Picked up a book that was chillin' on a friend's desk while I was up here in Chicago, "The Killer App," by Tim Sanders. I've intended to read the book for quite some time, largely because I worked with and knew many of the people that Sanders writes about during the time that we were both at broadcast.com & Yahoo!
I got about 40 pages into the read and was giving my friend the gist before we took off to see a place that I'd never been off the Damen Blue Line stop, aka Wicker Park, called The Violet Hour. This place is the mecca of mixology: an obscure wooden door leads into a dark hallway, heavy velvet curtains line the walls and provide room division, while a dimly lit interior draws your eye away from the patrons and toward the wall of alcohols in bottles of brands that you've never seen in your life. We sat down and started watching the barkeep concoct fancy drinks with liquors, eyedroppers and fiery, citrus zest.
It was the perfect example of what Sanders is trying to say in his book about knowledge, network and compassion.
Knowledge: As he made the drinks, he pontificated the source and history of every alcohol that was being used in the drinks. Foreign ones. Rare ones. Homemade bitters.
Network: His network of distributors and friends were the ones that helped him to locate all of the ingredients from around the world. In fact, the barkeep himself was lured out of NYC as one of the best bartenders in the country.
Compassion: He went out of his way to share his knowledge and his network with us, whether we asked for it or not.
That barkeep was a big time LOVECAT.