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What the Hell Is Copia? 

At Robert Mondavi's new $55 million foodie mecca, you'll find seminars on goat cheese and mustard; surrealist movies; a SPAM exhibit; wine tastings; figurines of pooping Catholics -- everything, in fact, but the answer to that question.

Wednesday, Apr 10 2002
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Page 5 of 5

The female retiree is wandering outside, near Copia's limestone front, looking. "Is this where people get to smoke?" she asks. "Do they let you?"

She, along with her friends from a Vallejo retirement community, has been bused in to spend the entire day at Copia. Which is probably the best way to do it. Take in a whole day. Settle back for the lectures on the art of the wine label. Pay $15 to spend an hour learning about the color yellow. Peruse the pooping figurines. Try to figure out if this massive employment of exhibits, classes, seminars, and multidisciplinary paradigms will exist in the same form a year from now.

Wander through the lobby, because you're retired and have the time, and take a look at the mustard exhibit, "Hold the Mustard!" There are vintage mustard tins, silver and china pots, old advertisements for mustard. Mustard, a whole wall of it, under glass. You can see it all.

And you can notice, if you look closely, that somebody has slipped a tiny little packet of fast-food mustard between the glass panes guarding the exhibit. It sits there on the bottom shelf, and you can wonder if somebody was trying to say something.

About The Author

Mark Athitakis

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