The all-American restaurant on 18th street, America, was the setting for the opening night SAR2000 event. Sponsored by Zefer, Veronis Suhler and eCal, the party drew many top and mid-range industry players. Removed of all tables and chairs, hors d'oeuvres were passed by harried waiters--eg. I overheard one woman wail as she leaned against a column with a tray of pizza squares, "I don't care what you do! Just don't touch me in a bad place!" The pizzas were devoured and she skulked away quickly. Catherine Winchester, Matthew Glitzer and Mark Lucente of Soliloquy and I chatted for a while with Diana Butler of iXL and Melissa Grossman of Zefer. Matt told me of his earlier careers in a rock band, and we instantly bonded when we discovered that we shared the experience of improv comedy. Andrew Zolli of Siegel & Gale hinted at some upcoming news, and as we chatted with Brian Colby of Infonautics, I caught sight of Betsy Silverfine at Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner LLP, Matt Toner of WeMedia and Edmund Bogen of Bogen PR. Barry Sikes, Alan Gonchar and even CEO of iXL Bert Ellis were all mingling with friends and new business associates. I saw Jennifer Biscoe of eComplaints, Neal Simon of USLaw.com, Chris Dolan of One Main and Laura Kraber of Xceed.
IBM-ers Mark Hanny and JP Frenza were on the scene here too, and I had an exceptionally in-depth, lovely, positive conversation with Mr. Hanny about the excitement of living in these times, witnessing the technology developments and musing over the advancements in Europe VS. the US, and the differences between the Alley and the Valley. He's heading out for the AlleyCat Venture meeting in SF next week. Bill Ryan, Chairman of Niehaus Ryan Wong, came into town and brought Peter Max along. The Shooting Gallery's Online Visual Festival director Kiley Bates and Zefer's VP of innovation development Frank Dudley came over to say "hi," and before I left I caught up briefly with Renee Edelman and Cherry Arnold.