Purple Gin and Pink Martini

by wjw on January 18, 2019

Gotta say, last night had a lot to recommend it.

I took the train up to Albuquerque to meet Kathy downtown, and then we went to the Apothecary Bar atop the Parq Central Hotel to watch the sunset turn the mountains pink, which it did right on schedule.  We had cocktails and ate high-end bar food.  My drink choice, called Metamorphosis, turned out to be appropriate for a place called Apothecary, because it performed a transformation before our very eyes.  We start with gin and ice in a crystal goblet, and into this pour a pea flower and tea reduction.  Give it a stir, and the drink turns a brilliant violet color.  (Pea flower changes color in the presence of acid.)

The drink was so smooth I couldn’t really tell it had alcohol in it until I tried to stand up.  Better living through chemistry!

After sunset we made our way to the Kimo, the world’s only art deco pueblo revival theater, for a concert by Pink Martini.

Pink Martini is for all intents and purposes the house band for the imaginary kingdom of Portlandia.  As one might expect from Portlandians, they are pangenre, panethnic, panlingual, and pansexual.  They performed songs in French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Turkish, and . . . wait for it . . . English.  With 11 musicians (not counting special guests), including brass and a lot of percussion, they can really do that big band sound, and that’s when they don’t have a symphony as their backup band, which they often do.

I have to say, the Kimo was perfect for them— not only an intimate theater, but one with cow skulls with red lights in their eyes, giant kachinas, a house ghost, and big round shields with clouds, rain, and swastikas.  (Click the link and check out the photos.  I’m not exaggerating here.)

The concert ended with maybe 300 people in a conga line.  I’m currently a little too gimped to join in, but I was there in spirit.

The evening was full of joy, chemistry, good sounds, and just enough chaos to make it interesting.  It made me want be a citizen of Portlandia, if it weren’t for the weather.

Etaoin Shrdlu January 18, 2019 at 7:56 am


pecooper January 21, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Oh, man, you got to see Pink Martini. Major envy, man.

I was turned on to them 7 years ago by my cousin’s son. We bother all generations at family get-togethers gushing about their latest albums.

And, yeah, they do set the bar pretty high for music in Portlandia.

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