I'm far too exhausted from my evening at the opening of the Metropolian Opera in New York City to write anything more than a very concise blurb about this photo from my stay in Hong Kong.
Imagine this. Russia, 1901 or so. It's winter; isn't it always winter? It's also dark, and because it's wintry cold and dark, you and your four friends (perhaps one of them is even Tolstoy) reach for the vodka bottle. You all don full-length fur coats and sip Stoli.
This is the concept behind "Balalaika", a Russian caviar and vodka bar in Hong Kong. Well, I'm not sure the proprietors had in mind Tolstoy, but they certainly successfully conceptualized around-the-clock winter. Immediately upon entering Balalaika, you are offered a full-length fur coat, which you'll need. Because your next move is into a large icebox, where you sip vodka amidst swirls of manufactured snow and ice. It's really the right way to start off a night with a fantastic artist, even if it's not the count of Russian literature. In this photograph, the four ladies are joined by reknowned French artist Jean-François Larrieu. There was no doubt this artist's company was preferable to that of Tolstoy's. After all, we were able to enjoy the evils of Stoli.