NYC was late. I guess it gets later the further east you go.