Warmest wishes for the New Decade ....

Occasionally it's nice to get an unsolicited gift in the mail - even if only snailspam. In this case, a rather cool cardboard "Eiffel Tower party hat" from St Germain, maker of the classy elderflower liqueur of the same name.

I stumbled across this addictive concoction at a Dr Ruth Westheimer book launch at BottleRocket and must have tipsily given them the GPS coordinate of my bunker.

The enclosed classy instruction sheet, resembling a menu from one of these places, asks recipients to take a shot of themselves with it - presumeably expecting overexposed snaps of the tower teetering atop boozy, high-fiving party animals @ some velvet roped club or midwestern garage BBQ or other predictable composition.

No such luck from the Galfromdownunder, who, with no such luck of a St Germain-fueled party invite, came up with this: a David Weekes Hanno climbing the St Germain Eiffel Tower with Manhattan's London Terrace in the background!

Now setting up such a shot wasn't so easy, requiring the help of architect Rem Koolhaas' S,M,L,XL tome to make up for being on a low floor. The architect probably never envisioned that even his book would raise a floor to such a lofty height.

Graphic design buffs should eyeball St Germain's beautifully designed website - they seem to have expertly captured the feel of a classy Parisian drawing room complete with riding crops, Baccarat crystal decanters and heavy velvet drapes - things than spring to mind on paging through - in mere kilobytes.

For now, I have one plea for St Germain - can you make a low or non-alcoholic version of your liqueur? Do you really need alcohol to present that incomparable elderflower flavor? If this could be achieved, I predict it will eclipse Cola as the #1 flavor of the new millennium.

While I'm at it, here's some chilly Christmas/New Year cheer from the Galfromdownunder, Upover.

The view from where I sit at this moment

Here's one way to stop garbage getting stinky - put it on ice! (As you can see, the Victoria's Secret bag likes it on top):

Even cynics enjoy this time of the year - spotted at a gift shop:

Bored of both decapitated conifers and fake firs? Here's a festive tree of wooden phalluses at the Beads of Paradise store in Chelsea, Manhattan - placed appropriately high and out of reach of sticky fingers ...

'avagoodone, as we say downunder ...


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