Thursday, January 24, 2002

A Collaboration of Classic Cars and Art

Walking through the quiet, quaint New York City West Village neighborhood on Thursday, January 24th was a delight. The air was still slightly damp and warm from the day's earlier rains and as I approached Coopers Classic Cars showroom in their new location on Perry Street I was greeted by two classic hot rods--one red and one black with red flames painted on the hood. Inside the spacious showroom were a Ferrari, a Jaguar and a Rolls Royce, all perfectly poised to tempt onlookers and waiting to purr along a roadway.

Behind each car, on the crisp white walls, was a painting. As Elliot Cukor, president of Cooper Classics Collection, explained to me "I wanted to pair each car with a piece of artwork." While you don't have to purchase one to get the other, they do "go" together. Upstairs is a photography exhibit, which correlates to the artwork below. Elliot has a reputation for producing creative events--he's organized the Yankee's parades, has a background in film and television and is the Co-Chair of the Mayor's Advisory Council for Film and Television.

One of his hopes for the showroom is to develop it as a salon for special events. With 50 cars in his inventory, he can match cars to the style of the evening. For instance, one night was dedicated to the creative art of boxing. With cars, artwork and photography reflecting the art of this brutal sport, the theme carried a bit of elegance.

Tonight the evening was for event planners to see the space and consider it for their future events. Although not event planners, I did see Besen & Associates' Michael Sokolow, Locust Systems' Oren Klein (which is a cool tech company) and CNET Networks executive editor David Carney who was in town from San Francisco where he shares his time. We chatted about the "old days" of dot-com glory.

A little further in, enjoying the elegant and tasty hors d'oeuvres from Creative Edge parties, were EventMe!'s Volker Detering, Patrick Grant, his wife Valerie Filipovna and his assistant. The upstairs room, which overlooks the downstairs space, was also spacious and comfortable with chaise-lounges. Cocktail tables carried the car-theme through by having parts of cars' hoods as the bases. This room could also serve as a VIP lounge by sliding the one-way mirrored doors across a track to enclose the space. The space also has a plasma screen with DVD, video and cable TV capabilities, a computer with DSL, teleconferencing abilities, a client area and conference room and a kitchen.

Downstairs EuroCircle's Victor Voloshin and BizBash's Nancy Swiezy were networking with other guests. As the hour struck eight, the party began winding down, and I headed out the winding little streets of the village again.