Friday, April 10, 2009

Auto Show Gala Preview: Part One

Last night, I headed over to the Jacob Javits Convention Center for a gala preview of the New York International Auto Show.

Start Your Engines: All smiles at the Auto Show preview

Benefiting East Side House Settlement, a social services agency in one of the poorest sections of the South Bronx, the annual event attracts a friendly, well-heeled crowd happy to mingle for a good cause.

A view of the crowd

While enjoying a turbo 911 cocktail (vodka, white cranberry and soda), I also sampled many of the scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres (mini mahi mahi tacos, chicken with pesto skewers, deviled quail egg).

Needing a napkin and noticing a group of three thirty-something men by the bar, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

“Excuse me, Gentlemen,” I said, as I reached my hand between them to get a napkin.

Sure enough, the trio introduced themselves. Colleagues at UBS, Chris, Patrick and Cedric shared their optimism that the economy has hit rock bottom. We all raised our glasses at our good fortune to still be employed and parted company, as I sensed they were in male bonding mode.

I decided to do a lap around the showroom, which was brimming with shiny new vehicles in every color imaginable. I got a look at the new Lexus Rx hybrid and the latest version of Nissan’s Krum. Most fascinating model of the night -- Chrysler’s 200C EV Concept.

Chrysler’s EV Concept: a futuristic ride

A truly futuristic ride, the EV is an electric vehicle with a nob and button-free touch screen dashboard. You can program a maximum speed (useful for parents with teens, as the salesman eagerly pointed out), and even forget about keys. Because the EV is designed so your cell phone can control it remotely. The first manufactured model is due out in 2010.

Back inside the cocktail reception, I was debating where my next destination would be when Chris approached me and asked if I needed a drink. Little did I know my evening was about to take a very fun and unexpected turn.

No comments: